First-Aid for Dogs: Tips on Emergency Care for Owners
The cost of owning a dog could cost as much as $42,500 over the lifetime of the canine. Much of that is for food and general care, but a good chunk of that money is medical expenses.
As a pet owner, you can avoid some of these costs by ensuring you have what you need to care for your animal when the dog needs you most.
First-aid for dogs only takes a little know-how, a little preparation, and a lot of love for your animal.
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Have a Kit Ready
The best way to be ready for a medical emergency for your dog is to have a first-aid kit ready when your dog gets in a scrape. The first-aid kit for dogs will look a lot like one for humans.
Some of the items your kit should have are:
- A thermometer
- Rubber gloves
- Wound ointment
- Antiseptic wound cleaner
- Bandages, bandage tape, and scissors
- Hydrogen peroxide
- and a pet emergency instructional book
Is Your Vet on Speed Dial?
Don’t think your pet will get better when they’ve been injured or seem sick. Talk to your vet as soon as possible when you think something’s wrong. Make sure you know what veterinarian offices are open 24/7 or for ones with emergency hours.
Being a responsible pet owner means knowing how to take care of your animal even when it’s not convenient.
If your dog is gagging or gasping for air, it could be choking. If you can, try to take a look into your dog’s mouth and see if anything is blocking its airway.
If you see something, try to reach down the dog’s throat to grab the blockage but be careful not to get bitten. If that doesn’t work, try to free the item by holding the dog in the air and pointing its head down. Give the animal a gentle pat and try to free the obstruction.
Know Dog CPR
CPR for dogs is a real thing, and if your dog’s heartbeat has stopped, you may have to try to resuscitate the animal yourself. Unfortunately, few dogs that have a stopped heart will recover.
Watch videos like this if you want to learn more about dog CPR.
Hydration Is Key
Dogs sweat through panting, so if you are hiking or walking in the heat, make sure you have extra water and a container for them to drink from. If you’re concerned that your dog may be overheating, take its temperature. Anything over 104 degrees should be concerning.
Bleeding First-Aid for Dogs
If your dog is bleeding from an orifice, take it to the vet immediately. If your dog has a cut, clean the wound thoroughly and apply a bandage. You may need to slightly shave the wound to get a good wrap on the cut.
If the bleeding won’t stop, apply pressure, more bandages, and take your dog to the vet.
If your dog’s wound has stopped bleeding or, worst case, has not, take the dog to the vet as soon as possible. Treating dog wounds should be done with a nonstick pad, gauze, and bandage tape.
Let the bandage remain in place for 24 hours before inspecting the wound and replacing the bandage and wrap.
One of the most common ways dogs become ill and need medical attention is swallowing something they shouldn’t. First-aid for dogs has few remedies in these scenarios, so acting quickly is tantamount.
Don’t hesitate to call a veterinarian if you are worried about your dog’s health or any sustained injuries.
Do you have other questions about caring for your dog? Contact us today we can connect you with some experts.