First Aid Basics To Help Your Dog In An Emergency

February 3, 2023 | We Care | Sarah Clarkson

Dog first aid is an important aspect of pet ownership.  Knowing the basics will allow you to provide immediate care to your dog in case of an emergency. By properly administering first aid, you can save your dog’s life and prevent further injury! 

Here are some key things to know about dog first aid:


A basic dog first aid kit should include items such as gauze, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, a flashlight, and a pet first aid book. It’s also a good idea to include a list of emergency phone numbers, including your veterinarian’s number and the nearest emergency animal hospital.


If your dog is choking, try to remove the obstruction by gently placing your hand over the nose and blowing into the dog’s mouth. If you’re unable to remove the obstruction, perform the Heimlich maneuver by standing behind the dog and using your fist to apply pressure to the abdomen just below the ribcage.


If your dog is bleeding, it’s important to control the bleeding as soon as possible. Apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage. If the bleeding is severe, elevate the limb above the heart to slow the bleeding. Do not remove any embedded objects from the wound, as this can cause further damage.


If your dog has been burned, immediately place the affected area under cool running water for at least 10-20 minutes. Do not use ice or cold water, as this can cause further damage to the tissue. Cover the burn with a sterile bandage or clean cloth and bring your dog to a vet for evaluation.

By properly administering first aid, you can save your dog’s life and prevent further injury!


Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. Symptoms include panting, drooling, and confusion. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, move them to a cool place and provide them with water. Apply cold compresses to the head and neck, and seek veterinary care immediately.


If you suspect your dog has a broken bone, immobilize the limb and seek veterinary care immediately. Do not try to straighten the limb or move the dog if it’s in pain.


If you suspect your dog has been poisoned by something they have ingested, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately. Be prepared to provide information about the type of poison and the amount consumed.


Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on your dog can be a lifesaver. If your dog has stopped breathing or has no pulse, start CPR immediately. There are a variety of options for training on how to perform CPR on a dog. Some of the most common include:

  1. Veterinarians: Many veterinarians can teach you the proper technique and provide hands-on practice with a CPR manikin. 
  2. Pet First Aid Classes: Classes typically include training on how to perform CPR on a dog, as well as other basic first aid techniques. Some of these classes can be found online as well.
  3. American Red Cross: American Red Cross also provides Pet CPR and First Aid Classes. This is a great option for those who want to be certified in Pet CPR and First Aid.

It is important to note that while CPR can be life-saving for dogs, it should always be used in conjunction with other emergency measures and under the guidance of a veterinarian. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian in case of an emergency, as they have specialized knowledge and equipment to properly diagnose and treat your dog.

You CAN help you save your dog’s life when something terrible happens!  Be prepared and be sure to always keep your dog’s vaccinations and health check-ups up to date to prevent illnesses and injuries.

dog first aid

If you enjoyed this post, you should read Top 5 New Year Resolutions for Dog Owners here.

Have you ever had to administer First Aid to your dog?

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