First Aid Every Dog Owner Needs To Know
While your dog may not yelp in pain because it stood on a piece of Lego or constantly whack it’s funny bone on the bedroom door twice a day, there are plenty of ways an accident can strike your beloved pooch. It’s part and parcel of being a dog. It’s part and parcel of life. That’s why you need to know what to do should a worst-case-scenario happen – it’s what could make all the difference and turn that “uh oh” scenario into a “phew”.
The problem is, not many puppy parents are prepared for a sudden crisis. Okay, that was us being quite kind. Most dog owners don’t have a clue of basic first aid and that can mean all rational decisions go out the window at the one time you really, really need to keep a level head.
That’s why we have pulled together a quick list of common emergencies your dog could face at some point in their gorgeous little lives, and what you can do to keep that smile on their face.
- Burns Are Horrible
If you’ve brushed a recently boiled kettle before then you’ll know just how much being burned sucks, and we know what happened. So just imagine how much it must hurt for a dog to get caught out by an open flame or, worse yet, a chemical. It’s why you need to provide care as soon as you can. First things first, you need to create a muzzle. We know that sounds horrible, but it’s a) for your safety and b) to stop your dog getting all licky with the wound and making it worse. After this, you need to flush the wound with water before wrapping it in a cold compress. You know, ice cubes in a towel. That sort of thing.
- Toxins Are Terrible
If a chemical says it is harmful to humans then you can be sure it is going to make a dog’s life miserable. We’re talking household cleaning products, pesticides, poisons, and anything else like this. If your dog has come in contact with some sort of toxin, you need to use water or a sterile flush to get rid of it ASAP. If, however, your pup has consumed a toxin, you need to phone your vet or some Animal Poison Control Centre and tell them everything you can about the toxin in question. Depending on the toxin in question, you may need to do something you have never done before: make your dog vomit. This won’t be anyone’s definition of fun, but it could be a lifesaver. Either way, you should always take your dog to a vet if they have consumed some sort of toxin. Always, always.
- Eye Injuries Are Awful
There is no easy way of saying this: eye injuries are horrendous, but the worst part is they can be experienced in numerous ways. It could be a physical injury sustained from an attack from a nasty dog, it could be they got caught in a bramble bush, or even a chemical got into their eyes. Whatever it is, a qualified vet needs to treat eye injuries. Of course, there are some things you can do as you speed toward your vet’s office, such as applying a cold compress or using an eye wash solution to flush any toxins away if it was an exposure to chemicals that caused the issue. Sterilized salines are great for this. If, however, you don’t have access to this, try using clean distilled water.
- Insect Stings Are Nasty
It can be so easy to dismiss insect stings as little more than nothing. You might even say, “well, you shouldn’t have been sticking your nose into that wasp’s nest should you?” But even though you’re right about the wasp nest, you need to take insect stings super-seriously. Sure, a single sting or bite from a wasp or ant won’t cause too much problem to most dogs. But some dogs can be super-sensitive to this kind of experience and even have an allergic reaction. If this is the case with your lovely pooch, you need to get to your vet as quick as your car-slash-legs will carry you because stings can only get worse with time. In the meantime, you need to clean the wound, remove any visible stingers that might have been left behind and reduce the pain with either water of a cold compress. If you see swelling start to appear, you might even want to give your doggy some Benadryl to reduce it. However, only do this if your vet says it is okay as this is one of the medications that can bring on a sudden bout of drowsiness. If the swelling happens on their face or neck, you might find they start to have problems trying to breathe. That’s when you need to help them keep their airways open as you get to the vet for some medication that is going to zap that swelling in the snap of your fingers.
- Choking Is The Worst
Dogs are some of the most curious animals in the entire kingdom and they love to explore with their mouths, which is why they chew everything that looks even the slightest bit yummy. The issue is choking. If you put stuff in your mouth that isn’t meant to be chewed on, you’re going to choke on something sooner or later. They might be coughing, they might be pawing at their mouth, their lips might have gone a blueish color – they are all signs your dog is struggling to breathe and all reason you need to get your first-aid on right this second. First things first, check your dog’s mouth to see if anything is visible. If it is, pull it out with anything you can; pinched fingers, pliers, anything. If this doesn’t work, you need to do CPR and hope the sudden burst of air will dislodge it.
Being a dog owner is the best, but it ain’t without its hairy moments.