Dog First Aid - What You Need To Know
Unfortunately dogs manage to injure themselves in many different ways and can sometimes get sick. If you want to be able to help your dog then you might want to get some basic canine first aid training. You never know, having the correct knowledge and equipment to help your dog could save their life one day. If you want to work with dogs you will probably want to get a canine first aid qualification. Dog owners can also go on canine first aid courses if they simply want to improve their knowledge and skills.
If you have dogs then it’s a good idea to have a canine first aid kit at home. This has all the basic equipment you need to help your dog. It includes medical supplies such as bandages, gloves, tape, scissors and wipes to clean wounds. These first aid kits can help with minor injuries such as cuts, scratches and bruises. If your dog gets injured on a walk you may need to patch them up when you get them home before taking them to a vet.
If your dog is injured the first thing you need to do is decide whether it is safe for you to treat them. When dogs are in pain they can act out of character, the last thing you want to do is make the situation even worse by getting bitten. You can always put a muzzle on them unless they are having problems breathing. Do not treat your dog if it is not safe, take them to a vet to get the treatment they need.
When you first realise your dog is injured asses the situation first. Do not put yourself in danger to help your dog. You won’t be much use to them if you are hurt too.
When giving your dog first aid it’s sensible to ring your vet to get advice on what to do. They may give you immediate action or book you in for an emergency appointment. Don’t give your dog any food in case the vet needs to operate.
Here is some basic resuscitation advice from the Blue Cross:
- Put the animal on their side
- Check that breathing has definitely stopped (hold a wisp of fur to the nostrils)
- Open the mouth, pull the tongue forwards and check for obstructions, such as blood. Be careful not to get bitten when removing any material.
- If breathing does not start, extend the head (nose pointing forwards). Hold the mouth closed and blow into the nose about 20 times a minute. If you cannot feel a heartbeat, push on the chest just behind the front legs every second. Give two breaths into the nose for every 15 compressions of the chest. If this is unsuccessful after three minutes, recovery is unlikely.
First aid is not intended to replace proper veterinary care. It can be used to help keep an animal stable and more comfortable until they can be taken to the vet. Always have your vet’s telephone number handy in case of an emergency.
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