Red Cross Launches Course and App on Pet First Aid

August 16, 2017
Maureen McKinney

The American Red Cross has created an online course and mobile app aimed to help pet owners deal with emergency situations involving their pet.

Many pet owners would have no idea how to deal with an emergency involving their pet, such as a seizure, heavy bleeding, or choking, to name a few. The American Red Cross is trying to remedy that with an online pet first aid course and complementary mobile app.


In addition to touting preventive care, the course explains what pet owners should do in case of an emergency when veterinary help is not immediately available.

“It's so important for people to know what to do if a person is experiencing a life-threatening emergency,” said Deborah C. Mandell, VMD, DACVECC, a professor at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and 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.”

With content created by scientific and medical experts at the American Red Cross, the interactive pet first aid course offers step-by-step instructions and visual aids. It takes about 30 minutes to complete; requires access to a desktop, laptop, or tablet; and can be stopped and started multiple times. The cost for the course is $25.

It covers the following:

  • How to determine a pet’s normal vital signs
  • What to do if a pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure
  • Preventive care and tips for pet well-being

The Red Cross has also launched an app to accompany the course. The app offers on-the-go expert advice on what to do in several types of emergency situations; it also includes a veterinary hospital locator, information about traveling with a pet, and pointers on including pets in emergency preparedness planning.