First aid for pets is not really the topmost priority of most pet parents—Reality check: Pets are surrounded by hazards every day. And these hazards can oftentimes end up as fatal accidents or life-threatening circumstances. But does it always have to end terribly? Fortunately, no, as there is what we call pet first aid.
And on the month of April, every year, is the National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, which raises pet first aid awareness to all pet parents to help them know what to do and take action immediately when their pets are caught between a life and death situation.
Saving a Life in an Emergency
April has been considered by the American Red Cross to be the National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This month aims for strong awareness on educating pet owners about pet first aid and that it will not only save their pets’ lives whenever there’s an emergency but will also make them more responsible parents. As a matter of fact, being equipped even with the basics of pet first aid will help any pet parent spot the less obvious signs of health issues in their cats or dogs.
The following are some ways to help you become battle-ready to handle any pet emergency.
Basic Pet First Aid Must-Know
Ready those emergency contacts. Emergency contact numbers of your veterinarian and of animal poison control in your area must always come in handy. You can save these numbers in your phone or have it written and then placed on your door or on your fridge’s door or basically anywhere that gives you easy access in case of a pet emergency.
Prevent accidents. One thing that is way better than first aid is prevention. When it comes to pets, prevention is the best medicine. While you can’t always be around to stop any accidents from occurring, it is your responsibility as pet parents to at least minimize the hazards and dangers surrounding your pets.
One thing you can do is to identify all household products (including food items) and belongings of your pet that could cause injuries, choking, poisoning and keep these all away and out of your pet’s reach. For dogs, make sure those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are way out of reach!
Consider getting training. Taking a pet first aid emergency class is one of the greatest ways you can actually handle a pet emergency better. Make sure the class you will enroll in is certified by your vet or by the American Red Cross. In these classes, you will be able to learn and practice pet CPR, checking your pet’s vitals (respiratory rate, pulse rate, etc.), cleaning & bandaging a wound, and a lot more. You’ll also be trained to look for signs in your pet and whether a call to the emergency room is necessary or not.
Come up with a first aid kit. First aid kits are always handy. You can put together a DIY kit for your pet or purchase one that has already been put up together. Your pet’s first aid kit must contain bandages or strips of clean & non-stick cloths, scissors, digital thermometer, compresses, surgical gloves, sterile saline wash, clean water, medicines (like an antihistamine that can temporarily be used for allergic reactions and styptic powder that stops bleeding in minor cuts), dog diapers, belly bands, pee pads, and chews.
Act immediately. If your pet encounters an emergency, don’t let the adrenaline rush get the best of you. Act fast but remain calm. Panicking will only bring more harm than good to your pet’s situation. If your pet has choked on something, try to remove any lodged item and perform CPR. If your pet has bleeding, you may need to compress the wounded area. Assess your pet’s vitals, conditions, and cause of the accident then call your vet immediately for further instructions and if it needs immediate medical care, inform him you’re on his way.
When an Emergency Occurs
Here are some things you can do to help keep your safe dog in case of an emergency:
- Secure the accident area and remove any physical threats (a chewed electrical wire, aggressive animals, harmful substances, glass splinters, etc).
- Keep calm all the time.
- Compress any bleeding, minor or major cuts.
- Check his vital signs (pulse rate, breathing, etc.).
- Start CPR if the pet shows breathing issues.
- Call emergency numbers.
- Perform more first aid as directed by your vet.
- Check if your pet has broken or injured bones before moving him.
- Drive your pet to the nearest vet clinic as soon as possible.
How Can Pet Parents® Help?
Pets easily get stressed out even with the smallest changes in their daily routine, much more in an emergency. Accidents can trigger your pet to become anxious that’s why Pet Parents® dog diapers, belly bands, and pee pads can become handy because when your pet is stressed, he will go through unexpected behavioral changes like peeing and pooping suddenly, without any warning signs. Belly Bands and dog diapers can also be used as a cover-up for wounds so your pet won't be licking or scratching the wounded area. Pee Pads can be good for transporting or laying your pet on in an emergency to provide comfort and easy cleanups.
Also, don't forget the Gnawtlers® in your pet's first aid kit! Treats are a great way to distract and keep your dog calm when wounded. Giving premium antler chews to your pet is very helpful to keep her busy especially when you’re cleaning the affected area, bandaging or transporting him to the vet.
After accidents occur, think about the recovery. Consult your vet for the best advice but consider how Pet Parents® supplements can help. Our 5-in-1 Multi-vitamin can help better your dogs overall health. Whether it’s to promote skin & coat health, hip & joint support, immune & intestinal function or to help maintain heart health, our dog multivitamin chews have your fur-baby covered.
Accidents happen, that’s a fact and that’s inevitable. But giving importance to the National Pet First Aid Awareness Month and knowing how to handle pet emergencies and how to help prevent them from happening can help save your pet’s life. Giving you happier, healthier, and safer years ahead!