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From insect bites to poisoning: first aid for dogs can promise quick healing for everyday ailments and save lives in an emergency.

Do I Have to Take a Dog First Aid Course?

How Does First Aid Work for Dogs? 7

Helping his best friend on four paws in need is a matter of course for every responsible dog owner. But if the knowledge about first aid for dogs is insufficient or nonexistent, the wrong decisions will be made in case of doubt. Therefore:

It is recommended that all dog owners take part in a first aid course for dogs.

In order to react safely and correctly, knowledge about first aid is refreshed every year. Associations like Red Cross, but also some veterinary practices and dog schools all over America offer first aid courses especially for dogs. Ask your veterinarian about nearby courses.

During the seminar, the course management teaches the participants the basics of theory and practice. This includes:

  • Know and determine standard values of a dog (body temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate),
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
  • Wound care,
  • Heimlich grip (only to be used in absolute emergencies),
  • Keep airways free,
  • The stable side position,
  • Remove ticks properly,
  • First aid after an insect bite,
  • And put on a bandage properly.

The duration of the course is one to a maximum of two days. Those interested can expect a fee of between $100 and $150. Many providers do not allow you to take your dog with you to the course. A dog dummy is used for the practical part.

Dog First Aid: What to Do?

How Does First Aid Work for Dogs? 8

There are a variety of scenarios that require dog first aid. Every single incident – from a paw injury to heat stroke to poisoning – requires different initial treatment. Participants can best get the right know-how through a course. In addition, dog owners heed the following tips for the first steps:

  • Proper protective measures
  • Keep Calm
  • Call the vet
  • Safe transport to the vet

Take the correct protective measures

Keep in mind that even your favorite fur nose can bite in pain or fear. It is also conceivable that even the most reliable four-legged friend will flee outside. The first thing to do is to take measures to protect yourself and then your dog. This includes putting on the dog a muzzle or a muzzle or tying it securely. Important: This procedure is only to be used if the clinical picture allows it. If, for example, vomiting is one of the symptoms of a dog, it must never be muzzled or slipped on.

Keep Calm

A nervous person makes hasty decisions and transfers his restlessness to the already stressed four-legged friend. Try – even if it is difficult in some situations – to approach the problem child in a calm, gentle voice. Do not let yourself be influenced prematurely by advice from third parties – in the worst case, the well-intentioned tips worsen the state of health of your four-legged friend. Tip: If you need a brief moment to clear your head, a deep breath in and out can help.

Contact the Vet

In an emergency, seconds can make the difference in life. Therefore, the phone number of the closest veterinarian is always stored in the smartphone. The contact list also contains the numbers of a veterinary clinic and a mobile veterinarian. Describe the situation objectively and inform the veterinary staff of the time of your arrival. In this way, the veterinary staff can adjust to the four-legged friend to be treated and prepare everything that is necessary.

Transport to the Vet

Transporting an injured or sick dog can be tricky. The top priority is not to endanger the dog through movements or positions.

The stable side position is to be used with the unconscious, still breathing dogs. This position also applies to an injured dog. However, in this case, it must always be placed on the uninjured side. In the event of injuries such as broken bones or bleeding, a sturdy base – made of wood, for example – should be used as a preventive measure. Ideally, another person should come along in addition to the driver in the car to ensure the well-being of the four-legged friend during the journey.

What Needs to Be in the Emergency Pharmacy for the Dog?

How Does First Aid Work for Dogs? 9

An emergency pharmacy at home and outside – for example for a day trip or as a first-aid kit – can relieve pain in an emergency and have a positive effect on the further course. Dog owners can buy ready-made first aid kits with the basics such as bandages, tick tongs, and disinfecting wound spray in specialist shops. Sets with extensive accessories are also available. With the following components, dog owners are well prepared for various scenarios:

  • rounded scissors
  • sterile water
  • ointment
  • rescue blanket
  • wooden slat and long ties
  • tweezers
  • flea comb
  • charcoal tablets
  • clinical thermometer
  • cooling pad
  • flashlight
  • disposable syringe without a needle
  • disposable gloves
  • small plastic bags

First Aid for Dogs: What Emergencies are There?

If the dog’s life is threatened or if he shows severe symptoms, immediate action is required. Dog owners should not lose any time with the following diseases, among others:

  • Poisoning
  • Allergic shock
  • Epileptical attack
  • Breathing disorders
  • Unconsciousness
  • Broken bones
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Eye injuries
  • Severe bite injuries
  • Foreign body swallowed
  • Gastric torsion

Emergency poisoning in dogs: secure samples

Regardless of whether food, poisonous bait, or chemicals are poisonous for the dog: Even a slight suspicion should always be clarified by the veterinarian. If the dog owner has seen directly how the dog has ingested toxic substances, a crucial detail can save lives. Use gloves to secure small samples of the poison and pack them in a small plastic bag.

Once it is clear what poison the dog has ingested, it may be able to be treated with an antidote. This gives you a valuable time head start. If no direct samples of the poison are available, a stool sample or vomit can help.