Your dog is likely to have an inquisitive nature. Most dogs are excited to be outside, discovering new smells and exploring new places. They are naturally curious creatures and love adventure. Unfortunately, this curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble. No matter how much you try to protect them, accidents happen, and your dog could get injured or sick during a walk.
At home, your first thought might be to call a vet for advice. However, if you are out on a walk, particularly in the hills, without mobile phone signal, knowing basic first aid could help you out of a tricky situation.
Here at Safer Pet, we understand how frightening it can be when your furbaby is hurt, so we have put together a few tips for common injuries that can happen on a dog walk.
The Three P’s in Dog First Aid
It is natural to panic when you see your dog injured or bleeding. One of the first rules to bear in mind is to keep calm and remember the three p’s in first aid.
- Preserve Life
- Prevent Deterioration
- Promote Recovery
Some Common Dog Injuries on Dog Walks
Common emergencies on a dog walk can include cuts, choking, wasp stings, poisoning, heat exhaustion, drowning, seizures, and head injuries. Ideally, if you are concerned, call a vet. However, preserving life and taking preventative action might be crucial if you are on a walk.
Dogs are good at hiding their injuries, so a cut may not be immediately apparent. If you notice blood, you need to stop and assess the injury. If it is heavy bleeding, you must stop it by compressing the wound with a bandage or improvising if necessary and using a piece of clothing. If the injury is in an area where bandaging is impossible, press a pad and hold it in place.
Once at home, treat minor cuts by cleaning with clean tap water or salt solution. Take your dog to a vet if the wound is large and painful.
Out on a walk, there are all sorts of things tempting for your dog to pick up in its mouth, such as sticks, balls, bones, and plastic bags. These items could get lodged at the back of your dog’s throat, causing them to choke.
If your dog is choking, gently restrain him and look inside his mouth. You might be able to remove the item with your fingers or tweezers if you carry them. Take caution not to push the object further into its mouth.
You can also get your dog in a wheelbarrow pose to encourage the item forward.
If you cannot remove the item, you can try the Heimlich manoeuvre.
- If your dog is standing, place your arms around its abdomen, just below its ribs.
- Press in a thrusting movement by pressing inwards and upwards. Avoid pressing too firmly, preventing further injury.
- Thrust four to five times.
- If your dog is lying down, place one hand on your dog’s back for support and use your other hand for the thrusting movement.
- Check your dog's mouth to remove any dislodged objects.
If this fails, you should try CPR.
How To Give a Dog CPR
If your dog has stopped breathing and you cannot feel a heartbeat.
- Place your dog on its side.
- Place one hand under your dog’s chest and your other hand over the heart, just below the elbow.
- Press down on your dog’s chest. Press firmer for larger dogs than smaller ones.
- Press down 100 - 120 times per minute.
- Alternate 30 chest compressions with two breaths.
- Continue until you feel a heartbeat.
What To Do if Your Pet Is Stung by a Wasp or Bee
Generally, a dog stung by a wasp or bee is okay. It can be scary and painful, possibly causing inflammation, swelling, and irritation. Allergic reactions can occur between 20 minutes and a few hours.
Remove the sting by scraping with a credit card or similar. Try not to squeeze the sting, as it could force more venom into your dog. If you have cold water to hand, bathe the area with a towel, as it will help reduce the swelling.
Watch for any allergic reactions.
Final Paws for Thought
May your walks with your furbaby always be fun and pleasurable. It is always good to prepare for accidents as a precaution. It is advisable to carry a dog first aid kit. You might take one for a long walk in the hills but consider it is unnecessary for an early morning walk before work. Knowing a few tips on basic first aid could help your faithful friend.
Finally, if they get hurt, your pet may run in panic. Good recall is essential, and pet microchipping is valuable if your dog gets lost. However, a Safer Pet GPS dog tracker can help locate your dog if he takes flight.