Why learning first aid for your dog is so important

Dogs are curious creatures … always chewing on things they shouldn’t be eating and bounding off to places they shouldn’t be exploring – but that’s part of their charm! Problems can arise though as, often when medical help is really needed, the dog isn’t on their vet’s doorstep.  In addition to that, they aren’t able to communicate to their owner exactly what the problem is.  For many people their dog truly is their best friend so, should their canine companion need medical help, having the security of having completed a dog first aid course can prove to be invaluable.  Read on to find out some of the key emergency techniques that could save a dog’s life, outlining just why learning first aid for dogs is so important.

First aid dog

Learning first aid

First Aid for Pets runs both online and practical courses that cover all the key aspects of dog first aid, from how to care for an unconscious dog to commonly occurring injuries and illnesses such as choking, bleeding, fitting, poisoning and much more. The practical courses are run in small groups, with hands-on experience using a specially designed dog manikin and numerous other practical training aids.  Many ‘pet parents’ benefit immensely from the courses, but they aren’t just for dog owners.  First aid courses are an invaluable differentiator for those working in the in industry as dog-walkers or groomers, as they can be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in dog first aid to enhance your authority and encourage new and potential clients to feel confident trusting their pets to your care.

Even if you are unable to take part in a dog first aid course, there are five top first aid tips that will help you keep your dog safe and healthy.

Know your dog:

Changes in behaviour such as change in appetite, bowel movements and even smell can indicate that there is something seriously wrong with your pet. Know the key indicators to look out for so that you can act quickly.

Know how to check for a pulse:

The easiest place to find the dog’s pulse is in the upper third of their thigh. Place your hand over the top of their thigh and gently squeeze your fingers just underneath their leg. You should be able to feel the artery pulsing at this point.  Your thumb has a strong pulse itself so don’t use this to take their pulse, otherwise you will be timing your own pulse rate!  Time the pulse for 15 seconds and then multiply the result by 4 in order to calculate the number beats per minute.

Know how to muzzle your pet:

Even the gentlest dog is likely to bite if it is frightened or in pain, so you should know how to make a makeshift muzzle for them. Remember though – human safety always comes first!  You should never muzzle an animal that is overheated (as they will need to pant to cool), that is having difficulty breathing or is likely to vomit. Click here to read a step by step guide as to how to create a comfortable and safe improvised muzzle for your pet. https://firstaidforpets.net/how-to-muzzle-your-pet/

Know how to help your choking dog:

Choking occurs when something blocks the airway. When the airway is partially blocked a dog may start retching, pacing back and forth and pawing at their mouth. If their airway becomes totally blocked, they will be unable to make any sound at all. Dogs can choke on anything, from plastic bags, balls, socks, toys or anything they can get hold of, if it goes down the wrong way it may leave them unable to breathe. It is important that you spot these signs and then know how to act fast to dislodge the obstruction. Click here to read a guide on how to help your choking pet. https://firstaidforpets.net/how-to-help-your-choking-dog/

Know how to administer CPR:

If your dog has stopped breathing, call a vet straight away, however you may need to perform CPR to increase your dog’s chances of survival. Click here to read how to give your pet CPR https://firstaidforpets.net/give-dog-cpr-properly/

We hope you’ll never need this advice, but it’s best to have it up your sleeve, just in case!

First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course or take our online course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.



Register for our FREE DOG Choking Course

Register for our FREE DOG Choking Course

Learn step by step how to help your dog when it matters most! No credit card required!


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