Ask yourself: If your cat suddenly started choking, would you know what to do? If your dog suddenly collapsed, would you know how to revive his breathing? In emergency situations, every minute counts. One of the most important ways to show how much you care for your pet is by being trained in pet first aid.
That’s what motivated me to become a certified instructor in pet first aid, CPR and safety. The intensive, three-day, hands-on training program was taught by Pet Tech, the internationally recognized leader in pet CPR, first aid and care training.
Less than one week after graduation, I had to put my safety skills to the test. Chipper, my 60-pound Golden retriever-Husky, excitedly raced to the front door to greet one of my friends. Somehow, Chipper’s back right foot got caught in the rug. Her fast movement caused her to rip off one of her back nails.
I heard a yelp and saw Chipper limping my way with a trail of blood on my white tile. Quickly, I grabbed my pet first aid kit. We placed Chipper on her side and my friend kept her from wiggling. I elevated Chipper’s right back leg above her heart and placed one hand on her pressure point to slow the spewing blood. I then placed gauze pads on her wound. After the fourth gauze pad, the bleeding had stopped. I wrapped her foot and contacted my veterinary clinic to alert them we were on our way.
My quick action made this situation from becoming worse and the veterinarian praised me for my bandage-wrapping skills. Chipper’s foot was examined, re-wrapped. To hasten her recovery, she received pain medications and antibiotics.
Thom Somes, the Pet Tech founder who is known as “The Pet Safety Guy,” has dedicated his life to saving pets’ lives. This Carlsbad resident is on a mission to improve those odds. He teaches people not only how to react to pet emergencies, but how to be proactive to keep pets out of harm’s way.
Consider these pet safety tips:
• Safeguard your pet from a surprising poison. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum. Curious canines who snatch gum from a purse or off a counter can become quite ill – and even die – if not given immediate veterinary care. Treat your gum like household cleaners and keep it out of paw’s reach.
• Create two kits: pet first aid and pet disaster preparedness. Keep these kits in your home or garage. I also keep a small pet first aid kit in my car – along with spare leashes, collars, bottled water and a bath towel. Store pet carriers that you can quickly grab should you receive orders to evacuate in case of a fire or earthquake.
• Dial “S” for safety. Make sure your cell phone contains the phone numbers for your veterinarian, emergency vet clinic, pet-welcoming hotels, boarding centers and other key pet contacts. Also have a photo of your pet on your phone so you can show it in case your pet gets lost.
• Post it on your fridge. Create a document that contains info on each pet, their medical needs, temperaments, names of contacts (veterinary clinic, friends willing to help your pets) along with each pet’s photo. Put this in a sealed envelope and taped to your refrigerator door with the words: Pet Emergency Care Info. Also post the phone number for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center – 888-426-4435 – on your fridge door.
I hope that I never have to perform CPR on my pets, but I feel better able to act should an emergency occur. I encourage you to enroll in a pet safety and wellness course taught by a Pet Tech-trained instructor or through the American Red Cross. We love and adore our pets. Each time I come home, I hug my dogs, Chipper and Cleo and my cats, Zeki and Murphy. They respond with sloppy kisses and purrs. When you know pet first-aid, delivering TLC to your pets is as easy as A-B-C.
Founder of Four Legged Life.com and creator of National Dog Party Day, Arden Moore is an animal behavior consultant, best-selling author, professional speaker and certified pet first aid instructor. Tune into her Oh Behave! Show on Pet Life Radio and enroll in her pet first aid classes. For more information, please visit www.fourleggedlife.com, www.petfirstaid4u.com and www.petliferadio.com.