National First Aid Awareness Month

by | Cats, Dogs, Pet First Aid, Pets

by Bobbi

Providing First Aid in any circumstance can be frightening.  Pet first aid is tricky; considering the pet cannot tell you what is wrong. There are several first aid specifics, but I will touch on a few commonsense tactics to help get you through in an emergency with your pet or animal you might encounter.

First and foremost- stay calm!  You must realize you are now the voice for the pet that is injured.  You must realize you are the link to the pet’s circumstance and whoever is going to potentially help the pet.

 This might be your pet or an animal you come upon in distress.  You must observe what is happening at that moment, while assessing what injury has taken place.  This could happen so quickly you might miss key signs.  Your goal is to be able to express vital information to a Veterinarian. Is the animal bleeding and where?  Is the animal in shock?  Is the animal responding aggressively out of fear?  If this is your pet, you know their temperament and if they are acting out of character. If it is not your pet, this will be harder to determine.  The more information you can supply to a Veterinarian; the better help you are.

While still staying calm, act quickly. If you are certified in pet first aid, you would start the procedure needed.  If not, get to a Veterinarian.   Carefully get them into the vehicle. Some instances might require a make shift stretcher, made from items you have in your car.  A blanket or a floor mat could be used.   If the animal is being aggressive from shock, try to muzzle the mouth to prevent getting bitten.  A bandana, sock or a leash could be tied in place temporality. Remember they are as nervous as you are, so stay calm and understand they are scared.

If their collar does not have identification, go to the nearest Veterinarian Office. Call the Veterinarian office and let them know you have an emergency situation, and you are on your way.  This will give them time to prepare for your arrival.  If there is identification, and time is available, try to contact the owner. They can direct you to their Veterinarian, which could make the process easier.  Please note: always check the inside of the collar, as some people will write their name/phone number there. 

Lastly, communicate to the Veterinarian what you observed when the animal was found, their temperament and what injury(s) you have noticed. Let them know if you found identification and if you talked to the pet’s owner.  The information you provide could save their life.

It is recommended to program the Pet Poison Help Line and the Emergency Veterinary Health Center (in your area) phone numbers in your phone.  These contacts prove pertinent when it is an after hour’s situation.

There are many local and online options to learn more regarding pet first aid techniques, items needed for a first aid kit or how to become certified in pet first aid. See resources below.

Black Paw 101: Stay calm, as you are the voice for the injured animal in your care!

Bobbi Wilson, CPPS since 2018…/dog-first-aid-kit-essentials

Cat & Dog First Aid | Red Cross