Being Your Pet’s First Aid - What You Should Know and Where To Get Training

We love our pets like our children and being able to assist our fur babies in case of emergency comes naturally with being a pet parent. A definition of Pet First Aid, given by Pet Tech®, the premier Pet CPR & First Aid training organization, is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or suddenly taken ill. This includes home care and when necessary, veterinary help.

"1 out of 4 more pets would be saved if just ONE pet first aid technique is applied.” - Thom Somes, founder of Pet Tech® and also known as The Pet Safety Guy™.

Knowing the importance of being your pet’s first aid is a great first step, but do you have the knowledge and the know-how to best assist them when they are in need? In light of April being Pet First Aid Awareness month, we’ve gathered some of the best resources for recognizing various emergency situations, knowing what to do in each, and where to get training.

Want to learn pet CPR in-person in a fun and interactive environment from Pet Tech®? Read on for event details and look for an exclusive training offer.

Know the Types of Emergencies

First step to assisting our fur babies in an emergency is recognizing and understanding the situation at hand.

Here are some of the most common emergencies pet parents should be aware of:

  • Seizures
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Bleeing (external & internal)
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Heatstroke
  • Shock
  • Disorientation
  • Being hit by a car, a blunt object, or falling more than a few feet
  • Your pet isn’t breathing, is unconscious and won’t wake up, or you can’t feel a heartbeat
  • Your pet has been vomiting (especially blood), or has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Your pet collapses or suddenly can’t stand up
  • You pet suddenly seems to become blind
  • Your pet’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or she’s gagging and trying to vomit
Here’s a very comprehensive list of potential emergencies, what each of them are and what to do (or not to do) from Veterinary Partner:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=20

What You Need To Be Prepared

First Aid Kit

Readiness is crucial in potentially saving your fur baby’s life. It’s always a good idea to have first aid supplies handy both at home and when you are traveling. Common supply items include bandages, adhesive tape for bandages, hydrogen peroxide, digital thermometer, muzzle, stretcher, pet carrier, etc. Both the Humane Society and the American Veterinary Medical Association offer comprehensive lists of what you should include in your pet’s first aid kit and how to use them.

Know Your Digits

Know the numbers of your vet, emergency veterinary clinic in your area, and poison hotline 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435) is a must. When traveling, it may be helpful to know that all AAHA-accredited hospitals are required to provide 24-hour access to emergency care, either in their own facility or through referral to another hospital. To find an AAHA-accredited animal hospital near you, visit the Hospital Locator. The American Red Cross also has a pet first aid app available to help you locate a veterinarian in case of emergencies.

You may need to administer first aid right away in an emergency situation but always call the appropriate medical professional right away too and follow up with a visit to their office.

Have Medical Records Ready

To enable vets and other medical professionals to identify the accurate treatment quickly, it helps to have your pet’s medical records on hand. It’s also useful to digitize your pet’s medical records for easy access and to enable you to manage your pet’s health records more efficiently. Health tech is advancing quickly and medical records management is one of the major areas of innovation for both people and pet healthcare. We will create a blog post focusing on technical progress in this area and provide some tools and apps for pet parents’ consideration.

Pet Health Monitoring

In addition to having complete medical records, the ability for vets to see changes in crucial health vitals, such as temperature, respiration or heart rate, also enables them to identify the best treatment for your fur baby in an emergency situation.

Furthermore, dogs are good at hiding pain and it’s not easy for our pets to communicate that something is wrong in general, being able to monitor, having access to baseline as well as ongoing health data, and identify early warning signs can be a life saver. For example, changes in our pets’ vitals, sleep positions, wake frequency, or water intake can all indicate discomfort or that something could be wrong.

Waggit offers a health and wellbeing monitoring smart collar that tracks all of the above, along with activities levels, nutrition, and location. Look around our website, our Kickstarter campaign and what other pet parents are saying, and place a pre-order if it resonates with you.

Get Proper Training

Finally, getting training on techniques such as handling an injured pet, administering CPR, or properly transporting your pet to the vet office or emergency clinic ahead of time will save you a lot of stress in an emergency situation, not to mention increasing the chances of saving your pet’s life.

Before we get into how to obtain life-saving training techniques, here are a few additional useful resources from AVMA.org (American Veterinary Medical Association) on first aid readiness.

Where to Get Training


According to our friends at Pet Tech®, it is estimated that up to 60% of animal hospital visits are emergency in nature. Knowing the skills and techniques of Pet First Aid can mean the difference between life and death, between temporary and permanent disability, between expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care, and between rapid recovery and long recuperation for the pet.

Pet Tech®’s mission is to improve the quality of pets’ lives, one pet parent at a time and to prevent 1 million pet ER visits. Pet Tech® helps pet parents and pet care professionals learn how to better care for their pets in emergency and in health, so that they have a healthier, happier and longer relationship with their furry four-legged family members.

They do so through 4 types of training programs:

  1. PetSaver™ Training - A premier 8-hour class including CPR techniques, supplies to have in first aid kit and how to use them, dental care, senior care and health & wellness information for dogs and cats.
  2. CPR & First Aid For Your Pets - A 5+ hour class including CPR techniques, supplies to have in first aid kit and how to use them, health care and wellness information for dogs and cats. Does not include dental care or senior care.
  3. Hiking & Walking With Your Dog - A 90 minute online presentation on how to be safe on and off the trail.
  4. Pet Tech® Instructor Training - The all-in-one training that includes the trademarked PetSaver™ Training program, plus training in Teaching Techniques, Skill & Lecture Presentations, Pet Tech® Product Information, and much more to set you up for success as a Pet Tech® instructor. 
Exclusive Offers -

For being a part of our amazing Waggit community, Pet Parents interested in one of Pet Tech®’s First Aid Classes will receive an exclusive 10% off offer for the Pet Tech® Pet CPR & First Aid Class (regular price: $125) and/or PetSaver™ Training (regular price: $125) with code WAG10. You can also enroll the Instructor Training program with code PFAAM200 to save $200 in April for Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Explore or sign up for classes on the Pet Tech® website.

One-day Event -
On Saturday April 28th, Pet Tech® is offering an action packed CPR Day and World Record Event in San Diego, CA where pet parents and pet care professionals can get hands-on CPR training and where 2 World Records will be set - the most people trained in Pet CPR in one day and the longest continuous Pet CPR Relay. The event will kickoff at 8:30am and last approximately 5-6 hours. Visit the Pet Tech® website for additional event detail, agenda, and to sign up.