One of the best things that you can be in your life is to be a pet owner.
For many, having a pet is not only about gaining a companion that follows you around or having someone to accompany you when you’re alone in the house.
Pets can be family too, and, sometimes, they are even better at it. If there’s one thing that pets are excellent at doing, it’s that they can give you unconditional love and care without expecting anything in return from their human owners.
That’s why many people care for their pets like they’re one of their kind. Like humans, they can comfort you when you’re down, offer you loyalty, friendship, and companionship.
Owning a pet will also help boost your self-esteem, help in coping with your stress and anxiety, and put you in a better mood every day.
Pets can provide you with a sense of closeness and reassurance when you feel a lack in these aspects within your family environments.
With the plethora of health and emotional benefits you get from having a pet, you’ll realize there’s nothing wrong with adding a new member of the family with your favorite pet.
However, being a pet owner also comes with a set of responsibilities. Your pet will do anything to make sure you’re safe, not alone, and happy. In return, you must also commit to looking out for their needs every day.
Some of the aspects you must prioritize for your pet’s welfare include their daily food, regular vet checkups, complete vaccines, proper grooming, and, of course, your attention and affection. Suppose you can provide all of these things to your pets, but how about when your pet suddenly encounters an accident, injury, or an unforeseen illness? Are you prepared enough to handle this type of emergency?
Like humans, there are also steps and essential first aid tips that you must learn how to do for your pets. Knowing these before any crisis occurs could make a big difference in saving your pet’s life. Thus, it would be best to familiarize yourself with the first aid basics before waiting for an emergency to happen.
For your reference, here are nine first aid tips that all pet owners should know.
1. Always Have A Pet First Aid Kit Ready
You may already have a regular first aid kit kept somewhere in your cabinets. However, this first aid kit you have may only contain the traditional medicines that are meant for human injuries.
That means it does not match your pet’s medical needs in case of an emergency. By the time any injuries or illnesses happens to your pet, your lack of preparedness and pet first aid kit could put their lives in danger.
Thus, always have a separate first aid kit ready for your pet. Some supplies that your fur baby’s first aid kit must include the following:
- Pet’s first aid book
- Their past records of vaccination and medication history
- Vet tape wrap, cotton balls, absorbent gauze pads, tongue depressor
- Emergency blanket, disposable gloves, towels, rectal thermometer
- Medicines that your pet’s veterinarian required
- Muzzle or strips of cloth (Note: Never muzzle your pet when their choking, coughing or having trouble with their breathing)
Most importantly, always keep the contact numbers of your chosen veterinary clinic for your pet, such as Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic or any nearby vet clinics. Make sure you have records of their veterinarian’s name, directions, or maps as well.
2. When Your Pet Is Choking
If your pet is choking, yet you can hear coughing sounds from them, that means they can still breathe, and they’re trying to get it out. Most of the time, pets are very effective when it comes to clearing their airways, so avoid panicking too soon.
However, if your pet suddenly stops coughing but is still pawing its mouth and has trouble breathing, that’s the time your pet needs immediate help. Be cautious, though, as a choking pet may bite you due to the anxiety they’re feeling.
If your pet is still breathing, rush to the vet clinic while calming them down. Let someone else drive the car as you’re trying to dislodge the object from their airways. See if you can safely remove the food or item that’s blocking in their airways. Place both of your hands on the side of their rib cage and apply a firm yet quick pressure.
Another way is you could lay your pet on the side and strike the rib cage three to four times with your palms. The purpose of this is to firmly push air out from their lungs, which can possibly push the object out from the inside. Keep doing this until you’ve arrived in the clinic.
3. When Your Pet Suddenly Stops Breathing
When you notice that your pet suddenly stopped breathing, avoid panicking right away. The more you let your anxiety run wild, the less likely will you be able to save your pet’s life.
