April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and the perfect time for pet owners to learn life-saving skills from Pet Tech’s Pet CPR & First Aid course. Our pet sitter Frankie recently became a Pet Tech instructor and is ready to help Miami’s pets stay safe, healthy, and happy! Equipaws Pet Services is all about prevention first and foremost. That includes giving your dogs great nutrition, making sure they are not overweight, providing them with good exercise daily, as well as regular veterinary care. Take care of all that to give your dog a happy, healthy, and long life… and learn the basics of first aid for when the unexpected happens, such as Pet CPR.
Essential First Aid Knowledge for Dogs
Learning Pet CPR & First Aid is one of the most important investments you will make for your pet. That being said, a healthy wellness routine for your pups will go a long way in keeping them fit, healthy, and happy.
Maintain their wholeness with:
• Appropriate exercise
• Great nutrition
• Access to fresh, cool water
• Yearly checkups with their veterinarians
• Spaying or neutering your pet
• Keeping your dogs on leashes!
Did know dogs can choke on all manner of objects, including the plastic squeaky in toy, a piece of rawhide, or even a toy rope? Not only is choking common in dogs, it’s also very scary and potentially fatal. There are several ways to prevent choking, luckily. Most obvious, do not leave your dog unattended with toys, bones, or rawhide. Even a big tough shank bone can splinter; even the most intelligent dog can get a little too excited with their toys.
If your dog eats very quickly, you can prevent choking by wetting the dry food. You can also place a tennis ball in the food bowl to make it challenging to pick up food. Finally,
If your dog starts choking in your presence, the best thing to do is stand back initially and let her cough it out. If your pet does cough it up, quickly remove it from the floor, place it in a bag, and take her to the vet. If your dog has trouble and can’t, you must help her by performing the dog version of the Heimlich. Frankie will be demonstrating that technique at the West Elm Dadeland’s Doggie Adoption Fair on April 13, 2014.
Another major source of distress in Florida is the heat! Heat stroke is a very common problem in our incredibly hot weather. As always, no living being should be left in a locked car with the windows rolled up. Temperatures can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit inside a car within 15 minutes in warm weather- it is never a good idea to leave your pup in the car! Severe heat stroke can damage internal organs- prevention is where it’s at!
How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs:
We run dogs for a living; our dog walkers and runners are trained to prevent heatstroke by keeping the dogs well-hydrated, keeping to the shade, off the asphalt, and refraining from running in 90 degree weather. We also encourage soaking the pet with cool water on extra hot days.
Recognize the signs of heat stroke, including:
• brick red gums, thick white mucus
• heavy panting without stopping, even when laying down
• fast pulse rate (depends on the dog), high temperatures (from 103 to over 105 degrees Fahrenheit)
• inability to get up
If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, it’s time to take action immediately. Take your pet’s temperature rectally with a digital thermometer and a lubricant. If the temperature is above 105, cool your pup below 103 degrees by pouring cool water over the pet, or wrapping your pet in a cold, wet sheet (NOT cold, so no ice!). Take your pet to their veterinarian right away if her temperature does not lower- heat stroke is serious business.
Other Considerations for a Healthy Pet:
It’s important to familiarize yourself with hazards in the environment. For example, many plants hazardous to your dog and cat’s health thrive in Miami, such as the aloe plant and the avocado (avoid the skin and the pit, for dogs!). Knowing how to properly restrain your pet on car rides can mean the difference between life and death, as well. There are excellent sources of information on the internet; there is also the option of taking a Pet Tech CPR & First Aid class, which will prepare you to act in emergency situations.
A vital member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, and writing copy. As a Pet Tech-certified CPR and First Aid Instructor, Frankie trains our employees in these life-saving techniques. Additionally, she fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix, Nutmeg the Chiweenie, and little Queen Bee Suzy, a Miniature Pinscher.