Every pet owner that has animals they allow to go outside should be prepared for them to be attacked. It is a very real possibility – and one that you should be prepared to face, should the occasion arise. There are a few precautions that can be taken to prevent attack from other animals and humans. And there are a few basic first aid items you should have on hand for minor problems
For those pets that have been declawed, obviously they should not be allowed outside or around aggressive animals unattended. Small dogs and newborns should never be left alone without being inside a safe area such as a large box (no lid on top) with their mother. This precaution allows little ones to grow unhampered and within limits. Nobody wants to have to search the entire house for a lost kitten or puppy – or find them stuck under a piece of furniture!
Inspect your pet’s paws and underbelly when they come in from a romp in a public park or just after a walk. Randomly checking them while watching TV or at bedtime is usually a calm time that works well for inspections.
Sadly, animal abuse is a fact of life…and it can happen anywhere. If there are children in the neighborhood, especially next door, be sure to have a fenced yard and do not tie up the animal in that yard. When you let your dog out at night in your backyard, check the time; if it is late, go outside with your dog so it doesn’t disturb your neighbors or allow mean-spirited people to “get back” at your dog because it is alone. If a person decides they want to target your pet from the other side of your fence, you pet is a sitting duck tied to a stake or dog run pole. Give our pet plenty of room to run around and a doghouse to use as a safe haven from outside forces, whether it is people or bad weather.
Pet First Aid Kit
From time to time, your pet may step on a pecan shell or get a scratch from your fence. In those instances, it is important to watch for infection. Sometimes you can stave off infection if you notice the limp or scratch immediately. Using a cleansing liquid such as Chlorohexidine Flush can help keep the small wound clean. There is no alcohol in this product so it doesn’t sting your pet when applied.
Some pets develop staph (Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus intermediu) in their wounds and on their skin. If you notice puffiness or discharge, your pet may have it. Using Mupirocin antibiotic ointment should help within a day or two. If not, go see your vet to have the problem diagnosed.
These two items are usually prescribed by a veterinarian, they will discuss their use with you once prescribed for a “normal” incident such as skin infection, but a little goes a long way and should be kept in your pet first aid kit for minor emergencies.
Serious Attack Injuries
If a pet is especially vocal when they move, or they try to get your attention (if this is unusual behavior for your particular pet), they may have an injury from a cat or dog fight from an animal that has gotten into your yard. For tom cats, this is especially likely during the spring when they are in heat and looking to establish mating territories. Cats may come from a mile away if your town’s feline population is limited.
Injuries can range from a random scratch or bitten ear tip to deep gouges that need stitching at the vet. Take a good look at the injury and if it is deep, you must take your pet to veterinarian immediately. If a wound is particularly deep – whether it requires stitches or not – be prepared to purchase a pet cone to keep your pet from chewing on it the first few days. Cones come in 4 sizes and should be adjusted to allow the pet to eat, drink, and cough, but not be removed by the pet.
Lastly, any head or broken bone injury should definitely receive immediate veterinary attention. Two basic indications would be if your pet is staggering or walking poorly.
Of course, being aware of the surroundings in which your pet lives is the best way to prevent injuries in the first place. Provide a safe environment for them and they may never be injured – and that is the primary goal.