Animal First Aid Course

This Animal First Aid Course is ideal for anyone interested in animal care. Knowing the best way to provide first aid assistance to an injured animal is very important for most jobs working with animals. Having up to date first aid knowledge is also a useful skill for pet owners as knowing what to do in an emergency can save your pet's life or prevent unnecessary stress or suffering due to your quick response. 

The Companion Animal First Aid Diploma course is a comprehensive 6 module course dealing with first aid for companion animals including dogs, cats and small animals. Learn all about First Aid principles and how to treat a variety of common injuries, including cuts and grazes, stings and poison, eye injuries, bite injuries, choking, dislocations, broken bones, convulsions, fainting, heatstroke, burns, electric shock, drowning, CPR and resuscitation. The course also deals with how to handle and transport a stressed or injured animal and how to assist an animal's recovery. 

Animal First Aid Course and First Aid Certificate Courses:



In addition to the Companion First Aid Course, we also offer First Aid Certificate courses specific to Canines and Felines. The Canine First Aid Certificate course is a 2 module course that deals with how to provide First Aid for dogs. The Feline First Aid Certificate course is a 2 module course about First Aid for cats. Both courses have information about how to put a First Aid kit together.

Animal Jobs Direct courses are accredited and affordable. They are designed to provide learners with specific information relevant to working with and assisting animals. Our First Aid courses are set at Level 3 and learners are provided with full tutor support throughout their studies.

Animal Jobs Direct offers a variety of accredited and affordable animal care courses, please contact us for free careers and training advice

An animal that is clearly in distress after an injury requires careful, sensitive and intelligent handling. Even if the animal appears not to be in distress, the motion of trying to handle them may very well cause distress and at the least, anxiety. Sometimes an animal needs to be left alone for a while so that they can come to terms with the event they have experienced. A prime example of this is a cat who has been involved in a cat fight. Such a cat will be hyped up in a manner of speaking that is, they will be showing the typical signs of aggression and fear.

Behaviour covers many aspects from body language and body actions, to vocal expression.When a domestic cat has been in a cat fight or has been frightened by an unwelcome experience (may be a dog getting too close), he or she will demonstrate some classic signs of body language, actions and vocal expression. A frightened or angry cat will have raised fur sometimes the whole length of their back and the whole length of their tail. The body’s posture may be raised and set at an angle so that the head is turned toward the object of their alarm. The ears will be flattened against the head. The mouth may be open slightly to show the teeth. The lips may rise further up and away from the teeth when the cat spits. Finally, there may be a low, rumbling growl that can increase to a fearsome loud, fluctuating growl; interspersed with spitting. All-in-all a fearsome, threatening sight.

All of these responses are driven by the Flight or Fight hormone Adrenaline. Whilst adrenaline is in the bloodstream, causing all these responses to a stimulus it may be necessary to leave the animal alone for a while. Attempting to handle an animal when they are being affected by adrenaline will only end in more anger and distress for the animal and possible injury to the handler. Fear and aggression in a dog generally, are expressed in two distinct ways. Fear is shown by the body language of a withdrawn tail that is tucked between the legs accompanied by lowered head and drooping ears.

Often, a fearful dog is submissive as that is the natural behavioural response to a frightening event. A fearful dog can be very easy to handle as long as the behavioural signs are read correctly. The dog may also whimper with the head being lowered further as another sign of submission. On the other hand there is the wary dog. A small dog who is unsure of an experience, event, person or another dog for example may react in this way.

A dog who is unsure and wary of what will happen next may show signs such as the eye being aimed sideways with a large proportion of the white of the eye showing. Extreme care must be taken when attempting to handle a dog who is controlled, for the moment, by adrenaline.

A simple, effective method for restraining and then handling an animal is to cover the animal with a blanket, a towel of an appropriate size for the animal or, if a blanket etc., is not available, an adult-sized jacket or coat. Although it might be disagreeable, a frightened or aggressive animal that is injured and in need of first aid, must be captured and restrained.

To capture a cat: the main focus is to restrain the feet i.e., the claws. This means a blanket, towel or jacket MUST be passed under the animal so that all four feet are enclosed in it. Plastic sheeting cannot be used. Plastic sheeting is harsh, difficult to fold and wrap, will cause the Animal First aider and helpers to sweat from the hands and cause the animal to overheat.


Procedure to capture, restrain and handle a cat requiring first aid/treatment: Get into a position so that you are behind or to one side of your animal. The capturing device, for example a towel, will be held in both hands and close to the body. Lower your body so that your posture is slightly stooped and aim your eyes away from direct contact with the eyes of the animal in questions. IF you have another person helping, pre-arrange with them to try and distract the animal. Should you be fortunate enough to have a helper who can distract the animal, now is the moment to lift the towel to open it wide. With the towel opened wide and in both hands, you also move forward so that you can place the towel over the whole of the animal up to the neck. Without letting the towel from your grasp, wrap the towel around the neck and under then chin of the cat.

Move your arms so that they cause the sides of the towel to go under your cat so enclosing the four feet. Tighten the towel around the neck from both sides so that each side crosses over and under the other side. Pull the sides under the body and then gather up the cat so as to hold him or her close to your body. Any small animal can be restrained safely (for them) with the use of a towel, blanket or other wrap-around object made of a stout but pliable fabric. Rodents and birds can be restrained and held safely and comfortably whilst you either place them into a sturdy carrier for transport. A similar but significantly different procedure for restraining is to be carried out with a dog.

The same sequence of events takes place as for a cat but, rather than aiming for the dog’s back, one aims at the head. Once the dog is unable to see out, he or she will begin to calm down. This is one of two reasons for covering the head of an injured dog who may be aggressive, fearful and anxious.The other reason is the prevention of bites. The jaws are fixed to the strongest joints in the body and the downward force of the upper mandible (top jaw) on the lower mandible will be highly damaging. Even a small dog will cause serious damage when they bite out of anger and fear.

For more information about an animal first aid course please contact us.

If you think you may be eligible for funding towards your studies, please visit the Course Funding section of our website for more information. 


Recent Reviews:

Course Reviews


Frequently Asked Questions

Course Funding Information

Careers and Training Advice

Student Success Stories

Contact Us

About us, our accreditation and how to enrol on our pet sitting course