Learn the 5 recognized dog first aid tips to save your pet’s life

Several pet emergencies can arise at home or when you are out on a walk. In those moments, it is crucial to know what to do to reduce your pet’s suffering and pain. Dog owners should be prepared to deliver basic first aid to their dogs to stabilize them. Here are some essential first aid tips that can save your dog’s life.

What Is First Aid?

First aid refers to the immediate medical attention given after the injury occurs. First aid is provided at the exact location where the damage has happened to:

  • Save life
  • Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Prevent the condition from getting worse

Recognizing A Pet Medical Emergency

  • What comes before first aid is learning to recognize the emergency medical conditions that require first aid. Some alarming pet emergencies are mentioned below.

Provide first aid until you arrive at a veterinarian’s clinic if:

  • Your dog is having breathing difficulties or not breathing at all
  • Is unresponsive
  • Has collapsed
  • Is having a seizure
  • Have broken bones
  • Having difficulty coordinating movements
  • Has consumed something toxic
  • Has been vomiting
  • Has diarrhea for more than 24 hours

Know Your Dog’s Behavior

  • Changes in a dog’s behavior can indicate that there is something wrong with your pet. It is essential to know your dog and learn the key indicators to look out for. If your dog shows changes in appetite or bowel movement, do not overlook the signs. Monitor your dog until the situation improves. Always call a veterinarian and ask for assistance if you are unsure what to do.

Check The Pulse

  • The upper third of the thigh is where you can easily find the dog’s pulse. To take the beating, place your hand on top of the dog’s thigh and gently press your fingers under its leg. Artery pulse should be felt at this point. Do not use your thumb to take the pulse because it has a strong pulse itself. Otherwise, you might end up timing your pulse rate.

To calculate the number of beats per minute, time the pulse for 15 seconds and then multiple the results with 4. If you cannot detect the pulse or it is weak, elevate the lower half of the dog’s body to promote blood flow to the brain. If this does not work, your dog might need cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.

Perform Rescue Breathing

If your dog is unresponsive, it is crucial to perform rescue breathing immediately.

  • Pull the dog’s tongue out of the mouth and align the head and neck in a straight line.
  • Hold the dog’s mouth shut and place your hand over its muzzle.
  • Blow into the nostril and watch for a rise in the chest.
  • Provide 20 breaths per minute. If your dog fails to breathe on its own, take him to the vet immediately.

Learn To Administer CPR

dog first aid tipsAttempt chest compressions if rescue breathing fails to work.

  • Place your hands on each side of the dog’s chest in the middle of the rib cage.
  • Compress the chest 100 to 120 times per minute.
  • Compress the chest wall about 30 to 50% or 1” in small dogs and 2-3” in larger dogs.

Always remember first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care. However, taking prompt action can make a difference and save your pet’s life. First aid should always be followed by immediate veterinary care.

If your dog is not acting right, consult a veterinarian immediately. At Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center, we provide urgent care to your pets. We have the experience and technology to handle all types of healthcare needs of your pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at 434-971-9800.