July 28, 2014 1:21 pm

WATCH: Police officers learn how to give first aid to their police dogs

VANCOUVER – About 40 dog handlers from various police departments in the Lower Mainland spent part of the weekend learning how to better protect their four-legged partners in the field.

They spent the day mastering canine first aid, everything from finding a pulse to bandaging an animal with fur.

Experts say even a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

“Out in the street we do a lot of stuff that’s quick and dynamic,” said Const. Darrin McDougall with the Vancouver Police. “Whether it’s going through buildings or chasing after guys you don’t know if they’re armed or what they have.

“And we’ve had dogs like Teak who was stabbed while he was apprehending someone. And so what we did today was learn how we can enhance their survival.”

- With files from Jill Bennett

© Shaw Media, 2014

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