Most dogs like nothing more than getting up to mischief. It might be good fun, but it also puts them in danger. And while lots of us know what to do in an emergency to save a human life, how many of us can say we know how to do the same for our canine companions?
At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we know how much you love your dogs, which is why we think learning some basic doggy first aid is absolutely essential.
So for this blog we’ve teamed up with the lovely folk over at Dog First Aid.
They offer certified, veterinary endorsed training for dog professionals to ensure that they have the life saving skills, matched with the confidence they need, to act in an emergency situation.
The organisation’s Stefanie Cowles kindly shared some of her expertise.
‘First aid training is key for every dog guardian because under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 we have a duty to provide for our dogs needs including the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease,’ she says.
‘Choking, road traffic accidents and poisoning are some of the most common problems to affect dogs so it’s essential owners and trainers know what to do in these events.’
To fully understand how to administer first aid, you ideally need to attend a Dog First Aid course where you can be sure to leave fully equipped with the knowledge you need.
But there are some common sense tips you can follow to avoid emergencies in the first place.
These include always ensuring your dog is on a lead if you are near a road and being mindful of poisons around the home – that means not leaving Easter eggs or Christmas cake lying around for greedy mouths to unwittingly gobble up!
If you do ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing to provide first aid for your dog, Stefanie stresses the importance of keeping a cool head.
She says: ‘Always do a visual risk assessment and secure the dog before you do anything else.
‘Once these precautions are taken, you can then examine the dog thoroughly to see what it needs from you in terms of first aid.’
It might not be top of your priorities before leaving the house, but it’s a good idea to carry a small first aid kit with you in case the worst should happen, plus a duplicate kit in an easy-to-find place within the home.
Just a few small items could help you provide initial care until you are able to get your dog to a vet.
She says: ‘Every first aid kit should include a pair of latex gloves (remember that human safety is important too!), bandages, gauze pads, saline pods.
‘Hopefully you’ll never need to use it – but it’s better to be safe than sorry.’
For more information about Dog First Aid, and to book a course, visit this website.