How can you become certified in pet first aid?
Whether you’re a pet owner or professional pet sitter, knowing pet first aid can help you deal with emergencies, such as trauma, poisoning, illness and injuries. You’ll learn things like pet CPR and rescue breathing.
Pet first aid is never a substitute for veterinary care, but offers skills needed in pet emergencies needed to stabilize and immobilize a pet to be transported to a veterinary clinic.
Before an emergency strikes, be sure you know how your veterinarian handles emergencies or where you should go if you have one. For example, some veterinarians always have someone on call, while others use special emergency hospitals for things that arise after hours.
• First, find a course provider. Check with your local humane society, ASPCA, veterinarian, animal hospital or online. You also might be able to get a class through Pet Tech or the American Red Cross, but please note that their certifications are not always transferrable so be sure to ask if you decide to join a professional pet organization.
• Frequency of courses depends on the size of the chapter and the number of instructors available. The cost of completing the four-hour certification course ranges between $50 and $100. Discuss payment options and enrollment procedures with your local chapter contact person. Some places, like the NAPPS organization (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) include pet first aid in the entire syllabus, which also includes nutrition and business development.
• Attend the class where you will learn how to assess injury, take vital signs, stop choking, manage bleeding wounds and perform CPR. The instructor will often use a pet of her own to demonstrate techniques, while students practice on stuffed-animal “dummies.”
• Complete the workbook questions. Some instructors will require you to complete workbook pages after each topic section, while others save them for the end. The course will conclude with a series of multiple-choice questions regarding appropriate action and knowledge of pet first-aid. The questions pertain to information taught during the four-hour course.
Here is a wonderful video from YouTube and Melanie Monteiro’s Safe Dog Safety Tips Channel: