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From Woofs to Wounds: 5 Essential Insights into Pet First Aid

Apr 10,2024 | Petbobi

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and keeping your furry friend safe has never been more critical. The more people gather together on the roads, sidewalks, and parks around the country, the more you need to pay a little closer attention to any early warning signs your pup may have an underlying health issue.

It can be heartbreaking to think you’re treating your doggo to a wonderful day at their favorite watering hole or in the basket of your bicycle, and all of a sudden, you have to treat an accidental wound or sore.

To help give you the peace of mind you need with standard pet care, our team at Petbobi has put together some essential insights into how to make a pet first aid kit, as well as other tips you should know.



Tip #1 – Know Your Pet’s Vital Signs

Pet vital signs don’t need to be taken using modern medical equipment like humans at a doctor’s appointment. In most cases, your pup should be around 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. They should have around 15-30 breaths per minute if resting and a pulse of 50-150 beats per minute – depending on the dog's size.

The easiest way to check your dog's pulse is to put your hands on either side of the chest cavity behind the elbows. Count the beats you feel in 15 seconds and then multiply by four. That will give you a good idea of how they are doing. Keep in mind that if you’re doing a lot of activity, the dog's rate may be on the higher side.



Tip #2 – Create a Pet First Aid Kit

Learning how to make a pet first aid kit is essential to pet care. Unlike humans, there are crucial items to carry around that are unique to dogs. You want to have this kit on hand, so if you’re hiking, going on a trip, or simply enjoying an evening walk, you can quickly address any issues from a thorn in the paw to accidentally eating something they shouldn’t.

While your kit should always be outfitted with the specifics your dog may need, a good starting point would include:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Scissors
  • Pet thermometer
  • Latex gloves
  • Gauze and bandages
  • Tweezers (short and long)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Muzzle
  • Extra leash
  • Pet sweater or blanket
  • Towels
  • Saline wound flush & artificial tear drops
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Collapsible water bowl

That should give you enough time to treat anything that is an emergency and then contact your local veterinary services.



Tip #3 – Common Pet First Aid Emergencies

Even after you’ve learned how to make a pet first aid kit, you should still get some education on the more common emergencies you may come across. In this situation, a cool head and calm action will produce fantastic results, so you can get additional help if required. These might include:

  • Choking: Dogs of all sizes and ages will chew on objects that can get lodged in their throats. Learning how to do the Heimlich for your pet is a great way to help dislodge these items.
  • Poisoning: Again, dogs like to eat things most of us would avoid. You’re likely to see excessive vomiting, diarrhea, or slight foaming from poison. You’ll want to identify the source immediately and then contact your vet.
  • Cuts & Wounds: If your pup has a minor cut or wound, simply clean it out and bandage it with pet-safe antibacterial ointment. If the wound is more significant, tightly bandage the wound and take them to a vet.
  • Heatstroke: Always pay close attention to the weather before going for a walk. Pet care has a lot to do with your environment as your animal. If your dog has heatstroke, you need to get them into the shade, cool them down with water, and try getting them into an AC or cooler climate.
  • Seizures: Seizures are scary. Don’t pet your dog during these events. They could unknowingly bite you due to fear. Talk to them gently and wait for the episode to end then get them to professional care.

There are many other events, but these are the most common you’re likely to come across. It also helps to discuss National Pet First Aid Awareness Month with your fellow pet owners and see if they have other situations you should be prepared for, depending on the breed or age of your pet.



Tip #4 – Know When to Seek Professional Help

A stressful point of any pet care emergency is knowing when to seek professional help or wondering if you can handle everything on your own. A simple rule to follow is – when in doubt, make a call. Even if you don’t end up going to the vet, the call may be enough reassurance for you to perform minor first aid.

No matter what, you want to “stabilize” your dog as much as possible. Keep them calm, dress any wounds, and under temperature control. That should lower their vital signs long enough for them to either rest or get to professional veterinary services.



Tip #5 – Preventing Pet Emergencies

Much of pet care prevention begins and ends with getting to know your dog as much as possible. Yes, learning how to make a pet first aid kit is a fantastic thing, but spending hours walking, playing, and feeding your pet should clue you into their unique peculiarities. That way, you can catch when something may be wrong or not.

However, reading up on recent stories around you about pet first aid really helps. For example, a recent feature in Reader’s Digest showed that a pet owner had two dogs receive multiple wasp stings. If another pet owner hadn’t run up with a bottle of Benadryl (fast-acting antihistamine), the situation could have been worse as one of the dogs had an allergy no one knew about.

Pet First Aid classes are frequently held in cities all over the country. There was even a Swansea Girl Scout troop that taught a class to local owners. Something as simple as introductory first aid and learning how to make a pet first aid kit in person may be all you need to protect your pup.



Wrapping Up

Pet care is all about knowing your animal the best. One trick we’ve found works amazing is to take your time giving your pet a bath. Using something like our Petbobi Adjustable Dog Bath Tether allows you to explore any recent cuts, bruises, or sensitive areas so you are well aware of what to watch for when going on a walk or adventure.

We definitely recommend learning how to make a pet first aid kit and keeping it on your person or in your car. From our team at Petbobi to all the fantastic pet owners out there, let's make this National Pet First Aid Awareness Month a month to remember!