First aid for burns

photo of rabbits, cat and dog

1. Check your pet

  • Take your pet away from the heat or substance that is burning them. Wash any chemicals off their skin.
  • Check them for any other injuries or signs of distress (such as trouble breathing).
  • Keep them warm using a blanket but don’t let it touch any burnt areas.

2. Assess their burns

  • Cool any burnt areas with lukewarm running water for at least 10-20 minutes (never use ice or iced water). Use a running tap or the shower if possible.
  • Do not apply creams or ointments to the burn.
  • Cover the burn with cling film, and take your pet straight to the vet. Your vet will assess the severity of the burns and will use specialist dressings to treat them. They may need to give your pet other treatments such as antibiotics and pain relief.
  • Always take your pet to your vet for a burn, no matter what size.
Published: February 2019

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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst