Knowing Critically Important First Aid & CPR For Your Pet

 Updated April 24, 2024

While April is the official National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, every day is a day to be aware of important pet life-saving tips and know what to do in those precious minutes before you can get your pet to the veterinarian. 

April is also a good time to check out classes near you where you can become certified in First Aid & CPR for your dog (or cat). I did when I had my FiveSibes. My vet was always on speed-dial, and they accepted texts from (i.e. one morning at 2:30 AM when Gibson was rushed to the ER animal hospital), and I lived close to both my vet office (in my backyard as the crow flew) and near to the ER hospital - however, there are times when it is necessary to know what to do in case of accident, injury, or ingestion of a toxins. As Ben Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure."



I'm proud to say my article "The Importance of Pet First Aid & CPR" has been published in 4Knines. I do hope you'll stop over and take a few minutes to read this important article, with tips from experts in the medical field, plus a link to my podcast with Paws N Claws 911 Tom Rinelli

To read my article, please visit:

 I'd like to thank both American Red Cross Training Services and Tom Rinelli owner/instructor of Paws N Class 911 Pet CPR & First Aid Training for their valuable information. Both of these are excellent sources for your go-to Pet First Aid questions and classes. 

If you'd like to listen to my FiveSibes "The Sibe Vibe" podcast featuring Tom with lots of tips, you can by clicking on the link below.


A few years back, I  wrote a FiveSibes blog post on First Aid and included a quiz. See how you do! (answers at end of post).

1. Your dog has a seizure, what do you do? 

2. How do you know if your pet ingested/inhaled, or absorbed a poison? 

3. Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

4. What to do if your pet gets stung by a bee?

 5. Do you know the signs of bloat?

 6. Do you know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)?
7. Is peanut butter safe for my dog?

Always good to keep on Speed Dial and/or posted on your fridge or nearby where your pets stay are the numbers to Pet Poison Control. (charges may apply).



 1. Your dog has a seizure, what do you do? 
Keep your dog in a safe place away from anything that may hurt him/her during a seizure (wires, items falling off a shelf, other pets, etc.) keep hands away from mouth, speak softly, keep calm, note all symptoms and time lengths of seizure. Apply cool packs. Post-seizure, dog may experience disorientation and temporary blindness, keep safe and away from stairs. Contact your vet.

 2. How do you know if your pet ingested/inhaled, or absorbed a poison?
Signs include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal behavior, trembling, drowsiness, shock, diarrhea, vomiting, red irritated skin or eyes, burned lips, ulcers in mouth. Contact your vet immediately.

 3. Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke? 
Bloody diarrhea or vomiting, wobbliness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, mucous membranes very RED, increased salivation. Get your pet to a cool spot, apply cool water, contact vet immediately.
4. What to do if your pet gets stung by a bee? 

Do NOT try to remove the singer as it may release more toxin. Contact vet. If hives progress, bring pet to vet immediately for a shot of medication or instructions on administering on-hand antihistamine (we used Benadryl with our vet's approval).

5. Do you know the signs of bloat? 
Signs include hyper salivation, restlessness, pacing, distended abdomen, non-productive vomiting, shock. All life threatening and pet must get to veterinary hospital immediately!

6. Do you know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)? 
 Dog is wobbly, may twitch, seem blind, go into seizures, and even collapse. Rub corn syrup on dog's gums, even if comatose. Perform CPR if needed. Take dog to vet hospital IMMEDIATELY!
7. Is peanut butter safe to give my dog?
The easy answer is 'yes' if your dog doesn't have any allergies to it and if your vet says peanut butter is okay for your dog (and that your dog has no diet/health restrictions). HOWEVER, be sure it is natural (I used organic) and that there is NO XYLITOL or sugar added. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, and even a small amount can be fatal.
*Sources: American Red Cross Pet First Aid App & FiveSibes™

 How did you do on the pop quiz?

 Now be sure to hop over and read my article in 4Knines and let's stay safe out there! 
For info on Canine Epilepsy & 
Epi First Aid Kit info, visit:


 Be sure to visit our blog home page MENU for #LiveGibStrong Online K9 Epilepsy Resource Library for more info on seizures and Canine Epilepsy, as well as much more info on Siberian Huskies, rescues, Lost & Found listings, and much more.


  1. It's so important, I wish everyone would take advantages of some of the classes that are taught.

  2. What a helpful and informative post! I didn't realize it was Pet First Aid awareness month. Learning CPR and first aid for the benefit of your pet is a great idea. Congratulations on your published article in 4Knines too! You shared some great tips. Sharing your post with other pet parents to spread awareness!

  3. WOW!!! You dropped my jaw! I Googled "pet first aid class near me" before I even finished your article. I took a CPR class years ago, but I need to update that as well. I see that the Red Cross offers pet first aid classes. I had no idea. I definitely am signing up for this and getting my human CPR updated. Great article! I needed this kick in the backside or realization. I just had a scary moment with Henry. It is very true that all pet parents, parents, and people in general should know first aid for both pets and humans. You just never know what the next minute will bring. I'm sharing this article with all my dog parents. Excellent work, Dorothy!


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