Pet First Aid Training a Must for Professional Pet Sitters Says Pet Sitters International

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Simple pet first aid, being prepared for an emergency and quick transport can increase the survival rate of an injured pet.

A professional pet sitter must be prepared for any situation and pet first aid training can ensure that a care giver knows exactly what to do in the event of a pet medical emergency.

Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, urges pet-care providers to brush up on their pet first aid skills during National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 25 percent more pets would survive if just one pet first aid technique were applied prior to getting emergency veterinary care.

Linda Edwards, owner of Nana’s Pet Sitting LLC in Charlotte, N.C., believes that her pet first aid skills are part of her obligation to her clients.

“When someone turns a pet over to me to care for, as a business owner, I am taking on full responsibility for that pet,” Edwards said.

Edwards, a PSI member since 2007, completed the PSI Certification Program to earn the Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) designation and is also a PetTech master instructor for pet first aid and CPR. Her first aid skills not only enhance her credibility as a professional pet sitter, they have allowed her to help pets in crisis in her community.

While driving on a busy highway in Charlotte, Edwards was one of the first on the scene when a dog was hit by a vehicle. When she assessed the dog, minimal eye movement was the only indication that it was still alive. Thanks to her training and the first aid supplies she keeps in her vehicle, Edwards was able to keep the dog stabilized and rush him to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

“One of the things I stress to students in my pet first aid classes is to keep the phone numbers and locations of the nearest emergency veterinary clinics programed into their GPSs,” Edwards said.

Edwards explained that calling 911 for a pet emergency is not an option, so pet-care givers must be prepared to get an injured animal to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. They must also have the skills to make sure the pet stays alive long enough to be treated. Even simple first aid skills such as how to apply pressure to a source of bleeding and how to place a temporary bandage are vital to a pet’s safety, and may even save the pet’s life.

“A professional pet sitter must be prepared for any situation and pet first aid training can ensure that a care giver knows exactly what to do in the event of a pet medical emergency,” said PSI President Patti Moran. “We encourage all professional pet-care providers to learn these skills, and stay current with the latest updates in pet health through continuing education and training.”

As part of its commitment to pet-sitting excellence through education, PSI offers its members a variety of training options, including its Certified Professional Pet Sitter program, the most comprehensive training program available for professional pet sitters. The CPPS program has an in-depth section on pet first aid that includes information on some of the most common pet emergencies such as choking and poisoning. Rescue breathing, CPR and bleeding protocols are also covered in the curriculum. Pet first aid training is also offered at PSI’s annual Quest for Excellence convention, which will be held this year in Winston-Salem, N.C. The convention is open to all pet sitters and pet-care providers.

As part of Pet First Aid Awareness Month, PSI is offering its members a free webinar, “The Basic Pet First Aid Skills All Pet Sitters Should Have.” PSI is also providing downloadable pet first aid fact sheets for members and their pet-owning clients.

Pet sitters and pet owners can access PSI’s Resource Library at and search for keyword “first aid” to find more pet first aid articles and tips. For additional resources on pet first aid, PSI also recommends the American Veterinary Association (AVMA) Web site. For pet first aid training courses, PSI suggests PetTech Inc., The American Red Cross or St. John’s Ambulance.

To locate a bonded and insured professional pet sitter, visit To learn more about Pet Sitters International, visit The also features pet first aid items including a pet first aid DVD and a pet first aid kit, developed by veterinarians.

About Pet Sitters International
Pet Sitters International (PSI), a membership organization for professional pet sitters, was founded in 1994 by Patti Moran. Her book, “Pet Sitting for Profit,” is considered the leading written authority on pet sitting. PSI is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing more than 7,000 independent professional in-home pet-care businesses in the United States, Canada and abroad. PSI provides members with access to affordable bonding and liability insurance as well as educational resources that include a comprehensive Certification Program, Pet Sitter’s WORLD magazine, The Scoop e-news and PSI’s annual Quest for Excellence Convention. For more information, visit, home of the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ or sign up to receive The Scoop on Pet Care. Visit the PSIStoreOnline, the largest specialty retailer of products for pet sitters and pet-sitting business owners.

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Kitsey Burns
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