Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

In this lesson, you'll be learning about cat and dog burn care, including the difference between serious and superficial wounds, and how you should handle each. At the end of the lesson, we'll provide you with a Word about pets and lightning strikes.

Fortunately, burns are quite uncommon for dogs and cats. However, the biggest risks to your pet, in the event of a burn, include:

  • Secondary infection
  • Fluid loss
  • Electrolyte imbalances

For these reasons, burns should be taken very seriously, and most pets who suffer a burn injury should be properly evaluated by your veterinarian.

Having said that, the severity of burn injuries can vary greatly. Some burn wounds can be superficial. These wounds can be seen as fur that has been singed away or a reddened patch of skin that may look a bit raw.

Pro Tip: If your pet has a superficial burn and that wound is confined to a small area, it might be appropriate to treat the wound at home and closely monitor your pet for any other serious signs of trouble, like infection.

However, if that burn wound involves a larger surface area on your pet or is a deeper burn wound – meaning you notice blistering or charring of your pet's skin – you need to get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How to Treat a Superficial Burn Wound at Home

Again, even though we've mentioned this repeatedly, it bears mentioning once more – make sure the scene is secure and that it's safe to approach your pet if you suspect he or she has suffered a burn wound.

  1. Begin by checking your pet's vital signs. Pay particular attention to his or her respiratory system. A pet that has been in a fire will likely be at risk of suffering from smoke inhalation. If your pet is showing any breathing abnormalities, this can be a life-threatening situation and deserves an immediate trip to see the vet. Skip the burn wound care for now; the respiratory situation takes precedence.
  2. If your pet seems to be breathing normally, you can cool off any burned areas with cool water. Do not use ice water or ice. Your goal here is to stop the spread of any more heat. A burn may continue to produce more heat for a while after the actual incident.
  3. Once your pet's burn is thoroughly cooled off, wrap him or her in a towel or blanket and transport your pet to the veterinarian for further evaluation and care.

Warning: Burns are not the type of injury to take lightly, and there's just so much you can do at home. A trip to the vet will almost always be warranted, whether or not you decide to treat a superficial wound before going.

A Word About Pets and Lightning Strikes

Master Instructor Arden Moore knows the incredible odds of being struck by lightning, and yet, it happened anyway. And it happened while she was walking her two dogs.

If you're interested in reading her harrowing personal account of the incident, you can do so here: Lighting Strikes with Pets.

Arden's experience prompted her to learn more about how lightning strikes occur, beginning with the five types of lightning strikes.

  1. Direct
  2. Side flash
  3. Ground current (the type she and her two dogs experienced)
  4. Conduction
  5. Streamers

If you follow that link above, Arden also shares her tips for avoiding the kind of trouble she found herself in. Plus, the story itself is also worth a few minutes. And if you're worried about a happy ending, don't be. Everyone survived the lightning strike just fine.