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Pet first aid – essential skills for pet owners

by Therese on May 31, 2008

in Cats, Dogs, Pet First Aid, Pet Health

20080531dog.jpgAs the saying goes “shit happens” and this includes our pets lives too. If you’ve had a pet for any length of time, you have probably encountered an emergency of one kind or another. I certainly have!

You probably have a first aid kit at home for your family – but what about your family pets?

You need to be ready if your furry friend faces an emergency at home, The Early Show’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner, pointed out Saturday.

What’s more, she notes, as the weather gets warmer, more pet owners take their pets with them when they leave the house – on vacations, to the park, jogging, hiking, even swimming. That can be fun for you and your pet, but there’s a chance your pet will get hurt there, as well.

So, it’s important to know some of the basics of first aid for your pet, to give you peace of mind and your pet fast help if necessary.

Her words of wisdom:

First of all, find out if your veterinarian accepts emergency and after-hours calls. Get that phone number if it’s different from the regular clinic phone number. If your vet doesn’t take emergencies, find the emergency veterinary clinic closest to you. Always have the emergency phone number on hand, in case you need it. Once an emergency happens, it’s too late to go searching through the phone book.

Also, in general, these basic first aid tips are meant to help you help your pet until you can get her or him to a veterinarian. These steps should never take the place of seeing a veterinary professional when an emergency, or even a seemingly minor problem arises.

Here’s the rest.

Dr. Turner talks about how to manage bites, stings, cuts, burns, heat exhaustion, and pets who have been hit by cars. These are all things I teach in the pet first aid & CPR classes I teach, and honestly I wish all pet owners would take some type of first aid course. Knowing how to handle emergencies like these may mean life or death for your pet, so it’s obviously better for you and your pet if you take time to learn what to do ‘just in case.’

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