Pet First Aid

A First Aid course is a good way to prepare to help a friend in need, so why not take a Pet First Aid course to better look after your beloved pet?

Pet First Aid - it may be a new idea to some people! We’ve all heard of first aid courses for people – most of us have done a course at some point whether for school or the workplace. But what about first aid for your pets?.

Owners that have basic pet first aid knowledge are better able to give their beloved pet (or another animal) a fighting chance in an emergency which can help keep your pet alive, alleviate pain and suffering and help prevent further harm when transporting to the nearest vet.

As with any of us, accidents can and do happen to your pets. Some estimates say about 90% of all pets will experience some type of emergency during their lifetime and up to 60% of veterinary visits can be emergency in nature! Furthermore, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death among pre-senior dogs and cats.

If your pet suddenly began to choke on a toy, ate something they shouldn’t have, was hit by a car, had a seizure, chewed through a cord and was choked, impaled themselves, was burned, had an allergic reaction to a bee sting or spider bite, cut their paw open on some rocks or suffered heatstroke (just to name a few)… would you know what to do in those first critical moments? You can’t call 111 – you have to be the first responder!

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 1 out of 4 pets would survive if just one pet first aid technique was applied before getting emergency veterinary care. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid and CPR can mean the difference between a temporary and permanent disability for your pet, between a quick recovery and a long recuperation, between expensive veterinary bills and reasonable home care and possibly even between life and death.

A good pet first aid class will teach you CPR and first aid skills and how to recognize potentially dangerous situations so that you can take steps to help prevent your pet from becoming ill or injured. You will also gain a better awareness of your pet’s well-being by learning how to perform routine examinations and assessments of every part of your pet’s body, including how to check their vital signs such as heart rate, breathing, temperature and capillary refill time - becoming familiar with what is “normal” for your pet will better enable you to detect warning signs and early detection makes it more likely that it can be treated before becoming more serious.

Having this knowledge and skills will help you to prepare for and remain calm during an emergency. Think of it as an insurance policy – you hope you will never need to use it but it will give you the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be able to help your pet in an emergency.

If you would like to invest in a little knowledge to help save your pet’s life, check out PET First Aid & Training (NZ) Ltd ( - they are the first company to provide a New Zealand specific animal first aid course. The course is written by vets, is concise and easy to follow. They also offer other courses on canine body language and keeping yourself or children safe around dogs.