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From Minor Scratches to Major Injuries: How to Help and Handle an Injured Pet

Everyone loves their pet and wants to protect their furry buddy. But just like humans, pets can be injured. But while you might know exactly what to do when you cut yourself or your kid scrapes a knee, it can be harder to know how to help and handle an injured pet.

Pets can’t talk. This means that they can’t tell you what the problem is, and they may react aggressively because they don’t realize that you’re trying to help them rather than hurt them.

These tips can help you help your pet without danger to either of you.

From Minor Scratches to Major Injuries: How to Help and Handle an Injured Pet

Keep Pet First Aid Supplies on Hand

For minor injuries or to get major injuries under control, keep some pet first aid supplies handy.

Things like blood stop powder can help treat minor scratches at home or slow bleeding on more severe injuries while you transport your pet to the vet.

Keep an assortment of bandaging, muzzling material, and other over-the-counter pet wound care supplies together so you can quickly grab your supplies and assist your pet.

Human puts a gauze muzzle around the snout of a dog

Restrain Your Pet

Injured animals, no matter how docile and sweet in general, can scratch or bite out of pain and fear.

Even if you’re moving slowly and gently and doing your best to be seen as a helper and not a threat, your pet may lash out.

Try wrapping your pet in a towel or blanket or otherwise restraining them so you can more easily and safely assess and stabilize their injuries.

Use the muzzling material in your first aid kit to muzzle your pet only if they are not vomiting and can still breathe once muzzled.

Splint suspected broken bones or sprains and wrap lacerations or deep wounds with gauze or towels after using over-the-counter pet wound care like blood stop powder or healing spray.

First aid reanimation on a small shetland sheepdog

Know a Few Pet First Aid Basics

A first aid for pets class can teach you a lot of valuable information for helping your pet.

Even if you don’t take a first aid class, there are some things you should know.

For example, if your pet is not breathing and has no pulse, begin CPR immediately.

If they’re bleeding, apply direct pressure and elevate the injury before bandaging it.

If their gums are pale or take more than two seconds to return to normal color when you press on them, treat your pet for shock by keeping them warm and increasing circulation.

Finally, if there are potential neck or back injuries or broken bones, use extreme care in transporting your pet.

Rottweiler with bandaged paw with head laying in person's lap

Call Your Vet Before Transporting Your Pet

Your first instinct, no matter the hour, may be to rush your pet to the car and drive straight to your veterinarian’s office.

But when your pet is injured, this may not be the best thing for them. Instead, call your vet first.

Explain the signs and symptoms of injury you’ve found and let your vet direct you as to your next steps.

Some vets may tell you to come to their office while others may feel moving your pet is too risky and would prefer to come to you.

An injured pet requires delicate handling and loving care.

Sad dog lying on the floor

If you are prepare in advance, you’ll be better able to give your scared pet the help they need.

Over-the-counter pet wound care is a key component of this preparedness.

Whether you’re treating a minor injury on your own or stabilizing a major injury before calling the vet, these supplies can make a huge difference for your pet’s health and recovery.

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