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Before we begin, we will first look at what pet first aid is and why do we need it.

First aid is the immediate care given to help an animal in need before professional help from a vet can be given. The role of the pet first aider is to calm and reassure the animal, assess any further danger to the animal or others, assess what is wrong and decide what to do.

Pet first aid is not that different from human first aid. What you do is basically the same but with pets, they cannot tell you what is wrong and you cannot ask them questions. The principles of first aid is to PRESERVE life, PREVENT the condition from worsening and to PROMOTE recovery. This is exactly the same as human first aid and we call it the 3 “P’s”.

We are not training you to be a vet or replace veterinary care, what we are training you to do is to ensure your pet gets the best possible immediate care, they do not get any worse and you get things started to promote their recovery.

If you have completed a human first aid course in the past, you will recognise many of the techniques used on this course as they are the same. For example with bleeding we use pressure, fractures we stabilise the limb if safe to do so and in all cases we talk and calm the patient.

Before dealing with any emergency, the same principles apply to pet first aid. STOP, THINK and ACT. First STOP for a few seconds rather than rushing in to help only to put yourself in danger. THINK, decide on the best and safest course of action and only then ACT, treat your pet to the best of your abilities and get them to the vet.