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Dogsafe Canine First Aid

Upcoming In Person Class Date:
In Person classes returning in Fall in Penticton, 

Stay tuned for details/dates

The goal of DOGSAFE® is to teach you the necessary knowledge and skills which will empower you to take positive action in the event of any emergency involving your pet. Canine first aid is different than human first aid in that dogs cannot tell us what hurts and there is no ambulance to call for help. Prevention of injury is the key, however, accidents do happen. What you do between when an injury happens and when veterinary care is available can greatly affect a dog’s chances of a full recovery. The topics are covered in-depth so that students have a thorough understanding of the principles of canine first aid. Since this is a very comprehensive course, we need your full attention and dogs do not come to class.

Continuing Education Credits Approved by: CCPDT (7), IACP, (7) and IAABC.

Cost $155.00 (tax included). Confirmation with details of the class will be sent via email once registration and payment have been received.   Payment must be received with registration in order to reserve a spot.

Course Details

DOGSAFE® Course Manual

Course Manual Included

  • DOGSAFE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know in an Emergency, by DOGSAFE® creator, Michelle Sevigny is included FREE with DOGSAFE® Part 1 course registration ($21.95 retail value). The 116 page comprehensive manual includes 56 real-life photographs. The course training and reference manual is reviewed by veterinarians, including Dr. James Lawson, Chief Animal Health Officer of the BC SPCA.
  • PLUS, the course manual includes:
  • Vital Signs Checklist for keeping track of your dog’s essential information,
  • Disaster Preparedness Checklist,
  • Essential Phone Numbers list for easy access in emergencies
  • K9 Incident Report Form to ensure accurate info during veterinary follow-ups.

The DOGSAFE® training and reference manual contains even more topics that are not covered in the course – a priceless manual for future reference

Topics Covered In Class
  • how to prevent common injuries
  • conduct a head to tail assessment
  • tell if your dog is experiencing pain
  • recognize 4 common signs of illness or injury
  • respond to any emergency in 4 easy steps
  • safely approach an injured dog
  • to take your dog’s vital signs and 3 other health tests
  • perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • perform artificial respiration
  • remove an airway obstruction (choking)
  • prevent and treat for shock
  • deal with penetrating objects
  • prevent and treat eye injuries
  • prevent and treat abdominal wounds
  • recognize the risk factors and how respond to bloat
  • prevent and respond to drowning
  • assess and respond to bone and joint injuries
  • prevent and respond to poisonings
  • prevent and respond to frostbite and hypothermia
  • prevent and respond to heatstroke
  • treat minor burns
  • treat various wounds
dog first aid

Designed to make complex topics easy

Dogsafe courses are designed to make complex topics easyand everyone will learn through seeing, listening and doing which improves knowledge retention. It’s effective and fun!  Each student will have the use of their own fully sanitized life size Canine CPR manikin for hands-on practice and experience. The canine CPR manikins are vital educational tools that are considerably more life-like than using stuffed toys. These manikins have working pulse and lungs enabling you to actually perform canine CPR, a technique that is not possible to conduct on live dogs. Each student will also have the use of their own individual first kit with supplies to practice bandaging. The DOGSAFE course goes beyond just watching an instructor demonstrate and provides opportunities for continual hands-on practice.

Other learning tools include:

  • plush demonstration dogs
  • bandages
  • first aid kits
  • even fake guts and eyeballs
  • situational videos

Authorized Dogsafe Canine First Aid Instructor

I have been a professional dog trainer for over 20 years and found that first aid training tips went hand in hand as guidance for puppy and new rescue dog owners. So I completed the Dogsafe 101 – 196 hour training and qualified to become a Dogsafe authorized instructor in 2013.

About Nina Houghton, CPDT

From 2003 until recently Nina Houghton was a professional dog trainer and canine behaviour consultant in Vancouver committed to a force free approach using only friendly, positive, reward based training techniques. (

With the move to the Okanagan in January 2023, Nina is now focusing solely on Dogsafe Canine First Aid courses and no longer offering group or private training classes.

Nina graduated from the International College of Canine Behavioural Sciences in 2003 after completing Level one obedience, canine and training psychology then continued her education further over the next several years with the same College and graduated with the following:

  • Intermediate/Advanced Obedience
  • Beginner and Intermediate Agility training
  • Behaviour Modification and Rehabilitation
  • Recreational Tracking
  • Defensive Personal Protection

Graduate of the Dogsafe Canine First Aid 101 and 102 as a dog professional, then in 2013 trained, studied for 196 hours and qualified to become an Authorized Dogsafe Canine First Aid Instructor. Over the years have worked with various clients to obtain Therapy Dog and Good Canine Citizen status with their pets.

Nina also attended and continues to do workshops with the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and Dr. Ian Dunbar. Is an avid supporter of Rescue Societies and Shelters and volunteers at the Penticton SPCA. Many dogs are surrendered to shelters because they are misunderstood and lack training and/or socialization skills. Coaching clients to communicate effectively with their dogs to set them up for success and help guide the rehabilitation of unwanted behaviours which is a truly rewarding experience. Our dogs love us unconditionally so it is our responsibility to show patience and understanding to create a bond that will last a lifetime.

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