Davies Veterinary Specialists, the Hertfordshire small animal referral centre, reports that a first aid course for pet owners set up and run by two of its veterinary nurses, has been a complete sell-out.

Held last weekend, the event gave cat and dog owners the opportunity to learn the principles of animal first aid while raising money for the Dogs Trust Freedom Project.

During the practical morning event, Danielle Banks and Nichole Neate (pictured right, Danielle right, Nichole left) discussed how to identify when something isn’t right with a pet and how to act in an emergency situation before getting to the vet. They explained the principles of first aid, wounds and bandaging and common problems encountered. Attendees were also able to try their hand at bandaging and practice CPR on animal models.

Danielle said: "The course was fully booked almost immediately which shows how keen pet owners are to learn about emergency first aid.

"Our 24 attendees were very engaged and really seemed to enjoy learning and putting their skills to the test in the practical session. Nichole and I are looking forward to running additional courses to help even more owners."

Pet owner and attendee Liz Ward said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and found it really educational and useful. I now do feel equipped to handle more situations and a lot more confident in my first aid skills. I would definitely recommend this workshop to pet owners."

Over £400 was raised by the event, which has been donated to the Dogs Trust Freedom Project, a dog fostering service for people fleeing domestic abuse.

Danielle and Nichole put together seven animal first aid tips to help owners care for their pet in an emergency. You might find them a useful inspiration if you are thinking of running a similar course at your practice:

  1. Keep calm, an animal will pick up on your distress and make it more difficult to manage the situation.

  2. Keep a first aid kit at home and a small one with you for when you are out and about.

  3. Find out about your veterinary practice's 'out of hours' care and ensure you have the vet's number on your phone.

  4. Your safety is paramount, don't put yourself in danger in order to provide first aid.

  5. Be aware that animals may become aggressive if in pain or distress. It may be necessary to restrain the animal in order to provide first aid.

  6. Never administer drugs to your pet unless directed to do so by your vet.

  7. Use advice from friends and the internet with caution and always seek professional advice.

Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vet nurses.