Course overview


Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, anyone responsible for an animal must take all reasonable steps to ensure the animal’s needs are met and that it is protected from pain, injury and suffering. It is imperative, therefore, that anyone looking after an animal knows what to do in a first aid situation to alleviate pain and prevent further suffering.

This qualification is ideal for anyone working in a public environment e.g. boarding kennels and cattery, canine hydrotherapy facility, animal rescue centre, dog walker/pet sitter. It can also be undertaken by dog and cat owners looking to gain the knowledge to help their own animal should the need arise.

The VetSkill Level 2 Award in Principles of First Aid for Cats and Dogs provides relevant practical skills and underpinning knowledge that will enable the provision of safe and effective first aid to animals in emergency situations until veterinary assistance is available.

This qualification is valid for a period of three years. After three years, candidates must then renew and update their first aid qualification.

Qualification number: 601/8137/0
Level: 2
Credits: 1
Guided Learning Hours: 7
Total Qualification Time: 7

Course content

How long will it take?

This level 2 award offers one credit and will usually be delivered as a one-day attended course (7 guided learning hours).

On completion of this qualification you will:

  • Understand the role of the animal first aider
  • Know common injuries and reasons for sudden collapse that occur in cats and dogs
  • Understand how to provide emergency care for animals
  • Be able to provide immediate first aid care to an animal



Entry requirements


There are no formal or specific academic or learning entry requirements to undertake this programme.

However, you will need to have basic IT, literacy and numeracy skills.

Course quals


You will be required to pass a short online multiple-choice exam and a practical task at a recognised centre, which involves responding to and assessing an animal in a first aid situation in order to achieve this qualification.

What where?


These centres offer the VetSkill Level 2 Award in Principles of First Aid for Cats and Dogs.


Download the qualification handbook.


To find out more on delivering the Award in Principles of First Aid for Cats and Dogs, visit our delivering our qualifications page.