BY MARISSA CUDDY
Accidents happen all the time and that is why people are certified in first aid, but did you ever think about what you would do if your dog or cat was hurt?
Walks ‘N’ Wags is the largest pet first aid certification course in Canada. They have been operating since 2007 and they continue to grow across Canada and into the United States.
The course was brought to Kitchener earlier this month when the Kitchener Humane Society decided to have some employees trained as certified instructors.
Pet First Aid is a 10-hour course that helps prepare all pet owners to respond effectively during pet emergencies and learn how to prevent them from happening.
Lisa Wagner, the operations director at Walks ‘N’ Wags, said their course is special because it contains a strong emphasis on prevention and early detection.
“Knowing pet first aid can help ease an animal’s suffering and also improve the chances of a successful outcome,” she said. “Furthermore, it leaves a pet owner with a sense of empowerment versus desperation in an animal emergency.”
The course covers many topics such as prevention of illness and injury, shock, vital signs, bleeding and other wounds, poisoning, medical conditions, administration of medication and artificial respiration (AR) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
“(A) thing that I love about the Walks ‘N’ Wags program is that we have live dogs attend all of our classes,” Wagner said. “This allows students to have a more accurate and fun learning experience than only working with stuffed animals.”
Kathleen McCaughey, the recreation programs co-ordinator at the Kitchener Humane Society, said if a family has a pet at least one person in the household should have pet first aid certification.
“They should know what to do in an emergency situation,” she said. “It helps them know what they can do to prevent the injury and what they can do between the injury happening and bringing them to the vet.”
Their next course will be on April 3 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the humane society, located at 250 Riverbend Dr., Kitchener.
“If there is a lot of interest people can contact me,” McCaughey said.
To sign up and learn more about the course go to www.kwhumane.com/education/pet-first-aid-course or email McCaughey at kathleen.