If your pet becomes injured, it may be in pain and also scared and confused. Pet owners should take certain precautions to prevent further injury to their animals. They should also protect themselves from being scratched, bitten, or hurt by their pets. Follow these injured animal handling tips from a pet vet to get the animal to a professional without injuring yourself in the process.
Tip 1: Even if the pet is normally very gentle, do not assume that it will not scratch or bite when injured. Fear and pain may cause an animal to exhibit unpredictable behavior or become dangerous.
Tip 2: Do not hug the pet, even to provide reassurance. This action could cause the animal additional pain or scare it. Also, keep your face away from the mouth of the pet to avoid becoming bitten.
Tip 3: Slowly and gently examine the animal to identify the injured area. If your pet becomes more upset, stop immediately.
Tip 4: Before moving the pet, contact a veterinarian for instructions regarding safe transport based on the suspected injury. If possible, bandage or splint the injury before moving the animal.
Tip 5: If the animal is not vomiting and it is necessary to reduce the chance of being bitten, muzzle the pet. Use gauze, a stocking, or a towel to create a muzzle around the mouth of a dog. Wrap a cat or another small animal in a towel to restrain it. Keep the nose of the animal uncovered and do not wrap too tightly.
Tip 6: When transporting the pet, keep it confined in a pet carrier, box, or other container that provides plenty of air. Limiting mobility reduces the risk of additional injury. If the animal is a large dog, create a stretcher from a blanket, throw rug, door, board, or sled.
Tip 7: First aid is not a substitute for professional veterinary treatment so immediately follow first aid treatment at home with care from a vet.
Tip 8: Keep pet medical records in an easily accessible location and take these to the vet or emergency clinic.