Prompt and informed first aid saves lives—for dogs as well as humans. Losing a dog to an asthma attack or a common type of poisoning is all the more tragic in cases where CPR skills or knowledge of first aid could have kept the dog alive until his owners reached a veterinarian. And not just those who hike backcountry trails with their dogs or live far from the nearest pet hospital need to consider such scary scenarios. Dogs can choke on bits of kibble on the kitchen floor. Thankfully, courses for pet guardians are readily available in most parts of the country. Learn to perform pet CPR and first aid, including tending to wounds and recognizing emergencies. Most good classes cover choking management, insect bite, stings and snakebites, heat and cold injuries, vitals assessment, and seizures.
To take a pet first aid class in person, check with your local humane society or animal shelter, or visit First Aid for Pets (firstaidforpets.net) for online courses.