Far Fetched Adventures :: First Aid for Your Furry Friend

Far Fetched Adventures

When I sat down for a plate of tacos with Overland Expo’s Director of Sales, Anthony Sicola, at Expo’s bustling food oasis in Flagstaff last month, I mentioned I was on the lookout for interesting organizations and people to feature on Expedition Portal. He told me I needed to drop in to see Stacey Thomas from Far Fetched Adventures. “She offers first aid training for pets, so when you have a heart attack, your dog can give you CPR.”

Far Fetched Adventures

That, of course, is a joke, but what’s no laughing matter is your furry friend suffering an injury while you are traveling in remote places. Would you know how to do a thorough medical assessment on your pooch and evaluate her vital signs? How about using a first aid kit to treat a burn, wound, or fracture? All this requires specialized knowledge, and we owe it to our pets to be prepared for the possibility. Far Fetched Adventures is here to help.

Founder Stacey Thomas is a veterinarian, EMT, and highly experienced veteran of wilderness search and rescue operations across the American West. She is also the medical educator for the K9 Search and Rescue team in her home base in Arizona. In the short chat I had with her, Dr. Stacey came across as confident, kind, and compassionate, just the person you would want to see rounding a bend in the trail in an emergency.

But she can’t be everywhere at once, and after treating all kinds of trauma, both human and canine, in the backcountry, Dr. Stacey found a perfect opportunity to share some of the knowledge she’s gained over the years. She saw many situations where “a pet owner had to tie up an injured animal high on a mountainside and run all the way back to the trailhead for help, leaving their dog out in the elements” and vulnerable to predators. With no skills or supplies to treat an injury, pet owners can find themselves in a bind, especially if their dog is on the larger side, “There’s no way you’re carrying an injured 60- or 70-pound dog for miles out of the wilderness.”

So Dr. Stacey launched Far Fetched Adventures and her K9 First Responder class, an online training course for anybody who travels in remote places with their dogs, regardless of whether they have any medical training. The set-you-own-pace class covers the basic anatomy of the airway, vasculature, and skeletal systems, teaches you how to take temperature and pulse, as well as how to evaluate respiration and hydration status and how to confidently identify problems. The detailed instructional videos show you how to properly intervene for your dog in the event of mild to severe injuries such as breaks, cuts, bleeding, shock, and more.

Far Fetched Adventures

In addition, Far Fetched offers a custom professional-level field first-aid kit ($245), and the first responder class will arm you with the knowledge to use the materials supplied in it (it’s great for homo sapiens as well as canines). Rescue harnesses for pooches, both large and small, are also available. The cost for the course alone is $299, or $495 in a bundle with the first aid kit. In the event you need to use any of the supplies in the first aid kit, Far Fetched will restock it at no cost. All a very small price to pay for a skill-set that might save your dog’s life.


Read more: Overland Expo West 2024 :: More Gear

Images: Far Fetched Adventures

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Stephan Edwards is the Associate Editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Contact him at edwards@overlandinternational.com and @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.