Keep Your Pet Safe & Healthy: Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Merritt Milam | April 9, 2015

Just like humans, your furry friends need protection, too! That’s why pets need to have an emergency preparedness plan in place, just in case. April is designated National Pet First Aid Awareness Month to help educate pet owners on actions they should take if a pet medical emergency occurs. From basic responsibilities like spaying or neutering your pet to performing CPR and preparing for disasters, this month is all about ways to decrease risk and increase safety awareness.

At Wags ‘n Whiskers, our trainers are experienced with animal first aid care and we employ the services of an on-call veterinarian, who is available should any of our campers or boarders need immediate medical assistance. It is also important for you, as pet owners, to know the steps to take should your pet need assistance. Here are a few tips to help you with basic first aid that could potentially save your pet’s life.

Know Who to Call

Just like you would keep a list handy for a child, it is important to document the appropriate emergency contact numbers for your pet’s wellbeing. From the local vet to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435), it’s important to know who to call should the unavoidable happen. When you are traveling out of town, also be sure to designate a neighbor or nearby friend who can help in the case of an emergency.

Know Your Acronyms

From the “first-aid ABCs” to pet CPR, it’s important to know the plan of action in the event of an emergency. If you have ever taken first-aid classes, you will remember the ABCs of emergency care – airway, breathing and circulation. These three signs should be the first thing that you check in the event of an emergency. If your animal is not breathing, you will likely need to perform CPR. To be best prepared, you should practice CPR in a non-emergency setting until you feel comfortable with the process. For step-by-step instructions on pet CPR, click here.

Remember High Tech = Low Risk

Unlike generations of the past, we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips with apps like the ASPCA’s Poison Control app and the Pet First Aid app from The American Red Cross. Within these apps you will find answers to everyday questions, advice for emergency situations as well as helpful videos and interactive quizzes. To lower your chance of losing your pet to a medical crisis, be sure to always keep a resource nearby – you never know when an emergency may occur.

While these are great first steps to take to prepare for an emergency, there are numerous articles, training classes, videos and more available to help responsible pet owners take charge of their animals’ safety. We encourage each of you to get out there and do some research. You never know – it could save your pet’s life!