April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month - the perfect time for pet owners to take the American Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course and download the Pet First Aid App so that they will know what to do in an emergency until veterinary care is available.
Take the course. People can access the course on their desktop or tablet at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid and go through the content at their own pace. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the course. Participants can stop and pick up where they left off if Fluffy needs a treat or it’s time to take Fido out to the dog park.
The interactive course includes:
How to determine a pet’s normal vital signs so owners can notice if there are any irregularities;
Step-by-step instructions and visual aids for what to do if a pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure; and
Information on preventative care, health and tips for a pet’s well-being.
Download the app. The free Pet First Aid App provides instant access to expert guidance on how to maintain your pet’s health, what to do in emergencies, and how to include pets in your emergency preparedness plans.
The app will also help owners keep their pets safe by learning what emergency supplies to have, when they should contact their veterinarian, and where to find a pet care facility or pet-friendly hotel.
Users learn how to assemble a pet first aid kit and an emergency kit. Recommended items include leashes, food, water, toys, medical records and an animal carrier for evacuation purposes.
Owners also have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including how to treat wounds, control bleeding, and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies.
Other features in the app allow pet owners to:
Create a pet profile including tag identification number, photos, list of medications and instructions.
Use the list of early warning signs to know when to see a veterinarian.
Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians with the ‘animal hospital locator.’
Test their knowledge with interactive quizzes and earn badges that they can share on their social networks along with their favorite picture of their pet.
The Pet First Aid App can be downloaded by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999, by going to redcross.org/apps, or by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores.