We know that thinking about pet emergencies can be scary and stressful, but we're here to help put your mind at ease. It's always better to be prepared for the unexpected.
Let's talk about how you can prepare for any emergency situations with your furry friend. We'll even take you through some common emergencies and give you some tips on how to handle them!
Have A Dog First Aid Kit
Having a pet-friendly first aid kit handy makes it easier to deal with emergencies. It ensures you have all the supplies for small emergencies ready to go. Here's what you should put in your dog's first aid kit:
- Sterile gauze
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton swabs
- Styptic powder to stop bleeding from nails
Medications, any prescribed medications your dog is currently taking and;
- Over-the-counter medications recommended by your veterinarian
- Hydrogen Peroxide (for inducing vomiting)
- Use only as directed by your veterinarian in case of poisoning. It's crucial to contact your vet before inducing vomiting.
- Antiseptic Wipes
- For cleaning wounds or cuts.
- Saline Solution
- For flushing eyes or wounds.
- In case your dog is injured and may bite out of fear or pain.
- Contact Information
- Include a list of emergency contacts. This includes your vet and local animal poison control.
Check your first aid kit every few months to make sure that no products have expired. Replace expired products right away.
Know Who To Contact
When your pet has an emergency, you should contact your vet. But what if your vet's office is closed? Or what if you're out of town with your pup? This is where emergency vets can help. You should always have the number for your closest 24 hour emergency vet handy. And when you travel, look up emergency vets in the area.
Another option is the two national pet poison control hotlines. They will give you immediate advice if your dog eats something they shouldn't.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control: 1-888-426-4435
Pet Poison Helpline: 1-855-764-7661
Pet First Aid
Learning pet first aid could be a lifesaver for your dog. It's quite easy to pick up the basics through the courses offered by the Red Cross, the Anti-Cruelty Society, and other local animal groups in your area. The Red Cross even has an online course for convenience.
Knowing how to do CPR and checking your dog's vital signs. These alone can make a huge difference during emergencies.
It is important to know how to safely make your dog vomit if they eat something harmful. But, always chat with your vet before trying anything.
💡 BONUS TIP: Before your try this call your Vet. To make your dog vomit a little Hydrogen Peroxide can help. 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog's weight can do the trick. Use a syringe or turkey baster to administer it. Keep a close eye on your dog. If there's no vomiting within 15 minutes, you might try once more. Bring your dog to the Vet.
Common Dog Emergencies You Should Know
Dealing with emergencies is harder if you don't know what to do. Here are some of the most common pet emergencies.
Signs: Difficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, blue tongue or gums.
Open your dog's mouth and check for any visible obstructions.
If you can see the object, remove it with tweezers.
If the obstruction persists, perform the Heimlich maneuver for dogs. Apply firm pressure just below the ribcage.
Signs: Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, difficulty breathing.
- Contact your veterinarian or poison control hotline immediately.
- Do not induce vomiting without professional advice. It can be harmful in certain situations.
Signs: Visible wounds, bleeding from the nose, mouth, or ears.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or gauze.
- Elevate the injured limb if possible.
- Use a bandage to control bleeding, but not too tight.
Signs: Uncontrolled shaking, loss of consciousness, drooling.
- Keep the environment around your dog clear to prevent injury.
- Time the seizure and contact your vet.
- Do not put your hands near your dog's mouth during a seizure; they may accidentally bite.
Signs: Heavy panting, drooling, weakness, vomiting, collapse.
- Move your dog to a cooler area immediately.
- Apply cool, not cold, water to their body.
- Offer small sips of water and contact your vet.
Signs: Limping, inability to use a limb, swelling, pain.
- Keep the dog as still as possible.
- Use a makeshift splint (a rolled-up newspaper or a piece of wood) to immobilize the limb.
- Carefully take your dog to the vet.
The most important thing in any emergency is to stay calm. Immediate action is critical, and always follow up with your vet. Emergencies are scary, but if you can stay calm and call your vet, you can help your pup through it.