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Hot paw summer: Okanagan woman teaches importance of knowing pet first aid

Maddy Ivanoff Pet Services teaches pet first aid in every corner of the Okanagan

With warmer weather comes hikes, beach days, and other summer activities.

The Okanagan is full of animal lovers who love to bring their pets along for the adventure.

Madison Ivanoff runs Maddy Ivanoff Pet Services and says our furry friends are just as prone to danger as we are.

“The first one is definitely heat. We have to be so very careful with the heat that we have in the Okanagan here. Our pets, they come equipped with the little jackets 24/7, so we have to really keep that in mind. They don’t wear shoes either. The heat hazard alone is a huge one that we need to look out for before we even consider bringing our pet out into the summer.”

Remember the ‘Too hot to trot’ rule - if you can’t keep your hand flat on the pavement for seven seconds, it’s too hot for your pets’ paws.

“Once we get out there, there are so many things from bee stings and snake bites as we’re hiking around, slivers, broken bones. Perhaps a pet even accidentally darting in front of a vehicle and getting hit by a car. There’s so many different things to look out for and so many different possibilities of injury.”

Ivanoff teaches pet first aid throughout the Okanagan. When first learning it for herself she was surprised at how different first aid practices are between species.

“I took a human CPR course after, but I was unaware of the fact that there are so many differences and I thought a lot of the knowledge was really transferable… Sometimes us trying our best can unfortunately cause more harm than we intend to.”

Procedures like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver are not the only things that vary between species. Ivanoff says it’s important to be aware of what medications are dangerous for your pet.

“The topical solutions that we apply to ourselves don’t necessarily translate to our pets. For instance, when we cut ourselves and we want to sanitize it we would use a hydrogen peroxide. That is actually extremely dangerous to use for your animals.”

Ivanoff says medications are typically species-specific and pet owners should include the proper pet medications in their disaster kits.

Ivanoff hosts both private and public pet first aid courses in every corner of the Okanagan. Classes can be booked by contacting Ivanoff through her social media.

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Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

A video journalist with Black Press Media. I recently made the exciting move from my radio anchor position at AM 1150 to this new venture.
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