Pawsome Preparedness: Your Guide to Basic Pet First Aid
NOTE: If you are experiencing a pet health emergency, please contact your veterinarian or local pet hospital.
Hairless or furry, scaled or feathered, we all love the animal companions we choose to share a part of our lives with. We also owe it to them to give them the best care possible, and to keep them healthy and happy. Because of that, it's crucial that we master pet first aid. Betterpet has offered a free, medically reviewed guide to pet owners on the basics of pet first aid, including building a first aid kit for your companion.
Save Your Pet's Life
There are several emergency situations you should be prepared for as a pet owner. Betterpet lists these as:
- Limb injuries and fractures
- External bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Ingestion of harmful items
- Not breathing
Betterpet's guide offers detailed instructions for each of these situations, from recognizing the symptoms to taking action to help your pet. As always, make sure to call your veterinarian or visit them as soon as possible. If not possible, visit an emergency pet clinic or hospital.
Build A Pet First Aid Kit
In addition to learning about how to treat common emergencies with your pet, it's essential to make your own pet first aid kit. Betterpet's recommendations are pictured above, and listed out below:
- Phone numbers. Animal Poison Control Center (888-4ANI-HELP) and an emergency veterinary clinic near you.
- Leash. It’s useful to have a spare handy, especially in an emergency.
- Gauze pads. Use these for wounds or if you need to make a muzzle.
- Syringe without a needle. A multi-use tool for giving medicine or cleaning wounds.
- Towels and non-stick bandages. Stop bleeding or cover wounds.
- Adhesive medical tape. Keep bandages in place.
- Tweezers. Great for removing thorns and splinters.
- Digital thermometer. Make sure you have a thermometer that will read high enough for your pet. A pet’s temperature is taken rectally.
- Rubber gloves. Protect your hands and your pet’s wounds.
- Stretcher. Use a board, blanket, or mat to move your pet safely.
- Muzzle. Muzzle your pet if they’re not vomiting. Animals can become fearful and defensive when injured. You can also use a necktie, rope, gauze, or stocking in an emergency.
- Milk of magnesia/activated charcoal. Contact poison control and/or your veterinarian before you try to induce vomiting or treatment for poisoning.
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%). Contact poison control and/or your veterinarian before you try to induce vomiting or treatment for poisoning.
Help Lost Pets Find Their Way Home
According to FidoAlert, 10 million cats and dogs go missing each year. While many pet owners use identification tags and chips, there are still many more pets that fail to get reunited with their owners. "Missing Dog/Cat" posters are less effective than they used to be, and local organizations and humane shelters are swamped.
Betterpet has partnered with FidoAlert, which offers a free FidoTabby Alert service. Pet owners who join receive a free pet ID tag along with a unique ID. If your pet gets lost, you can use their app to send out an alert to all other network members within miles of your location, increasing your chances of a happy reunion. Learn more with the video below:
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