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Monday, April 21, 2014

Caring for your whole family: Pet First Aid Awareness Month

April is Pet First Aid Awareness month—time to brush up on how to keep your pet safe and healthy and learn what to do when things aren't so.

Matt Reeves has been teaching Cat and Dog First Aid classes for ten years. With the student materials coming before the classes themselves, the creation of these special courses happened in reverse-order, with courses typically manifesting before the student materials.

“It’s different than our other courses in how consumer-driven it is,” says Reeves. He remembers the Red Cross receiving a noticeable number of questions on the topic of pet first aid before the courses were created.

“It’s a special class,” says Reeves, “People don’t need the course for work or to be a volunteer—they take it because they genuinely want to learn pet first aid.” Reeves says he likes that people come with a clean slate because the courses are not taught anywhere else. “It’s fun,” he says, “the questions are more immersive than I've experienced with other classes.”

With 8-10 classes each year, the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross will host its next Cat and Dog First Aid classes on April 17th and again on June 19th. The classes teach pet owners how to administer CPR, how to help a choking pet, how to check vital signs, and how to recognize what is normal pet behavior and what is not; how to transport an injured pet and poison control are also on the agenda.

Want to take action? Learn more about Pet First Aid Awareness, download our Pet First Aid app, and use this checklist to prepare, respond, and recover from a disaster to ensure the safety of your pets. There is also a handy e-flyer with more info on Pet preparedness here.

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