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Essential Pet First Aid Techniques

By Maria Hickey on June 26th, 2023

Taking care of your pet’s health should be one of your top priorities as a pet owner. From routine check-ups to unexpected emergencies, being aware of the best ways to provide basic emergency pet care can sometimes mean the difference between life and death for your beloved animal companion.

In this blog post, we cover veterinary guidance on pet first aid techniques and tips that all owners should know, so you are better prepared in any situation.

Learn the Signs of Stress in Pets

As pet owners, it’s important for us to recognise the signs of stress in our furry friends. While pets may not be able to express their feelings verbally, they can certainly display physical and behavioural symptoms that indicate they’re not feeling their best.

Some of the most common signs of stress in pets include excessive grooming, changes in eating or sleeping habits, hiding or avoiding contact with humans, and even destructive behaviour. By taking the time to learn and recognise these signs, we can take proactive measures to alleviate our pet’s stress.

Know How to Locate and Check a Pet’s Vital Signs

As pet owners, it is essential to know how to locate and check our pet’s vital signs. Understanding how to measure their heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature can help us detect early signs of illness or injury and seek veterinary care promptly.

Start by finding the pulse on your pet’s hind leg, the respiratory rate by counting breaths per minute, and the body temperature via a rectal thermometer. Familiarise yourself with the normal ranges for your pet’s vital signs and seek medical attention if you notice any deviations from those ranges. It may take practice, but knowing how to monitor your pet’s health can make all the difference.

Keep a Pet First Aid Kit Handy

Putting together a pet first aid kit is an easy way to ensure you’re prepared for any urgent pet situation that may arise. Most pet stores have pre-made first aid kits, but you can also create your own based on the specific needs of your pet. Your kit should contain:

• Bandages

• Blunt-ended scissors

• Wound wash

• Cotton wool

• Tweezers

• Tick tweezers

• Wound dressing

• Self-adhesive tape

• Dressings

• Vinyl gloves

• Foil blanket

• Antiseptic wipes

• A blanket to use as a stretcher.

Understand How to Administer CPR to a Pet

As pet owners, it is important to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to administer CPR to our furry friends in case of emergencies. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that can help stabilise a pet’s heart and breathing until professional medical help arrives.

While it may seem daunting to perform CPR on your furry companion, understanding the basic steps can make a significant difference in emergencies. Remember to remain calm and focused during the process, as it can save your pet’s life. 

It is recommended to seek professional veterinary care immediately after performing CPR to ensure your pet is receiving the necessary medical attention they need.

Learn How to Bandage an Injured Pet Correctly

Knowing how to bandage a pet’s wound is one of the most important pet first aid skills all pet owners should be equipped with. Clean any wounds before bandaging to prevent infection, and carefully wrap the bandage around the affected area.

Always check the bandage regularly to make sure it is not too tight or loose, and never leave a bandaged pet unattended for an extended period of time. Seek professional medical attention if you notice any concerning symptoms such as increased swelling, pain, redness, or discharge.

Know When to Seek Professional Veterinary Care

Sometimes, the best thing you can do in pet emergencies is to seek professional medical help. Knowing when it’s time to take your pet to the vet will allow you to provide them with the care they need as soon as possible and potentially save their life. Some frequently encountered emergencies and typical animal crises include:

• Bite Wounds

• Haemorrhage

• Respiratory Distress

• Bone Fractures

• Bruises

• Burns


The health and wellbeing of your pet should always be a priority, so it’s essential to learn emergency pet care. Being aware of the signs of stress and how to take vital readings will allow you to detect early warning signs and provide prompt medical care if necessary, while keeping a pet first aid kit and knowing the basics of CPR will equip you with the skills to help your furry friend in times of need.

By taking the time to educate yourself on essential pet first aid techniques, you will be better prepared in any situation and can provide your beloved animal companion with the best care possible.

Shop Insurance for Vets

Here at Brisco, we understand the importance of getting the right coverage for your veterinary practice. Our expert brokers will work with you to create a personalised vet practice insurance policy that meets all of your needs and gives you the financial protection you need.

Get in touch today to learn more about vets insurance policies and get started on finding the best coverage for you. Whether you need general liability coverage or specialised professional indemnity insurance, Brisco Business has the right business insurance solution for you.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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