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A Vital Ingredient of Your Home Pet Care
Pet CPR can mean the difference between life and death, literally. Part of being a responsible pet owner is making sure you can help your pet in an emergency.
After I learned my dog Sidney had a heart condition, I was told she could suddenly collapse without warning at any time. I was terrified! What would I do if this happened?
Thankfully I had received some basic pet first aid and CPR instruction while working as a pet sitter.
However, that was a few years back, and this is my baby after all. The thought of something happening to her terrified me; especially if I was helpless to do anything about it. She's counting on me and it's my responsibility not to let her down.
You can't just pick up the phone and dial 911 for your pets. There simply are no emergency resources like that for them. So it's important you become your pet's best resource in a life threatening situation.
Learning pet CPR could very well keep your pet alive until you can reach veterinary help for him just the same as it does for humans.
The American Red Cross offers a course on pet CPR and pet first aid; check with your local chapter for availability. They also offer resources you can purchase which include video instruction. There are other organizations who offer training as well.
I do not believe CPR can be learned affectively by merely reading instructions, so we will not be providing any here.
Just a few important things to be aware of: First - get yourself trained by a reputable organization specializing in pet CPR and first aid.
- Know where your emergency veterinary services are located and keep the phone number in a visible place in your home.
- Never attempt CPR without proper training (you can do more harm than good).
- Never attempt pet CPR on an animal who is breathing or conscious.
- If an animal is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to slow the bleeding. Wrap the wound in a towel for transport to emergency services.
- If an animal is choking, not breathing, or is unconscious, check his airway for possible obstruction.
- Try and keep your pet warm during transport to emergency services.
Be Prepared For Any Disaster Living in the south, where we tend to fear the dreaded hurricane, I am a firm believer in getting yourself prepared before disaster is upon you! Otherwise you will be in the 'reaction' mode instead of the 'action' mode which comes from having a plan.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your pet is microchipped! This is the best way to improve the chances of locating your pet if you become separated in an emergency.
- Make sure your contact information is up to date on your pet's tags, license, and microchip.
- Have a family planned emergency evacuation plan if you need to flee your home.
- Have your emergency pet supplies assembled with a travel pet kennel, leash, spare food and water bowls, a copy of your pet's health records, and a pet first aid kit.
- If you can't take your pet with you in an emergency, know where your local emergency animal shelter is located.
- Know what local emergency services are available in your area.
We've all seen the images of pets who were left behind in hurricanes and other disasters. Let's all do our part to make sure our pets are safe.
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