Basic first aid tips for your animals


Knowing some basic first aid and having a kit easily accessible could just save your pets life.

Here we will cover some basic first aid tips and some basic essentials you should have in your first aid kit. Be sure to ask your vet on any specific items your pet may need due to allergies and also keep in mind different animals need some specific items. Horses and livestock will need certain items that your dogs and cats won’t. Just for example it would be wise to have on hand for horses a hoof pick and banamine or for cattle you may need scour-ease and nutri-drench with tubing. I have found the best container to use for a kit is a toolbox with a removable tray or fold out shelves for easy access. So on that note I have compiled a list of some essentials.

  • Gauze and vet wrap/bandages
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Scalpel
  • Tweezers
  • Latex gloves
  • Lubricant (petroleum jelly)
  • Veterinary thermometer
  • Wound antiseptic ointment or spray such as blu-kote or neosporin
  • Rubbing alcohol or iodine
  • Syringes of different sizes and both oral and needle
  • Eye wash
  • Towels
  • Small battery operated hair trimmer
  • Epsom salts
  • Cornstarch
  • Timer or stop watch
  • A flashlight
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Treats specific for your pet

All these items can be sourced from your local vet and pet store. If anything is not in stock it can easily be found online. Now you have your kit ready, make sure to store it in an easily accessible place and add on the inside of your lid a sticker with your vets name and contact details for quick access in case of an emergency for anyone that may look after your pet.

So onto some first aid care tips.  As most of my clients pets are dogs I will be referring to the care of them but most of these tips apply to other animals also.

It is very handy to know your individual pets average resting heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature. In case of your pet becoming ill, like heat exhaustion in dogs or colic in horses, monitoring change in their HRT will assist your vet in diagnosing the issue and responding quickly to help your pet.

Always remain calm!

I cannot stress this enough, your pet can pick up on your stress and the calmer you are the more they will be. In most situations it is best to immediately get your vet on the phone and while talking tend to your pet with your first aid kit. Choking is one instance where you won’t have time. If you think your dog is choking gently restrain him and use both hands to open the mouth and look inside and if you can see something lodged carefully using your fingers and remove the problem. If you are unable to remove it or nothing can be seen and you are certain something is lodged inside, the Heimlich maneuver can be used.

Amongst some of the other most common emergencies are poisoning and heat exhaustion. If you suspect your pet is suffering from poisoning immediately call your vet or their after hours contact for advice.

Heat exhaustion and dehydration may be able to be treated at home but call your vet and let them know your pets symptoms and they will advice you on wether to bring your pet in or not. To help your pet offer plenty of water, you can possibly add salt free bone or chicken broth to encourage your dog to drink it and some dogs will take better to it if you offer by hand. Try get your pet to the shade or better cold floors eccspecially tiles work well. As tempting as it is to give your dog iceblocks, put the hose on them or in a bath please be careful, lowering your dog’s skin and surface temperature too abruptly might actually result in further heating of his internal organs, which will exacerbate the issue. Instead, recognizing that you dog’s feet help with the regulation of body temperature, have him enter the water slowly. Let him stand with just his feet in cold water for a while.

Monitor your pets temperature and respiratory rate and make sure they come down to your pets normal level. To check for dehydration pinch the skin between the shoulder blades. If it stays in a tented position and doesn’t bounce straight back your pet may be dehydrated. The longer it stays tented the more severe the dehydration.

Knowing the early signs of an issue with your pet is vital. We will talk about some of the most common symptoms of the issues we have mentioned above.

Heat exhaustion: Collapsing, body temperature of 104° F (40°c) or above, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, wobbliness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, bright red gums and increased salivation.

Poisoning: Dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, bleeding externally or internally and seizure.

Choking: struggling to breath, pawing at their face, pacing, wheezing and fainting.

Your pet may exhibit one, some or all of the above symptoms.

One more thing I want to talk about before i wrap up is moving an injured pet.  If your pet has injured itself, for example has been hit by a car and cannot move. Do not hug or get in your dogs face. All dogs can lash out when in pain so be careful. Always fully assess the situation before you move him. Try to stabilise the injury with a towel, splint or bandages before you try to pick them up. Support as much of the body as you can while lifting into your car, if you have a larger dog make sure to get help. Keep your pet in a small space to minimise the risk of further injury.

If you have made it this far thankyou for taking the time to read. If you have any questions or comments about things I have covered or not covered please don’t hesitate to contact me. So many health issues can arise but i wanted to cover some of the most common but less spoken about issues. I am not a vet so always reccomend first seeking advice from a vet but I am trained in first aid so can help direct you with certain situations.

Why S & N Pet Services?

Why S & N Pet Services? So I have been asked this question a few times now and it is meant in one of two ways.

Why are we called S & N Pet Services? And why should i use S & N Pet Services?

Well let’s start with why you should use our services.

I could go on about qualifications, references and experience but those aren’t the most important factor. They certainly do help though and are definately necessary. You can see all this information on our website. 🙂 But what really is important and a big reason why you should use our services is passion.

