If your dog was choking, would you know how to save him?
These aren’t necessarily things that everyone thinks about; I certainly never did until I took a pet first aid class and learned all the important skills to keep my dog alive until I could get it to veterinary care. It’s easy to think that since you’ve never had a serious medical incident to deal with, that you’ll never have to. But this is a dangerous and irresponsible assumption. The reality is that preventable accidents are the leading cause of deaths in pre-senior dogs.
I implore all of you to go out and educate yourselves about proper First Aid for your dog. Not only is it a valuable and empowering skill to have – you might just save an dog’s life.
For best results, you’ll want to be armed not only with the basic knowledge of what to do, but also with a well-stocked Pet First Aid Kit.
Here is what you should have in a basic pet first aid kit for cats and dogs (What You Should Have in Your Pet’s First- Aid Kit, www.humanesociety.org, Feb 7,2014):
- · Pet first-aid book
- · Paperwork for your pet (vaccination records, etc)
- · Nylon Leash
- · Self Cling Bandages
- · Muzzle or cloth strip
- · Absorbent gauze pads
- · Adhesive tape
- · Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder, or spray
- · Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
- · Cotton balls or swabs
- · Gauze rolls
- · Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
- · Ice pack
- · Non-latex disposable gloves
- · Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
- · Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- · Scissors (with blunt ends)
- · Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- · Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
- · Tweezers
- · A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
- · A pet carrier
- · Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet’s size.
- · Ear-cleaning solution
- · Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
- · Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
- · Nail clippers
- · Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
- · Penlight or flashlight
- · Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- · Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
- · Splints and tongue depressors
- · Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
- · Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet’s collar when you travel
- · Towels
- · Needle-nosed pliers
If you are interested in taking pet first aid classes here are some useful links:
www.redcross.org – Wilderness, Sports and Pets
Stay safe and have fun with your dogs this summer!