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First Aid for Dogs

Would you know what to do in an emergency? On this page, you will find links to resources on Canine First Aid.

Canine CPR

If your dog stops breathing, remember ABC:

A is for Airway:

  • Pull the tongue forward.

  • Check there’s nothing in the dog’s throat.

B is for Breathing:

  • Look and listen.

  • If the dog isn’t breathing, extend the dog’s neck, close their mouth and blow down the dog’s nose. Use your hand as a ‘funnel’ so that you don’t put your mouth directly over the dog’s nose.

C is for Circulation:

  • Check for a heartbeat or pulse.

  • If you are sure there is no heartbeat, compress the chest twice per second vigorously enough to achieve obvious chest compression.


Dogs can easily choke on food, toys, or any number of things they put in their mouths. If you can't dislodge the object with your fingers, you may need to use the Heimlich Manoeuvre (Canine Heimlich manoeuvre video). 



Read Dexter's story.

Canine First Aid Kit

Your first aid kit should include:

  • bandages – a roll of self-adhesive or crepe bandage (5cm width)

  • non-adhesive absorbent dressings (5cm x 5cm) to cover open wounds

  • surgical sticky tape

  • cotton wool

  • sterile absorbent gauze

  • antiseptic wipes or wound wash

  • blunt ended scissors

  • vinyl gloves

  • a thick towel or a blanket (can be used as a stretcher)


If you think your dog has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately. The following are just some of the substances that are toxic to dogs:

  • Chocolate

  • Grapes, raisins, sultanas

  • Snail/slug pellets

  • Rat poison

  • Aspirin/Ibuprofin

  • Antifreeze


Common poisons in the house and garden (pdf)

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