Pet owners might be interested in signing up to a first aid course after being reminded that basic skills could help save the life of their beloved companion. According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), many people do not know the simple steps they could undertake to stabilise their pet in an emergency. It has hosted 93 courses between January 2017 and July 2018 to encourage more pet owners to learn how to bandage wounds and look after an animal in a seizure. The training has proved so popular that 1,103 people have attended so far. PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: “Even though it’s something you hope will never happen, it’s best to be proactive. Keeping a first aid kit in the car and in the bathroom cupboard and brushing up on the basis can make a real difference should an accident happen.” She reminded animal lovers that basic first aid does not replace vet treatment, but it could prove invaluable if your pet is in trouble. For instance, knowing airway, breathing and circulation for animals can help ascertain what is wrong with your pet should they collapse. Furthermore, stemming bleeding with firm pressure, putting a bandage on, and conducting CPR could “buy you valuable time”. She noted that demand for the pet courses is rising, as more people want to find out how they can help their furry friends in an emergency. Funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery has been put towards the courses, meaning most of them are free for pet owners. One thing dog lovers should be wary of is toxic blue green algae, with this being present in waterways in the Lake District, Scotland, East Northamptonshire and North Lincolnshire. The British Veterinary Association advised those with pooches to look out for vomiting, diarrhoea, trouble breathing, blood in faeces, drooling, disorientation and seizures, as these could all be symptoms of algae consumption.