A VETERINARY nurse from Grotton is calling on walkers to consider a dog first aid course to prepare them should the worst happen on a country walk.
Rachel Bean RVN, who wrote the iPET Network’s canine first aid qualification, has recently given training to hundreds of members of the UK’s dedicated mountain rescue teams.
She says knowing the first aid basics should be as much a part of setting off for a hike as wearing the right walking boots.
She said: “People invest a lot of time and effort in getting the right equipment for walking, and rightly so. It is important to make sure that you are well prepared for every eventuality.
“But I think people don’t always consider what they would do if their dog suffered a medical emergency, especially in a remote rural location.
“First aid training isn’t expensive, but it could save your dog’s life, and will help you to think calmly and clearly in a crisis.”
This sentiment was echoed by Alison Garnett, 65, who thanks to dog first aid training was able to save the life of her dog Chester when he choked on a chew.
She said: “Chester had injured himself in his panic and there was quite a lot of blood, I could feel his weight getting heavier and heavier as he started to lose consciousness.
“I kept going though, and eventually was able to use the very tip of my finger to dislodge the treat, it just flipped out and flew across the room!
“It was at that point I just started sobbing. There I was covered in blood laid on the floor, and Chester just ran across the living room and finished off the treat like nothing had happened.
“It was surreal but I am so happy that I knew what to do!”
Former secondary school teacher Alison believes all dog owners should take a pet first aid course, and especially pet professionals who we trust to keep our dogs safe.
She said: “The training was so important because it gave me the confidence to stay calm and look at everything more logically, even in the worst possible situation.
“It is the best thing I ever did, and everyone who owns a dog should take a course.”
Rachel is currently supporting the national Safe Pets and People campaign, which is calling for all pet professionals to have mandatory first aid qualifications, and is endorsed by the RSPCA.
And she believes all dog owners should at least know the basics, especially if they are taking their dogs on long rural walks.
She said: “We all love taking our canine companions on long walks, and the dogs love it too. But there are so many things that could go wrong.
“Being prepared means you won’t panic and can enjoy time together safe in the knowledge that you’ve got it covered.”
• To find out more go to www.rachelbean.co.uk
1. Keep calm:
It is important to stay calm so you can help without panicking
2. Make sure the environment around you is safe.
3. Maintain the airway:
Check for blockages in the airway and remove them. Pull the tongue to the side of the mouth
4. Control any bleeding: It’s important to stop bleeding immediately, use your hands to apply pressure
5. Seek assistance ASAP: Call a Vet for further advice