Basic First Aid for Pets – Start Here

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Most everyone knows the basics for first aid, but what about for the members of our extended family?

Dog eyes

Pets have an interesting way of becoming part of the family. We take them everywhere and attend to their needs. And what is better than getting home after a long day to see how excited they are to see us!

I recently was thinking about this as I took a first aid class for dogs years ago. I have been asking around and have learned that not many people know how to perform basic CPR, much less use it on their animals. I hope to get you thinking about the basic first aid for your pets and to give you ideas on how to get started. And having a few dog pictures never hurt either! We all need to start somewhere, and here is the beginning to learn about basic first aid for our pets. Let’s get started!

Take a Class or Get Extra Training

Cute Puppy

Like I said earlier, it is super important to take a CPR and/or first aid class that is for your pet. A quick look online, and you can find local vet offices that offer this. Another option is to take the course online.

I like using the Red Cross as a resource, and they have a section for classes. I have found the courses they offer tend to be located in major cities. On their site, they also have a section that lists out the steps you can take to perform basic CPR.

The classes I see most are for cat and dog CPR. Here you can learn things, such as how to check for a heartbeat, give chest compression, how to give rescue breaths, and more.

Something I remember that I found interesting is you give breaths through their nose (and make sure you have their mouth closed).

First Aid Kit Ideas

Something you might find interesting is a lot of the items that are listed below, you already have. I have mentioned this before, but I like to have a separate kit that is specifically prepared for my furry partner. This list is items to get you ready to go.

(sadly I have to mention this, please remember to contact your veterinarian to make sure this is OK to perform or give to your animal/pet)

  • Disposable gloves
  • Ice pack
  • Sheers, Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape and gauze pads
  • Alcohol wipes
  • For dogs, having hydrogen peroxide (3%) can be used to induce vomiting (again check with your vet first)
  • Small flashlight
  • Extra towels
  • Saline eye solution or an extra eye dropper

Other Thoughts

It is always essential to have an emergency plan. It is also important to include what you will do with your animals. Having phone numbers that are not just on your phone, but also a hard copy, to locations like your vet and to out of the area locations you might attend.

Other vital numbers will include Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-44350 (also the Poison Control Center 800-222-1222 for you and me), you might not need it, but it’s nice to have it just in case!

I have a few friends that have insurance for their extended family members, aka pet insurance. Having a medical bill for yourself can be extremely expensive, and it’s the same for your animals. It’s even worse if you need to go after hours. My old roommate, who was a vet tech, used to tell me how expensive these bills can add up to. So again, it’s just something extra to think about.

Family Dinners and PresentsThanksgiving turkey

I know for most of us the holidays are over, but there are still other holidays that are celebrated. And our animals always tend to get into everything. The cookies, wrapping paper, tissue paper (my old partner used to love that stuff), and all the things that “fall” off the tables.

A story I remembered was regarding one of our holiday meals. I love this story. We were at one of my friend’s houses. Long story short, the turkey was left to cool on a high counter before serving it with our meal. You might be able to see where this is going because they had a Doberman, a massive dog might I add. He was easily able to stand on his hind legs, delicately take the whole 10-pound turkey off the counter, and quietly go into a room where nobody was. When we went back to the kitchen to grab the turkey, and to our amazement, there was an empty platter. Needless to say, it was an interesting dinner for everyone that night.


This was another article to get you thinking about setting up a kit ready for your pets. I know a lot of the items you might already have, but some you might not. The questions I have for you are: Did I miss anything? Do you want to add anything to this list? Do you like this sort of topic? Have you taken a class already?

And best of all, do you have a fun picture or story of your pet? If so, please share it in the comments below!

As always, let us know if you have any other questions. We love to hear what others are doing and gear your using. Let’s make sure we are all prepared for whatever life throws at us and get prepared together!

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels!

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