It’s not just humans who have accidents and get sick. Pets do too.
Ever wondered what you would do if your dog needed first aid?
Two qualified Manchester women are teaching first aid for dogs to owners and businesses that cater for our canine friends.
Gemma Vale is dog mum to the ever mischievous and charismatic Geoff, a gorgeous Miniature Schnauzer.
“You always know where you stand with dogs. I love that I’m teaching people to be a doggie hero,” said Gemma. “I was making sandwiches the other day and my dog jumped up to see what I was up to and got his paw and nails caught in the kitchen drawer. I would have probably panicked but, thanks to my experience, I knew what to do and what technique to action.”
She has been trained by members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to become a qualified Dog First Aider, covering the Manchester area.
“I receive messages from clients who have used techniques I taught them on my courses to save their dog in a crisis situation – and it’s so rewarding. I have cried reading some emails.
“Dog people are always nice people.”
A lifelong animal lover, Gemma grew up around dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses to name but a few. Since owning Geoff, however, she says that her life has changed tremendously. Their time is spent discovering new places and creating new adventures to give Geoff the best life possible – and they are enjoying every minute of it.
“Geoff [Gemma’s Miniature Schnauzer] gets his own little invitation to my friends’ kids Birthday parties – they all love him. He’s quite the character and everybody knows him.”
Gemma is an active member in the local dog community, and feels she owes it to Geoff that she attended what was to become a life changing Dog First Aid course. She enjoyed it so much that she was led on an exciting journey to successfully obtain the rights to operate Dog First Aid in the Manchester area.
Qualified new recruit Yvonne Jones is a perpetual dog lover and has the mug, t-shirt and the Dog First Aid certificate to prove it.
She covers the Bolton and Wigan areas of Greater Manchester and has also been trained by members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to become a qualified Dog First Aider
“Being a dog lover all my life, I’ve always wanted to work with dogs” says Yvonne, who previously worked in insurance and accounting.
“A spell of helping out with fundraising and dog rescue fuelled my passion and I am very happy to be spreading the Dog First Aid message. Until a year ago, I didn’t even realise it was a thing!”
Yvonne, 45, is mum to a 15 year old human boy and two “slightly less troublesome” dogs – Chewie, four-and-a-half year-old a Pug/Shitzu cross and Indie, a two-and-a-half-year old Pug/Shitzu/Pekingese cross – “or a Heinz 57 as they used to be called in my day.”
She also has a rescue cat called Socks who she says is “actually the boss”.
“Having two very accident prone dogs myself, I was worried about not knowing what to do if they had a serious accident,” says Yvonne. “After Chewie nearly choked to death on a treat which was given to him by a stranger in the pub one day, I realised that I needed to get some training.
“I did my own dog first aid course and instantly felt comfortable that I would know what to do if the need arose. I also knew after attending my course that teaching dog first aid to others was what I wanted to do so others would have the same comfort. Having been a trainer in previous jobs, I am now combining my love of dogs with my love of teaching others.
“Animal welfare is such a passion of mine,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to work with animals in some way and, having two doggos of my own, Dog First Aid is the perfect enabler for me, especially if I can help save their lives.”
If you are a dog professional or even just a conscientious dog owner, Dog First Aid Franchise Ltd is the ONLY UK company that offers Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited emergency canine care and your CPD certificate is valid for 3 years.
Gemma and Yvonne feel it is of great importance and responsibility that dog professionals and dog owners are confident in being able to provide life saving skills as a first responder until arriving safely into the care of the vet to give the best chance of survival. Gemma and Yvonne feel strongly that it is essential for any dog owner and professional to have, at the very least, up to date first aid knowledge.