Teddy Bear with Bandages

First Aid: How to Apply Bandages at Home

Applying bandages to your pet can be a stressful experience for both you and them. To ensure that you both remain calm and that the bandage is applied properly, follow these simple guidelines:

What you should do first

  • If your pet has a cut that’s bleeding, make getting them to a clean and safe environment your first priority.
  • Your health and safety must come first, so don’t put yourself at risk if your pet becomes aggressive. Apply pressure to any bleeding wounds with clean absorbent material to stop the blood flow.
  • Bring them to the vet as soon as possible, or get advice over the phone.

How to apply the bandage

  • You can find bandaging materials in any human first aid box, but if you don’t have one of these, a clean tea-towel/t-shirt and other household items can be used.
  • First, try to clean the wound. Sterile saline can be found in most first aid kits. Boiled water left to cool can also be used rather than tap water.
  • Place a non-stick dressing over the wound – this could be a clean towel or sheet, or a dressing found in a first-aid box. Continue to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. If blood seeps through, apply another layer and maintain pressure. Then apply a firm bandage by wrapping cotton wool around the leg, body or tail depending on where the injury has occurred. This should be done in one or two layers.
  • If the wound is over the rib cage, be careful not to tie the bandage too tight as this may impair breathing.
  • If you’re bandaging a leg, include the foot in the bandage to prevent swelling. Put small pieces of cotton wool between your dog’s toes to stop them rubbing together and then bandage the foot. Sometimes a baby/child’s sock is a useful bandage on legs or paws.
  • The bandage can be taped in place. Masking tape, Sellotape or electrical tape can be useful if you don’t have first-aid tape.
  • You should be able to run a finger around the top of the bandage. If not it’s too tight therefore remove and start again. If your pet is bothered by the bandage or the area above and/or below the bandage is showing signs of swelling this could indicate the bandage is too tight.
  • Take your pet to the vet to get them checked over as soon as possible.
  • Never leave a bandage on for more than 24 hours.

If you’d like to learn more about effective pet care, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01934 843381.

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