Berks and Bucks franchisee attends Dog First Aid course

Sunny attends a local Dog First Aid Course

Sunny Montague, Wagging Tails SL
Monday, May 7, 2018

I am often asked for referrals for various dog related services in my area so I’m always interested in seeing how other industry professionals operate. Marianne from Dog First Aid contacted me a few months ago to tell me about her Dog First Aid course which she offers across Berks & Bucks. She very kindly invited me to attend her course in Reading to see her and her delightful Parsons Terrier, Possum in action. I went along on the very first sunny day this year so I must confess that I was a little reluctant to be in a classroom situation rather than outdoors. All I can say is…it was time very well spent and I’m so glad that I went. The time flew past and I learned many interesting things as well as having a great refresher on my existing First Aid qualification which I gained through Animal Aiders.

Marianne is very softly spoken with a gentle demeanour but once she starts talking, you find yourself spellbound. As she is a practicing vet, she is able to illustrate all of the scenarios with real life situations and outcomes which she has experienced. Marianne began the session by telling us about two dogs; Lancelot and Archer who had both been saved by their owners as a direct result of attending her First Aid course. She then went on to cover the legal obligations of dog owners and professionals under the Animal Welfare and the Veterinary Surgeons Act. After this she explained why it’s important to consider human safety before dog safety in terms of procedure.

Once we’d gone through the “legal” bits, Marianne used the delightful and very obliging Possum to talk to us about the importance of a weekly full body examination of our dogs. She explained the concept of muscle memory and how this affects and assists us when we come across something unusual in our dogs.

Marianne also discussed signs of stress in dogs which was fascinating, particularly the many nuances of a “Wagging Tail”. We also covered topics such as how to remove a tick safely and why it’s important to do so and techniques for safely breaking up a dog fight; again using Possum to demonstrate.

Marianne went on to cover vital signs and how these are variable according to size and breed. She also explained how fitness and weight can affect breathing and heart rate. She stressed the importance of knowing what is normal for our own dogs.

The advice has just changed for CPR in dogs. Marianne told us that the new advice is to start with two minutes of chest compressions BEFORE checking airways.  You can find out more about this on Marianne’s FB page.

Marianne demonstrating CPR

Marianne then covered various First Aid scenarios that we may come across and referenced practical examples to demonstrate what she was talking about and possible outcomes. The fact that she could give examples from her own experience as opposed to hypothetical examples really brought the session to life and had the room captivated and interested.

A few fascinating facts you may be interested in:

Dogs can only see blue and yellow. She advised that some dogs may be attracted to household bleach products as many are packaged in bright yellow bottles.

Marianne also said the main cause for dog burns is due to dogs jogging their owners when sitting having a cuppa with them on the sofa. She has now banned Possum from joining her when she sits down for her favourite brew!

Dogs smell our fear through our pheromones which is why it is important to actually remain physically calm when reacting to an emergency. We discussed techniques to help us to do so.

Finally, Marianne covered the concept of Prevention and Preparation to avoid getting to a point where First Aid is required. She gave lots of practical advice including alternatives to walking with dogs during exceptionally hot days.

I spoke to various other participants at the course to find out why they were there. Some were dog industry professionals such as dog walkers, whilst many were owners who felt that it was important to know how to treat their beloved dogs should the need arise.

If you are considering attending a course for professional reasons or for the benefit of your own beloved fur baby check out Marianne’s courses which she runs across Berks & Bucks. You can find her details and more information on her website.


Berkshire dog boarding Franchisee Sunny Montague with her Springer Spaniel Pickles

Sunny Montague and Pickles own and run the Wagging Tails SL Franchise offering dog boarding to owners in the SL postcode area. Find out more about their Berkshire and Buckinghamshire dog boarding service