Do You Know Basic First-Aid for Pets?



Being a pet parent is about more than having a furry friend to play with, it's also about being responsible for the health and well being of another creature. Since April is Pet First-Aid Awareness Month, it’s the ideal time for owners to brush up on life-saving skills.


No matter how many preventive measures you take, accidents happen and pets get hurt. In fact, approximately 92 percent of pets will experience some kind of emergency situation in their lifetime.


Here are some key signs of common medical emergencies in cats and dogs:


Dehydration—Pull on the skin between your cat or dog’s should blades. If it doesn’t spring back, they’re dehydrated. 


Poisoning—Symptoms of poisoning include internal/external bleeding, dilated pupils, excessive salivation, foaming at the mouth, seizures or other unusual behaviors.


Wounds—For bleeding cuts or punctures, apply pressure above the injury with gauze and continue to add additional gauze as needed. A veterinarian should immediately address severe bleeding.


Heat Stroke—Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion during the summer, including collapse, vomiting, diarrhea, unsteady movements, excessive panting and salivation, difficulty breathing, and red gums.


Retailers can also make a big difference in the lives of pets by ensuring customers are properly prepared for pet emergencies.


1. Hold Training Courses

Demonstrate your business’s commitment to pet health by hosting pet first-aid training session. Partner with a local veterinarian office or the Red Cross to hold an in-person course in key skills, like how to check vital signs and preventive care, for local pet parents.


2. Run Awareness Campaigns

This April, promote Pet First-Aid Awareness Month through in-store signage, leaflets, social media posts, blogs or newsletters—however you can get the word out to pet owners. Be sure to provide helpful first-aid tips, such as wound care instructions, as well as phone numbers for emergency vet offices.


3. First-Aid Kit Displays

Create a special display, so pet owners can find everything they need for their household pet first-aid kit in one place. Important items include self-cling bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, lotion or spray, blanket, cotton balls, ice pack, disposable gloves, rectal thermometers, scissors and tweezers.


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