Any parent understands the importance of knowing basic first aid in case their children need immediate medical assistance. Owning a pet is no different, and there are basic first aid practices that are crucial for dog owners to know in case your furry family member gets himself into a scrape.
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By being prepared at all times for accidents, you could save your dog’s life – or at least prevent a worse injury…
Your dog can’t necessarily let you know exactly what is wrong – so the first thing to do is be aware at all times of any change in his demeanour. If something seems amiss, try to identify what is wrong.
Make a Canine First Aid Kit
It’s a great idea to have a fully stocked kit at home and another, smaller one for the car. It should contain the following:
1. Antiseptic wound spray – to clean a wound and promote healing. Ask your vet to recommend a product that will not sting.
2. Bandage Scissors
3. Self-adhesive bandages – these cling to themselves but not to your dog’s skin or fur.
4. Gauze, gauze pads, first aid tape, and non-stick pads
5. Cortisol cream for insect bites
6. A bottle of fresh water
7. Ear and Eye Wash – to help wash out and eliminate things that get into eyes and ears that can burn, sting, itch, or bite.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide – if your dog eats or drinks poison, there may not be time to go to the vet. In this case, medical grade hydrogen peroxide can help induce vomiting – make him drink it. Never, however, induce vomiting in a dog that has consumed anything caustic (Drain cleaner, for example).
9. Leash – imperative to keep your dog under your control and safe, especially if he is panicking.
10. Cone of Shame – yes, we know. But whenever your dog has a wound or a bite, he is going to chew and scratch. The dog cone will stop him being able to further irritate wounds, stitches, scabs, and hot spots.
11. Muzzle – even the gentlest dog may lash out when frightened or in pain, either at humans, other pets, or himself. The muzzle will keep himself and others safe when he is aggressive or nervous.
12. Important phone numbers – your vet, nearest emergency animal hospital, and RSPPCA helpline.
13. Medical records for your dog are a good idea to have on hand – just in case…
Be mindful of expiration dates and replace items when they expire.
Next time, we will begin to address basic first aid procedures for some of the most common canine ailments.