Instead, keep yourself together and pull your pet towards you. Open their airway by grasping their tongue gently and pull it forward out of their mouth until it’s flat. Check if there’s any object stuck in their airway.
If none, perform a rescue breathing operation on your pet. Do this by firmly closing your pet’s mouth with your hands, then breathe directly into his nose with your mouth until you can see their chest expand.
Keep doing this every four to five seconds. It’s best to have someone drive you to the clinic so that you can keep doing this as you’re on your way to the vet.
4. When Your Pet Has A Heat Stroke
Like humans, pets can also undergo a heatstroke, so, avoid leaving them out under the sun for so long.
Some of the common signs that your pet has a heat stroke are if he’s excessively drooling, panting, having irregular heartbeats, vomiting blood, and eventually having seizures.
Once you’ve seen your pet with these signs, take them out from the heat immediately and let someone drive you to the vet as soon as possible.
Place some cool and wet towels around their neck and head. Rewet it and rewrap it again until you’ve reached the vet clinic. You can also pour cool water on their body right between the back legs.
5. When Your Pet Has A Burn
The first thing to do once your pet has burns is to muzzle them. They may possibly bite you due to the unbearable pain. Regardless, cool the burned area with reasonable amounts of water for ten to 20 minutes.
Avoid applying bandages right away as that could stick to the wound, adding unnecessary pain to your pet. You can apply ice-cold compress first on the burned areas and have someone transport you and your pet to the vet clinic as soon as you can.
6. When Your Pet is Bleeding
When your pet, particularly a dog, is in pain, they may suddenly bite as a result of intense pain, so muzzle them first for your safety.
Then take out a clean, thick gauze pad and press it over your pet’s bleeding wound. Keep pressuring the wound for three to five minutes until the blood appears to clot.
If the injury is on the legs, apply an elastic band tourniquet between their body and the wound before applying pressure and bandage over the wound. If they’re bleeding profusely, bring them to the veterinarian immediately, as severe bleeding from injuries can be life-threatening.
7. When Your Pet is Poisoned
If your pet has consumed a toxic or poisonous chemical, never attempt to revive them with resuscitation as you might be poisoned yourself.
If the chemical got into your pet’s eyes or skin, follow the instruction on the chemical’s label, including washing the skin with water and soap and flushing their eyes with water.
However, if it was ingested and your pet is losing consciousness or having trouble breathing, call your pet’s vet immediately and take them there as soon as you can. Make sure you have the bottle or the chemical packaging that your pet has ingested with you, for your vet’s preference on your pet’s further treatment.
8. When Your Pet’s Got Broken Bones or Fracture
Since bone fractures can be very painful for your pet, muzzle them first before doing anything.
You may try to splint the injury, but splinting it improperly can only worsen your pet’s injury and exacerbate the pain, so it’s best to wait until you have arrived at the vet and let them handle the fracture.
9. When Your Pet Has Seizures
If your pet is suddenly attacked by seizures, keep them away from furniture or objects that could possibly injure them.
Usually, seizures will last for two to four minutes, but it’s best to time them so that you can report them to the vet immediately. Avoid restraining your pet during these seizure attacks. Instead, keep them calm and warm while you’re contacting your vet for more instructions.
Getting Ready for Your Pet’s Needs
Your pet is not just a pet; they’re your family. Thus, it would be best if you’re prepared in attending to their medical needs whenever they get hurt, injured, or in pain.
Familiarizing yourself with these mentioned first aid tips above will give you peace of mind and guarantee that you can reduce your pet’s pain in case of emergency.
Most of all, it’ll be easier for the vet to treat your pet once you’re both at the clinic because your first aid skills were able to lessen the severity of the pain or injury.
So, go ahead and consult your pet’s vet and ask which kits and medicines you should purchase to complete your first aid kit at home.
Don’t hesitate to ask your vet as well about common pet health issues and their symptoms so, you can tell first-hand about your pet’s health state, even just by the signs and behavior. As the famous saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.