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Pet First Aid Awareness Month

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Remembering The Importance Of Being Prepared

Have you ever found yourself in an emergency situation that required first aid? There’s a good chance you have because accidents happen when we least expect them. Knowing the basics of medical first aid is not only useful, but can be lifesaving. But, people aren’t the only ones that occasionally find themselves needing medical attention as our pets also sometimes end up hurt or injured and require immediate attention. Today we will discuss the importance of pet first aid, supplies you should have on hand, and the significance of the wonderful month-long holiday. Keep reading to learn more!

An Educational Holiday

Full disclosure, WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. That being said, we intend to shine the spotlight on the importance of pet first aid rather than teach it. If you are interested in learning pet first aid and becoming certified, then go to the American Red Cross website for more info. Pet First Aid Awareness Month was created to spread awareness and educate pet owners on just how important having this knowledge really is as a pet owner.  Many people don’t even know that pet first aid exists, yet it can be extremely useful in emergency situations. The whole month of April is celebrated as Pet First Aid Awareness Month which means you still have time to get involved. While getting certified is the most obvious way to contribute, you can also be a part of this amazing pet holiday by helping spread the word to your fellow pet lovers about pet first aid. Being a responsible pet owner isn’t always easy, but being trained and educated on this subject will only help you be the best pet owner you can be.

Pet First Aid Supplies

Being trained and knowledgeable in pet first aid isn’t always enough when it comes to handling an emergency. The best way to handle any emergency situation is to be prepared. Always keep a first aid kit nearby. In your home, your car, or even on your person, having a fully stocked first aid kit handy can potentially save your pets’ life. Whether purchased or homemade, the kit should have a few basic medical supplies including things like adhesive tape, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, bandages, cotton swabs, disposable gloves, gauze pads, tweezers, and scissors with a blunt end. These are just a few examples of medical supplies you should have at the ready for emergency situations for both pets and people. Another important, yet non-medical, item you should consider keeping in your first aid kit is emergency contact phone numbers. This includes your veterinarian, your local emergency animal hospital, and animal poison control. In any emergency situation, every minute is precious and the last thing you should be doing is looking up phone numbers. Have these phone numbers readily available to save both time and potentially your pets life. 

Emergency Prevention 

In many sports, they say the best offense is a good defense. The same goes for life regarding emergency situations. While some emergency situations are unavoidable, many of them are preventable. If you want to avoid such situations, then take preventive measures beforehand to keep both you and your pets safe. Be situationally aware of your pets surroundings to avoid them from hurting themselves or others. For example, identify and be aware of any hazards that may be in your home. From choking hazards to poisonous house plants, it’s your responsibility to keep these potentially dangerous items away from your pet. For more info regarding what house plants and garden plants might be poisonous for your pet, check out our previous blog entitled First Day Of Spring. Another great example of how important situational awareness can be is when walking your dog. It’s important to pay close attention to both the traffic of cars around you and the people around you too. Maybe your dog doesn’t respond well to other people or even other people’s dogs to the point where they might bite someone/someone’s dog or even get bitten themselves. More or less, don’t put your dog in a situation where they might get hurt or they might hurt someone else. Avoid dangerous situations or places when walking your dog if it can be helped. 

In Case Of An Emergency

It goes without saying that emergency situations can be scary and stressful. The most important thing you can do if you find yourself in an emergency situation is to stay calm. Panicking will not help and your pets life may very well hang in the balance. #1 Assess the situation, secure the area, and remove any further physical threats (aggressive animals, chewed electrical wire, etc.).  #2 Compress any bleeding or open wounds and check for vital signs (pulse rate, breathing, etc.). #3 Start CPR if necessary, call emergency numbers, and perform first aid as directed by your veterinarian. #4 Check for any broken bones or injuries before moving your pet and immediately drive them to the nearest veterinarian clinic or emergency animal hospital. While every emergency situation is different, these four basic steps should apply to most emergency situations. Hopefully after reading this, you are now better prepared to prevent and handle any pet emergency that comes your way. Stay safe!   

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