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Dog First Aid

One of the first things that I thought was important to do once I setup my dog walking business was to do a dog first aid course. As Ewelina was keen to learn about dog first aid we decided to book a course together. The one we ended up doing was organised through Dog First Aid Ltd. The course is mainly aimed at those working with dogs but is also popular with some dog owners. The following article looks at what the course covers.

Dog First Aid – Course Content

The courses that Dog First Aid Ltd provide run throughout the country. The one Ewelina and I attended took place at Bradlaugh Fields one Sunday. It cost £45.00 per person and lasted for about 2-3 hours. They point out in their advertising that they are the only qualified UK company to offer the Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited Emergency Canine Care (ECC) course.

The sorts of things covered by the course include:

  • How to examine a dog correctly and safely
  • Scene assessment – keeping yourself safe while assisting the dog
  • What a Dog First Aiders role is – what you can and cannot do
  • Canine CPR – Carried out on dummy dog called Cassie
  • How to act if a dog starts to choke
  • Dog fights – how to split up two fighting dogs
  • Different types of bleeds and what to do
  • Drowning dogs – when can they drown and how to react
  • Which burns to treat and how
  • Heat stroke
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Eye injuries

A small handbook was given out during the course which helps act as a reminder of what was covered. Attendees are encouraged to try out some of the things learnt on their own dog once home. One section of the handbook asks you to list your dog’s normal values. When it comes to things like heart rate, normal for a small breed is something entirely different to what you expect from a Great Dane for example. I’m not sure many dog walkers take these readings for all dogs in their care. I can imagine a few owners for example having an issue if you started taking a rectal temperature! What is perhaps more useful for dog walkers is the section relating to key numbers. Typically these could be the telephone number for all the local vets, the local dog warden or the local PCSO.

During the interval they were selling dog first aid kits. I already own one which I always carry with me. It’s one of those things that you hope you never have to use but better safe than sorry.

Dog First Aid – Poisons

One of the aspects of the course I found most interesting was poisoning. There are a large range of things that are poisonous to dogs to varying degrees. These include:

  • Rodent poisons (poisons designed to kill rats can often be accidentally found by dogs)
  • Some human foods which include:Grapes, Raisins, Sultanas and Currants
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Xylitol (Sweetener)
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Anti Freeze
  • Metaldehyde (common ingredient in slug / snail pellets
  • NSAIDs (for example Ibuprofen)

By the end of the course I felt I had more knowledge but it’s knowledge I hope I never have to use in an emergency situation. If you happen to work with dogs or are just an owner who is curious to know more about dog first aid why not look for a course near you?

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