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First aid for dogs and cats

Just like us humans, animals can get in trouble too. From a nasty fall, a cut or a snack that isn’t good for them, for example. Here are some tips to help your pet in an emergency.

First aid for a pet: consult your vet first

When something goes wrong with your pet or you have suspicions that this is the case, always consult your vet. They can assess the situation and provide you with personalised advice. Make sure you describe the situation clearly. Does your pet need to come in? Decide together whether to call the animal ambulance or transport your pet yourself.

A poisoned dog or cat

Animals are curious creatures. They snoop around in cabinets, underneath the dining table and in the garden or garage. They might encounter toxic substances along their route, such as detergents, antifreeze or rat poison. Plus, they may nibble on poisonous plants. Your first instinct might be to induce vomiting, but this can be very dangerous. Always contact your vet first, even in this type of situation. Tell them what your pet ate and the vet will know how to respond!

Injuries

There are many ways in which your pet might get hurt, such as:

Injuries after a fight: Every pet that goes outside risks encounters with other animals, who aren’t always friendly. A bite or a smack can cause considerable damage. Go to a vet as quickly as possible for treatment and disinfecting of the wounds; there is a danger of infection.

Cuts and gashes: Your pet can cut or gash itself on all kinds of objects. How you should respond, depends on the situation. If small objects are stuck in the skin or paws of your pet, such as glass, a needle or a splinter, you can remove it yourself. In the case of sharp, larger objects, it isn’t a good idea to do it yourself because you may cause a bleeding. If possible, disinfect the wound without delay and consult a vet.

Burns: Your dog or cat may burn itself on an open fire in the garden or a fireplace in the house. It is important to put the fire out as quickly as possible. A splash of boiling water can do considerable damage too. Cool the burn for at least 5 minutes with lukewarm running water. If the burn is severe, cool for at least 15 minutes. Once again, consult a vet for further treatment.

Bruises and fractures

A cat always lands on its feet, or so they say. But all pets are capable of bad landings after a jump or a fall, which may cause bruises or even fractures. Limping and swelling are common signs of this type of injury. Take your pet to the vet for treatment. Bruises are often treated with a bandage and cooling with a cold pack can help reduce the swelling.

A safe environment

Accidents happen. But as a pet owner, you can try to make your pet’s environment as safe as possible. Read all about it in our blogs: a safe living environment for your cat and a safe living environment for your dog. Finally, it is recommended to keep a first aid kit for your pet, with all kinds of useful items like iodine, tweezers, a pocket knife, sterile gauzes, bandages and more. Taking your pet on a trip? Don’t forget your first aid kit!

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