Pet First Aid

Pet first aid kit


For most pet owners, warmer weather means more outings and trips away from the home. Knowing some pet first aid and being prepared can prevent a minor situation turning into a major emergency. With 5 easy steps, you can be ready to help your pet. So, what does being prepared for an emergency entail?

Step 1 – The first step is to learn basic pet first aid and CPR. The American Red Cross offers a class that teaches these skills that are typically hosted by the local SPCA and other pet community groups. They also have developed an app that you can download to your tablet or phone that can walk you through step-by-step what to do in a situation.

Step 2 – Create a pet first aid kit. It could be combined with the regular first aid kit you use for your family, or you could make a small portable one to take on the go. A few key items to include would be bandaging material (gauze, Ace bandage), cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, and a thermometer.
Water bottle for dogs


Step 3 – When you are out and about, always be aware of your surroundings! Make sure your dog stays well hydrated; there are many portable water bottles and bowls on the market. Pay attention to the heat coming off of the asphalt: if it’s too hot for you to touch with your bare hand, it’s probably too hot for the dog to walk on. Also, watch the path for debris, such as broken glass or garbage, that may harm the pet.
Cat in a cat carrier


Step 4 – Keep a carrier by the door in case of a need to evacuate any cats. Many cat owners know what a challenge it is to get a cat into the carrier for a routine vet visit; imagine the situation if you had to evacuate during an emergency where time is of the essence. By practicing getting cats in the carrier on a routine basis, it can make the task easier in the long run. You can put high-value treats or a small can of wet food in the carrier. Allow the cat to go in the carrier on their own at first without closing the door. Then, you can work your way up to closing the door for a short period without latching the door. The final step would be to latch the door and put the cat in the carrier into the car.

Step 5 – In case basic pet first aid isn’t enough, make sure you know the location of the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic.  Metairie Small Animal Hospital is open for these emergencies 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.