Canine first aid trainer Bettina Salmelin teaches owners how to save lives

Keeping pets safe and well is at the heart of what we do.

That’s why Vets Now supports a number of programmes designed to improve the health and wellbeing of animals.

One such programme is Hornsea Inshore Rescue’s first aid course specifically for dog owners.

It’s designed to teach people with pets first aid skills from assessing an animal after an accident, to conducting CPR and bandaging wounds.

The courses are organised by Bettina Salmelin, a former emergency and critical care vet at Vets Now Manchester. Our staff at the hospital have provided participants with bandages and other equipment to demonstrate on the dogs.

Bettina said: “The first aid course shows dog owners how to deal with water-based emergencies, but also teaches participants valuable lifesaving skills that can be applied in any situation.”

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The hands-on teaching allowed dog owners to learn invaluable emergency skills

Bettina became interested in teaching dog owners first aid after joining a water rescue training group more than a decade ago.

She later became a certified canine lifeguard instructor, teaching dogs how to take part in lifeguard rescue operations.

Bettina then trained her own dog, a Newfoundland, to become one of the first canine lifeguards to be certified by the International Life Saving Federation — a federation made up of lifeguarding organisations from around the world.

Several of the dogs — and their owners — attending her first aid course were from the HIR’s own canine lifeguard team. It’s a group of dogs who have been trained to help save lives in emergency situations.

Bettina joined Vets Now in 2016 on our rotating internship programme after graduating from The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Science in Edinburgh. She left the business earlier this year after completing her internship.

She believes all pet owners should learn first aid to help them cope in an emergency situation.

Bettina added: “My aim is for everyone who takes part in the courses to feel confident in applying the basic principles of first aid work regardless of the situation they are faced with. I’m sure this would help save pets’ lives.”

To find out more about the first aid courses contact Hornsea Inshore Rescue.