April is American Red Cross National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to encourage your clients to prepare for pet emergencies. How can you prepare your clients for these emergencies?
What are the Most Common Pet Emergencies?
According to the ASPCA, these are the three main causes of pet medical emergencies:
- The pet swallows an inedible object.
- The pet suffers soft tissue trauma. Bruising and cuts are far more common than broken bones.
- The animal eats something poisonous, whether it’s chemicals, human foods, plants or objects that can obstruct the digestive tract.
With the right training and tools, owners have a much better chance of getting their pets through these emergencies.
First Aid Training for Pet Owners
American Red Cross offers both in person and online training in pet first aid. These courses focus on common emergency health care tasks including CPR, checking vital signs and cleaning and bandaging wounds. If you want to bring this training in-house, you may be able to hire a certified first aid instructor for classes.
The Red Cross also offers an app that can be used as a reference guide. This is a great supplement to training, as it gives step-by-step instructions that panicking pet owners can follow.
Putting Together a First Aid Kit
For the most part, a pet first aid kit should have the same contents as a human kit, including gauze, cotton balls, tape, blunt-ended scissors, tweezers and disposable gloves. ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center recommends some additional products that are useful for pet care:
- 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can induce vomiting. Clients need to know that this should only be used when instructed by a veterinarian or a poison control expert. Hydrogen peroxide degrades over time. Bottles should be replaced after opening, or every 6 months.
- An oral syringe or turkey baster makes it easier to administer medicines.
- Pet food can help dilute toxins in the digestive tract, and adds bulk to pull them out during vomiting.
- Liquid dish soap is hard on skin and fur, but it strips away oily substances better than standard pet shampoos. This makes it an effective way to wash away irritating and poisonous substances.
- Artificial tear gel and saline eye solution is handy for washing away substances in their pets' eyes.
- In some circumstances, treats can be used to distract the animal while working on their health problems.
- The kit should include contact information for their regular veterinary clinic and local emergency pet clinic. While standard business cards can be used, magnetic cards are waterproof. This keeps the text visible, even if one of the bottles inside the first aid kit leaks.
Keep Your Clinic on the Minds of Your Clients
Positive Impressions, LLC can help you keep in contact with your clients with appointment reminder cards, goodie bags, pharmacy labels and more. Need a way to keep your clinic information at hand in your clients’ first aid kits? We make both cardstock and magnetic business cards. We offer custom printing for most of the items we carry, so you can add your clinic address to our stock designs or use your own graphics to create a completely unique product. You can get started by checking out our website, or visit us on Facebook to see our latest specials.