Latest figures from leading vet charity, PDSA, reveal that more than nine out of 10 pet owners surveyed have never received any pet first aid training.
Three quarters of those surveyed (75%) wouldn’t know how to perform CPR on their pet, highlighting a worrying number of owners feeling unequipped to deal with an animal-related medical emergency, such as a seizure, heatstroke or road traffic accident.
PDSA, which provides vital treatment to pets in need, is encouraging owners to brush up on basic skills that could prove crucial. The charity’s expert vets have also created a free pet first aid guide to provide owners with vital knowledge that could help save their pet’s life.
A survey conducted by the charity also found that 80% of owners don’t own a pet first aid kit, and many feel uninformed when it comes to managing common illnesses or injuries affecting their furry family members.
For example, almost three quarters (74%) of those surveyed confessed they wouldn’t know or would be unsure what to do if their pet was having a seizure. While almost half (46%) didn’t know or weren’t sure how to help their pet if they were suffering from heatstroke. And over half (52%) would feel clueless or would be not sure what steps to take if their furry companion broke a bone.
However, it seems owners are keen to gain these necessary skills, with almost two thirds (67%) of those surveyed agreeing they should have a basic understanding of pet first aid.
PDSA’s handy first aid guide offers actionable tips around how to spot and provide first aid for injuries such as broken bones or bleeding wounds. It also suggests simple ways to prevent an emergency from happening, including keeping toxic human food and medications out of paws’ reach, as well as how to be prepared if your pet does become unwell or injured.
PDSA Vet, Lynne James, said: “The figures highlight the extent of the skills gap when it comes to basic pet first aid skills. However, owners often don’t realise how important first aid training is until they need it, which can sometimes be too late. As with humans, taking the right actions in the first few minutes following an emergency before seeking veterinary attention can make a huge difference on the outcome of the situation. The good news is that while it may seem like a big task, there are practical tips that owners can learn, which will help them treat and potentially save the lives of their pets.
“I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t feel confident providing treatment to their furry friend in an emergency to download our pet first aid guide, which includes a host of resources that could prove vital.
“Many of us may also be concerned about the cost of living at the moment, and the price of unexpected treatment will only add further strain to pet owner’s pockets. Aside from lifesaving tips on treating pets in an urgent situation, our guide also offers lots of simple advice that can help to avoid an incident happening in the first place, and requiring more costly treatment down the line.”
To download PDSA’s free pet first aid guide, visit: www.pdsa.org.uk/pr-free-first-aid-guide.
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