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Basic First Aid for Animals and Pets

Discover the fundamentals of pet first aid and be ready to respond in an emergency whilst waiting for veterinary help.

A veterinarian attends to a wound on a dog's paw.

Learn immediate first aid for use in common animal emergencies

In emergency situations, it can be difficult to take action and know how to care for an injured or sick animal.

On this course, you’ll be introduced to the basics of first aid for different animals and pets prior to veterinary treatment. Whilst this course does not constitute any formal training, it will equip you with the awareness of initial emergency animal care and first aid.

Explore how to assess the situation when a pet is hurt or unwell

As with basic human first aid, it’s important to take stock of the situation before deciding any course of action.

You’ll be guided through every step of initial assessment, from judging responsiveness and breathing to checking vital signs including temperature and heart rate. You’ll gain species specific knowledge about common pets including cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits, as you progress, helping to broaden your understanding of different animals’ needs.

Discover how to properly handle sick and injured animals

Injured animals can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

With tips and strategies for handling pets of all sizes and species, you’ll learn how to approach an unwell animal with care and caution, protecting you and the animal from further harm and allowing you to develop an initial response plan.

Examine the correct initial responses in a pet emergency

Covering wounds, seizures, toxicity, choking, musculoskeletal injuries, and more, you’ll gain insights into the correct approach in a wide range of emergencies. You’ll be guided through the steps taken in many scenarios once the animal receives professional treatment, helping you understand the complete cycle of care.

By the end of this course, you’ll have gained a basic overview of basic animal first aid as an initial response before veterinary assessment.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second SPEAKER: Like working with animals? Then you’ll love this course from Learning Lounge, structured in a way that gives you information you need in the best way to help you learn it. Interactive, engaging, inspiring. Whether it’s learning about animal first aid, working with clients, general safety, or learning what to do in an emergency situation, the Learning Lounge is where you need to be. Working with animals means you need a unique set of skills. This course can help you sharpen the skills you need for the career you want. Learn from anywhere you want. Get career savvy from your couch or wherever you are. It’s up to you. Enrol in a short course today.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds Level up with Learning Lounge, and learn your way to working with animals brought to you by FutureLearn.


  • Week 1

    DR ABC, vital signs and planning

    • Introduction to the course

      Welcome to Basic First Aid for Animals and the start of your learning journey.

    • Assessing the situation

      In this activity, we will discuss how to assess the situation. This will include the DR ABC principles and unconscious animals.

    • Vital signs

      In this activity, we will discuss the various vital signs to look out for. These signs include temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, colour and Capillary Refill Time (CRT).

    • Planning, injuries and shock

      In this activity, we will discuss planning, injuries and shock. This will include the initial response planning, handling sick and injured animals and shock symptoms.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of Week 1. In this activity, you'll reflect on what you have learned.

  • Week 2

    Wounds and other injuries

    • Introduction to Week 2

      Welcome to Week 2. In this activity we'll highlight the main topics that will be covered this week.

    • Wounds

      In this activity, we will explore the different types of wounds you may encounter. These can include small, large, fight and bleeding wounds.

    • First Aid 1: Toxicity, seizures and choking

      In this activity, we will explore toxicity, seizures, and choking in animals and how to treat it.

    • First Aid 2: Temperature, bites, stings and injuries

      In this activity, we will explore temperature fluctuations, various bites and stings and musculoskeletal injuries.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of this course. In this activity, you will reflect on what you have learned.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess situations where animals may need first aid treatment.
  • Identify vital signs to look out for.
  • Discuss how to handle sick and injured animals.
  • Summarise how to treat various wounds in injured animals.
  • Describe toxicity, seizures, and choking.
  • Evaluate temperature, stings, and injuries.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for owners of domestic pets who want to feel better equipped to support their animals in the case of an emergency, before veterinary support is sought.

Who developed the course?

Learning Lounge

Learning Lounge (LL) is Australia’s leading online course publisher. With over 100,000+ hours of highly produced, engaging, industry-led content across 20+ industries.

Learning Lounge believes fervently in the value of online learning: it is fundamental to their vision and always will be. They are constantly investing in improving a learner’s experience by creating engaging, interactive content.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Learn best practices from experts
  • Learn from the experience of other health professionals
  • Fit learning around your schedule with unlimited access
  • Get evidence of learning outcomes and CPD hours
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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