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

Most of our pets are full of energy and curiosity which can lead to them sustaining an injury now and then. Today, our Tucson vets discuss first aid for pets and when you should seek emergency vet care.

First Aid for Pets

You love your pets and want to keep them happy and safe, so it is important to know how to handle a health emergency before you can get them to the vet.

First aid for pets is similar to first aid for a human. 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 Cats & Dogs

The first concern is always whether they are breathing. Brain damage and death can occur quickly if their breathing is not restored soon enough. For cats and dogs, the CPR process is similar to 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 compression and give rescue breaths.
  • Close the pet's mouth and breath through its nose.
  • Check every 2 minutes for a heartbeat/independent breathing.
  • Get your pet to the vet, and keep up CPR on route to the vet or until your pet is breathing on its own.

If your pet starts breathing on their own again, still take them to the vet to ensure they.

Preparing a First-Aid Kit

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 breath through their nose. Use common sense and best judgment. When in doubt, call your emergency vet 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 for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Has your pet suffered an injury requiring veterinary assistance? Contact our Tucson vets to have them cared for.