First Aid for pets

Knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between life or death. Our vets' advice and downloadable first aid guide will help you deal with a range of common situations.

First aid guide

Download this page as a handy guide to print and keep

Contents

Common pet emergencies

Follow the links below for our vets’ first aid advice for the following situations:

Allergic reactions

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet has a severe allergic reaction.

First aid for allergic reactions

Bite wounds

Read our vets' advice on first aid for bite wounds.

First aid for bite wounds

Bleeding

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet is bleeding.

First Aid for bleeding

Breathing problems

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet is struggling to breathe.

First aid for breathing problems

Broken bones

Read our vets' first aid advice for broken bones.

First aid for broken bones

Bruises

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet has a bruise.

First aid for bruises

Burns

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet suffers a burn.

First aid for burns

Cat can't pee

Read our vet's advice on what to do if your cat can't pee.

First aid - cat can't pee

Choking

Read our vets' first aid advice for if your pet is choking.

First aid for choking

Collapse

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet collapses.

First aid for collapse

CPR

Find out how to perform CPR on your pet.

CPR for pets

Cuts and grazes

Read our vets' advice if your pet has a cut, graze or scratch.

First aid for cuts and grazes

Dog can't pee

Read our vet's advice on what to do if your dog can't pee.

First Aid - dog can't pee

Electric shocks

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet is electrocuted.

First aid for electric shocks

Heatstroke

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet is suffering from heatstroke.

First aid for heatstroke

Hypothermia

Read our vets' advice if your pet has hypothermia.

First aid for hypothermia

Insect stings

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet has been stung.

First aid for stings

Poisons and toxins

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet eats something poisonous.

First aid for poisons/toxins

Road traffic accidents

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet is involved in a road traffic accident.

First aid for RTAs

Seizures

Read our vets' advice on what to do if your pet has a seizure.

First aid for fits/seizures

Being prepared for emergencies

Preparation can be the difference between life and death:

 

What to do in an emergency

When your pet has an emergency it can be hard not to panic. Try to stay calm, assess the situation, give your pet any necessary first aid, and call your vet. It’s helpful to remember the acronym: “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!

In an emergency your pet is likely to feel frightened and may react differently to normal, they may even bite. Try to keep your voice as calm as possible and make slow, gentle movements to reassure them.

If you need to move your pet when they are injured, this needs to be done really carefully. Read our advice on how to move an inured pet safely. 

 

Pet first aid kit

Every pet owner should own a first aid kit with the items needed to provide first aid for small injuries. If you travel with your pet, it’s a good idea to also have a smaller kit in your car or bag to provide any care needed while on the go. Once you have given your pet first aid, take them to your vet for a check-up as soon as possible.

Your first aid kit should contain:

  • Bandages
  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Wound wash
  • Cotton wool
  • Tweezers
  • Tick tweezers
  • Wound dressing
  • Self-adhesive tape
  • Dressings
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Foil blanket
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • A blanket to use as a stretcher.

You can stock up on first aid supplies on our online pet store