We may be a small buisness but when you support small businesses you are supporting a dream. It has been my dream to run my own company and have that company be what I am passionate about and love doing. It brings so much happiness into my life to care for animals and i wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Between our passion and our experience, you can be assured your pets are receiving the most high quality care so you can relax and enjoy a stress free time away without worrying if your pets are ok at home.

We understand your pets are family members and we will treat them like our own when in our care.

And this is what leads me to the other question. Why are we called S & N Pet Services? And that answer is simple. Family!

My family is everything to me, my husband Chris, my dog Achilles and my children Summer and Noah. See where I’m going with this?

And this is my foundation, family, love and passion.

Hope everyone’s weekend has been enjoyable and I look forward to more meet and greets next week. I have a few availabilities for next week meet and greets and Christmas holidays are filling up fast so contact me to book today!

Surviving the summer

With temperatures rising and summer currently jumping upon us, we need to know what we can do to help our pets deal with the heat.

Dehydration is one of the biggest concerns for our pets during summer. Access to fresh water is so important. It is best to place your dogs water bowl in a place where it will be out of direct sulight throughout the entire day.  Its even more preferable to provide your pet with multiple water bowls in different locations so that you will always give your pet access to water out of direct sunlight as well as a backup source if one is tipped over or has been drunk.

Please be cautious using pet drinking fountains. The water left sitting in a hose can exceed temperatures of 140° and can possibly injure your pet if it gets a spray of that water straight into it’s face. Automatic water bowls also should be used with caution. If not maintained and checked daily you could risk your pet having no water if something breaks, as people tend to rely on the ‘automatic’ function.

A dog panting is completely normal as they do so to cool themselves down, however you need to recognise the signs of excessive panting. This could be cause for concern and indicate possible dehydration. These symptoms include

  • Pets saliva being thick and sticky
  • Tounge is bright red
  • Extremely dry nose and/or gums
  • Lethargy

Misting systems, an undercover tiled area, cooling mats, Paddling pool to cool off feet and bringing your pets inside are other ways you can help your pet beat the heat.

Walking your dog on those hot summer days should be limited to early mornings or late evenings. Not only can your pet get sunburnt, the hot pavement can burn your pets paws. If unsure if it’s too hot, place your hand against the pavement. If you can’t hold your hand there for at least 5 seconds it is too hot!

Different size dogs and breeds handle the heat differently and some might tolerate higher temperatures but a general rule of thumb is as follows…

Let’s talk animals left in cars. Please don’t ever leave your pets in a car. During the hot summer days temperatures can soar and it can take just minutes for your pet to suffer from heat exhaustion and lead to death. If you ever see a pet locked in a car please be cautious. As tempting as it is to break a window to rescue the pet, you could face charges for the damages. It is best to stay by the car and call the NRMA who will make it priority 1 and come out immediately and handle the situation safely.

Keeping your horses and livestock cool during these times may not be as easy but by providing them adequate water and shelter will help. Good quality food is also important. When food is digested it causes heat production which will contribute to the animal’s heat load, so it is important to provide animals with high quality feed to maintain nutrient intake without the excessive heat production. Feed early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are not as high.

Another fun thing to come with soaring temperatures is snakes. Protecting your pets from snakes is highly important. Keeping your yard and fence line tidy and limiting places where snakes can hide is vital. Keep your grass mowed and bushes pruned. If you live in an area where snakes are common it is best to invest in snake proof fencing to help keep them out of your yard.

If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake, keep them as calm and quiet as possible and take them to a vet immediately. The chance of recovery is much greater if treated early. If your vet is some distance away you can apply a firm bandage over and around the bite site to apply pressure and help slow the venom spreading to the heart. Do NOT wash the wound. If you are able to identify the type of snake, this will assist your vet so they can administer anti venom.

And lastly let’s look after our local wildlife as well. By leaving out water for them. Bird baths and buckets of water could be the difference in saving their life in the event of a fire or extreme temperatures. Putting a stick in the water also can help smaller animals out of the water if they fall in.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you with your pets this summer. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

Responsible pet ownership

Owning a pet is a privilege not a right.

All pet owners need to be aware of their responsibilities to keep not only themselves safe but also wildlife, the environment and other pets and their owners.

Taking on responsibility for a pet is a big commitment and should only be taken on board if you can provide all the necessities for it’s entire lifetime.

  • Adequate food and water
  • Preventative health care
  • Love
  • Appropriate exercise and mental stimulation
  • A clean and safe home environment
  • Appropriate socializing and training.

If a time may come when circumstances cause you to not be able to care for your pet anymore, please seek assistance and search for the best possible place for your pet to go. Do not abandon them or take them to a pound where they will most likely be euthanized. There are many rescue shelters and organisations to help, usually breed specific.

As a responsible pet owner you should

  • Have your pets microchipped and registered with your local council.
  • Have an identification tag on the pets collar.
  • Not allow your pets to stay or become feral
  • Limit your pets reproduction and reproduce responsibly.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place for them.

All pets deserve to have the best life possible and you can provide them with that by following the information here.