Most people are familiar with CPR and may know how to respond when a person collapses from a heart attack. But what if your dog or cat had a heart attack? Do you know how to perform pet CPR?
Wait — pet CPR… that’s a thing?
“Yes, and it’s a very important thing,” says Amy D’Andrea, cofounder of Pet Emergency Education, a national organization that teaches pet CPR and first aid for dogs, cats and horses.
March is Pet Poison Prevention Month and April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Jordan Di Marco has seen his share of pet poisonings and first aid emergencies. As the local co-owner of Dogma Catma Pet Sitting and a certified instructor of Pet Emergency Education, Di Marco says animals love to eat things they shouldn’t, including toxins. “But poisons can be inhaled as well,” he notes, and run the realm from plants to human foods to medications. The ASPCA has a 24-hour poison control hotline (888-426-4435) to advise pet owners in poisoning emergencies.
Common first aid emergencies include bites and stings, which most often occur on noses and paws. “Not all animals will have a bad reaction,” Di Marco says, “but like humans, pets can go into anaphylactic shock. In cases like that, it’s important to keep the pet calm and get it to the vet immediately.”
Di Marco plans to offer pet CPR and first aid classes this winter. Contact him at email@example.com for information.