While no one wants to imagine their beloved fur babies falling victim to illness or injury, the reality is that most pet parents will have to deal with an accident or medical emergency at least once in their pet’s lifetime. Having a plan in place for these kinds of crises will help any pet owner stay calm and respond effectively when these arise.
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month is typically celebrated every April and exists to educate pet owners on the potentially life-saving value of pet first aid techniques. This year, the Hampton-based pet-sitting business Critters, Sitters and More is launching a Dog & Cat First Aid and CPCR Class for local pet parents. According to 13NewsNow, class participants will learn essential skills like muzzling, bandaging, rescue breathing, assessing a pet’s pulse and respiration, and addressing temperature problems like hypothermia and heat exhaustion.
Classes will be held at the Peninsula SPCA and cost USD 75 per person. This fee includes six hours of instruction, an official certificate of completion, and a three-month membership at the Pet First Aid Academy that participants can use to further improve their skills. Participants will need to bring a stuffed animal to practice on.
Some Tips for Handling a Pet Emergency Effectively
Pet emergencies are inherently stressful, which can make it hard to make rational decisions in the moment. This is why all pet parents need to develop a comprehensive emergency plan that can see them through any crisis. Such a plan includes preparing a pet first aid kit and brushing up on basic pet first aid. Having the contact information of a 24-hour veterinary service near you will also go a long way towards resolving pet-related emergencies swiftly.
Your pet may require emergency care due to incidents like falls or accidents, choking, heatstroke, ingesting toxic substances, insect bites or stings, and other life-threatening situations. Some symptoms to watch out for include rapid breathing, heavy bleeding, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and drastic changes in heart rate.
Custom dog collars, martingale collars, and sturdy leashes can help you keep your dog still and rein in their reaction to pain while you wait for help to arrive. If you have a pet stretcher at home, keep it in an accessible place and practice strapping your pet into it so that you can do so easily if needed.
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