National Pet First Aid Month


Learning pet first aid can help in many emergency situations related to your cat or dog. Since animals cannot verbally tell us when something is wrong, reading their body language in an emergency is vitally important.

Here are some of the most common first aid situations and what you can do to help your pet. Remember, always contact your veterinarian in a pet emergency situation!

Poisoning and Exposure to Toxins

If your pet is exposed to a toxic product, check the label for the human instructions on what to do. An example would be if a human were to get the product on their hands, and the instructions are to wash your hands with soap and water, If the product gets on your pet’s skin, wash their skin with soap and water. If your pet has consumed something that may be harmful, call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately. You should also call the Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435 (available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, but note that there is a fee for consultations).


  • If your pet is having a seizure, do not try to restrain your pet but move any objects, including furniture, which may hurt them.
  • Keep track of how long the seizure lasts. It’s usually about 2-3 minutes.
  • After your pet has stopped seizing, keep them as warm as possible and contact your veterinarian.


Signs your pet is choking include: difficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, choking sounds when breathing or coughing, blue tinged lips/tongue. If your pet is choking, use caution as animals are more likely to bite as they are panicked.

  • If your pet can breathe, keep him or her calm and get to the veterinarian immediately.
  • Look into your pet’s mouth to see if there is a foreign object visible. If you can gently remove the object, if not, do not attempt as you may push the object further into your pet’s mouth. Getting to your veterinarian quickly is crucial!

The Anti-Cruelty Society offers a Pet First Aid & CPR class quarterly. To learn more about the class or register, click here.