Basic Pet First Aid Certificate

18 Sep

Crosstown Pet is taking the Professional Dog Walker Certificate  program at Langara College!

Six courses make up this program designed for dog walkers, trainers, and other dog handlers. Taught by industry professional Jill Taggart, PhD in Behavioural Psychology, Master of Science – Animal Behaviour, and a practicing Clinical Animal Behaviourist.

Crosstown Pet was excited to learn First Aid for Dogs-

Professional dog handlers, dog walkers or kennel owners need to know first aid for dogs. Skills learned include: pet-proofing your space; first aid and CPR skills for dogs; life-saving education and emergency response skills such as bleeding, wounds, poisons, bone injuries, and delivering puppies. A 3-year Dog First Aid certificate from St John Ambulance is issued upon successfully completion.This workshop is not a substitute for veterinary care, but teaches you the best possible first-response procedures.

Basic Pet First Aid by Kirsten Wilson, RAHT

Tips to remember when moving an injured animal

It is important to remember that any animal,  including your own pet, may bite if frightened,  injured/painful, or ill.


In the case of a trauma or accident, make an initial assessment of the situation before attempting to begin first aid.

Stay calm! Dogs react to your emotions; speak in a quiet, low voice and reassure them.


Arterial bleeding

•Is there any arterial bleeding?
•Will be evident by pulsing blood
•Constant Pressure or a tourniquet is required


•Is the pet breathing? If not, begin AR
•Clear mouth of vomit/foreign material
•Hold lips down, breathe into nostrils


•Check for heart beat or pulse
•Begin CPR if required



Cats–use one hand and compress chest
Small dogs—use heel of one hand to compress
Large dogs—use both hands to compress; place a binder or rolled up towel under the sternum to support the chest


This is a life threatening cardiovascular state that can happen with any trauma
Will see increase in heart rate (cats sometimes decrease)
Shallow, rapid breathing

MM will be pale, white, grey or ‘muddy’

CRT (Capillary Refill Time) will be longer than 2 seconds


Do not give a ball or toy that is too small for the breed of dog

Signs of choking include drooling, pawing at the mouth, difficulty breathing, gums may be blue

Seek Veterinary attention immediately
If a ball or toy is stuck, you can try  placing fingers behind the angle of the jaw and pressing in and up toward the

Heimlich manoeuvre


It would be great if all owners trained ‘out’

Never put your hand in a dog’s mouth to get something out
Roll of tape to hold mouth open


Check the whole body thoroughly
Sometimes the only indication is wet or ’tufted’ hair
Apply pressure until bleeding stops

Clean the area thoroughly with an antiseptic soap


Metal, wood etc punctures body
Do not remove offending material
Place a doughnut bandage if necessary to control bleeding


Skin is ‘torn’ from muscle
Keep muscle moist with gauze and saline


Clean area thoroughly but gently with antiseptic soap
Footpads: apply bandage


Inhaled—remove pet to fresh air
Absorbed—rinse area for 15 minutes with water

Ingested—if ingestion is within 1 hour, and it is not a corrosive or a petroleum product
›Induce vomiting—5ml of 3% Hydrogen peroxide per 5 lbs

Can repeat once in 10 minutes if vomiting has not occurred
Seek immediate veterinary attention


Can happen for a variety of reasons
Try not to handle the pet, except to keep them from harming themselves, as you may get bitten.
Ensure they cannot fall from bed or couch.
Monitor the pet; if a seizure lasts more than 3 minutes, seek immediate veterinary attention


Most vomiting and diarrhea is self-limiting
If non-productive (dry heaves) and abdomen looks distended/swollen—this is an emergency
If there is blood in vomit or diarrhea, should be seen that day
Smaller pets more at risk of dehydration


Fractures can occur to legs/feet/nails, teeth, ribs, jaw
Fractured tooth: should be evaluated by Vet
Tooth knocked out: place in a glass of milk and get to the Vet ASAP

Fractured nails may need bandaging and antibiotics

Fractures to limbs: stabilize the fracture–use sticks, branches, rolled newspaper or
magazine as a splint; place against the limb and tie with roll gauze

Joints above and below the fracture must be immobilized
Seek veterinary attention ASAP


Temperature less than 35.5 C
Pet will be depressed, have a decreased respiratory rate, uncontrolled shivering, may lose consciousness
Move pet to a warm place
Cover with blankets, you can try to warm them with your body heat

If conscious, you can give small amounts of warm water to drink

Do not apply a major heat source—this can cause the blood vessels in the extremities to open up and cause a drop in blood pressure


Temperature is greater than 41.5 C
May pant heavily, or may stop panting in spite of high temperature
May have difficulty breathing, weak pulse, collapse

Cool pet with cool water, wet towels, you can apply rubbing alcohol to foot pads
Seek immediate veterinary attention


May be due to vaccines, medications, bites, etc
Facial swelling

Hive or welts

Pawing at face
Benedryl©: Small dog 25 mg, Large Dog 50 mg


More serious allergic reaction

Will lead to shock and eventually death
Vomiting/diarrhea, difficulty breathing
Seek immediate veterinary attention
Minor (swollen face, welts) reactions can progress quickly to anaphylaxis—best to seek vet attention with any allergic


Any red, sore, scratched or wounded eye should be evaluated by a veterinarian
Keep the pet from scratching at the eye with an E-collar
Do not remove a penetrating foreign body
If a foreign body is not imbedded, you can try flushing with saline

If an eyeball is protruding from the socket, keep it moist with saline and seek veterinary attention immediately.


Clear mouth of any foreign material/water

Place head lower than rest of body
May try elevating hind legs and ‘hanging’ pet to allow water to run out

Begin CPR if necessary
Seek immediate Veterinary attention


Apply ice to area, or soak area in ice water; do not hold under running water
Do not apply ointments or cover area with bandage
Electrical burns may only be visible as sores in the mouth or on the tongue, but they can lead to serious internal

Chemical burns
›If acid—flush with mixture of baking soda and water
›If alkali—flush with mixture of vinegar and water
›If unsure what type—flush with copious amounts of

Seek immediate veterinary attention for any burn


Get the medical history of your ‘clients’
On medications?
Which vet?
Vaccines current?

6 ft nylon
Collar—nylon with snap
Halti/Gentle Leader


Extra leash
‘Mini’ first aid kit—fanny pack?
Owners phone numbers
Vet phone numbers
Cab phone numbers

.Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley (Langley)

#306 6325 204th St.


Central Animal Emergency Clinic (Coquitlam)

812 Roderick Avenue


Mainland Animal Emergency Clinic (Surrey)

15338 Fraser Hwy


Vancouver Animal Emergency Clinic (Vancouver)

1590 West 4th Ave



Temperature: 37.5-39.5 C (99.5 ºF-103.1ºF)
Pulse/Heart Rate


.Respiration Rate Dog


Panting dogs respiratory rate can be much faster and be normal

Kirsten Wilson, RAHT demonstrates ‘OUT’

Kirsten Wilson, RAHT shows us how to wrap a fracture

Kirsten Wilson, RAHT shows us how to check for the femoral pulse

Hendrik of Crosstown Pet with Pet First Aid Kit

Hendrik of Crosstown Pet practicing how to wrap a fracture

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