Things you should know about pet first-aid

Knowing if the pet is unwell by the very sight of the pet is a characteristic of an empathetic pet parent. But emergencies may arise at any time, from any quarter – pets seem to have mastered the art of curiosity and exploration, putting themselves in danger by chewing things that are not theirs or by sniffing their way to unexplored places. It is crucial to remain calm in such cases and soothe your pet.

Though most pet parents have the vet’s number handy, it is important for all pet owners to undergo basic first aid training from the veterinary. This is also necessary because even before the vet examines the pet, one can assess the seriousness of the issue and avoid any fatalities before reaching the vet.


Seizures or convulsions happen when a pet has eaten something that it should not. Chocolates, sweets or sugar are the main cause of seizures in pets. If the pet is suffering from convulsions, it is best to stay near the pet and observe for a minute. One should keep all sharp objects away that might hurt the pet during jerks. If the seizure has not stopped in a minute, then wrapping the pet with a blanket is recommended. The pet should be held tightly and close to the parent’s body and let the seizure subside. The pet has to be calmed by empathetic words and closeness. Once it subsides, it is vital to consult a vet.


As most pets love the outdoors, heatstroke is common, especially in summer. Though it is best to keep the pets indoors in summer afternoons, pets can still suffer from heatstroke. The best way to treat heatstroke is to keep the pet cool. The pet can be cooled with cold wet wipes. Keeping the pets under a fan or air conditioner in extreme temperatures) helps. The pets need to be hydrated with lots of water and ensured ample rest in a cool place. Pet parents also need to ensure their bed is not warm as this might aggravate the condition.

Food poisoning

This happens when the pet has eaten something that it should not. A parent should keep such items away or not get them at home itself. It is advisable to observe the reaction or collect the vomit or faeces and rush to the doctor. It is best to keep an antidote ready after consulting the vet.


Choking happens when the pet has swallowed something that is blocking the airway. Though most pets know how to throw out the object, it is important to intervene sometimes. One can gently open the mouth and pull out the object with fingers. If this does not work tapping the back of the pet might. One can also try the Heimlich manoeuvre to dislodge the object from the throat.


Burns are a serious issue that can affect the four-legged member. The burn can be traumatic which calls for love and comfort from the parent. The area can be cooled down by gently pouring cold water on the burnt area. Potassium permanganate diluted with water helps in cooling the portion faster. If potassium permanganate is not available at home ice packs can also do wonders.

Resuscitation and Pet CPR

Resuscitation is a method by which a pet is given artificial respiration when the pet suffers from a heart attack or misses the heartbeat. In either case, the owner needs to give a heart massage. CPR requires closing the mouth, cupping the palms around the nostrils and gently breathing inside the nostrils until the chest rises. Check the pulse and then the heartbeat after blowing for about 5 seconds. Repeat the process for about 4-5 times.

Bee Sting or animal bite

If the pet has been bitten by a bee or any other animal then first aid should be given to bring down the pain. A cold press with a wet towel should generally reduce the discomfort. In case of lacerations due to a bite by another animal, the first aid is the same as that of humans. It is advisable to wash the wound with a disinfectant. Clean the wound well and bandage the wound if it is bleeding profusely. The pet can be rushed to the vet for further course of action.

While the inquisitive nature of the pets might land them in grave danger, the pet owners are constantly overwhelmed by guilt and parental love to save and protect them. The furry fours need as much care and attention as a small baby. The soothing comfort and care not only help them to calm down but also aids in administering proper first aid.

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