How Effective Are Your First Aid Courses?

By Subodh / February 13, 2014

Pet first aid has been around for a very long time but is only lately that it has become something that people can learn. This is perhaps the fact that an increasing number of pet doctors feel the need to teach people how to provide first aid to their pets in order to improve their chances of living. However, many experts argue that pet first aid only has a 30% chance of saving a pet’s life and that is because most people never learn how to do it correctly. Unlike human first aid pets are not so good at pretending that they are having a heart attack or trouble breathing so a lot of what is taught is theory with some practice.

You don’t exactly get certified

One of the biggest drawbacks of pet first aid is that attending even an advanced course does not mean that you’ll be certified. There are many trainers who give certificates but it’s of little use to people. The only upside to these courses is for people who want to get a job at a zoo, animal shelter or join the WWF. Even most pet owners will rarely use first aid on their pets because either it’s too late or they forget how to do it when the time comes.

first aid courses

It can be dangerous for humans

Even though the vast majority of illnesses that affect our pets do not transfer on to us it’s hard to know for a pet owner if performing CPR can in fact be contagious. Many pet owners may not even know what ails their pet and in an effort to save them from death they may perform CPR resulting in contracting a contagious disease which threatens their own life. This is one of the prime reasons why pet owners shouldn’t resort to CPR on their pets and just stick with chest massages or chest compressions as they are called.

chest compressions

Coma or heart attack

Pet owners may not know the difference between their pets going into shock, coma or in cardiac arrest. All three of these issues will need a different first aid approach until a veterinarian is able to reach them. The wrong approach can in fact be disastrous which is why many pet owners are either too scared to try and even if they do it results in the demise of their pet. That being said vets rarely use any sort of first aid to revive dying pets.

There are some pet owners that even use a modified AED to try and revive their pet if they think it’s going into cardiac arrest. But a dog or cat’s heart is located in a slightly different location and shocking it will not necessarily restart the heart so regardless of what you may have learnt this rarely is successful.

Limited set of tools

Unlike human first aid you’re not going to learn everything you need to keep a pet alive. The fact is that pet first aid is an evolving field and most trainers just know two or maybe three techniques. Even if you do invest lots of money in these courses without a refresher every year when the time comes you’ll be of little use to your beloved pet. That being said you cannot learn first aid courses online via a series of videos unlike what many websites may claim. The only way to learn is via practical examples and hands on training.

Should pet owners invest?

It all depends on what type of pet owner you are. If you just have a two dogs or a cat knowing first aid will be of little help. You probably have a better chance of rushing your pet off to the nearest animal doctor. However, if you have quite a few animals i.e. you live on a farm then knowing animal first aid can be a big help. You’ll not only be able to help your dog and cat but also a number of other farm animals. But learning first aid for all these animals will take time and lots of practice, something you should consider prior to enrolling in any type program because in most cases you’re not going to get lots of practice.