If you’ve ever had an injured or sick pet and had no idea how to help them, you know how important it can be to be prepared for an emergency. With just a few cat and dog first aid tips, worrying whether or not you can help with be a thing of the past. Not all situations require your intervention and may be more suited to be addressed exclusively by a trained professional. Even so, having a plan in place to help your pet in a tough situation can help save a life.
The first thing you need to know about pet first aid is that it requires your attention, patience, and willingness to learn. Taking a certification course from an accredited facility can ensure you get the most up-to-date and medically accurate training available. You can usually take the course for around a hundred dollars, and you’ll be all set with everything you need as a first responder during an emergency. During the course, you will learn about:
Injuries and Infections – wounds, infections, internal or external bleeding; injuries from heat or cold; eye, nose, and ear injuries; bone, joint, and spinal injuries; porcupine quilling; parasites, stings, insect bites; animal fights, bites, and scratches; and more.
Pet proofing home and office
Airway obstruction, artificial respiration, CPR, choking procedures
Delivering kittens and puppies
Shock, vomiting, unconsciousness, diarrhea, dehydration.
Having an overall understanding of the total emergency landscape can help make sure you are prepared for whatever it takes to help your pet through a particularly challenging situation.
While you plan your first aid training into your calendar, let’s at least cover a couple of the basics. Having a working understanding of the most common problems can get you out of a sticky situation if anything arises before you are fully trained.
If your cat or dog is choking but is still breathing, keep them calm and get to the animal hospital immediately. If they are not breathing, gently open the mouth from the top of the muzzle (not covering their nose) and check for an obstruction. If one is found, gently remove it with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.
If this is not an option, place your pet on their side and put your hands on the edge of the ribcage. Push down and forward in quick, purposeful motions until the object dislodges. If the item still does not release, get to the vet immediately.
If your pet is bleeding a lot, place a clean towel on the area with pressure and keep it there until clotting begins. Do not remove any protruding items like metal, sticks, glass or other sharp objects. If not bleeding, clean the area with water (not alcohol or peroxide) and apply a clean gauze.
In all cases where the skin is punctured, bitten, or cut, there is a high chance of infection. Once you’ve taken care of the basics, always visit the vet to have a thorough overview. There may be things happening inside your pet you don’t see.
If your pet gets hit by a vehicle or falls from a height, place them on a stiff board and strap them down to prevent any movement. Make sure not to apply pressure to the chest as this may restrict breathing.
If you think there is a chance of head injury, make sure the head is elevated slightly higher than the body during transport. Do not attempt to set or splint any broken or protruding bones. Apply gentle pressure to any bleeding to prevent too much blood loss. Once in the transport vehicle, put a blanket over them to prevent shock. Get to the hospital immediately.
When it comes to cat and dog first aid tips, the best advice is to take an accredited first aid training course. Here you will learn everything you need to be a first responder on the scene of your pet’s emergency situation, and in some cases, their only lifeline. With the cat and dog first aid tips above, you are prepared for the most common issues. Even so, if you take preventive action and proactively prepare for an emergency, you may be the reason it’s just a close call and not something more serious. Reach out to us, and we will be glad to refer you to a great first aid training. If your pet is in trouble right now, we are prepared to help immediately.