First Aid is an important tool for taking care of the ones you love.
Many of us have taken a first aid course at some point in our lives
for family, school or work related reasons and we have learned
some important skills. Your animal companion is more to you
than just a pet; they are a member of your family.
As such, have you considered how to recognize a potentially
serious condition, and help them if they are injured?
Good first aid knowledge can help to save your
pet’s life, reduce the potential for increased
injury and promote fast recovery. First aid is not
a replacement for going to your vet, but
handling emergency situations properly right at
the beginning can save you money by
recognizing problems early and acting on them
Pet first aid courses are designed to build an
owner’s confidence to respond to an illness or
injury situation, administer the appropriate care,
or stabilize and transport a pet to the
veterinarian. A good course will include
preventive care to avoid illness and injury, how
to use common household items to restrain
and transport an injured animal, and some or all of the following:
- Pet proofing your home
- Shock, unconsciousness, vomiting, dehydration and diarrhea
- Animal fights and bites
- Internal and external bleeding
- Wounds and infections
- Artificial respiration and airway obstruction
- Abdominal thrusts for choking
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Administering medications
- Parasites, insect bites and stings
- Eye, ear and nose injuries
- Injuries from heat and cold
- Spinal, bone and joint injuries
- Porcupine quills
- Skunk sprays
- Delivering puppies or kittens
Attending a course in person allows for hands-on learning with life-sized specialty
animal mannequins. Along with practicing CPR and choking and bandaging, animal
mannequins can be used to demonstrate how to adapt common household items such
as jackets, sticks, newspaper, saran wrap, duct tape, over-the-counter drugs, old cell
phones, ties, belts, rope, scarfs, etc. into first aid tools.
Finally, a good first aid course will provide you with a resource manual for handy
reference and a specially designed pet first aid kit.
Dianne Rende is the Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Peel Dufferin Branch. As
Canada’s leading authority in first aid, St. John Ambulance is dedicated to improving health and
safety at work, at home and at play. Dianne can be reached by email at [email protected]
or for more information visit www.sja.ca.