Nobody wants to think about their canine companion getting sick or hurt. The thought of a dog choking or lying on the floor breathless is a scary one. But, unfortunately, these things can and do happen. Find out 3 dog first aid must-knows!

Dog First Aid: 3 Must-See Videos That Could Save Your Pup’s Life


Nobody wants to think about their canine companion getting sick or hurt. The thought of a dog choking or lying on the floor breathless is a scary one. But, unfortunately, these things can and do happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency. As you scroll through this article, you’ll find several instructional videos that show you step-by-step what you can do in case you ever find yourself in need.

3 Dog First Aid Must-Knows

Caine CPR

Everyone should be familiar with how to perform CPR, whether the victim is a human or canine. It’s one of those skills you need to know but hope you never have to use. I highly recommend anyone who has a dog take a few minutes to watch the video below. Published by Hallmark’s Home And Family, it features Veterinarian Dr. Courtney Campbell, DVM. He thoroughly explains and demonstrates the ABC’s of canine CPR, showing you how to find a pulse, and how to perform rescue breathing. Whether your dog is small breed or giant breed, Dr. Campbell has you covered.

Canine Heimlich Maneuver

Do you know what to do if your dog is choking? Dogs can choke on large pieces of food, bones, balls, toys, or other random household items. Since an emergency can happen in the blink of an eye, it’s important to know what to do. In this video, Melanie Monteiro—a dog safety expert, pet first aid instructor, and author of The Safe Dog Handbook—demonstrates what to do if your pooch is choking.

The Safe Dog Handbook: Keeping Your Dog Safe Inside And Out features first aid basics and toxic items to look out for that might be in and around your home.

How To Induce Vomiting

In the following video, Dr. Justine Lee—a certified critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist—explains how to induce vomiting in dogs. It’s important to note that you should never do this without speaking to your veterinarian first. But, trust me when I say, there are times your vet may tell you to do this. 

The first and only time I had to induce vomiting in my dog was about 10 years ago. My standard poodle, Puff, had made her way into my purse and chewed up a bottle of Advil. I know what you’re thinking: “My dog would never do that!” But, as someone who would have said the same thing prior to that incident, I’m here to say ‘never say never.’ Puff was 7 years old at that time and had never gone near my purse before. That behavior was very uncharacteristic of her—I suppose curiosity took over!

It happened around midnight and my vet’s office was closed. So, in a panic, I called the local emergency vet. They stepped me through making her vomit and thankfully it worked.

Hopefully, you will never need to do this, but it’s good to know. Be aware, though, there are some situations where you should NOT induce vomiting—Dr. Lee explains why: 

I hope you do take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these techniques. The time to learn these basics isn’t when you’re in the middle of an emergency situation, but way before. So be prepared!