Basic First Aid as a Pet Parent

Written By: Caitlin Perna

As pet parents, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends and one way to do so is by being prepared for emergencies, including pet poisonings.

For Pet First Aid Month, here are some important tips to keep your pets safe.

Chocolate newfoundland dog laying in grass

Specific Foods to Avoid:

There are several common foods that are toxic to pets and should be avoided at all costs.

These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, xylitol (a sugar substitute found in gum and some peanut butter), alcohol, caffeine, and macadamia nuts.

It is important to keep these foods out of reach of your pets and to never give them any table scraps without first checking to make sure they are safe.

Education and prevention are key in keeping our pets safe from potentially harmful substances.

How to Perform Cat and Dog CPR:

In the unfortunate event that your pet does ingest something poisonous or is in need of emergency medical attention, it is important to know how to perform CPR on your pet. CPR for cats and dogs is similar to that of humans, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

For cats, chest compressions should be done with one hand and the other hand should be used to secure the cat’s body.White fluffy can on a ledge

For dogs, chest compressions should be done with both hands, using the proper technique to ensure that the heart is being effectively pumped.

Start by laying them on their right side and checking for a pulse on the inside of their hind leg.
If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions by placing your hands over their heart and pushing down firmly.

CPR should only be performed on pets that are unconscious or unresponsive, and it is important to seek immediate veterinary care after administering CPR. 

Other Important Pet First Aid Tips:

– Always keep a first aid kit specifically for your pets in your home and car.
– Know the location and phone number of your nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

Animal Urgent Center
Blue Pearl Pet Hospital
Ann Arbor Animal Hospital

– If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
– Learn how to properly restrain and handle injured pets to prevent further harm.
– Know how to properly clean and bandage wounds
– Familiarize yourself with common signs of illness or distress in your pet, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale gums, and difficulty breathing.

2 golden doodles in a grass yard

Check out this post about signs of heatstroke in your dog

By taking these precautions and being prepared for emergencies, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved pets. By taking the time to educate yourself on poison prevention, CPR techniques, and other important first aid tips, you can be better equipped to handle emergency situations and provide necessary care for your furry companions.

Remember, the safety and health of our pets should always be a top priority.