Importance Considerations When Choosing a Pet CPR Certification Program

by Amy D’Andrea MEd, CVT

For many years, the American Heart Association has developed and disseminated guidelines on how best to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on people experiencing cardiac arrest. Even though the skill of performing CPR is vital in emergency situations where warranted, no such evidence-based guidelines on Pet CPR existed in the veterinary world. Studies have shown that as a result of this lack of formal animal CPR methods, while more than 20 percent of human patients who suffer cardiac arrests in the hospital survive to go home to their families, the equivalent figure for dogs and cats is less than 6 percent.   The first evidence-based recommendations to resuscitate dogs and cats in cardiac arrest was developed recently through a collaboration of veterinarians, professional veterinary emergency organizations and veterinary educational institutions.  This method aims to standardize how CPR is performed on dogs and cats, ultimately leading to improved outcomes and higher survival rates.

Confidently knowing what is the best method of Pet CPR to use on dogs and cats when they are in cardiac arrest requires anyone that wants to become trained in animal CPR to do their homework.  If you google pet CPR you will get pages and pages of search results enticing you to attend a variety of training programs in Pet CPR.  Some classes are 3 hours while others average up to 8 hours.  The cost is all over the board, with some classes costing hundreds of dollars.  The topics covered in these classes do seem to be very similar and participants usually get a card or certificate indicating that they participated is such training.  What many consumers do not realize is that currently there is no regulatory body overseeing “certification” in pet CPR, so if you are not careful that certification you get by attending one of these classes might not even be worth the paper the CPR card is printed on.

What should you look for?  Well, typically the first paragraph says it all.  You need to make sure that the program you choose for your Pet CPR training was designed and endorsed by veterinarians.  The veterinary method developed recently is indisputably the industry standard.  It varies greatly from many of these “lay” programs but is deemed by scientific study to be more successful.  You also need to look at the instructor’s credentials.  Are they an animal/veterinary professional and did they receive adequate training in order to teach the class.  It is not uncommon to find the self-proclaimed pet CPR expert on the internet.  Look at the testimonials and reviews the company or business providing the certification.  Read what other people think of them and their classes and make sure to look at who they are affiliated with and if they are approved and/or recognized by any reputable organizations.  Some of the largest Pet CPR companies out there are not affiliated with anyone.  Make sure you verify whether or not you are actually getting certified by attending one of these Pet CPR training classes.  There are a number of programs out there that give the participant a “certificate of completion” which is very different from getting an actual certification. Certificate of completion merely confirms that you showed up, while getting certified means that you completed some form of assessment or evaluation by a trained professional that validates that you have mastered a particular skill (ie. CPR).

Now that you are informed as what you should look for in Pet CPR and First Aid training, you should know where we come in.  I am the founder of Pet Emergency Education, LLC one of the industry’s most rapidly growing Pet CPR, First Aid and Emergency Response training companies.  What sets Pet Emergency Education apart from other Pet CPR training and/or Certification Company is our unique trademark Pet CPR certification program (PetCPR+) based on the methods developed by emergency veterinarians and industry leaders in the scientifically proven animal CPR study previously discussed.  Our affiliations within the veterinary and professional animal community have shown us to be a leader in Pet CPR training.  We strive to provide the highest quality training to animal professionals and pet lovers everywhere, preparing them to manage life-threatening animal emergencies. Pet Emergency Education provides nationally recognized animal CPR, first aid and emergency response training to veterinary and animal professionals, pet owners, emergency responders and anyone else who genuinely cares for animals. Our programs offer detailed, hands-on training providing participants with a well-rounded education. Instructors are veterinary and animal professionals with experience in emergency management and who are certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Animal Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response and undergo an extensive training process to become certified Pet CPR instructors with our company. Our certification is recognized by employers, veterinary organizations, shelters, rescues, disaster response teams and more. At Pet Emergency Education, we are unlike any other Pet CPR certification company. We were founded by a Certified Veterinary Technician with 22 years of experience working in veterinary hospitals and teaching veterinary emergency and critical care in veterinary technology college programs. Our PetCPR+ and PetCPR+ Advanced programs are based on researched and proven successful methods of animal CPR developed by emergency veterinarians. Pet Emergency Education is proud to be an approved continuing education provider by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards allowing us to provide RACE approved continuing education to veterinary professionals.  Our programs have been sought after for staff trainings, and facility accreditations with one of our largest clients being veterinary hospitals and clinics that are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Often when you hear about CPR, first aid or even disaster management people think of the American Red Cross.  The American Red Cross, also known as The American National Red Cross, is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It is the designated US affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  It is a highly respected organization that for many years offered a Pet First Aid training program.  This Pet First Aid class was one of the most recognizable CPR training classes for pet owners. There are believed to be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of certified Red Cross instructors that up until recently taught this well respected program to pet lovers and animal professionals across the country.  In 2015 the American Red Cross made the decision to discontinue its Pet First Aid program.  This has left many highly skilled, certified Pet CPR instructors, who happen to have quality equipment, supplies and training with no opportunity to teach their Pet CPR classes.

Knowing the prestige that the American Red Cross program has had in the animal community, Pet Emergency Education, LLC will now accept the transfer of any trained, certified Pet CPR instructor with the American Red Cross who wishes to continue offering their Pet CPR and First Aid classes through our company.  Red Cross instructors should contact info.petemergency@gmail.com for more information.

For anyone wanting to become Pet CPR certified we hope to see you at one of our upcoming classes.  If you would like to learn more about Pet Emergency Education, LLC, look for a Pet CPR certification class in their area or become a certified Pet CPR instructor please visit our website at  www.petemergencyeducation.com

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