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American Red Cross offers pet first aid training

By jim Published: July 23, 2009

Akron, Ohio — The American Red Cross is known for helping to keep local residents and their families healthy and safe. Now with its “Pet First Aid” training, the Red Cross is spreading the word that it can do the same for our four-legged friends as well.

The Pet First Aid and CPR classes – one for dogs and another for cats – are offered at the Red Cross locations in both Akron and Ravenna. For additional information or to register for the classes, interested pet lovers can visit the Chapter’s web site at: www.summitcounty.redcross.org.

Pet First Aid and CPR classes provide a strong foundation in the basic tools, techniques and practices for first aid and CPR specifically tailored for dogs or cats. Conducted in a single, two-and-half hour session, Pet First Aid and CPR includes hands-on training, plus a companion pet first aid manual, Dog First Aid or Cat First Aid.

Like the classes, the manuals explain emergency care procedures for pets in simple terms supported by full-color illustrations. A companion DVD is also included which features easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions covering topics from giving medication to administering CPR and rescue breathing. The manuals can be purchased separately (cost: $16.95) at the Chapter’s Summit or Portage county offices, as well as through the organization’s online store at www.redcross.org.

Most households in the U.S. include at least one pet. “The classes are a ‘must’ for pet lovers – homes with a dog or a cat or both should include someone familiar with pet first aid,” points out Mary Ellen Coneglio, the Chapter’s Director of Programs and Services. “We know pet owners enjoy a very special bond with their pets – they’re a part of the family. Just like with people, accidents and emergencies can happen and being prepared by knowing what to do can make a lifesaving difference.”

Among the topics covered, the Pet First Aid and CPR classes instruct attendees to:

-- Recognize and respond to an emergency is to know what is normal for your dog and know how to recognize and emergency.
-- Determine dehydration, pull up on the skin at the back of your dog’s neck; it should spring back to the normal position immediately.
-- Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.
-- Take your adult pet to the veterinarian at least yearly.

“For those who are unable to attend the classes, we recommend purchasing the appropriate manual as a helpful lifesaving resource,” suggests Coneglio. “The manuals also support our mission of keeping pets and their families healthy and safe. They’re perfect additions to home reference libraries. Plus, they make great gifts for the pet lover in your family!”

For more information about keeping pets safe and healthy, visit www.summitcounty.redcross.org or contact the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties at 330-535-2447.

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