According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), approximately 57% of households in the United States own at least one pet. That's a lot of furry and feathered friends who need our help when they're injured or sick. In recognition of this, April has been designated as National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This is an important time to brush up on our pet first aid skills, as well as learn about how to keep our furry and feathered friends healthy.
In the event of a pet emergency, it is important to know what to do before seeking professional help. Many times, pet owners are able to handle simple first aid procedures on their own, and this can buy valuable time before seeking veterinary care. In some cases, it may even save the animal's life. The following are some of the most common calls for pet first aid:
- Cut and Scrapes
There are some telltale signs that your pet is in distress. If you notice that your pet is excessively licking or chewing at a certain area, this could be a sign of a cut or scrape. Watch out for excessive bleeding, as this could be a sign of something more serious. If your pet is choking, they will likely be pawing at its mouth and gasping for air. Make sure to seek veterinary assistance immediately if you think your pet is choking.
Another common sign of distress is seizures. Seizures can be caused by many things, including poisoning, so it's important to get your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible if you think they might be having a seizure.
What to do in a pet emergency
- Contact your veterinarian or animal hospital immediately. Your veterinarian can help you determine if the emergency is serious and what you should do.
- If your pet is having a seizure, keep them safe and comfortable. Do not put anything in their mouth.
- If your pet is unconscious, open their airway and begin CPR if necessary.
The importance of having a pet first aid kit
Almost everyone who has a pet will tell you that they are considered part of the family. Because of this, it's important to have a pet first aid kit on hand in case of an emergency. Just like with people, pets can get sick or injured and may require first aid. A well-stocked pet first aid kit can help you address common emergencies until you can get your pet to the vet. A first aid kit for pets should include:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antibiotic ointment
- Disposable gloves
- Vet Contact card with a name, phone number and address
Having a pet first aid kit is important for any pet owner. By having the necessary supplies on hand, you can help your pet in the event of an emergency. Be sure to keep your kit up-to-date and well-stocked, so you are prepared for any situation. You can find many pet first aid kits premade at most retailers across the US.
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month is important to educate pet owners on how to properly care for their pets in the event of an emergency. By being prepared, pet owners can help ensure their pets get the medical attention they need as quickly as possible.