You certainly have heard the well-known saying that “Curiosity killed the cat.” But dogs are just as bad since they are rather inquisitive and are often in the habit of going places and getting into situations that they shouldn’t. Even while this doesn’t always end badly, they in some cases do end up hurting themselves somehow so it’s a good option to be familiar with some dog first aid.

About the time my Lhasa Apso was three or four months old she succeeded in finding a previously unknown patch of burrs in the backyard and spent time playing in them for awhile. When she came back to the house the burrs had managed to work their way firmly into spots on her face, her ears and her little fluffy behind.

It was nighttime so the Vet was closed and a trip to the animal hospital would probably have been too expensive. So she had to endure my tearful yet laughing attempts as I managed to one by one manipulate those burrs out of her hair as she resisted and yelped for more than two hours. They were matted so badly and up next to the skin that cutting them out was not an option.

A tranquilizer of any kind would have been nice to have but I didn’t have anything for her. Since there was no blood or severe injury, showing up at the emergency hospital was an alternative … that time.

That is a saddening yet comical story to tell and hopefully an experience she has long forgotten over the years. It was also a minor thing although painful and exasperating for both of us. But it might have been worse.

As a responsible dog owner you will need to know at least basic first aid for dogs so you can be prepared for more serious emergencies. You can oftentimes save on Vet costs for minor problems like the one I had. But you might also find yourself in a situation where you need to help reduce your pet’s pain or provide life-saving actions until you can make it to the Vet.

Having a dog first aid kit is positively a smart move but you also need to know what to do and how to react in a true emergency. Be sure you have phone numbers on hand for both your regular Vet as well as the nearby animal emergency clinic. And learn about basic canine first aid on your own.

I’ve never been in a position where I needed to provide life-saving medical actions for my family dog and maybe you haven’t needed to either. But would you know what normally to do if faced with a life-threatening situation concerning your dog?