Are you ready for a pet emergency? Do you have pet first aid training?

Pet First Aid is defined as being the “first responder to attend to a pet emergency”. In Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid program, our goal is also to empower participants to help ease an animal’s suffering. Knowing pet first aid can also improve an animal’s chances of a successful recovery.

When people think about pet first aid, the first thing that comes to mind might be bleeding wounds and CPR. It’s easy to think to oneself “I’m careful. That would never happen to my pet”. And of course when students leave our classes, we hope to only hear about their preventive successes.

However, accidents do happen. From time to time we’ll receive a call or an email from a student who has required use of their pet first aid training. Here are a few other scenarios where pet first aid training has assisted one of our students:


As owner of an Edmonton dog daycare, Shawna Magnan was horrified when a client’s dog’s tooth became caught on another dog’s collar. The tooth was stuck and in the struggle to separate the dogs, the tightened collar caused asphyxiation. Shawna knew exactly what to do and fortunately was able to save the dog’s life. *Note: collars are now removed from the dogs inside the daycare.


Victoria Regan lives in BC’s Okanagan and works as a dog walker. Victoria was walking a client’s dog when it was bitten by a rattlesnake. Her quick thinking and training were able to assist this dog to a successful outcome.


Brittany Brown of Calgary AB told us that her dog Cocoa choked on a piece of food and became unconscious. Fortunately Brittany was able to dislodge the item and assess Cocoa, who is now fine.

As you can see, Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid curriculum covers many skills that could come in handy as a pet owner! Our curriculum specifically includes:

  • Immediate steps to take in an emergency
  • What to include in your Pet First Aid kit
  • Learn how to safely approach an injured animal
  • How to complete a Head to toe assessment
  • How to restrain an injured animal
  • How to transport an injured animal
  • Recognition of signs of common illness and injury
  • How to handle various bleeding wounds
  • Bone injuries
  • Ear injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Choking skills
  • Artificial Respiration
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Poisoning
  • Frostbite and hypothermia
  • Heat stroke
  • Burns
  • Administration of medications
  • A strong emphasis on methods of preventing illness and injury
  • And More…

Nothing makes us happier than when a new group of students leaves one of our classes. We know that more pets in our communities will be kept safe. When we receive notes, from students like Lori Campbell, of Victoria BC telling us “I would strongly recommend this class to anyone with pets not only for emergencies but preventative care as well” we know that we’ve met our goal.

Remember, prevention is the best form of Pet First Aid. However, if you are faced with a pet emergency, it’s better to have some basic skills to improve your pet’s chance of a successful outcome. Take a Pet First Aid class either in person or via distance learning to prepare yourself. Your best friend is worth it.




Lisa Wagner is Operations Director of Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid. Walks ‘N’ Wags offers Pet First Aid certification courses across Canada and in Seattle WA. Visit their web site at


Leave a Comment