April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and we want to make sure that all pet owners are prepared for any emergency situation. With the weather warming up, more people will be getting outdoors with their pets, and it is important to know how to handle any potential emergencies. Pet safety should always be a top priority, and knowing some basic first aid can help you keep your furry friend safe in case of an emergency.
In Case of Emergency
Act fast but remain calm. If your pet encounters an emergency, don’t let the adrenaline rush get the best of you. Panicking will only bring more harm than good to your pet’s situation. You also need to remember, they are counting on you!
Here are some things you can do to help keep your pet safe in case of an emergency:
- If they are choking, try to remove the item blocking their airway.
- Call emergency numbers.
- Secure the accident area and remove any physical hazards such as harmful substances, or glass splinters.
- Compress any bleeding areas.
- Check for vital signs (pulse rate, breathing, etc.).
- If your pet is showing breathing issues, start CPR.
- Check for broken bones before moving your pet.
- Take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Pet First Aid Kit
Pet First Aid Month promotes strong awareness on educating pet owners about pet first aid. Being equipped, even with just the basics, can help any pet owner identify signs of health issues in their cats or dogs.
You can put together a DIY kit for your pet or purchase one that has already been put up together. Your pet’s first aid kit must contain bandages or strips of clean & non-stick cloths, scissors, digital thermometer, compresses, surgical gloves, sterile saline wash, clean water, medicines (like an antihistamine that can temporarily be used for allergic reactions and styptic powder that stops bleeding in minor cuts), dog diapers, belly bands, pee pads, and chews.
You can also find many Pet First Aid Kits on Amazon or your local Pet Store.
Always Have Your Pet's Information
If an emergency is to happen to your pet, it is important that you have their information with you, or can get to it quickly. Some of the essential paperwork you should have are:
- Vaccination records
- Medical records
- Current picture
Why a current picture? Well an emergency would also consider your furry friend getting out or running away. If you have a current or recent picture of your pet, it will be easier for you to report it to the local shelters and share on social media to help you find your friend more quickly.
What To Do If You See an Animal in Distress
First and foremost, take a deep breath, carefully observe the injured animal and then call for help. If you can, stay with the injured animal until help arrives. Try to get them some water, but don't get too close. They are scared and hurt and may see you as a threat and you don't want to startle them anymore than they already are.
If you witness animal cruelty, call the authorities right away! Make sure the lawbreakers do not get away with abusing animals. Follow up with appropriate authorities about your case. Seek legal counsel if necessary and take the case to court. Many lawyers are willing to help animals pro bono! Many animals can't defend themselves, so we need to do it for them.
What Happens When Something Happens to You?
It's always important to be prepared for emergency situations, but it's especially crucial if you have pets. In the event of a fire, tornado, hurricane, or other disaster, you need to have a plan in place for how you'll evacuate your furry friends. Here are some tips on how to make sure your pet is safe in an emergency.
When creating your emergency plan, make sure you include a designated person to take care of your pets in case something happens to you. This person should be someone who knows where you keep your pet's food and water supplies, as well as any medications they're taking. They should also be familiar with your pets' routines and personalities so they can provide them with the best possible care during a stressful time.
Emergencies can happen to anyone and anytime. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the worst case scenario at all times. While we hope that you never have to use any of this information, we want you to be safe and informed in case something does happen. Make sure you always have your pet’s information on hand in case they get lost, and keep a first aid kit stocked with supplies just in case they ever need medical attention. Most importantly, stay calm and act quickly if something does happen – these tips will help guide you through an emergency situation until professional help arrives. Have you created a plan for what to do in case of an emergency? If not, now is the time!
Here are some more information from the American Veterinary Medical Association: