Rachel Bean is a qualified veterinary nurse with over 25 years of experience. This month in her column, she gives us some information on what to do when a dog collapses in your grooming salon.

Every pet professional should, at the very least, have a Qualified Pet First Aider. So much can go wrong, and even basic skills won’t do in some situations. A recognised qualification such as the iPET Network OFQUAL Level 3 is essential.

The qualification is continually updated as best practice changes and new information becomes available, it has been running for four and a half years.

When these situations occur they can induce panic, and unless someone is there that knows what to do, there is a very real chance that the situation is not dealt with calmly and correctly, potentially making the situation worse.

If your dog is injured and bleeding, it is important to keep them quiet and calm. Many people might panic and make the situation worse, causing the injured dog to lash out.

When we send our dogs to visit a professional groomer, we are putting our trust in the staff that work there, we expect them to know what to do.

If a dog has collapsed in the salon, slowly lift the dog on to a large towel or a blanket and make sure it’s strong enough to hold the full weight of the dog.

First, check vital signs. Is the dog breathing? Has the dog got a heartbeat? Has the dog got a pulse? Do you know how and where to check these?

If the dog has no vital signs you may have to start with CPR straight away. Do you know how to do CPR correctly?

Call the vet. You should have vet’s details close at hand and at all times.

Ask another staff member to call the owner and inform them of what has happened and that you are on the way to the vet.

Carry the dog carefully to your vehicle and place on the back seat or boot area if suitable. If a staff member is available, they could help and come with you to continue CPR or monitor the dog’s condition.

Imagine this scenario – are you prepared, are your staff prepared. Have you done rehearsals in your place of work?

Nothing can take the place of doing a first aid course, and that is why I am proud to be an ambassador for the national Safe Pets and People Campaign, which is calling for mandatory first aid qualifications for all UK pet professionals.

To find out more about taking a first aid course visit www.rachelbean.co.uk

To find out more about Safe Pets and People and sign the petition go to www.safepetsandpeople.org