What to Do if Your Puppy or Dog Becomes Sick

A pet relies on its owner to look after it. Sometimes a veterinarian is too far away when your puppy needs immediate attention. Would you be able to administer basic first aid if you needed to?

It is up to you to be able to administer the first aid that your pet needs when he needs it. Something can happen at virtually any time at home or away from home.  You should have with you a first aid kit that is designed for your pet in mind.  If you take your pet away from home frequently, make sure to store the first aid kit in your car as well.  These tools can save your pet’s life.
Here are some of the things that you should have within that kit:
Hydrogen peroxide
Gauze pads and tape
Absorbent cotton/cotton balls
Scissors with a round tip
Instant ice packs
Tweezers
A bulb syringe to be used to remove mucous from the mouth/nose
Eyewash solution specific for pets
A clean white cotton sock for paws that are hurt
Flashlight
A rectal thermometer
Medication syringe for dispensing medication
An electrolyte liquid such as Pedialyte
You need to protect these products so keep them in a hard shell container that has a tight fitting lid.  You should also have the vet’s name and number written and enclosed in this package.  You should know and secure information about the local emergency pet hospital as well.  Also, when you leave your pet with another caregiver to take care of, such as when you are traveling, you need to provide them with the kit and a release form authorizing them to seek treatment for your pet.
A common dilemma is the bee sting.  If this happens to your pet, you should restrain the animal and use a pair of tweezers to remove the stinger.  Then, bath the area with a mixture of water and baking soda to relieve some of the pain.  You can help to reduce swelling by using an ice pack on the area and using Benedryl.  Make sure you know how much to give your pet by asking the vet.

What should you do if your dog is injured?  
You’ll need to approach the animal slowly and carefully because they may snap or bite at you.  It is just a nature reaction for them to do this.  See what has happened to them and reassure the pet that you are not going to hurt her through a smooth voice and calmness.
Your first concern is to stop the flow of blood as quickly as possible.  Apply pressure to the wound and hold it there.  Make sure to use a cloth that is clean and change them as needed.  Keep as much pressure on it as possible until you get to your vet.  If you need to, tape a thick gauze pad to the wound.  You’ll want to keep as much pressure on the wound though, so if possible have someone else transport you.
In the case of choking, you should use a flashlight to check down the throat.  If you can, remove the object.  If you can’t see it, you’ll need to use a Heimlich maneuver that is designed for your pet.  As a pet owner, you should have this basic training taught to you.  It is important to do it correctly in order to protect against serious injury of the pet.  You can get this type of training at your local humane society or through your vet.  You can also learn how to give your pet CPR and how to deal with serious injury and poisoning.