By Denise Nazzaro, information officer

Pets are an important part of many families, and a new Red Cross Pet First Aid App puts lifesaving information right in the hands of dog and cat owners so they can provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available.

The 99-cent Pet First Aid app gives iPhone and Android smart phone users instant access to expert information so they learn how to maintain their pet’s health and what to do during emergencies.

“It’s important that we prepare our families for all types of emergencies, and for many, pets are considered members of the family,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO of the Red Cross. “This app gives pet owners immediate access to information that can make all the difference in the safety and successful treatment of a pet.” 

By using the Pet First Aid app, pet owners will learn how to recognize health problems in their pets and when and where to contact a veterinarian.

Pet owners can also learn how to respond to more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations, such as car accidents, falls, treating wounds, controlling breathing and caring for a pet during cardiac emergencies.

Other features in the app allow pet owners to:

·         Create a pet profile including tag identification number, photos, and a list of medications.

·         Use “click-to-call” to contact their veterinarian.

·         Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians.

·         Locate pet-friendly hotels.

History shows that people have not left home during disasters because they did not want to leave their pets behind. 

The Red Cross app contains resources to help owners include pets in their emergency action plans. Pet owners may also take a Red Cross Pet First Aid course so they can practice the skills and receive feedback. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

The Red Cross has made great strides in making emergency information available whenever and wherever people need it. The Pet First Aid App and other Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.


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