As a pet parent, I remember one of my lowest moments was during a Christmas holiday when we were all in a celebratory mood. Little did we know that Myles had sneaked outside our yard.
We searched every corner of our house to no avail.
She had a favorite pet friend down the street and they had not met for a while. Probably she had gone visiting.
Just the thought of how pets are vulnerable to pet accidents especially when outdoors freaked me out.
Fortunately, after a few hours of frantic search, my neighbor called to inform us that Myles had visited. I was at peace!
Pet accidents are so rampant. While we as pet parents can create a pet-friendly environment inside our houses, we have little control over the risks met by our pets especially outside the yards.
But hey, we can minimize pet accidents through prevention.
Common Causes and Prevention of Pet Accidents
Generally, pets are aggressive beings; if they come across anything that excites them, they are likely to place it in their mouth. In most cases, some of these foreign debris cause accidents and may even lead to death.
For instance, when playing with toys, they may get pretty excited and start swallowing. Also, some of the toys may be breakable hence leading to cuts or other injuries on the pets’ skin.
Always ensure that the pets’ toys are large enough not to fit in their mouth and also choose toys that are unbreakable.
Be on the look-out for sharp objects or glass debris, whether indoors or outdoors. Such objects tend to fracture their tiny paws, mouth or even other body parts.
You can have much control of your pup when indoors unlike on the outdoors. If by bad luck she gets out of the yard unknowingly, your pet suffers the risk of being hit by cars or wounded by wild animals.
Car accidents can be minor or fatal. In such an occurrence, it is important to check out vital signs and administer first aid even as you consult your veterinarian.
Always ensure that your pet is on a leash especially when outdoors and check out to ensure that the fence works perfectly.
Alternatively, you can keep a close eye on your pet whenever she plays on the yard to prevent such accidents.
Most importantly, know your pet’s personality. That way, you can predict what she is up to at any given time whether indoors or outdoors.
Did I mention that pets have a strong sense of smell? Well, household cleaners for instance disinfectants and even paint will definitely excite your little companion.
The chemical components available in these cleaners may cause burns on the mouth, stomach and other body parts depending on its levels of concentration.
For paints, however, when your pet ingests it, she is likely to suffer from stomach upsets.
Medication remains one of the major causes of pet poisoning. Human medications whether prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, as well as pet medications, account for a large percentage of pet poisoning.
Anti-depressants, heart, ibuprofen and ADHD drugs are among the human medications that cause harm when ingested by pets. On the other hand, veterinary drugs such as anti-inflammatory medications pose a risk to your pet when consumed in large quantities.
Always keep your pets at a safe place during household cleaning to avoid pet accidents caused by household detergents.
In addition, keep all the medications in a safe place inaccessible to your children and pets. For veterinary medications, always follow the prescription to the latter. Also, keep out of reach for your pets especially the flavored medications.
Alternatively, you can ask your vet to prescribe non-flavored medications instead of flavored ones.
Grooming accidents/broken nail
Every pet parent dreads that moment when you are grooming your pet’s nails but you accidentally cut her soft tissue. The blood oozing from the injured pet coupled with the excruciating pain is devastating.
However, grooming accidents are more common among pets with dark nails as opposed to those with clear nails.
What’s more, pets with long nails are likely to injure themselves through slipping or tearing the nail. Broken nails cause bleeding.
Styptic powder particularly Kwi-Stop is one of the most effective product that stops the blood flow almost immediately.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the powder, some readily available household products will work just fine to stop the bleeding, for instance, a bar soap, baking soda or flour.
Once you have applied the anti-bleeding product, keep your pet still for a while to prevent further bleeding. However, if bleeding does not stop, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Trim your pet’s nails regularly to avoid broken nails.
When trimming the nails, keep it slow; taking bits by bits.
Pets do not necessarily get along every time and more so for those living together or even visiting pets.
Pets tend to be aggressive at times and can inflict injuries to themselves. Some of these injuries could be visible or non-invisible.
For instance, when large dogs fight, they are likely to suffer from bleeding, skin bruising, among other injuries. You can administer first aid to your pet, for instance, covering hurt parts using a clean cloth and using products such as styptic powder to stop the bleeding
However, when small dogs or cats are involved, the damage is mostly invisible and may involve brain damage, abdominal damage, broken ribs, etc. Note that these damages often require clinical examination from a veterinarian but in the meanwhile you should administer first aid.
Observe your pets for any sign of physical aggression behaviors such as resource guarding behaviors.
Also, learn your pet’s language behavior. For example, when ready for visiting pets or a new companion pet.
Keep your pet’s rabies shot immunization up-to-date to prevent any serious damage whenever she inflicts injury on himself or another pet during a fight.
Eye wounds or scratches
During fights, canine animals are likely to suffer from eye wounds or eye scratches. This is mostly the case with dogs since they tend to fight with their eyes at high risk. Cats, however, tend to hide their faces and make use of their claws in a fight.
Early warning signs of eye injuries also vary among cats and dogs. For dogs, you will observe prolonged teary eyes while for cats you will notice eye scratches.
However, a common phenomenon for both is keeping their eyes away whenever you approach them. Another sign is uncommon eye blinking.
As soon as you notice these signs of eye injuries/wounds, it is always advisable to get in touch with your pet’s veterinarian for medical check-up and treatment.
Keep your pet away from harmful wild animals. This entails keeping them within your reach as much as possible.
Watch out for any signs of aggressive behavior among your pets and act accordingly.
Dehydration/ Heat Stroke
During summer, temperatures can soar really high.
When not properly handled, cats and dogs do suffer from excessive heat; can lead to dehydration or worse still heat stroke.
It is always advisable to discourage your pet from exercising outdoors during hot days to prevent heat related effects.
Some of the early warning signs of dehydration in cats include panting, elevated heart rate, sunken eyes, dry mouth, etc. For dogs, you are likely to notice dry gums, lethargy, and loss of skin elasticity, weakness, sunken eyes, and collapse.
However, not every pet is likely to be affected by heatstroke/dehydration. Pets with a higher risk include the elderly, those with health issues and the obese.
So what steps can you take in case of such an accident?
Take your pet to a cool place preferably indoors
Sprinkle her body with water to cool her down
If it persists, seek the veterinarian’s help.
Always keep your pet well hydrated during extreme high temperatures. Offer her clean, fresh water.
Avoid outdoor exercises with your pet during hot weather.
When taking a walk with her, always carry along a bottle of water.
Pets get attracted to electrical cords such as cables or wires; such a risk hazard. You will find them playing around with cords and even chewing them. Electric cords if mishandled often lead to electrocution/ electric shock.
Remember, such a pet accident can even be fatal.
So how do you prevent your pet from suffering an electric shock?
Hide the cables by keeping them out of reach for your pet.
Conversely, spray the cords with unpleasant spray to discourage them from coming closer to the cables.
Pet accidents do happen whether indoors or outdoors. Some accidents appear minor while others are fatal.
However, we can prevent most of these accidents especially inside our houses. It is also advisable to invest in pet leash or collar to keep your pet safe and prevent escapes when playing on the yard.
As a pet parent, it is always good to master some first aid skills to offer your little companion in case of an accident. Most importantly, always consult your veterinarian.