April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity for us pet owners to set aside our daily responsibilities for a moment and educate ourselves on what to do in case of emergency. There is a wealth of information swirling around on the internet so we compiled a few handy resources just in case, heaven forbid, you find yourself in a situation where you need it. Read on to learn more about pet first aid and pet CPR!
Pet CPR & The Heimlich Maneuver for Pets
Unfortunately pets get in all kinds of trouble and choking isn’t uncommon. Your cat or pooch might try to swallow an extra-big gulp of food or treats. They also might try to swallow something that isn’t appropriate for pet mouths in their first place, like a holiday decoration or small toy. A pet might also just collapse without warning. These emergencies are why it’s important to know the Heimlich Maneuver and pet CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). The American Red Cross is an excellent resource on CPR – you can read a step-by-step guide here.
Pet First Aid for Dogs and Cats
The Red Cross also offers pet first aid classes – which include instruction on how to administer pet CPR. Taking a pet first aid class will teach you how to be calm and effective in an emergency situation. These emergencies include bleeding, seizures, wounds and breathing and cardiac episodes. Being certified in pet first aid is also a great skill to put on your resume when applying for pet-related jobs! There are also two importance things to have on hand for first aid:
Pet First Aid Kits – A pet first aid kit is inexpensive and small enough to take with you anywhere. We especially recommend including one in your disaster preparedness kit!
First Aid Reference Book – We are big fans of pet care reference books. Because the internet has a lot of conflicting information from unverified sources, a reference book written by an author whose advice you trust is great to have on your bookshelf. Speak to your veterinarian regarding what literature they recommend. They might have specific recommendations based on your pet’s breed or age.
For more information on pet first aid, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association‘s website.