I even tried a low down dirty trick to keep it alive… I wouldn’t suggest doing this because it borders on using an exploit.
What did I do?
I used a pet that was named after one of our healers in hopes that one of the other healers might panic at seeing the pet’s health was low and mistake it for one of their fellow healers.
Either they didn’t have pet frames showing or they didn’t really like this other healer because it didn’t work.
So I put my pet on passive, manually triggered the buff ability on cooldown (in my raid we needed the 5% Crit chance increase from Furious Howl) and only sent my Wolf in when it was safe to do so.
Which trash mobs cause this problem?
The first ones you’re going to encounter that will damage your pet are the Fire Scorpions. These shouldn’t do so much damage as to kill it because they only do a slight amount of damage as they die and explode which puts a debuff on creatures in range. Mend Pet should work fine here.
The second type you’re likely to encounter which can damage and kill your pet are the Hell Hounds. There is a roaming bunch and a pack hunkered around some corpse, happily eating away. These put rend debuffs on targets and could easily reach a point where your Mend Pet ability will not be able to keep up. I’d suggest keeping the pet away from large packs but send it in when there are only a few.
The third type that you’ll experience is not to far from the Hell Hounds, they are groupings of Unbound Pyrelord and their Unbound Smoldering Elementals. The Pyrelords are not the threat, but the Smoldering Elementals are. Once these are dead, send the pet in on the Pyrelord. If your tanks separate these a little, you could send the pet on the Pyrelord early.
… My guild is still working it’s way through the Firelands content (we have Beth’tilac – I don’t remember if the trash was particularly nasty to our pets – and Shannox down so far), I’ll add more trash types to watch out for.
Losing your pet isn’t as big a deal as it used to be since they’ve done away with Happiness, but you and your raid do lose access to the buff they grant on top of possible DPS they grant where you can use them. It’s also a pain to bring them back to life between trash pulls.