Basic First Aid for Pets

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PetsFirst aid procedures are not solely for people anymore. Pets are important family members too and as such, an increasing number of pet owners are also taking up first aid training for pets. However, first aid for pets is not and can’t be a substitute for veterinary care. Pet first aid is a crucial step to extending your pet’s life until you can get your beloved Fido to the vet.

Poisoning and Being Exposed to Toxins

One emergency that causes great confusion among pet owners is poisoning. As a rule, any product that’s harmful to people are also harmful pets, like cleaning products and rat poisons. But food typically found in homes can also be bad for your pets so do your research on what these are.

If a pet’s skin or eyes have been exposed to a toxic product, read the label for instructions on what to do when people are exposed and do it to your pet as soon as possible and then bring your pet to the veterinarian.


Under no circumstances should an owner leave their pet in the car on warm days. A car’s interior can easily heat up to dangerous levels, even on mild days. Pets easily suffer from heatstroke and have to be treated immediately to ensure survival.

A pet suffering from heatstroke should be bought to the vet immediately. But if this is not possible, move your pet to shady area away from direct sunlight. Put a cold, wet towel around your pet’s neck and head, taking care not to cover your pet’s nose or mouth. Remove the towel, wet it again, wrap and rewrap it around your pet until it cools down.

You can also keep water running over your pet’s body by using a hose or pouring water directly on your pet’s body. Pay particular attention to the animal’s abdomen and between its hind legs. Massage the legs and sweep the water away once it has absorbed the heat.


Some pets are prone to sudden seizures and while it’s terrifying, you must help your pet get over it safely. Start by removing objects, like furniture, away from your pet so as not to cause further damage to your pet. Never restrain your pet during seizures. Time the seizure and once it has stopped, keep your pet warm, calm and quiet and call your veterinarian.


Most pets are very active and as such, are exposed to fractures and broken bones. When this happens, muzzle your pet and lay your pet down on a flat surface.

Bring your injured pet to the veterinarian. Try to use a stretcher and make sure that your pet is secure. Make sure that you don’t put pressure on the injured area. Some pet owners try to set fractures by using a homemade splint. While the intentions are honourable, bear in mind that this might cause more harm than good so is best to leave it to a veterinarian or a medical personnel with a first aid certification.

A pet that’s no longer breathing is a pet owner’s worse nightmare and one of the reasons why people enroll in CPR courses. Like any emergency procedures, administering CPR can help save a pet’s life, or at the very least, give the pet a chance until the veterinarian arrives.

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