Top 5 First Aid Books for Pet Parents

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Whether you and your pooch are the outdoorsy type who thrive on hikes and games of extreme Frisbee, or are home-bodies who enjoy a snuggle on the sofa and a car ride over a walk, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re going to be googling the phone number for the local emergency clinic or reaching for the first-aid box. Yes, if it can be eaten or stepped on, if it bites or stings, our pooch will find a way to come in contact with it. And when it happens, help can actually be closer than you thought.

Given the plethora of first aid books and websites that cover every disease known to man (and dog) we decided to short list those that cater specifically to our four-legged family members and that offer simple, practical advice for the non-medically-trained.

In no particular order, here are the top five First Aid books for dogs:

  1. The First Aid Companion for Dogs  CatsThe First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats by Amy D. Shojai: Class this next one under the “everything you ever wanted to know about…” heading. The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats delivers the basics in first-aid such as how to clean a wound and make a splint as well as identifies which over-the-counter meds can help or harm your pet. The author further gives tips on how to stock your own pet emergency medicine chest and identifies many of the more common injuries and conditions.

Related: How to Perform the Dog Heimlich Maneuver

  1. Dog First Aid - A Field GuideField Guide to Dog First Aid: Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog by Randy Acker: For the true outdoorsy type and their sporting dog, the Field Guide to Dog First Aid: Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog touches on everything from how to deal with heat stroke to tackling snakes bites, broken bones and even gunshot wounds. Naturally this Swiss-Army Knife of first aid manuals is sized to be pocket-friendly and carried with the owner when out in the wild. It identifies not only treatments but also symptoms of a dog in distress.
  2. Pet First Aid Cats and DogsPet First Aid: Cats & Dogs by American Red Cross: If your pet typically ventures no further than his own back yard, the Pet First Aid: Cats & Dogs is the perfect addition to your living room shelf. This handy book tackles emergency issues such as CPR, choking, poisoning, bleeding, and trauma, providing the pet owner with guidance on how to control the situation in advance of seeking emergency treatment.

Related: Basic First Aid Tips for Dogs

  1. Dog Owners Home Veterinary HandbookDog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook by Debra M. Eldredge: One of the original guides to pet healthcare is the best-selling Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook; the go-to reference book for pet owners for more than 27 years. Revised and expanded, the new fourth edition is fully illustrated and includes step-by-step instructions on how to handle common canine ailments while encompassing everything from care to nutrition to holistic treatments.
  2. Pet Emergency Pocket GuidePet Emergency Pocket Guide by InforMed: Tackling the logistical challenges that crop up during evacuations, emergencies and even pet travel, the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide delivers practical, complete planning, response and survival guidelines that can be adapted to any situation including natural disasters. Inventory and kit checklists help pet parents prepare for the unexpected and the new Second Edition even includes a new section for ‘Pocket Pets,’ covering ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, rabbits, birds, fish, turtles and snakes.

Mary SimpsonMary Simpson is an animal-loving writer and communications professional.  A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include orange tabby Chico, tuxedo Simon, and jet black Owen.  She enjoys running, politics, exploring local wine regions and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.