Friday, August 19, 2016

What I learned at Pet Safety Class

Last Saturday I decided to go to a Pet Safety Class that was being offered at my local  Wellness Education Center.  The cost was $25, but I thought it would be well worth it if I could learn some tips that could save my dog's life.  This class was for dog and cat owners alike.

I have to admit that I was getting a little sad as I listened to the instructors talk about and demonstrate all the scenarios in which a pet would be in distress.  I think what really got me is that the "dummy" dog that we used was clearly a Labrador and he looked so sad.

Some of the things I learned were common sense, but yet things that one might not realize or remember to do. I learned SO much in this class  but I'll just list 5 highlights and hopefully some of these might help you to save or better take care of your animal.

1. Make a First Aid Kit just for your pet. Remember to take the kit with you while traveling or if you should need to evacuate.  Things that should be in your kit:  gauze bandages of varying sizes, adhesive tape, scissors, styptic powder, cotton swabs, tweezers, hydrogen peroxide (3%), Eye wash (you can use saline solution for contact lenses), bottle of water, cold pack, antibiotic ointment, digital thermometer, Dose syringe, Antihistamine tablets (Benadryl), antacid tablet, Electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte (NOT GATORADE or OTHER SPORTS DRINK), Nylon slip leash, towel or blanket, name and number of Emergency Vet and poison control center.

2. Know What is Normal.  This may seem like a no brainer but how often do you really inspect your dog when they are at their best? I admit last month when I had to look at Baylee's gums to see how red they were I couldn't compare the color to her normal color because I didn't know what it normally was.    Inspect your dog's skin, and fur. Feel for lumps and bumps often (also check for ticks). Check gum color. Make sure eyes aren't hazy or cloudy.  Also, check the mucous membrane underneath their eyelids (some are black, some might be pinkish. Know what color your animals should normally be) Check their "normal" temperature  which should be between 100-102.5

3. Do you know how to check your pets Heart Rate and Pulse?  There are a few spots you can use. 1. The inner thigh (the easiest location)  2. Just below the wrist (just above the middle pad on the underside of either front paw).   3. Just below the ankle (just below the ankle on the top side of either hind paw)  4. At the base of the tail.  Below are normal Heart and Pulse Rates: 

Puppy (less than a year old)- 120-160 beats per minute.

Small dogs (less than 30 lbs) - 100-140 beats per minute.

Medium/Large dogs (more than 30 lbs) - 60-100 beat per minute.

4.  We learned how to do CPR on a dog.  (This works on cats as well).  Lay the dog on his side.  Hold his mouth close and blow 5 breaths into his nose. Check for a pulse. If no pulse give him 5 chest compressions.  Since each dog is built differently you should take the time NOW to look up how to do chest compressions for your specific pet .  After the first round of breaths and compressions, it changes to 2 breaths and 30 compressions.   Did you know that CPR only works 7% of the time on humans and only 3% of the time on animals?  That is a sad statistic.

5. Capillary Refill Time (CRT)-  Knowing your pet's CRT  means observing how soon the gums or inner lip returns to their normal pink color after you press on it with your finger. This is a quick way to determine if your dog's blood circulation is normal.  When you push slightly on the pink gums with your finger the gums should turn white from the pressure and then return to pink after 1 or 2 seconds. If the pink color returns in less than 1 second or it take more than 3 seconds for it to return than you should call your vet because your pet's blood circulation is not normal and it is an EMERGENCY! 



Some other tips that I learned: If your pet has ingested a poison, you can induce vomiting my giving him hydrogen peroxide (3%). But NEVER do this without your vet's consent.   If you need to transport a heavy dog up in your car  slide him on an ironing board and then raise it to your car height.  There are a LOT of blood vessels in a dog's ear and if it gets hurt it will bleed a lot. Don't be alarmed but it will need bandaged. Flip the ear on top of the dog's head to bandage (make the bandage go around the entire head).  If your dog is choking you can do Abdominal Thrusts just like you do on humans.  To break up a dog fight, NEVER get between the dogs. Instead, stand behind your dog and pull him out of the fight by his back legs. The other dog should back away. 

Like I said, there was just SO much I learned that I couldn't possibly cover it in just one post. If you ever get a chance to go to a class like this, you should do it. Hopefully you will never have to use any of these tips, but at least it makes you more aware!

                                        We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5!

21 comments:

  1. I completely understand, it would make me sad to hear about those scenarios as well! :( I would definitely take this class if I knew of one in my area.

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    1. Yea, I'm more of "just give me the facts" sort of person!

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  2. I would be interested to know about cat tips.. I don't have a dog (anymore) but this was definitely interesting.

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    1. A lot of these tips were adjusted for cats as well but I guess I didn't pay that close attention when they were talking about cats.

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  3. Now I'm feeling like a bad pet-momma that I've never even thought about going to a class like this. What a great thing to do! I'm absolutely going to check into this - thank you for posting!

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    1. I thought I was already a good Pet momma, but this class made me aware of things I might not have thought of!

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  4. Sounds like this was a really valuable class! The ironing board tip is really helpful for people with big dogs.

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  5. Those are some really great tips... I've been meaning to make a dog first aid kit for some time now. I wish I would have known about the ear bandage years ago!

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  6. Wow, this sounds like a great class. I never even thought about any of this :( I should look to see if there is a class like this around here.

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  7. Wow! A class like this would be helpful for me too. And that trick about the ironing board is genius. My dog is 119 lbs and I may need to use that one! Thanks for posting this.

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  8. I think it might've been in my babysitting class, but we learned about the Heimlich for dogs and cats, which is to put the pressure above their hind legs. They wanted us to be prepared if anything happened, including if it happened to the pets.

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  9. Wow - I'd never think to take a class like this but I just wrote a post going live soon about safety in terms of the food we feed our babies!

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  10. This whole post gives me anxiety because I dont want anything happening to my babies. But its so smart to know this stuff.
    I need to look up the CPR thing for each of my dogs - its something I've always noted in my mind to learn.
    We would also have to have Benadryl around for our Sydney - she was allergic to EVERYTHING - including her yearly shots - she had to not take them because of her allergies. Poor girl's face blew up so much through the years.

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  11. Unfortunately, I know all too well how to respiratory rate -- I spent the last 6 months of Chester's life doing that.

    I wouldn't have thought about checking the mucous membranes of their eyes (not sure I want to attempt that with Bandit yet), but I do look at Lola's gums occasionally.

    You can also induce vomiting by feeding them salt. I know this because my husband has left out chocolate more than once, and Chester once ate rat poison. Obviously, you have to put the salt in something yummy, but I've done it with both Lola & Chester in the past.

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  12. Sounds like a great class filled with a lot of good info! I never even thought of having a doggie first aid kit...what a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I feel like all pet owners should go to classes like this. We take for granted that our pets will stay healthy. Things can go wrong so quickly.

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  14. I don't have a pet but such a great idea! I did not know you could do CPR on a dog

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  15. Whoa!! I didn't know all that. Especially the dog fight part. Good to know.

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  16. Other than feeling for lumps and bumps and noticing a change in a pet's demeanor, I knew none of this, nor have I ever seen a pet safety class around here. Great info. I can vouch for the ear bleeding thing. Remy had a spot and oh my.

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  17. That sounds like a very good class to do.

    Knowing what is normal for your dog is so important. I regularly check my dog's paws, teeth and ears but I've neve really taken much notice of his gums. Think I'll be checkng now, along with wear to find his pulse!

    Thank you.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.