Many Iowans love their pets like they’re family members, but if Fido or Fluffy has a sudden, catastrophic health problem, would you know how to respond? Kara Kelly, at the American Red Cross office in Des Moines, says the agency is now offering a Pet First Aid application for smart phones. It contains training in everything from controlling bleeding to giving the animal C-P-R.
“This app is a great tool, it’s easy to use,” Kelly says. “You can learn about signs to monitor your dog or cat’s health. It gives some common first aid and emergency situation advice for dogs and cats.” The Red Cross has long been an authority on training people to provide first aid for humans, so she says this was just a natural progression. One section of the app could be useful when you’re on vacation with your animal — or if there’s been a house fire or a flash flood.
It actually will help you locate a shelter or a hotel that will let you bring your pets,” Kelly says. “We know a lot of times when we’re in emergency and disaster situations, people won’t evacuate because there aren’t a lot of places that will take your pets.” When people are involved in a life-threatening situation, it’s natural to call 9-1-1, but that’s not appropriate if your pet is having a serious problem. This app has the answer.
“One thing you can do is program your vet’s number in so you can just hit a button and call your vet,” Kelly says. “It also has an animal hospital locator, which is very cool.” A survey finds about half of all Iowans own either a cat, a dog or both. You can use the app to create a pet profile including tag identification numbers, photos, lists of medications and instructions. The app costs 99-cents and can be downloaded via the Red Cross website: www.redcross.org