Emergency First-Aid Tips For Dogs

Even though it’s unpleasant to think about, chances are your dog will become sick or injured at some point in his life. I would strongly advise that you also prepare for other emergencies such as weather disasters.


First Aid

The first thing you need to do is to restrain and or muzzle your dog to keep him from panicking or struggling against you. There are several items you can use to make a muzzle: panty hose, a cotton bandage, a necktie, or even a sturdy piece of fabric about two feet long.

Transporting an injured animal needs to be done very carefully to avoid causing further injury. Larger dogs can be placed in a piece of plywood to be moved, while smaller dogs should be placed in a box. You could also use towels or blankets as a stretcher.

To perform artificial respiration, first check to make sure the dogs mouth is cleared of mucus, blood, or any obstructions. Then you need to hold the mouth closed, inhale, completely cover the dogs nose with your mouth, and gently breathe out. Do not blow hard. Repeat every five to six seconds.

With external bleeding, don’t worry about cleaning out the wound until the bleeding has stopped. You need to immediately stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure from a cloth, bandages, or even your own hand.

Internal bleeding, such as the result of being hit by a car, can be more dangerous. Internal hemorrhaging is extremely serious and needs to be treated by a veterinarian without delay.

Shock can occur from disease or injury. Treat any visible injuries, respond at once by keeping the animal warm and quiet, and take the dog to the vet.

Fractures require immediate attention. You need to get the dog to the veterinarian with as little movement as possible.

Vomiting and diarrhea are usually caused by problems with the digestive system. The resulting dehydration can be fatal. The veterinarian needs to be called if the condition does not improve after 12 hours.

According to the American Kennel Club, the following procedures should be performed if your dog is stung:

If possible, carefully remove the stinger with tweezers. (Only bees leave stingers.)

Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the area.

Apply an ice pick to relieve swelling and pain.

A single sting does not usually present a serious problem. However, multiple stings can be life-threatening. Intravenous catheterization, the administration of fluids, and monitoring of vital signs are performed when treating for massive stings.

The following items are recommended to be kept on hand in case of emergency. If you are unfamiliar with any of the items listed below, your veterinarian can explain it’s proper use:

  • Syringe
  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cold pack
  • Ipecac syrup
  • Liquid Styptic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone 1%
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Tweezers
  • Latex Gloves
  • Cotton balls
  • Muzzle
  • Aluminized Thermal Blanket


Dogs are at a high risk for accidental poisoning, due to their natural curiosity and their tendency to consume anything they come across. CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN AT ONCE IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR DOG HAS INGESTED A POISON. Here are some common poisons and their side effects:

Insecticides and parasite medications such as flea and tick sprays. Shampoos and worm medications also must be used according to directions. Signs of overuse can include loss of bowel control, vomiting, drooling, and trembling and weakness.

Rodent poisons. Most rat poisons thin the blood so it is unable to clot. Ask your veterinarian how to get the dog to vomit. Inducing vomiting before 30 minutes have elapsed will usually get rid of most poisons.

Antifreeze is extremely toxic to digs, even in small amounts. Please use animal-safe antifreeze in your vehicles!

Below are some Common Household Poisons

  • Acetaminophen
  • Bleach
  • Deodorants
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Hair colorings
  • Matches
  • Mothballs
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint
  • Shoe polish
  • Windshield-wiper fluid

Many of the following poisonous plants may cause vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Castor bean
  • Soap berry
  • Ground Cherry
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Daffodil
  • Foxglove
  • Larkspur
  • Indian turnip
  • Wisteria

Evacuation tips

Plan Ahead!!

Most emergency shelters do not accept pets. Call hotels in your area and in surrounding states to inquire about their pet policies. Ask friends in the surrounding areas if you and your dog(s) can stay with them if you unable to find a hotel.

One of the best ways to be reunited with your dog if he runs away/gets loose during an emergency situation is to microchip him.

Assemble a disaster supply kit for your dog.


  • Collar and leash with ID tags
  • Current copy of vaccination records
  • Any medications and directions for administering them.
  • Recent photo
  • At least three days’ supply of food and bottled water.
  • Bedding and blankets

The last piece of information I’d like to share with you, is that obedience-trained dogs will respond better to commands and will be easier to handle during a stressful situation such as an emergency evacuation.


Peace and Love are present in my world now,

Lovin Pet Care

Melanie Lovett