Q: Do I know how to bandage my dog if he gets hurt?
Q: What do I do first if my dog ingested a bag of chocolates?
A: I don’t know.
Not very good answers when I have a precious little pug in my charge. After all, he didn’t asked to be my pet. I picked him, and he is stuck with me.
When my friend told me of a full day pet first aid course she signed up for, I thought it would be a good idea to join her. I am sure we’ve all picked up bits and pieces on how to deal with people emergencies, but are probably clueless about animals.
So, I dragged myself up at 7am this past Sunday, quick walk with the pug, and zipped over to the Who’s Walking Who training center in Ajax for an 8am start. Harsh start to what I can tell will be a long day.
The Pet First Aid program was developed and taught by Walk’s N Wags. It is a nationally recognized pet first aid program for pet professionals and pet owners. Our instructor for the day was Lynda, a tiny and bubbly lady with a few golden retrievers of her own. An experienced pet owner as well, as we discovered throughout the day she herself had to deal with many different emergency situations with her dogs.
We sat down to a table with a manual and a plush dog toy as our dummy pet. It may be one long day, but there was a lot of material to cover. Throughout the session, we learned the basics of properly identifying injuries and dangers for our pets, and how to treat them if those situations were to arise.
It is what I expected from an all day class such as this, but I was struck by the positive energy in the room. Many of those in the class that day were part of Who’s Walking Who’s team as trainers or assistants. There were only 5 of us total and it really allowed us to share thoughts and relevant experience in some of the topics discussed.
And of course, trying to bandage our poor injured dummy pets was a hoot. Poor thing looked so beat up after! Even though it was a plush toy, you get a sense of how in a real emergency what we might need to watch for when treating an animal. They will not be as still for sure.
The day ended with a multiple-choice test and a practical test. Terrible flashbacks to University years – when in doubt, pick C right? For the practical test, we were each given a scenario to treat on our dummy and explained the process.
Scary to read through those scenarios – We all hope to never have to use what we learned that day, but at least we are now equipped to handle these emergencies. Well, once I put together my Pug First Aid kit. Post a picture of that when I have it made.
Keep safe everyone!
Walk’s N Wag Pet First Aid Program: http://www.walksnwags.com/index.php
Who’s Walking Who dog training: http://www.whoswalkingwho.net/