The PetTech Pet CPR & First Aid Class can’t protect your four-footed friend from sickness or injury, but it gives you the tools to deal with either effectively, and reduce the chances that something bad turns into something tragic. I can not recommend this class highly enough.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the skills you will learn in this five-hour, $90 class:
- How to manage an injury/accident scene. For example… Your dog has just been hit by a car. Or bitten by a snake. Or has fallen unconscious for no obvious reason.What do you do? It will always be situational, but this class will help you find the best answer.
- How to perform pet CPR. CPR can buy you the time you need to get your pet to the doctor. And in some cases, like choking, it can immediately save a life. PetSavers will have you doing it competently in 15 minutes or less. Learn this skill!
- How to give first aid for bleeding, broken (or suspect broken) limbs, snake bites, insect/spider bites, impalement, accidental amputation, poisoning, heatstroke and frostbite.
- How to do a regular, mindful assessment of your pet so you’ll know if something is changing
- How to put together a first aid kit – large for home, smaller for car and smallest to carry when hiking. I had put together a hiking first kit I was pretty pleased with last year, but based on what I learned I completely redid it and now have something much better, and fully suited to person and animal use
The above list sounds like a lot, but it was presented in a very common sense way so I’m pretty sure most of it will stick. And for what doesn’t, we were given handy-dandy cheat sheets for our first aid kit.
PetTech offers classes in or near just about every major city in the US. This link will let you find one near you.
PetTech offers two classes, the five-hour Pet CPR and First Aid class I took; and PetSavers, an eight-hour class that covers the same material but also includes dental health, and elder animal differences and care. Instructors are free to set their own prices, but the $120 for the eight-hour class and $90 for the five-hour class seems pretty standard, at least for the Bay Area.
The biggest takeaway: Your most import first aid tools are your phone and your car keys. The first aid you’ll do is simply to help your pet hold it together until he can get to the hospital. Put your vet’s info, the local vet ER’s info and poison control’s info (855-764-7661) at the very top of favorites in your phone. PetTech offers a free app which, among other things, can direct you to the nearest veterinary ER. Hint on using your phone: On iOS go to a contact and check Add to Favorites to add to favorites, but to sort the Favorites menu so your vet, animal ER, and poison control are on top, go to Favorites and hit Edit.
The PetTech website is incomplete, ugly and a bit frustrating and the main office in Carlsbad is slow to respond to either phone messages or email. But don’t let that that stop you. PetTech is about an excellent curriculum and, if Mr. Wong is any indication, a network of excellent instructors who, I understand, bring their different backgrounds to the class.
Contact an instructor near you (see link at top) and register for a class. The little bit of time and money you spend will be one of the best investments you could ever make.
[6-17-16 updated to correctly explain the differences between PetSavers and Pet CPR and First Aid classes and point out that pricing is instructor set. Thank you, Payton Wong!]