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.
TAFE NSW Head of Agribusiness Rebecca Coventry said a basic knowledge of animal first aid can be the difference between life and death.
"Make no mistake, basic first aid skills could save your pet's life in an emergency situation," Ms Coventry said.
"Coming into summer, we'll see an increased number of snail-bait poisonings and snake bites with pets, and it's important to be vigilant, whether in the backyard or out and about.
"Having basic knowledge of the signs to look out for and first steps you should take in an emergency before contacting your vet is very helpful, and this TAFE NSW course will help participants learn these techniques."
Ms Coventry urged pet owners to contact their vet as early as possible in a pet health emergency.
"There are over 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," Ms Coventry said.
"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."
Students will 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," Ms Coventry said.
For more information, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.