April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and pet owners everywhere should be taking the time to educate themselves about what steps to take in the event of an emergency. Knowing the basics of pet first aid and making a Pet First Aid Kid can help you save your pet’s life in a critical moment. Here’s what you need to know. *Keep reading for a coupon code for health & wellness products!*
It is important to familiarize yourself with common signs that could indicate a medical emergency so that you can act quickly if necessary. If your pet appears weak or lethargic, has difficulty breathing or panting heavily, is paralyzed or having seizures, has bleeding wounds, appears bloated or vomits repeatedly then these could all be signs that they are experiencing a medical emergency and need immediate attention from a veterinarian. In cases like these it’s best to err on the side of caution and take them straight away rather than trying any at-home remedies first as time is often of the essence when it comes to medical emergencies like these where every second counts!
The best way to help your pet in an emergency is to be prepared ahead of time. Make sure your pet has a collar with its identification tags, including rabies tags and microchips; this will ensure that if your pet gets lost, it can easily be returned home. It is also important to have an emergency kit on hand that contains essential items from trusted brands, like Nootie, Vetericyn, ZYMOX, and more. Stock up on self-adhesive, gauze, tweezers, scissors, Nootie antimicrobial pet wipes, and a cone if needed. Additionally, make sure you have the contact information for your local veterinarian as well as any other nearby animal hospitals readily available.
Pet First Aid Kit Checklist
Reference this list of trusted items when you make your Pet First Aid Kit:
- Arrowhead Animal Health No Cone Self-Adhesive
- Vetericyn Antimicrobial Wound & Skin Care
- Vetericyn, ZYMOX, or Nootie antibiotic/antimicrobial ointment,
- Safari styptic powder,
- latex gloves (for both yourself and the veterinarian if necessary),
- disposable bags (for containing wound dressings or other materials used by),
- and a soft or hard cone (in case your animal needs protection from licking a wound).
Download this table that shows potential symptoms, and then product options to help with those symptoms.
Depending on the type of animal you have, it may be helpful to also include items like thermometers and syringes. It’s important to update this kit as needed with fresh supplies and medications prescribed by the veterinarian. It’s also important to use brands that you trust. Nootie products are formulated with clinically proven ingredients veterinarians use and trust, now made for you. Vetericyn is another brand we recommend stock up with first aid kit with. This award-winning product line is fueled by cutting-edge science and a passion for innovation. Whether it’s helping cuts or hot spots heal, soothing irritated eyes and ears, conditioning the coat and skin, or nourishing vital systems, Vetericyn is the leading the way in at-home animal care.
Know How To Perform CPR
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and it is an important skill that all pet owners should know how to perform in case of an emergency. The steps for performing CPR vary depending on the size and type of animal you are dealing with; however, the general principles remain the same regardless of species. Start by checking for breathing and a pulse; if there is none then you should begin chest compressions followed by rescue breaths. For cats or small dogs (under 30 lbs), use two fingers just behind their ribs while larger dogs (over 30 lbs) require both hands with one on top of the other over their rib cage.
Be careful not to press too hard on their chest cavity as this can cause injury or further complications. Once you start chest compressions then proceed with rescue breaths every 5-10 seconds until they start breathing on their own again or until help arrives in the form of professional veterinary care.
Step-By-Step Instructions for CPR
See our excerpt below from our blog: How to Save Your Pet’s Life with CPR.
CPR consists of two main components for non-medical professionals at home: chest compressions and rescue breathing. You can remember the proper order of steps for CPR by remembering to follow the ABC’s.
A is for Airway
First, examine your pet’s airway for blockages. Make sure your pet is lying on his side, preferably the right, with his neck extended so that his airway is long and clear. Pull his tongue out of his mouth and then stick your hand in your pet’s mouth and throat, and sweep out any foreign objects or saliva. Be careful not to push a foreign object blocking your pet’s airway further inside.
B is for Breathing
After you have cleared your pet’s airway, make sure that he is not breathing on his own (watch for rise and fall in the chest for a few seconds only). Your pet may be able to breathe on his own again if you have cleared a blockage. If he is still not breathing, then perform mouth to snout rescue breaths by closing your pet’s mouth with your hand and then blowing into your pet’s nose, watching his lungs expand as you do so. Give a second breath after you have seen your pet’s lungs expand and deflate. You should give one breath every six seconds, or 10 breaths per minute. Make sure you are counting! Too many breaths can be harmful. Give two full breaths before you move on to the next step-chest compressions.
C is for Circulation
Next, you should check for your pet’s heart beat or pulse. If you cannot find one, you will have to circulate blood throughout your pet’s body in place of his heart. This is where chest compressions come in. Make sure your dog or cat is lying on his (preferably right) side on a firm surface. After you give the first two rescue breath, you will perform 30 compressions and then you will repeat the 2 breaths and 30 compressions. Try doing this to the tune of Stayin’ Alive-it by the Bee Gees will help you keep the beat and help to keep you positive and focused on the goal of CPR!
For most medium to large dogs, chest compressions will look similar to those for humans. Place one hand over the other, hold your arms straight with your shoulders over elbows over wrists and make 30-50% compressions over the heart or widest portion of the chest. With a barrel chested dog, you will want to place the dog on his back and do compressions over the sternum. With cats and small dogs, you will use two hands to cup their chest and perform compressions by squeezing your hands closed.
It’s best if you have a partner to perform CPR with, but it can be done by oneself if necessary. If you have a partner, you will want to trade off doing chest compressions because this can be the more strenuous part of CPR.
Seek Veterinary Help if Needed
April marks National Pet First Aid Awareness Month—a great time for all pet owners to brush up on their knowledge about how best to handle emergencies involving animals in order to keep them safe and healthy throughout the year! Being prepared ahead of time by stocking up on essential supplies and knowing how perform CPR can make all the difference when it comes to saving your beloved furry friend’s life during an emergency situation so make sure you educate yourself now before something happens later down line! Taking just a few precautionary steps today could mean saving your pet’s life tomorrow! However, this blog is not a substitute for veterinary care!