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The Red Cross: Not Just for People

(Thursday, July 20, 2006)

How many of us would be prepared if our dog suffered heat stroke on the way to a show? Or collapsed while out working in the field? Or was injured while working stock? Could you perform CPR on your Yorkie? How about CPR on your St. Bernard? If you are unprepared for such pet emergencies, then maybe it is time to contact your local Red Cross chapter and take the special Pet First Aid course they offer at select chapters.

The Red Cross has developed a program that will teach you how to handle emergencies with your pet. You will learn how to recognize an emergency and how to handle common problems. Besides learning how to administer medicines, you can learn how to perform CPR on large and small dogs.

In this four hour class what you learn could save your pet’s life. There is no ‘animal 911’ to call. So it is up to you to be prepared if disaster strikes.

The Red Cross four hour Pet First Aid Training course utilizes mannequins to learn the correct skills for small-medium and large dog CPR as well as how to perform CPR on cats. The instructor will demonstrate CPR, rescue breathing and how to care for choking emergencies. You will learn how to splint broken bones; control bleeding and emergency care for poisoning and bloat/torsion. How to deal with burns and other common emergencies and illnesses are also covered in this course on Pet First Aid.

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Photo Credit: Michael Dilley

If no local chapters offer this course, you can order a First Aid Kit and Pet First Aid Manual online from the Red Cross.

The Red Cross site also has a disaster preparedness page to help you plan ahead should you be in an area that could be struck by life threatening disasters. It contains excellent advice on how to plan ahead; how to transport your animals and what to take for your pets.

While the Red Cross is known for their aid to people in distress, it is also a fact that with this Pet First Aid course, they are thinking of our four-legged ‘family’ as well.