The reason I’ve even been inspired to write this post is because I had every dog owners worst nightmare happen to me. My dog is a complete as*hole when it comes to brushing time, so I lure her with a treat every few minutes to keep her behaving. When I gave her a treat, it turned out to be not be a treat, but instead she started completely choking. I guess it had gotten lodged in her airway and she had started gasping for air. She was panicking as much as I was and had started pawing at me to help but my fear had gotten the best of me for a few seconds and I felt paralyzed. I snapped out of it and started doing what every dog owner does way too often — sticking my fingers in her mouth to try and see if there was anything I could get or pull out. I started seeing a timer in my head of how little time there was for me to literally save my dog before something awful would happen, and that’s when my instincts kicked in. I remembered watching a video on the Heimlich Maneuver for dogs, so I instantly put her on the ground and started doing the steps unsure if I was even doing it correctly. Luckily, I was and within seconds the lodged piece of smoked bacon treat was on the ground (which she proceeded to actually eat almost immediately, LOL.) it took me quite some time to calm down and realize how lucky both of us were and of course I gave her way too many hugs and kisses that she did not like very much. It was then I realized that no dog parent should experience this and if they do, they should handle it a lot better than me.
- Vet paperwork and proof of vaccinations. This is always good to have incase of an emergency and visiting an animal hospital or seeing a new vet for the first time.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. This is an essential for a dog first-aid kit but also extremely important to know how to use. Hydrogen Peroxide is an amazing tool if your pup has ingested something toxic as it will induce vomiting. Your Hydrogen Peroxide should be a 3% solution because anything higher can be extremely dangerous. Administer the proper amount which should be: 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs of the dogs body weight by mouth — with a maximum of 3 tablespoons for dogs who weigh more than 45 lbs. It may be easier for you to dilute the solution with water or saline. Obviously your first choice is to visit your vetrinarian and if that option is unavailable to you, it is recommended to call a pet poison control hotline to get advice from experts before you proceed. Another important thing to keep in mind is that hydrogen peroxide is an irritant to your dogs intestinal tract and typically works within 10-15 minutes, recovering about 50% of what your dog ingested and vomiting can last up to 45 minutes. If your dog is already vomiting or in serious condition, do not induce more vomiting. If your dog has ingested a corrosive agent or sharp object, please do not induce vomiting as it can cause more harm. 24 Hour Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680.
- Dog Grooming Wipes. These are great for situations where your dog has an injury or needs any kind of antibacterial treatment.
- Gauze, Tape, Scissors, and Rubber Gloves. If you and your pup are the outdoorsy kind, this will be handy incase of an emergency. After properly cleansing a wound or injury to your best abilities (which the dog grooming wipes come in handy.) These tools can help keep the affected area safe and under control until you are able to get your dog professional medical treatment. The rubber gloves are good for you to prevent any germs and bacteria to get into your dogs injury.
- A Towel or Blanket. If you need to bring your pet to an animal hospital, vet or even bring them to a safe area when they are ill, you should always keep one of these handy. If your pet has a blanket they are fond of, even better as it will provide them comfort.
- Water, Food, or Treats. If you will be in a situation where you might be waiting or it has been a long time since your dog had access to water and food, it will be important that you always carry back-up. Your dogs hunger or dehydration can make their state worse sometimes and it’s better to not let it get to that point. Treats are always good to provide them with comfort in a situation they may be scared and hurt and a reward to let them know they didn’t do anything wrong.
- A Comfort item: if your dog has a toy or bone they are particularly fond of it will always make them feel better in a situation they are unsure of, scared, or hurt.
- Poop bags. You never know when a sticky, or should I say smelly… situation can take place. If your pup has ingested something and will be needing to get rid of it sometime soon, a poop bag can never hurt.
A prepared dog owner will always familiarize themselves with dog safety, and what to do incase of an emergency situation. Just like being a parent to a child, their life is your responsibility and no matter what the situation is, no one wants to feel like it’s their fault for not being able to help because they’d didnt know what to do.