A DOG OWNER’S GUIDE

A basic guide to the welfare requirements for your dog

As dog owners, we all love our dogs & want to do the best for them, these basic guides aim to point out some simple welfare requirements for your animals, pointing out various legislations, grooming requirements & emergency 1st Aid situations……

Common Emergency 1st Aid Situations & What to do

Even with the best will in the world there will always be situations where your dog will require for one reason or another some sort of emergency 1st Aid, the below is an indication of some of these circumstances & gives a brief explanation as to what you should do, if you find your dog in this situation……

  • All dogs (as with us humans) will have bouts of Vomiting & Diarrhoea – ensure that your dog has plenty of water to drink
  • Check to make sure that you do not think the dog has eaten anything that could have poisoned him, in which case seek immediate veterinary assistance.
  • If the symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours then contact your vet for advice.
  • If there is any BLOOD in the Vomit or Faeces, seek immediate veterinary advice.
  • Seizures – from time to time some dogs have a seizure for various reasons (such as a Head Injury, Low/ High Blood pressure, Liver/ Kidney Disease). If your dog seems to be having them often, then he may have Epilepsy, which will need to be controlled by medication from your vet.

If your dog is having a seizure, ensure the following…

  • LEAVE THE DOG ALONE – do not try to move the dog (unless it is a danger to itself), leave him alone to come around. This may take some minutes.
  • DO NOT place your fingers or any other objects in the dogs mouth.
  • Keep the surrounding area clear of anything that may cause the dog harm.
  • ALL fits should be recorded & reported to your vet.
  • Bleeding – if you find your dog has cut themselves, there are steps that you can take to alleviate the bleeding, whilst you assess if veterinary assistance is required….
  • MUZZLE the dog – a dog in pain can be unpredictable, so your previous soft dog can turn into a snapping machine, to prevent you from looking at the wound.
  • Press a clean pad over the wound & press firmly until it starts to clot, this may take several minutes.
  • Severe bleeding & internal bleeding will need immediate veterinary care.

  • Choking – finding your dog choking can feel & sound like quite a traumatic experience, it will sound & look a lot like the retching motion made when a dog vomits. If your dog does not seem to be moving the object himself, the following steps should be followed……
  • Approach the dog cautiously – a choking dog will possibly bite in panic.
  • Take a look in the dogs mouth to see if you can see any foreign objects.
  • If you see an object try to gently remove the object, taking care not to further push the object down the throat (do not spend a lot of time trying to do this, get him to the vets instead)
  • If the dog is still breathing, keep him calm & get him to the vets.
  • If the dog is struggling to breath, contact the vet immediately & try 5 forceful slaps on the dogs back in the middle of the front shoulders to see if this aids in dislodging the item. Get the dog to the vet.

  • Poisoning – If your dog has manged to eat something that may be bad for him & you suspect he may be poisoned by it, visit the vet immediately taking any wrappers that contain the ingredients with you if possible.
  • Un-regulated Body Temperature – most dogs temperature should normally fall within 38.3 – 39.2°C, depending on breed & ambient temperature, if your dog is appearing confused, has an abnormal breathing pattern & is appearing unwell in himself, he may be suffering from one of the following (in either case seek immediate veterinary advice)…
  • HEATSTROKE – caused by a dog being left in too hot an environment for an extended period of time. It can be fatal if not treated. You will need to lower his body temperature immediately….
  • Move him to a cool, shaded spot, preferably within a breeze or in front of a fan.
    • Give him fresh water
    • Wet/ mist him down with water (not freezing cold water as this may lead to shock) & allow him to dry naturally
    • Once his temperature is around 39.5°C, get him to the vets.

  • HYPOTHERMIA – occurs when the dog is unable to maintain its normal temperature. You will need to start to bring up his body temperature
  • Warm some blankets & wrap the dog in the blankets.
    • Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel & place against the dogs abdomen (DO NOT place directly onto the skin as this will cause burning)
    • Check his temperature every 10 mins, if it falls below 36.7°C, seek immediate veterinary attention
    • Once his temperature is above 37.8°C, remove the blankets & hot water bottle to avoid over-heating. Keep the dog in a warm room

Sources:

Gov.UK – Animal Welfare               Google Images              The Animal Welfare Act (2006)    RSPCA

Pet Rebellion                                    Labs2Love Rescue       Auto specifics info

Slideshare.net                                  Professors House         Huggle Pets

Fleximed – 1st Aid for pets              1st Aid Kits for Dogs