What every pet owner should know about First Aid for dogs & cats!

Pet owners often panic when their cat or dog gets sick or is injured and they don’t know what to do. It is important that owners know basic first aid procedures to help their pet in the event of an emergency.

Here are some first aid tips to help you be better prepared if your cat or dog needs immediate care. Remember, while many minor problems can safely be treated at home, it is always important to consult your vet when in doubt!

What you should have in your pet first aid kit?

Here are some items that every pet owner should have in their first aid kit:
• Bandages
• Cotton balls or swabs
• Thermometer
• Scissors
• Restraints such as a muzzle
• Natural Calming remedy for pets such as PetCalm
• Wound cleanser such as Clenzor
• Wound topical ointment such as Wound Dr
• Natural remedy for diarrhea such as RuniPoo Relief
• Vet contact information
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1. What to do if your pet has a cut or wound?

If your dog or cat has a cut or wound, check how deep it is. Cuts and wounds range from small and superficial to large and deep. Superficial wounds can be cleaned gently with a natural disinfectant such as Clenzor from the PetAlive range – this remedy cleanses and disinfects minor wounds, bites and skin irritations.

After cleaning,  apply a topical ointment, such as Wound Dr to treat and heal the wound. For deeper cuts and wounds, apply direct pressure on the wound using gauze or a bandage to control the bleeding until you can get your pet to the vet.
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2. What to do if my pet sneezes non-stop?

It is quite normal for a cat or dog to sneeze occasionally. However if your pet’s sneezing persists, it may be the sign of an upper respiratory infection – much like the first signs of a cold in humans.  Cats are susceptible to viral infections such as the Feline herpes virus and Feline Calicivirus,  which causes sneezing in cats.

Cat owners should keep a natural remedy on hand such as FCV Protect which is 100% homeopathic and supports the feline immune system against viral infections. Dose your kitty regularly until sneezing subsides. 

Use Respo-K which treats upper respiratory symptoms in both cats and dogs to reduce sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and snotty noses. This remedy also helps to strengthen the immune system and shorten recovery from respiratory infections.

As always, please consult your vet for correct diagnosis and treatment if your pet does not respond or seems otherwise unwell.
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3. What to do if my pet is choking?

If your pet is choking, it is very important that you are calm and careful when handling the animal. Pets that are choking may panic when they can’t breathe and you may even need to restrain them.

Choking is an emergency and it is not always possible to get to the vet fast enough.  Open your pet’s mouth using both hands, hold the upper jaw with one hand and the other hand on the lower.

If you can see the object or obstruction clearly, remove it carefully with your fingers. If you can’t move the object, you can also use the handle of a flat spoon to try and remove it from your pet’s mouth.

If you are unable to stop choking or remove any obstruction, you must get your dog or cat to the vet without delay. If the obstruction is a bone or sharp object, it is also always advisable to have your vet check your pet, even if the object has been removed – just in case there has been any injury.
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4. What to do if my pet is poisoned?

Pet poisoning is a scary experience for both you and your pets. Cats and dogs will often eat things such as chocolate, grapes, onions, medications, paint, garbage, insect repellents or toxic plants that are not safe for them.

They may not display symptoms immediately but  vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, blood in the stool, loss of appetite, lethargy or the inability to urinate are some of the symptoms to look out for.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned,  always scan your surroundings to check what your cat or dog may have ingested. Take the poisonous material with you or collect a sample that your pet vomited to give to your vet.

Don’t give your pet anything that you think may make him feel better as you may worsen the symptoms. Act quickly by taking your pet to the vet immediately.

It is always best to have your vet or nearest animal hospital contact numbers on hand in the case of an emergency. Pet owners should also take extra precautions to keep toxic foods and substances out of the reach of their pet – if you don’t know what foods and substances may be toxic to your cat or dog, make an effort to find out.
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5. What to do if my pet has a seizure?

One of the most important things to do while your pet is having a seizure is to make sure he does not hurt or injure himself. Avoid trying to move a dog that is having a seizure unless he is in a dangerous area where he may injure himself – if you have to move him, drag him gently by his hind legs.

Remember, to keep your hands away from your pet’s mouth because if he convulses, he may bite you. You can place your hands gently on his body and talk in a calm and comforting tone to your pet.

When the seizure stops, contact your vet. If your pet has ongoing seizures, use EaseSure, a natural remedy to prevent and control seizures.
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6. What to do if my pet has heatstroke? 

Most owners know by now that they shouldn’t leave their pet in a car on a hot day because the temperature can soar to dangerous levels in a very short time! However, pets left in unshaded areas are also at risk of heatstroke.

If your pet develops heatstroke, remove him from the hot area immediately. Lower his temperature by placing cool, wet towels over the back of his neck, in the groin area and under the forelimbs.

It is very important that you don’t cool your pet down too quickly as the body temperature can become too low. When the body temperature is 39 degrees C (Centigrade), dry your pet thoroughly so that does not lose heat. Take your pet to the vet to have him checked out even if he seems better.

Keep in mind that you should always remain calm and in control during a pet emergency. Make sure that your pet first kit is well stocked with all the essentials and always follow up with a visit to the vet.
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