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Pet First Aid Guide: How to Give Pets First Aid?

Most pets exude energy and curiosity, occasionally resulting in injuries. In this article, our Denver vets will cover pet first aid and guide you on when to seek emergency care from an animal hospital vet.

First Aid for Pets

You cherish your pets and desire to keep them close. Therefore, understanding how to manage a health emergency is crucial for stabilizing them before reaching a vet.

First aid for pets is similar to first aid for humans. 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

Always prioritize checking if they are breathing as the first concern. Brain damage and death can occur rapidly in the absence of breathing. The process for cats and dogs mirrors that for humans.

Verify breathing and search for a heartbeat.

If there is no breathing, ensure the air passage is unobstructed.

Without a heartbeat, initiate chest compressions at a rate of around 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

Administer 30 compressions followed by rescue breaths.

Close the pet's mouth and breathe through its nose.

Check every 2 minutes for a heartbeat/independent breathing.

Transport your pet to the vet, continuing CPR en route or until your pet is breathing independently.

If your pet starts breathing alone, you should still take them to the vet.

First Aid Kit for Pets

A pet first aid kit is not that different from a human first aid kit.

  • Bandages & wound dressing
  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Tweezers
  • 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 pets is like the human version but breathes through their nose. Use common sense and best judgment. When in doubt, call your urgent veterinary care clinic.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Has your pet suffered an injury that requires veterinary assistance? Contact our Denver vets to have your companion cared for.

Vets in Denver

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