First Aid for Dogs

A sick puppy.

Even if you provide your dog with everything he needs - regular grooming and veterinarian check-ups, an appropriate diet, lots of love and care - accidents can still happen. It's important to be prepared for situations. Knowing what to do may save your dog's life. Read this section carefully and review it periodically. In case of an emergency, immediately contact your veterinarian.

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Checking Vital Signs

  • Use rectal thermometers for pet. Newer human digital thermometers are best.
  • Heart rate can be checked by placing a hand over the dog's chest.
  • Respiration can be measured by observing the flanks or holding a wet finger in front of the nostrils.
  • Measure both rates for 15 seconds, then multiply by four to get the rate per minute. Make sure the dog is in a calm, resting state to ensure normal rate.                           

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Handling and Transporting

  • Don't assume a dog won't bite or scratch.
  • Don't try to comfort an injured dog by hugging him. Don't put your face near his head.
  • Muzzle dogs if necessary with gauze or soft towel strips. Wrap small dogs in a towel.
  • Perform any examinations slowly and gently. Stop if the pet becomes agitated.
  • Don't attempt to lift or drag a large injured dog. Improvise a stretcher out of a board, throw rug, child's sled, etc.
  • Before transport, try to stabilize injuries. Rolled magazines or newspapers can serve as impromptu splints. Pad limb and splint generously with rolled cotton and gauze if available, or improvise with suitable pillows, pieces of blanket, towels, etc. Make sure the splint immobilizes joints above and below the site of the injury, while paying special attention not to obstruct blood flow, by monitoring swelling above and below the splint.


First Aid for Dogs

Symptoms that your dogs might be poisoned.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal urine (colour, door,frequency)
  • Salivation
  • Weakness

If your dog should ingest harmful chemicals, contact a veterinarian or poison control center immediately.

Toxic foods for dogs and puppies.

  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Balsam Pears
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Fatty foods
  • Grapes
  • Japanese Plums
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Mushrooms (if also toxic to humans)
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Pear and peach kernels
  • Raising
  • Yeast dough
  • Xylitol sweetened products

Toxic Plants for dogs and puppies.

  • Azaleas
  • Diffenbachia
  • Lilies
  • Rhododendrons
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Tomato and potato leaves and stems
  • Tulip and Narcissus bulbs
  • Mistletoe
  • Mushrooms and toadstools (if also toxic to humans)
  • Wild cherry

Common Poisonous Household Substances

  • Alcohol
  • Acetaminophen
  • Antifreeze and other car fluids
  • Bleach
  • Boric acid
  • Cleaning products
  • Compost piles
  • Deodorants
  • De-icing salts
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain cleaners
  • Flea products (used incorrectly or due to individual hypersensitivity)
  • Fertilizers
  • Furniture polish
  • Gasoline
  • Hair colourings
  • Insecticides
  • Kerosene
  • Matches
  • Mothballs
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Paint
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicine
  • Potpourri, liquid
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Shoe polish
  • Sleeping pills
  • Snail or slug bait
  • Turpentine
  • Vitamins (human or overdose of pet vitamins)
  • Weed killers
  • Windshield-wiper fluid
  • Xylitol-sweetened products