National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Pet owners need to take precautions everyday for their pets, but it is good to have a time where we focus specifically on how to keep them safe and what to do if a problem does arise.  As much as we care for and love our pets, like children, we can’t always protect them. It is our duty to try our hardest to prevent pet tragedies to the of our abilities. Below are some helpful tips to keep our pets safe. However, it is always good to learn pet first aid in case an emergency does happen.

Prevention:

Accident Proof Your Home

  • Keep cords out of reach: drapery, electrical, phone etc.…
  • Keep utensils, foil, scrub pads, plastic wrap, etc. which may contain food smells out of the reach of your dog.
  • Do not give human medication to your dog without consulting a veterinarian first.
  • Avoid using tinsel with decorating for holidays.
  • Keep your dog off lawns that have been recently sprayed with fertilizer or pesticides unless they are pet friendly products.
  • Remove dog/cat toxic plants from areas that can be accessed by your pet.
  • Do not use snail bait, rat poison or poisonous ant traps.
  • Take precautions with your trash can if your dog is prone to investigating what is in said can, it could be something harmful.

Prevention for Outside the Home

  • Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag.
  • Make sure the collar fits properly. The collar should not be too tight or too loose.  Check the fit frequently with growing puppies, they grow quickly and the collar could become too tight very quickly.
  • Walk your dog on a leash. It does not matter how well trained and behaved your dog is, it is still an animal, and something could catch its eye and attention that the owner misses. Plus, the issue of other dogs not being as well-behaved towards other dogs.
  • Properly dispose of antifreeze.
  • Provide good ventilation, shelter from the sun and heat and plenty of water in the summer months.
  • Never Ever leave your dog in the car, even for a “few minutes”. Overheating can lead to heat stroke and even death.
  • In the winter months, if you must leave your dog outside, provide dry, draft free shelter. The shelter should be just big enough for the dog to lie down and to stand; too much height, depth and length will not promote heat conservation and will not serve as a good shelter. Also, make sure there is bedding for the dog.
  • Don’t use snail bat or rat poisons.

Additional Precautions

  • Get an annual heartworm test for your dog.
  • Keep vaccinations up-to-date
  • Keep hair free of mats, this will help prevent skin sores and keep your dog more comfortable.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone for an extended period of time.

Stay tuned for pet first aid tips for specific situations.

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