Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Emergency First Aid for Dogs - General and Emergency-Specific Tips

Every dog pet owner should know how to give emergency first aid for dogs. You are the one responsible for your pet and you must be prepared to take care of him until the vet sees him and starts the treatment. In some cases, the life of your pet may be in your hands so you have to be prepared to do what it takes to save him and to help him feel better.

1) You must have a first aid kit to use in emergencies.

The first item in your kit should be the telephone number of the veterinarian. Get their mobile, if possible. You should also add the numbers of any pet emergency centres and hospitals in your area of residence. You can readily use these in case your vet is out of town or responding to another emergency.

There are a number of supplies that must be present in the first aid kit for dogs. These include gauze, non-stick bandages and adhesive tape of bandages. You must not use adhesive bandages designed for people as these may be unsafe for your pet. An eye dropper or a syringe without needle will be useful for applying different solutions for cleaning wounds. A digital thermometer especially designed for pets should also be included in the kit.

Include any medications that your vet has recommended in the kit for emergency first aid for dogs. These may be specific for your pet. They may include different topical medications for stopping bleeding and oral medications for vomiting. In general, it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide with concentration of 3% for vomiting and milk of magnesia and activated charcoal for poisoning. Still, you should not use these medications without permission from your vet.

A muzzle, a leash and a stretcher must be at hand when you are giving emergency first aid to dogs. Pets are scared and are more likely to bite when they are ill or injured, so you must put a muzzle on your pet's head in all cases except when he is vomiting or choking. You need to put him on a leash to get him to the vet. It is a best to use a stretcher when your dog is injured. You can use a wooden or plastic board. A rigid rug or a blanket can be used as well.

2) Call your veterinarian immediately.

This is the most important tip for emergency first aid for dogs. Even if you know what to do with your pet, you must ensure that he will get timely medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications. In case you are completely lost in the given situation, you must ask the vet to give you instructions on what to do over the phone.

3) Stay calm.

You cannot give appropriate emergency first aid for dogs if you are nervous and your hands are trembling. Try to stay as calm as possible and focus on performing the emergency procedures necessary. Speak with a relaxing voice so that your pet can relax as well. This will help immensely in any emergency situation.

First Aid for Dogs in Specific Cases

External Bleeding

Muzzle your pet first as the treatment of the wound may further irritate him. Then cover the wound with enough gauze and press. Keep pressing for three minutes or until the piece of gauze gets soaked in blood. As the blood gets clotted, dress the wound with clean gauze and cover it with adhesive tape. Make a tourniquet with elastic band to stop the blood supply to the wounded area, if the blood is not clotting quickly. Just remember to loosen to tourniquet for 20 seconds every 15 minutes.


Muzzle your pet so that you can perform the emergency first aid procedures for dogs. Place your dog on a stretcher to take him to the vet. Secure him to the stretcher using a blanket or a soft rug. You can use a belt or two to secure the dog more firmly. Just make sure that there is no pressure on the inured area and on the chest. Your pet should be able to breathe comfortably. Do not try to set the fracture by yourself as this can cause more harm. Do not give your pet any painkillers.


The symptoms of poisoning usually includes vomiting and diarrhoea, but there may be other disturbing signs such as scratching and biting. You should call the vet immediately and describe the symptoms. You should be prepared to give an account of what your pet has eaten. Be prepared to administer medications orally, if the vet instructs you to do so.

Toxin Exposure

Find out what your pet has been exposed to. If it is something used in the home such as a cleaning product or a bug spray, you should read the emergency first aid instructions on the bottle and follow them. As these apply to humans, they are safe to apply on the dog as well. Use gloves just to be on the safe side.


Try to move your pet to a safe location where no objects can accidently hurt him during the seizures. Make sure your pet is lying on the side. Avoid touching your dog during a seizure. You must not restrain your pet during such an episode. Try to time the seizures as this will be useful to the vet. Do not move your dog until you are instructed what to do by your vet.


If you're pet is choking, but can still breathe, you should not attempt anything and take him to the vet as soon as possible. If the problem is more serious, you should take tweezers and open the dog's mouth gently. If an object is causing the choking, use the tweezers to remove it. In case your canine collapses, you should place your hands on his ribs and press as much as you can without applying too much pressure on the ribs. This should help keep the foreign object away from the lungs.

Now you are ready to provide emergency first aid for dogs.

Guest post provided by Robby Davis of

Robby Davis owns a pet insurance comparison site in the UK and enjoys writing blogs about animals. We also run a kennel so we know a lot about domestic cats, dogs, rabbits etc.

Our blog writing and understanding of animals really helps our clients and the day to day running of our business. We keep all sorts of animals but mainly Dogs and cats. We also advise our clients on the best pet insurance available for their animals. And give guidance on how to keep them in good shape.

We provide; pet insurance, dog insurance, cat insurance and write a lot of articles on about these animals.

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Anonymous,  October 02, 2012 1:00 PM  

Knowing what to do if your dog falls ill or is involved in a road traffic accident is very important. Even if you see an accident with an animal involved this article is well worth reading!

Thanks to the author this is great!

Richard Rogers

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