American Red Cross launches pet first aid course

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The online lessons are packed with potentially life-saving info on what to do in an emergency

When it comes to keeping your pet healthy, preventative care can go a long way. But some pet health emergencies crop up unexpectedly, giving pet parents little or no time to prepare.

In the event that your pet gets wounded or has a seizure, would you know what to do? If not, a new online training course offered by the American Red Cross may be worth your time.

The $25 course offers tips that could one day save your pet’s life -- from tending to wounds and bleeding, spotting irregular vital signs, what to do if your pet is choking, and more. The online course also offers tips for protecting your pet’s well-being through preventative care.

‘Life-saving skills’

The Cat and Dog First Aid course aims to help pet parents learn what do if their pet gets hurt and veterinary care isn’t immediately available.

"It's so important for people to know what to do if a person is experiencing a life-threatening emergency," said Dr. Deborah C. Mandell, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.

"Now, the Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course provides owners, pet-sitters and dog walkers with an easy and convenient way to learn life-saving skills for their pets."

The 35-minute course, which is both desktop and tablet compatible, can be completed at your own pace. The American Red Cross says course-takers can pause and resume the content at any time, just in case “Fluffy needs a treat or it’s time to take Fido out to the dog park.”

First aid app

There is also a less-detailed version of the lessons available in the form of a free app. It's called the “Pet First Aid by American Red Cross,” and has information on allergic reactions, bleeding, burns, choking, frostbite, overheating, and more.

The complementary app also includes a feature that helps pet owners locate the nearest vet or pet-friendly hotel.

"You love your pets, and want to give them the best life possible," the American Red Cross said on its website. "Being equipped to deliver first aid and provide a healthy lifestyle for your pet is the best way to do that."

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