It’s Sunday afternoon and you are playing a game of fetch with your dog, just as you’ve done a hundred times before. Suddenly, as he runs out to get the ball, he yelps and falls to the ground, clearly injured. Has he broken a bone? Torn an ACL? How are you going to pick him up and transport him to the emergency vet without possibly making the injury worse?
Perhaps you’re sitting and watching television one evening. Your cat is playing happily, when suddenly you hear a terrible wheezing sound. Fluffy is choking and you don’t know whether she’s swallowed something or perhaps been stung by a wasp – but you do know that you must do something immediately to help her breathe.
These are just two possible scenarios that many pet parents face every day. From injuries to illnesses, pet first aid classes teach pet parents how to provide basic care before they can get them to the veterinarian.
Where to find a Pet First Aid Class
Pet first aid classes are taught at many American Red Cross centers as well as at pet centers. Along with targeting pet parents, these classes are also aimed at dog walkers, sitters, groomers, trainers, and other pet professionals who could be called on to help your injured pet.
Pet first aid classes are taught by certified professionals such as Arden Moore, owner of Pet First Aid 4 U. Moore is a Master Certified Instructor for Pet Tech, a center that utilizes pet first aid instructions that have been approved by critical care veterinarians. Moore’s class, like most pet first aid classes, is a one-day session combining a lecture with a great deal of hands-on learning on both real and plush pets. Moore uses her own pets to give students the chance to learn skills that range from how to muzzle a dog safely to taking a pet’s pulse.
CPR (using a plush pet) and rescue breathing are also important skills for students to master, as well as learning how to control bleeding and handling a pet with a fractured bone. Other important topics covered include helping a pet undergoing a seizure or one who has been poisoned, assisting a pet with heat stroke, and helping a snakebite victim.
A pet first aid class takes just one day of your time — the price varies by location. The value of a pet first aid class, both in terms of time and money is, as the saying goes, priceless, if you and your four-legged companion should ever find yourselves needing these life-saving skills.