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Pet First Aid Guide

Pet First Aid Guide

Pets tend to be energetic explorers but don't necessarily have the best common sense. For this article, our Richmond vets will discuss first aid. What to do when your pet gets into trouble.

First Aid for Pets

It is important to know how to handle a health emergency when they occur to your pet so that you can stabilize them to get them to a vet.

First aid for pets is similar to first aid for a human. Use the “Dr ABCs”

Danger – keep yourself and others around you safe.

Response – check if your pet responds to their name or touch.

Airway – is their airway clear?

Breathing – are they breathing?

Circulation – do they have a pulse or heartbeat?

Send – someone to ask for help!

CPR for Pets

The first concern is always are they breathing. Brain damage and death happen quickly if they are not breathing. For cats and dogs, the process is similar to the process on humans.

Check if they are breathing and try to find a heartbeat.

If they are not breathing check the air passage is unobstructed.

If there is no heartbeat begin chest compression at around 100 to 120 compression per minute.

Do 30 compression and give rescue breaths.

Close the pet's mouth and breath through their nose.

Check every 2 minutes for a heartbeat/independent breathing.

Get your pet to the vet, and keep up CPR on route to the vet or until your pet is breathing on its own.

If your pet starts breathing on their own you should still take them to the vet.

First Aid Kit for Pets

Having a pet first aid kit can be very helpful and is not that different from a humans first aid kit. We recommend having at least:

  • Bandages
  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Wound dressing
  • Self-adhesive tape
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Foil blanket
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • A blanket to use as a stretcher or to immobilize them.


  • Remember “Dr ABCs”.
  • CPR for most pet is like the human version but breath through their nose.
  • Use common sense and best judgment.
  • When in doubt, call your emergency vet clinic.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our vets in Richmond today if you have concerns about what to do incase of an emergency for you precious pet.

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