There could be no more helpless feeling that having your cat and/or dog in need of medical attention and we don't know what to do. The American Red Cross is trying to help us with that with the release of their new Cat and Dog First Aid online course.

You can access the course at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid. It could take as little as 30 minutes, but you can go at your own pace. Even if you need to tend to Rex or Mittens, you can resume the course when you're ready.

NOTE: The course itself is not free, however, the app is.

Here are some key areas the course covers:

  • How to determine a pet's normal vital signs
  • Step-by-step instructions and visual aids for what to do if a pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure
  • Information on preventative care, health and tips for a pet's well-being.

Along with the course, the Red Cross also offers a free app. It contains expert advice, an animal hospital locator, pet-friendly hotels, and content on how to include pets in family emergency preparedness, just to mention a few. You can go to your mobile app store or text; "GETPET" to 90999. American Pet Nutrition is the sponsor of the app.