In North America, a British Columbia firm ‘Walks ‘n’ Wags Pet First Aid’ is offering a certification program in health care for animals.

Local fireman Nigel Pike says about 80 per cent of the course focuses on how to deal with animals, particularly approaching them, making eye contact and recognising signs of aggression or fear.

“From a firefighter’s standpoint, it’s really good to know those kinds of things,” he said.

A dog owner himself, Pike says he feels comfortable with the training, but he feels the best outcome is to avoid risky situations.

“Prevention is the major battle when it comes to the health and safety of animals.

“By the time you need first aid for an animal, it’s really late in the game.

Take your pet to the vet once a year. It’s better for your animal.”