Help Your Injured or Ill Dog With Dog First Aid

The life of your injured or ill dog is in your hands — the hands that provide dog first aid.

Although your vet or emergency clinic staff has the expertise and experience to offer the best care for your dog, you may need to stabilize or treat immediately life-threatening situations before traveling to the clinic.

This is where your knowledge of dog first aid can save her life. Or any dog's life. Any situation that finds an injured or ill dog may also find you in a panic, with your thoughts scattered in all directions.

Naturally, you'd be concerned for her well-being. You might wonder how it happened. It's possible that you would feel guilty; that you would think it was your fault she was suffering. And it's likely that you'd be torn between wanting to help her and wondering what to do and whether you could do It.

Take a Deep Breath

You might, right now, be feeling a little stressed just from imagining your injured or ill dog. If you are, don't continue reading.


Do the first thing you should do before you begin thinking about any treatment — take a deep breath.

Forcing yourself to stop and breathe deeply is an antidote for stress and its known associate, panicked thinking. Take as many deep breaths as you need to calm yourself before beginning any dog first aid.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you're like me, you need to practice something over and over until you begin to do it correctly, or better.

At some point, what you're learning becomes a part of you, like riding a bike did.

Knowing your stuff helps relieve or reduce panic. A panicked mind does not think well.

It does not reason well. And it does not remember well. A trained mind knows what it needs to do, without thinking about it.

Invest some time now to read a dog first aid book, review the information in this web site Dog First Aid 101, and practice some of the procedures.

Practice restraining and muzzling your dog.

Learn when and how to induce vomiting in her.

Practice basic wound care techniques.

As you practice, you'll become more confident in your ability to help your injured or ill dog in any emergency. Your dog will benefit as well.

As you practice with her, she'll become used to the steps you take to restrain her or treat her.

If you reward and praise her during practice, she will begin to associate what you're doing with pleasurable feelings.

If she is ever a injured, those feelings will help reduce her panic and fear.

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