Keeping your dog safe is one of your top priorities, and while you can do your best to keep your dog out of harm’s way, there may be times when you need to provide basic medical care to your pooch. Drypet wants you to be prepared for emergency situations with some basic first aid tips.
First Aid Tips
First aid starts with removing your pet from any possible threats. Then, you will want to keep your pooch warm and still. Movement can cause additional problems in the event of broken limbs or spine. You will also want to contact a veterinary hospital that can give you appropriate first aid advice and prepare a place for your dog at the hospital.
When moving your pet, try to find someone who can help you. This reduces the amount of movement that happens inside your pet’s body. For small dogs, you can remove the top of their carrier and place them inside. Use whatever you can to make a stretcher for large dogs. This could be a large piece of wood placed under a towel or blanket, which will help stabilize the neck and spine.
If your pet is bleeding, try to apply pressure to the wound to slow the loss of blood. When necessary, you can make a tourniquet to apply to bleeding limbs. For choking, try to dislodge the item from your pet’s throat with your finger. If that doesn’t work, you can perform a modified Heimlich maneuver by applying a few firm raps to your dog’s back. It is a good idea to get Heimlich training to prevent any injury to your pet.
If you ever find that your pet isn’t breathing or doesn’t have a heartbeat, you should perform CPR and chest compressions. Since CPR is different for dogs, you should take CPR classes so you don’t injure your pet unintentionally.
You will need to get to the veterinary hospital as soon as possible, but it is important to drive safely. When possible, have some travel to the hospital with you, so one person can drive while the other steadies the animal or applies pressure to any bleeding.
Creating a First Aid Kit
Create a first aid kit for your home and for your car to be prepared for an emergency situation no matter where you are. This kit should include:
- Self-adhesive or crepe bandages
- Open-weave or conforming bandages
- Non-adhesive absorbent dressings to cover open wounds
- Surgical sticky tape
- Cotton wool
- Sterile absorbent gauze
- Blunt-ended scissors (curved if possible)
- Thick towel
- Elizabethan collar (commonly called a cone)
If you don’t want to try to find all these items individually, you can purchase a pet first aid kit online. Drypet recommends that you keep one in your home and another in any vehicle that your dog travels in for any incidents away from home.
Taking a Pet CPR Class
The American Red Cross offers online first aid training and in-person pet CPR classes. These classes can help you feel more prepared in the event of a pet emergency and allow you to perform life-saving treatments on your dog when necessary.
While Drypet wants you to know how to help your pet in the event of an emergency, we also want you to know that this list is far from exhaustive. First aid training will help you better understand what you can do to help your pet in these times.