Many people consider their dog or cat to be a member of the family — which is why a Vancouver-based pet first aid school recommends people know what to do in case of a pet emergency.
Walks 'N' Wags offers classes across the country, as well as the U.S and Dublin, where students bring in their own dogs and cats to learn how to apply basic pet first aid in real-life situations.
"We teach a little bit about body language, so that we can tell when an animal is in distress, and how to assist them," said Stefania Butkovic, a certified Walks 'N' Wags instructor.
"We also talk a lot about our own safety, so mouth-tying or muzzling a dog or cat is really important before you perform any sort of pet first aid at all," she said.
"If something happens to you, then how are you going to help the animal in distress?"
The class also teaches pet owners to take preventative measures, like keeping harmful chemicals and edibles away from areas their pets can reach.
"You wouldn't necessarily know what to look for until you actually experienced it, so that's why we actually talk a lot about prevention more than we do, really, anything else," Butkovic said.
Treating injuries is also important. Over the years, Walks 'N' Wags instructors and staff have tended to all kinds of injuries, including a severed tendon, a chest impalement, a severe stomach laceration, a broken leg, a fractured jaw, and a crushed pelvis. They've even had to perform pet CPR.
In the video above Stefania Butkovic shows Our Vancouver guest host Jason D'Souza how to treat a paw wound, with the help of a special guest.