What You Need to Know About First Aid for Dogs

Like humans, dogs can get sick or injured and require first aid treatment in certain situations. This is why it’s always best to be prepared for anything, and that includes knowing how to properly administer first aid to your furry friend in case of an emergency. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about first aid for dogs.

How Do You Identify an Emergency Situation with Your Dog?

The first step in being prepared to provide first aid for your dog is to be able to identify an emergency. This can be difficult as dogs cannot tell us when they are in pain or feeling unwell. However, there are some general signs that may indicate that your dog needs medical attention, including:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures or uncontrolled shaking
  • Ingestion of a poisonous substance


If you see any of these signs, take action immediately and call your veterinarian. They’ll be able to advise you on whether or not your dog needs to come in for an emergency visit or if they can be treated at home.

In the meantime, here are some basic first aid tips that every dog owner should know!


Excessive Bleeding

If your dog is bleeding excessively, it’s important to take action quickly. First, see if you can identify the source of the bleed and apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth. If the bleeding doesn’t seem to be slowing down, wrap your dog’s wound in a bandage. Keep the bandage snug but not too tight, as you don’t want to cut off circulation. Once the bleeding is under control, take your dog to the vet so they can assess the damage and determine if your dog needs any further treatment.


Difficulty Breathing

If your dog has difficulty breathing, call your veterinarian right away. They will be able to give you specific instructions on what to do next. In the meantime, make sure your dog has a clear airway and isn’t choking on anything. If they are having trouble breathing due to an asthma attack, try giving them a rescue inhaler if you have one on hand.


Loss of Consciousness

If your dog passes out, check their breathing and pulse. If they are not breathing, you’ll need to start CPR immediately.


Seizures or Uncontrolled Shaking

If your dog is having a seizure, it’s important to stay calm and remove any hazards from the area. Don’t try to restrain them or put anything in their mouth as it could cause them to choke. Instead, focus on ensuring they don’t hurt themselves and wait for the seizure to pass. Once it’s over, take them to the vet so they can be checked out.


Ingestion of a Poisonous Substance

If you think your dog has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA poison control hotline right away. They’ll be able to give you specific instructions on what to do next and will let you know if you need to bring your dog in for treatment. In the meantime, try to collect any leftover evidence of what they ate and take it with you to the vet so they can better assess the situation.


Dog Dayz of California: We’re Here to Help!

If your dog emergency happened when you weren’t home, and you are looking for a safe place for your dog to hang out when you’re not around, our doggy daycare might be the perfect fit for your dog! Give us as call at (760) 631-3299, or simply fill out the online form on our website to get in touch with us.


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