pet safety at homeWe’re talking this month about the importance of pet proofing your yard and garden. There are things that you can do to reduce the chances of your pet having a run in with a snake or another creature. If, despite your best efforts, your pet has a harmful encounter with another creature, it’s important to be aware beforehand of a few things that you can do to deal with the emergency.

Snakebites and beestings. We see a fair amount of snakebites at Town N Country, but the good news is that they are usually not fatal. If you see a snake bite your pet, first get yourself and your dog or cat away from the snake. If you can, pick up your pet instead of having him walk. Try to see if you can identify the snake, or possibly take a picture of it. Administer Benadryl – 1 mg per pound of your pet’s weight. (Here’s where having a first aid kit for your pet is invaluable!) Then call us. We’ll probably ask you to bring the pet in. As much as possible, try to keep the bitten area lower than the heart.

Of course, you may not see the snake strike. If you notice swelling or redness especially on the muzzle or front legs, then it could be a snake bite. Give us a call if you aren’t sure!

If your pet gets stung by a bee or wasp, you may notice that she whines, favors a paw, paws at her face, nibbles at the sting area, or drools. There may also be swelling or red patches on the skin. If you examine the area and see a stinger, use tweezers to remove it. If you don’t have any handy, you can use a credit card to scrape it off the skin. Then make a paste of baking soda and water to soothe the area. Then call us!

Mammal attacks. If your pet is bitten by any mammal, it’s essential that you assume that the attacker has rabies. Bring your injured pet to us, and also call animal control. The first line of defense against rabies is making sure your pet’s rabies shots are up to date. If a rabid animal bites your vaccinated pet, the biggest danger is to you. Wear gloves or put your hand in a plastic bag to keep any of the rabid animal’s saliva from getting into an open wound on your body. Protect yourself, remove your pet from danger, and call us.

How to Stay Calm. It’s important to stay calm in any emergency, but we know that’s much easier said than done. A little planning and education on what to do will go a long way toward helping you keep your cool until you get your pet in to see us. Once you get here, we’ll let our cool take over, and you can rest assured that we will do our very best to help your pet recover quickly.

The great outdoors truly is a great place for you and for your pet. Don’t let the small risk of unpleasant creatures keep you from the benefits of long walks and fresh air. Your pet – and you – will be happier and healthier for it. Consider it another way to keep your pet safe at home.

Read Safe at Home. Part 1.