Today was a bit different for a Saturday. Today I was at Pampered Pets grooming salon in Greenock for a pet first aid training day. Just like human first aid certificates, pet certificates need to be updated and refreshed every few years. Guidance changes, techniques and procedures can change and we can end up just forgetting some things so its always a good idea to keep up to date.
Todays course was run through ProTrainings by a lovely groomer called Christina. The class was small – just me and one other – so it was more like a really good conversation about animal care and wellbeing.
All the basics were covered including CPR, bleeding, fractures, burns, transporting and handling sick/injured animals, common diseases and illnesses, first aid kits, parasites etc. As groomers we can see dogs with a whole range of conditions and so we really should know the basics of how to, for example, look after a dog in our care who has epilepsy or diabetes; or the risks that older dogs versus puppies are likely to face being in a salon; or what to do in the event of an accident, whether that be in the salon or just out and about. It all adds up to increasing our knowledge which can only lead to a kinder and safer grooming enviroment.
Nobody wants to have to do CPR for real, but getting the chance to practice it in a safe and controlled space is such an important thing and “CasPeR” the CPR dog is on hand to help out! Unlike “Resusci Annie”, the Casper CPR Dog has a function that lets you practice finding a pulse (on a dog, this best place to find a pulse is on the inside of the back leg) as well as doing breaths and chest compressions.
Pet first aid has come far in terms of science and research but still has a good way to go. The more courses there are and people wanting to learn these skills the more mainstream it will become. It is a skill every pet owner should have and should be a requirement for every pet professional.
Do you carry a basic first aid kit when you are out on walks with your dog? I’ll be honest and say that I generally dont. I have friends who do, but for the most part it hasn’t been something I have thought about. I have supplies in the salon – that goes without saying – but should something happen when I am away from home with my own dogs, I would be less than prepared. That will all be changing from now on. I will also be stocking first aid kits to buy in the Wagging Tails store.
We should never stop learning, no matter what profession or line of work we are in, and even in our daily lives. Nobody ever knows it all, otherwise what would be the point?