Red Cross Offers Dog First-Aid Classes

American Red Cross chapters across the country offer first-aid classes that teach emergency dog care.

Posted: June 22, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

Veterinarians study for years to provide optimum care for animals, but when dogs are faced with a heath crisis, it’s typically the pet’s owner — not a trained professional — that initially observes the incident. To improve emergency response during those first critical moments, the American Red Cross is offering dog first-aid classes at select chapters throughout the country.

The course teaches emergency care procedures such as pet cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), how to administer medications, recognizing dehydration, what to do for a choking animal, how to stop bleeding, approaching injured animals, and determining when advanced medical care is required.

“Classes are taught with animal mannequins,” says Diane Caribardi, director of the American Red Cross, Heart of Oklahoma Chapter and pet first aid instructor, “which look like stuffed animals with plastic airways. They come in various sizes to be realistic.”

The organization published a pet first-aid manual in 1997, “American Red Cross Pet First Aid,” and has since starting offering hands-on classes. Caribardi added it’s one of the organization’s fastest growing training courses with classes often selling out in many areas of the country.

“This class is important for pet owners and professionals because dogs and cats are an integral part of many families,” says Caribardi. “It’s important to know how to react to an emergency situation with your pet.”

First-aid instruction is offered for both cat and dog owners. Class prices range from $25 to $70, depending on location. For a list of American Red Cross Chapters that offer the course, or for more information on the pet first-aid manual, visit


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Larry   Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

3/25/2015 8:59:24 AM

What classes are available in my area for Pet First Aid, which I would receive a certificate of completion?

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Nicole   Ocala, FL

3/2/2011 12:36:31 PM

I would really like to sign up & take the dog first aid class, but the web page you listed doesn't give me that information, it's only the Red Cross Store itself... Where can I find out how I can get signed up to take the dog first aid class where I live???

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Christy   Covina, CA

6/23/2007 10:17:14 PM

Who does not care about their dogs!? I am definately looking into signing up. KLearning to save my dogs life for as little as $70 is well worth the price to me. Dogs are part of the family!!!

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kino   Spring Valley, CA

6/22/2007 12:13:08 PM

thanks for sharing

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