As one who shares their life with pets, whether as a pet owner or as a pet care provider, we have an obligation to these animals to keep them safe and healthy. Just like with humans, our companion animals will get sick and accidents will happen – it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. While it is easier to get an appointment with your vet or rush off to the ER vet then it is to get seen by your human doctor; that’s not always the immediate care a pet may need. Having done our homework to train our senses to recognize when something isn’t quite right and catching it before it becomes major, or providing life-saving techniques prior to arriving at the ER vet, can make all the difference. Since you made it to this blog post you most likely were already searching out the knowledge and skills on how to save pets – or you somehow stumbled upon this post and thought to yourself, “Wow, I really should know what to do when something goes wrong.”
Thankfully there are plenty of resources available to us to give us instant information but this post isn’t about instant information – it’s about lasting information. I think rarely a day goes by when I don’t Google something, but I have found that I seldom can remember that information I had sought in that one fraction of a moment or as Google calls them – “micro moments.” Google helps me in the now, but I need to be prepared for the then. That’s not to say that while you find your dog unconscious on the living floor you couldn’t Google what to do but it’s much better to already know what to do.
So naturally your search for a pet first aid and CPR class begins. The Red Cross is well established and has been teaching the course for a while, so you’ll just look for one of theirs – except they discontinued the program! Unfortunately that program relied heavily upon trained instructors and class turnout. Nowadays people are BUSY! We love our pets but we also love our delivery services or pretty much anything that makes our life easier and can be scheduled or purchased from our computer in less than 5 minutes.
We all know that with ease of access you don’t want to sacrifice quality of product – or in the case of an animal first aid course – quality of the information and that of the presenter. In our blog post regarding online learning, we shared information about studies from the US Department of Education concluding that students that learned online performed better than those taught in a traditional classroom. Naturally the best way for you to learn meaningful and life-saving techniques for pets is from a veterinarian online.
While several courses exist on the Internet, many are taught by inexperienced or non-veterinary trained individuals because sadly a regulation of this education does not exist. While you must attend and pass your boards to be a licensed veterinarian to practice medicine in the US, you do not need to have any formal training to certify people to save pet lives. This is an important change that needs to occur but until it does, be very careful where you are spending your education budget and be even more careful about the certifications of the individual teaching the course. The answers you should seek about any online pet first aid and CPR certification course are:
- Is the instructor medically trained in the veterinary sciences?
- Has the instructor ever saved a pet’s life?
- Who trained that person to teach you?
- Who or what company is providing the education?
Yes, you can live in a micro moment and Google the issue but that information will not help long-term. Make certain you learn skills like pet CPR to the point where you would feel comfortable using it. It’s the least used emergency life-saving technique yet the most important. I want to have that knowledge stored in my brain for future retrieval, not dependent on if I have Wi-Fi access.
Your time is valuable and so are those dollars you worked so hard to earn. It’s really tough to put a value on your companion animals, they are your family. Learn how to save them from a board-certified in emergency and critical care veterinarian who also knows how to teach the concepts because she is a professor of veterinary medicine and critical care. Learn from the best because they are your best friends – they deserve at least that.