First aid for dogs may be needed at any time but in most all cases it will come when you least expect it.
There are three very basic points that all owners can do to help manage this emergency situation; keep calm and do not panic, learn how to protect yourself from injury, and prepare in advance.
Preparation will include knowledge of potential emergency situations as well as having a first aid kit ready for your dog when they need it.
There are several very good first aid kits that you can buy, but for overall practicality, making one your self is very easy.
By making your own kit, when it does come time for first aid, you will be very familiar with the contents. There are also several key points that can help owners in their preparation.
First aid for dogs will all start with understanding exactly how to approach your dog and how you can make this task easier.
Most any dog that has been injured will act out of instinct with both pain and fear, and the only way they know how to react is to bite or snip.
Even if they know it is you, this is a situation that they have never been in before any they do not understand what is happening.
This is your first goal; to protect yourself but still be able to help you loyal friend.
The best method for this is to use a towel or a jacket and cover your dog’s head as soon as you arrive and quickly analyze the situation.
Once this is done, quickly convert it to a handmade muzzle to protect yourself from bites.
Making a list of phone numbers for an emergency is the next critical step in first aid for dogs. Be prepared and plan ahead.
This list should include your veterinarian’s phone number as well as a pet emergency number in the city that you live in.
Make sure that your veterinarian handles emergencies, and if they do not, ask them for a couple of referrals that do.
Than get the directions and print them out and place copies in the first aid kit and on or near your fridge or phone.
You should also include the numbers for the national poison hotline in the country that you live in.
Also, have the number of a family member or a trusted friend that can help you.
If for some reason you are gone and someone is watching your dog, these simple steps may make the difference between life and death for your dog.
CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver
First aid for dogs may or may not involve either of these steps, but if you understand the basics and have to use them, you are prepared.
The best method for either is to attend a pet first aid training class, as they will teach you when to use these measures and when not to.
In some cases using them when they are not needed may do more damage to your injured dog.
First aid for dogs even with the best of kits will not be of much use if you do not prepare and arm yourself with the basic understanding of how to stop bleeding.
Practicing how to apply pressure and where to apply pressure will arm you with a much better understanding.
Using clean clothes or towels will be critical when the time comes, as anything soiled could easily cause infection in your dog.
First aid peroration must include some pre-planning on what you will do if you need some type of a stretcher to move your dog.
This could include a board, a piece of canvas, or every a very strong wool blanket.
A wool blanket may be your best option as it could fit into your first aid kit.
It may be a bit tricky, but it is very helpful to practice this with your dog a few times in preparation and gently rolling them onto the blanket.
First aid for dogs is a situation where the last thing you need to worry about is money and can you afford it. In most cases you will have to have a deposit of some type when you take your dog into emergency.
However, this is an issue that also needs some pre-planning.
Discuss it with your veterinarian or the referrals so you understand what is needed in advance. If you do not have pet insurance, it could be quite expensive.
First Aid Kits
First aid for dogs all starts with your first aid kit. You can buy them fully built, but in most cases it is much better to build one yourself.
Everything that you will need can fit into a plastic carrying box or a large tackle box used for fishing. Once you have your box ready, there are several key ingredients that will be necessary.
By making your own list, it helps to familiarize yourself with what you have and where it is.
Get the large items first, such as the wool or thermal blanket, and make sure it fits your box, than, start with the major supplies. They will include a muzzle or a roll of gauze to make a muzzle.
You will also need a magnifying glass, scissors, tweezers, as well as nail clippers and a metal nail file.
Next, get a very reliable penlight as this will be critical, especially if the accident happens at night.
You will also need a nylon leash, eye droppers or an oral syringe, cotton swabs and balls, as well as clean towels; both paper and cloth.
You will also need a rectal thermometer, mineral oil or a tube of KY jelly, as well as disposable gloves.
Next you will need a couple of syringes as well as needle nose pliers, as well as both cold packs and hot packs.
Do not forget adhesive tape, preferably hypo-allergenic as well as paper types.
Than you will need to add bandages of several types that will include square gauze, non-stick pads, and three or four sizes of regular Band-Aids for humans just in case.
Next you will need medications, but check them frequently for dating issues. They will include wound disinfectants, antibiotic ointments, eye wash solutions, as well as sterile saline solution.
Pet Pectate is a diarrhea medicine that should also be included.
You should also have Benadryl, buffered or canine aspirin, cortisone spray, and perhaps the most important of all; hydrogen peroxide.
This will help induce vomiting if needed.
First aid for dogs would not be complete, however, without a couple of nutritional supports. This would include a small bottle of Gatorade or Pedialyte for re-hydrating your dog, as well as supplements such as Nutri-Cal.
You will also need to include a small plastic tube of Karo syrup for a fast high sugar source.
You may also have to include any other special needs that your particular dog may need.
If you are prepared, remain calm, and understand the basics, all of these may someday save your dog’s life.