Summer First-Aid for Pets

With summer just around the corner, here are some first aid tips for you and Fido.


If you cannot immediately get your pet to a veterinarian, move it to a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Place a cool or cold, wet towel around its neck and head, rewet it and rewrap it every few minutes as you cool the animal. You can also pour or use a hose to keep water running over the animal’s body (especially the abdomen and between the hind legs). Transport the pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible as heatstroke can lead to death in dogs.


Immediately transport your injured pet to a veterinarian, use a stretcher (you can use a board or other firm surface as a stretcher, or use a throw rug or blanket as a sling). If possible, secure the pet to the stretcher (make sure you don’t put pressure on the injured area or the animal’s chest) for transport—this may be as simple as wrapping a blanket around them. We do not recommend trying to apply a splint unless you have spoken with a veterinarian as splints can do more harm than good.


If you find a small wound, you may press a clean, thick cotton or gauze pad over the wound. Keep pressure over the wound for a minimum of 3 minutes and then check it. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using an elastic band or gauze) between the wound and the body, and apply a bandage and pressure over the wound. Loosen the tourniquet for 20 seconds every 15-20 minutes. Get your animal to a veterinarian immediately.


If you suspect you pet has eaten poisons such as rodenticides, antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate or any other chemical, contact the Animal poison control center at 888.426.4435. This call may be free if your pet has an active HomeAgain Microchip!

For more information on additional First Aid tips check out