cat and dog

By Susan Wyatt

Edited by Nancy Waddell

Would you know what to do if your cat had a seizure? What if your dog suddenly had trouble breathing?

A sick or injured pet is traumatic not only for the pet, but for the whole family, and the Red Cross has everything you need to keep your best buddy safe and healthy.


First, you can take the Cat and Dog First Aid online course. In this 35-minute course you will learn what to do in an emergency until you can get your pet to a vet. You’ll learn how to check your pet’s vital signs and what to do for the most critical emergency situations — including breathing and cardiac emergencies, wounds, bleeding, and seizures. You’ll also learn about preventive care.

You can access the course on your desktop or tablet and go through the content at your own pace. The interactive course includes:

  • How to determine your pet’s normal vital signs so you will notice if there are any irregularities
  • Step-by-step instructions and visual aids for what to do if your pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure
  • Health and wellness tips

You can also download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app, so you will have information right at your fingertips at all times, whether you’re at home or at the dog park.


The app complements the course by providing you with instant access to expert advice, an animal hospital locator, pet-friendly hotels, and content on how to include pets in family emergency preparedness plans.

The app also includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for first aid emergencies
  • A pet profile for storing tag ID, photo and medical information
  • Early warning signs that indicate when you should contact your vet
  • Videos and images for more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge

Get information on the app here:

The app can be downloaded for free in mobile app stores or by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999.


2 thoughts on “Red Cross offers Pet First Aid course and free app

  1. Hello my name is Brian from New Hampshire. I recently started an animal Ambulance Service called Tails animal EMS. I would really like to know CPR first aid on cats and dogs as soon as possible and a few of my colleagues may like to take the cross as well which is a must please contact me by email or my phone number at 603-266-7555 thank you

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