Pet First Aid for Kids & Teens
Recently, we discussed the importance of Pet First Aid & CPR training for pet parents. Today, we want to elaborate on the topic by discussing Pet First Aid for kids and teens.
Toddlers & Young Children
Kids under 5 years old will be much too young for formal first aid training. Most of them don’t understand the concept of infection or injury until closer to 5-years-old. At these ages, children know how to spot a “boo-boo” and want to put a cute Band-Aid on everything, but that may not serve them in terms of pet first aid and CPR.
That said, this is the perfect age group to learn a basic pet first aid mantra trademarked by PetTech, “a pet in pain or moved into pain can and will bite.”
Teaching young children to pet gently, respect a pet’s personal space, and never hit or poke will keep them and their pets safe. These skills will also prepare them for the days when they are old enough to provide loving care to family pets and pets of their own.
Kids between 5 and 10
Kids between 5 and 10 may still be too young to attend a 4-hour training course but may be able to start learning potentially lifesaving skills, especially prevention. Teaching kids about species-appropriate diets, toxins to avoid, safe pet handling, supervised loose-leash walking, and enrichment activities can set them up to learn more in-depth pet care and emergency management skills later in life.
Tweens & Teens
Many Pet First Aid instructors will allow tweens and young teens to participate in their courses with adult supervision.
According to PetTech Master Instructor, Beth Bowers, “We usually recommend beginning at 10-12yrs, depending on the individual kid/teen. I also have a conversation with the parents and ask that they be in attendance at no charge, especially with the younger kids. Kids are generally used to being in a school environment for long periods so if they love learning about all things animals, they definitely can be some of my best students. We can also do super fun added sections with a kid-specific class where they "name" their stuffed dog and do a race to save "their" pet!”
As mentioned in our previous post, pet expert, Arden Moore, agrees that older kids make excellent students. “I've taught [Pet First Aid & CPR] as young as 12. Kids are accompanied by a parent or adult. I’d welcome 16-year-olds and above to come without an adult,” she says.
Dog Trainer, Rebekah Piedad of Yes Dog offers the following valuable insights: “There's nothing in pet first aid that a teenager can't do, but I wouldn't be inclined to push in that direction if that wasn't an interest of theirs.”
Pet Education for Kids
It is infinitely valuable for children of all ages to recognize that cats and dogs are sentient, feeling beings. There are many age-appropriate ways in which to teach kids about their pets. From toddler board books and pet-related stories to in-depth books like Arden Moore’s Kids Guides to Cats and Dogs, educating kids about proper pet handling and care is as easy as it is important.