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

Many pets are naturally energetic and curious, traits that occasionally result in injuries. In this blog, our veterinarians in Anaheim will discuss the essentials of first aid for animals and guide you on recognizing situations that warrant immediate emergency veterinary care.

First Aid for Pets

Ensuring the well-being of your beloved pets is paramount, and understanding how to manage a health emergency is crucial. Equipping yourself with the knowledge to stabilize your pets in such situations is essential, enabling you to seek professional veterinary assistance promptly.

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

The primary consideration is always their respiratory status. Swift action is imperative, as brain damage and death can ensue rapidly in the absence of breathing. The resuscitation process for cats and dogs closely mirrors that of humans. 

Check if they are breathing and try to find a heartbeat.

If they are not breathing, check the air passage is unobstructed.

If there is no heartbeat, begin chest compression at around 100 to 120 compression per minute.

Do 30 compressions and give rescue breaths.

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

Check every 2 minutes for a heartbeat/independent breathing.

Get your pet to the vet, and keep CPR on route to the vet 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 first aid kit for pets shares many similarities with a first aid kit designed for humans.

  • 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.


Keep in mind the acronym 'Dr. ABCs' when administering CPR to dogs or cats. The CPR procedure for these pets is similar to the human version, with the addition of breathing through their nose. Apply common sense and exercise sound judgment throughout the process. If you ever feel uncertain, don't hesitate to contact your emergency veterinary 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 Anaheim vets to have your companion cared for.

New Patients Welcome

Anaheim Animal Care & Pet Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Anaheim companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (714) 527-9292