Because our animal companion’s health and wellness are so important, we never want to be caught off guard in an emergency. We always want to know what to do and what not to do. The best way to handle an emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place. And since that isn’t always possible, you need to be prepared and know how to handle them when they occur.
Take a class
There is no substitute for proper training. It’s important to take a class on pet first aid. You should know:
- How to help your pet if they are choking
- What to do if your pet is bleeding
- What to do if your pet is unconscious
- How to perform CPR
Ask your veterinarian or use the internet to find pet first aid classes near you.
Prepare an emergency kit.
The American Kennel Club recommends that all dog owners keep a first aid kit on hand with any essential medications. A good book on pet first aid will also be helpful, as it can provide information about common injuries and illnesses to which your pets are susceptible.
What the kit includes depends on you and your pet’s situation. At the minimum, the equipment should consist of:
- A pet first aid book.
- Bandages and dressings
- Antiseptic cream.
- Rectal Thermometer.
- Casualty blanket
Your veterinarian may also suggest additional items specific to your animal’s needs, so ask them for suggestions on what may benefit your pet in an emergency.
Know your pet’s vital signs and Medical History
Vital signs are the body’s most important indicators of health. They include pulse, respiration, and temperature. Because each animal is different, you should check your pet’s vital signs regularly to ensure they fall within a normal range. In addition, an up-to-date list of medications and medical history is essential. Keep a copy on your phone and a hard copy in your kit.
Your veterinarian’s phone number should be on your cell phone and the first number on your list of numbers to call.
If you don’t have your veterinarian’s number on your phone, it’s essential to get it and put it on the top of your list of numbers to call. You may not always be thinking clearly during an emergency. Also, note the phone numbers for your local emergency animal hospital.
An emergency can occur anytime, so be prepared. Keep an emergency kit with you when out with your pets. Have access to pertinent medical history and medications. Your pet’s veterinarian should always be the first person you call in an emergency. Know beforehand what they want you to do if your pet has a problem while they are closed. If your pet is critically ill or injured, take them directly to the nearest open veterinary hospital or animal clinic.