With 62 per cent of Australian households owning at least one pet, a new virtual short course at TAFE NSW can give local pet owners the skills to potentially save their animal's life in a medical emergency.
The TAFE Statement in First Aid for Pets is a three-hour online webinar, providing crucial tips in responding immediately to a sick or injured pet before taking it to a vet.
It comes amid an explosion in pet ownership in Australia during COVID-19, attributed in part to the increased need for companionship during lockdown.
Veterinarians have backed the course, saying just like in humans, a basic knowledge of animal first aid can be the difference between life and death.
"Make no mistake, early intervention could not only save your pets life, but maximise the chance of successful medical management & have your loved one, return home quicker," Dr Laura Piddington, Hospital Director of Coast Animal Health said.
"Coming into the warmer months, we encounter an increasing number of heat stress, tick paralysis and snake bite cases, often several a day.
"First Aid for Pets would be a wonderful educational tool for all pet owners. We certainly support this TAFE NSW course."
Coast Animal Health urged pet owners to contact their vets as early as possible in a pet health emergency.
TAFE NSW Head of Agribusiness Skills Team Rebecca Coventry said, "There are more than 24 million pets in Australia and each one plays a big role in someone's life. When a pet gets sick it has a ripple effect on its owners and the loss of a pet is always devastating.
"This course is designed to provide pet owners and people working in the industry with a range of skills that they can use on their pets when they're ill or emergencies arise.
They'll learn how to correctly medicate a pet, apply ear and eye drops, how to look after diabetic animals, the correct way to restrain animals and how to administer CPR.
"Knowing how to act in those first few minutes when your pet is injured or unwell can be crucial, so it's important that all pet owners are educated correctly."
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