Your pet loves you to pieces! Yes, even your aloof kitty cat! They depend on you for so much, and you may be the person to save their life one day! As a responsible pet owner, you should know the warning signs of sickness in your pet and what to do should an accident, injury, sudden medical event, or poisoning occur. Pet First Aid can save their No one expects you to know how to suture a wound, but you should know when to call the Vet and how to stabilize your pet in an emergency.
Here’s what to know about preventative safety, signs of injury and sickness, and emergency care for your pets:
There is a lot you can do to prevent injuries in your dog or cat:
- Keep them on-leash and collared during walks and when in unsecured open spaces
- Get them tattooed or microchipped
- Lock human medication, cleaning supplies, and hazardous substances in high shelves
- Don’t leave out foods that are toxic to dogs and cats
- Take your pet for regular check-ups with your local veterinarian
Be aware of your pets habits and routines and start to notice if their routines or behaviour unexpectedly change. Keep an eye on their eating and drinking habits, as well as their potty break habits. Other indications of a potential or worsening health problem may include:
- Sudden weight changes
- Blue or pale gums
- Excessive panting for no apparent reason
- Difficulty breathing
Emergency care and Pet First Aid
If your pet experiences a sudden health emergency or serious injury call your family Vet or local Emergency Vet clinic as soon as possible and they can walk you though any steps you may need to perform.
In an emergency situation they may advise you to:
- Stay as calm as you can because your pet will sense it and it can help put them at ease (and it will help you better care for them).
- Before rushing to help your pet, ensure that it is safe for you to enter the area.
- Like in human first aid, check the pets’ ABCDs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, and Disability). This means clearing their airway if it’s blocked, checking their breathing and pulse (by checking over the left side of their chest, or in the depression on your pets upper thigh), and assessing the severity of the injury.
- If needed, control any severe bleeding, flush dirty wounds, and immobilize broken limbs
- Bring your pet to a local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Emergencies on walks
If you have a professional dog walker or someone who checks on your pets at home while you are away, ask them if they have pet first aid certification and experience. For example, at Paw’ty Waggin, we always carry a full pet first aid kit in our vehicles and carry one with us on every walk so we can deal with an injury or emergency no matter where we are.
If the person you hire doesn’t have this experience, it’s in your pets best interest to find one who does. (Hint: If you’re looking for pet walking and care in Abbotsford, Mission, or Aldergrove, you can trust Paw’ty Waggin Pet Taxi and Check-in. We have DOGSAFE Canine First Aid Certification to provide the best first aid and emergency care for your pets, when you can’t be there.)