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Pet First Aid: Ways to Learn

by Ryan on June 28, 2014

in Pet First Aid


To enjoy a bit of fresh air, play like a kid would under the bright skies, be able to quench its thirst when needed, and be free from any type of harm that could befall it – this is the ideal life for every animal. However, not all are lucky enough to have it all. Just like people are injured due to accidents and some children find themselves in not-so-desirable conditions as a result negligence, house pets and other animals similarly suffer from injuries and illnesses such as food contamination. In these events, animals are left to suffer in silence without the aid of human intervention. But this should not always be the case. People have the option to help these creatures out in the form of pet first aid. For people who are interested in pet first aid, training is now being offered by several institutions. Some of these are listed below:

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is offering training courses throughout United States ranging from disaster preparedness, water safety and lifeguarding, babysitting, home safety, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and pet first aid training. Courses offered by the American Red Cross are open to the youth, professionals, laymen, aquatic facilities and to those who are simply interested in the saidprograms. The pet first aid training course is available in several chapters within the country although training is limited for dogs and cats. One has the option to choose from the following programs: Cat First Aid, Dog First Aid, or Cat and Dog First Aid. The course can be completed in less than a day anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the specific course selected. Courses include medicine administration, breathing and cardiac emergencies, urgent care situation management, and wound treatment to name a few. Aside from practical training courses, one will be given corresponding printed reference guides bundled into the training package. The institution’s official website also has a store where one could buy a pet first aid kit. Furthermore, the American Red Cross now has its own mobile app available for Android and iPhone users. The mobile app features instructions on how to respond to over 25 pet emergency situations.

Dogsafe Canine First Aid

Dogsafe Canine First Aid was created by Michelle Sevigny, a professional dog trainer, in order to promote canine health awareness to the community. The organization is a strong supporter to non-profit canine organizations. As implied by its name, the organization only provides training support to dog safety. This offers a total of six courses and these are: DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 1, DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 2, Operation Find Fido™ Workshop, DOGSAFE® for Puppies Workshop, DOGSAFE® Bare Bones Workshop, and DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid Part 1 Distance Education. Most of the courses can be completed within 2 to 2.5 hours except for the Canine First Aid Part 1 which needs 8 hours to complete and the Distance Education that requires at least 12 hours of coursework. When parents are enrolled, kids aged 10 years and up can be allowed to participate in said programs. The distance learning program covers the same subjects tackled in Canine First Aid Part 1, some of which include common injury prevention, response to poisoning, performing artificial respiration, and minor burn treatment. Although it’s only limited to this at this time, its creation has made dog pet care accessible in countries where pet first aid is not a common practice.

Pet Tech

Just like Dogsafe Canine First Aid, Pet Tech programs and resources are geared toward canine companions. In here, the organization is making training programs available in two different levels- the PetSaver™ Class and the Pet Tech™ Instructor Training. ThePetSaver™ Class is a combination of skill training and lecture orientation program. Some of the courses included in here are restraining and muzzling for bite prevention, rescue breathing for dog patients with heartbeats but are not breathing, choking management, and vital signs assessment. The program comes complete with a handbook. After successfully passing the 8-hour course, a certificate will be awarded to the student. In comparison, the Pet Tech™ Instructor Training is more comprehensive where training is done in three days. Aside from practical skills, instructors will be given the right tools to train other people such as pet owners the right way to care for their pets. This course is also recommended for professionals like pet retailers, veterinarian staff, pet sitting services providers, kennel operates, obedience trainer, animal shelter and pet rescue employees, EMTs fire-fighters or simply for people genuinely interested in pet care.

Walks ‘N’ Wags

Walks ‘N’ Wags was originally put up by Lisa Wagner in 2000 as a dog walking and sitting services provider. Upon becoming a Pet First Aid Instructor in 2003, this has allowed her to share her knowledge to numerous pet lovers. In 2007, Walks ‘N’ Wags was born, taking over the management of an educational Services Pet Aid Program. Today, the company is providing pet first aid training programs in several locations in Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland) and in US (Washington State and Vermont). The Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid Course features a broad range of topics. Some of these include subjects such as what to include in first aid kit, head to toe assessment, animal restriction, recognizing signs and symptoms of injuries, artificial respiration and heat stroke. Aside from first aid, preventive measures are also included in the course. Although courses are claimed to be one of the best in the industry, the company does not offer standard rates. Course fees will vary based on the rates imposed by individual instructors. This too offers Distance Learning Program where one could acquire similar certification awarded to in-class students upon successfully completing the course.


A veterinarian can do wonders to an ailing pet. But accidents can happen in the strangest places at the most ungodly hours. For pets that can’t use a mobile phone to call 911 in case of health emergencies, they could easily end up immobilized or dead the next day. With the presence of human companions, this can be seen as clear form of neglect. Pets need the care of their owners and one way to show one’s love for their pets is to learn some of the basics of pet first aid. This may not be saving their lives now but pets do have a way of getting into trouble at times, making this course possibly useful in the future.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Mclean July 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Wow, I had no idea there were classes for this kind of care for pets. Thanks so much for sharing this information. It is certainly something to keep in mind to be prepared for accidents and other tragedies.


Lori July 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Great topic to make everyone aware these courses are available!!!

My original certification for Pet First Aid/CPR was through the American Red Cross, and after being a pet sitter for four years, I feel much improvement is necessary to their course. It does provide the basic information, but it really left individuals to do their own research and learn in more detail via the book and CD they provided. I did refer to the book on a few occasions; however, in that respect, I could have simply purchased it.

I am now awaiting my materials to become certified through Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid so I may go on to become an instructor upon completion of my certification.

This is exciting for me because I feel Wags ‘N’ Walks is the most comprehensive program, providing the greatest opportunity to thoroughly prepare pet parents and professionals to help their pets in an emergency. Also, I love how you may reach out to the owner of the company anytime you need assistance, rather than walk away with a certificate and no one to assist you after the class ends.

Continuing education empowers me and increases my confidence : ) Lori


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