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Comprehensive Pet First Aid Guide

Comprehensive Pet First Aid Guide

Pets tend to be full of energy and not necessarily the best accident avoidance. For this article, our Roswell vets will discuss first aid. What to do when your pet gets into trouble.

First Aid For Pets

You love your pets and want to keep them with you, so it is important to know how to handle a health emergency so that you can stabilize them to get them to a 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 Pets

The first concern is always whether are they breathing. Brain damage and death happen quickly if they are not breathing. For cats and dogs, the process is similar to the process for humans.

  1. Check if they are breathing and try to find a heartbeat.
  2. If they are not breathing check the air passage is unobstructed.
  3. If there is no heartbeat begin chest compression at around 100 to 120 compression per minute.
  4. Do 30 compression and give rescue breaths.
  5. Close the pet's mouth and breath through its nose.
  6. 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 its own 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
  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Wound dressing
  • 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.

If your pet is having a medical emergency, contact our after-hours emergency vets in Roswell as quickly as possible.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care

Animal Emergency Center of North Fulton is an after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1991. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

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