Be Prepared!

If your pet were to become injured, would you know what to do?  Every pet owner should have some first aid basics under their belt.  Here are some of the big-picture concepts that you should be familiar with:

  • Be able to recognize that your pet is in pain or distress.  Typically these will be signs of restlessness- pacing, panting, drooling, not eating, and disinterest in normally engaging stimuli.  Know what is normal for your animal.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian.  When in doubt, call.  If there is no need to worry, your pet’s doctor will let you know.  Always keep your veterinarian’s contact information handy as well as information for nearby emergency clinics to contact should your vet be closed.  If you are travelling it is smart to obtain some contact information for local veterinary clinics.
  • Have some basic supplies.  Put together a little first-aid kit that includes basic wound care supplies, a rectal thermometer, and a muzzle or pillow case to confine animals that may be distressed and apt to bite.  A thorough list can be obtained from your vet.
  • Take a class.  The Red Cross offers pet first aid classes so that you can be better prepared.

No one wants to see their pet injured or sick, but knowing how to handle the situation can make all the difference in the world.  Educate yourself before there is a problem so be sure that you are prepared.