Pet ownership is on the rise, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA);
- It’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat.
The more pets there are, the more people are spending on them. 2016 is slated to hit over $62 billion, this includes products, services and veterinary care. In 2015 $15.42 billion was spent on veterinary care alone. I don’t know about you but I remember when my wellness exams were $52, just yesterday I paid a visit to my vet for one of my pups and I walked out with a wellness exam at $71!
In all honesty, I do not spend a lot on veterinary care for my pets and it certainly is not because I care any less for them; I am trained how to recognize any issues, tend to many of them at home and avoid the costly $71 wellness exam or worse when it is not needed. That is not to say that I am not DILIGENT about my pets seeing the vet annually, at least 2-3 times when under 1 year of age and at least bi-annually when over 7 and considered senior. This is also not to say that I am trained to avoid my vet, I am knowledgeable about knowing WHEN I need to go to my vet. Ask any veterinarian and you will often hear that people visit them often when not necessary (threw up just once in 24 hrs) or didn’t come in soon enough (hit by a car, waited a day and the dog suffers from internal bleeding). Don’t be that person, learn how save your pet by knowing when to seek veterinary care.
So, how am I saving money, stress and time by avoiding the vet by knowing when it is not necessary to go? I took a pet first aid and CPR class, in fact I have taken, taught and created them.
When you buy a new car or computer you spend a bit of time figuring out how to care for it. Just go with me, I am not comparing the love for your pet to that of your car but rather comparing your desire to keep things well and running. You learn about oil change frequency, warranties, clearing your cookies and cache etc. With a pet your vet simply tells you to come in at least once per year and if anything is wrong come in. We all know going to the dealership or the computer geek can be costly, stressful and time consuming so many of us have learned to do some simple maintenance on our own. You recognize when there is an issue with your car or computer and should be doing the same with your pets.
A limp can be obvious, but there are many more subtle signs a pet can give or not that can be indicative that something is not right. Generally stoic in nature, cats and dogs will often hide their ailments from us as not to seem weak for survival purposes. This can pose a big problem.
So how do you learn how to figure out what’s wrong with Fluffy or Fido, more importantly how do you make their life better? You have choices.
- Attend an in-person 2-4 hours pet 1st aid and CPR class. These are typically taught by the Red Cross, which is actually stopping their program in December so hurry up! There are also a nationally recognized companies such as Pet Tech. A former Michigan state police officer created a program, then spent 3 days teaching others who then teach you. Either of these classes will cost you at least an evening or most of a precious Saturday to sit in a classroom and hope that the instructor grabs your attention. You will be handed a book and told to review it but if you’re like me, if it doesn’t fit inside my phone, I will never see it again.
- Purchase an online pet first aid course where you can learn as you go, and for some, review on your computer, tablet or smartphone for a duration of time.
I much prefer the 2nd option, but there are several on the market so how do you know which is right for you? They range in price from $20-$110 (this is the price range for in-person courses as well), that’s a big range and no the $100 does not get you a course taught by a DVM, DACVECC, board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care who also specializes in emergency care for small animals instructor; the $50 one does!
I have taken all of the current online courses and my advice in effectively learning how to save Max or Muffin is;
- Find out about the company that is presenting it, do they even have a background in veterinary science? There is no accreditation council for teaching pet first aid and CPR (although there should be).
- Any Tom, Dick or Harriett can teach an online class, so make certain you have a person that actually has experience in the animal care field; particularly one that knows how to help sick pets like a veterinarian.
- How long do you have access to review? The range seems to be from 30 days to 2 years, I certainly am most likely not going to have an emergency or issue within the first 30 days, nor am I likely to remember what I just learned 90 days from now. I would like to have access to a course I took for greater than 30 days.
- What topics are covered, some are just first aid, excluding the least used but most valuable, cat and dog CPR!
- How long is the course? They range from 1.5 hrs to upwards of 4
- Is the course current? In June 2012 the AVMA changed the companion animal CPR protocols based on years of gathering information that statistically showed pets have a greater chance at surviving if the newer CPR protocols were taught and used. Just because the course came out after 2012, does not mean it actually teaches the up-to-date techniques.
- How much does it cost? Why pay $65, even $100 if the course isn’t taught by the right accredited person, who are you paying to teach you?
- Don’t be fooled by CEU false advertising, make certain the company that is claiming to offer the CEU’s through organizations like CCPDT.org, actually do. You can check the lists on the CCPDT.org website to make certain.
By reading this you have taken the first step to making a good choice about making your pet’s life better. If you want a course that;
- Was created by a company first involved with human emergencies and the creation of accredited programs to teach human first aid and CPR
- Is the only course online written and presented by a board-certified emergency veterinarian, specializing in emergency care for small animals AND a professor of emergency veterinary medicine
- Is just under $50 (pretty much a night out and certainly less than a wellness exam)
- Allows you 2 years to access the information you learned
- Has the best interactive delivery with videos, lecture and test modules between sections to measure retention
- Actually allows you to receive valid CEU’s
Then checkout ProPetHero’s online pet first aid and CPR course, its worth every bit as it gives back to Buddy and Bella by teaching you, what to do for them.
Oh and as an added bonus, enter this coupon code CPR-PROPETHERO, to save a little more on saving them.
Note: For the pet care professional, ProPetHero offers great group discounts and a company dashboard that allows you to:
- Track employee progress
- Update company info
- Print copies of certificates
- Purchase units of training
- Add / remove employees
- Add more training courses