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Tips for Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Photo by Tropewell via Flickr
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and we can’t let May arrive without blogging about some pet first aid tips! Unexpected dog or cat emergencies can happen at any time, and we hope you’ll take a moment to read through these important safety points and first aid items.

Handling an Injured Pet
The American Veterinary Medical Association reminds pet owners that injured pets are often scared and confused.

  • Never assume that even the gentlest pet will not bite or scratch if injured. Pain and fear can make animals unpredictable or even dangerous.
  • Don’t attempt to hug an injured pet, and always keep your face away from its mouth. Although this may be your first impulse to comfort your pet, it might only scare the animal more or cause them pain.
  • Perform any examination slowly and gently. Stop if your animal becomes more agitated.
  • Call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic before you move your pet so they can be ready for you when you arrive.
  • See more tips about handling injured pets here.

Three First Aid Items Pet Owners Should Have On Hand
According to, Benadryl, aspirin and bandage supplies are good items to have ready in case of injuries:

1. Benadryl: Use in case of an insect bite, bee sting, or acute allergic reaction leading to swelling or hives. The recommended dosage is usually one mg per pound every 6-8 hours in an acute situation.

2. Buffered aspirin: Good for injury or trauma.
The recommended dosage of aspirin is typically 5 mg per pound once to twice daily with food. However, according to, if a pet is already on medication it is always best to check with a veterinarian before giving aspirin.

3. Supplies for bandages or a wrap. In case of an open injury or laceration, it is also important to have on hand bandage material, gauze, and one or two inch tape. Also, keep in mind that a teaspoon or two of hydrogen peroxide can induce vomiting and prevent digestion of many potential toxic items.

Watch Out For Heat Stroke!
Heat stroke, according to the American Red Cross, is one of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down
  • Gums that are be brick red, a fast pulse rate, or the inability to get up

The Red Cross suggests that if you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take her temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cool your pet down. The easiest way to do this is by using a water hose. Stop cooling your pet when the temperature reaches 103 degrees, and bring her to the veterinarian immediately. Heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.

What other first aid tips do you think should be mentioned? Leave us a reply and let us know!

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