If you have a pet it’s important to have a basic understanding of what to do if your pet is injured. It’s important to be prepared, minimize risk and to have an understanding of the basic first aid needs of your favorite furry friends. Talk to your vet about what is most important to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Here are a couple of areas to keep in mind in terms of pet first aid for cats and dogs:.
Prevention- The best thing you can do is help prevent your pet from being hurt. Make sure your home is pet safe. Keep toxic food, plants and cleaning supplies out of any animal’s reach. It’s very similar to childproofing a house. Choking hazards must be kept out of reach as well. In addition, keep garbage secured and toilet lids down. Pets can trip just like humans, so make sure they have a clear path for walking.
Make a kit- You probably have a human first aid kit, but do you have one for your pet? This is something that can greatly help in the case of an emergency situation. Definitely consult with your vet about what all you might need. Some ideas include basics like antiseptics, antihistamines, gauze, cotton balls, medical tape and a vet wrap. A cold/heat pack could help in some situations. Disposable gloves and an eye dropper can also be helpful for administering basic pet first aid.
The basics- Also talk to your vet about how to administer basic first aid and how to know whether you need to go to the vet immediately or not. Treating basic wounds is important and Pet CPR is worth learning for an emergency. There is also a pet poison control line to keep on hand (24/7 Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 855-764-7661). They can sometimes provide help for basic first aid advice before heading to the vet.
Go to the vet- If you aren’t sure what to do, go to the vet. You can try calling for basic questions, but if you think time might be a factor, just try to get to the vet ASAP. If it’s not normal vet hours, make sure that you know the location of where the closest 24/7 pet hospital/ emergency room. These facilities can be a life savers if your pet has an emergency in the middle of the night. Your regular vet should have recommendations for this as well. Gather all this information ahead of time because you don’t want to waste time if an emergency happens.