Priorities of Treatment

Key Objectives of First Aid

  • Preserve life
  • Promote recovery
  • Prevent the condition worsening

When you are dealing with a serious incident whether with an animal or human, it is crucially important that you prioritise any life-threatening conditions and treat those first.

Order of Priority

  1. Breathing. This is your number one priority. If your pet is not breathing and you don’t do anything about it, they will die!
  2. Bleeding and burns. Both life-threatening conditions. Providing the casualty is breathing, your next priority is to stop bleeding and treat burns, without being distracted by anything else.
  3. Broken bones. Broken bones are rarely life-threatening and can prove a distraction from more serious priorities.


First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course or take our online course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

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