For most pet owners the thought of their canine companion being injured or taken seriously ill is their worst nightmare, and they'd do everything they can to keep their pooch safe and sound.

However, would you know what to do if the worst did happen and your pup was involved in an accident or became rapidly unwell? If the answer is no then it could be that you need to brush up on your canine first aid skills, as knowing what to do in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death for your pup.

In the case of a canine emergency, your first reaction should be to call your vet and ensure that medical help arrives as soon as possible.

But in the meantime, it can help to have a doggy first aid kit prepared and on hand. Although you can buy these from pet shops, but it's a good idea to consult your vet to make sure yours contains all the essentials, including gauze bandage roll, veterinary scissors antiseptic alcohol to clean and disinfect wounds, as well as all your emergency phone numbers.

While dogs should only ever be fed on their own wet or dry dog food, many pups will scavenge out other morsels of food or consume things around the home that could make them ill, such as cleaning products or chocolate.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of poisoning, which include vomiting, staggering, convulsions, diarrhoea and abnormal eye movements, and to seek veterinary help as soon as you notice these signs.

In the case of an accident or if your pup is unwell, it is important to remember that your pet could be in pain and may react aggressively even if it's not in their character to do so.

Therefore, ensure you are gentle with your pooch, look out for your own safety and make your pup as comfortable as possible until veterinary help arrives.

Written by: Hannah