By: Maria Linnikova

In October 2012, the American Red Cross released the official First Aid app and Pet First Aid app to allow people to have life-saving information right in the palm of their hand. The apps were designed to provide step-by-step instructions on how to handle first aid and pet first aid situations. What makes these applications unique is the integration of videos and animations to easily learn skills along with safety and preparedness tips.

The resourcefulness of these apps became known throughout the U.S. and gained recognition quickly. named the first aid app as “One of the 50 best apps for parents of 2012.” Times News said on February 4, 2014, “App could be a lifesaver for beloved four-legged companions.” Both apps contain quizzes to test your knowledge that can earn you badges to share via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Although both of these apps share similar features, the pet aid app has its own unique features and distinctions.

The Pet First Aid app provides a range of features that teaches healthy signs of pets to help owners spot health problems early. When accidents happen, owners have the information to treat wounds, control breathing and bleeding, falls, etc. Contacting a vet is a “click-to-call” away and finding an emergency pet care facility is as easy as a swipe of a finger. On the app, owners can create a pet profile with a picture of their dog or cat and can update information on how they are normally acting to be able to distinguish when they start to act abnormally. No pet wants to be left behind. If a hurricane is coming, the app will help people create a pet evacuation plan and will help locate pet-friendly hotels.

The apps can be found in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store using key word RED CROSS or by texting GETFIRST to 90999 to receive a link to the app. Keep in mind, downloading the app is not a substitute for training. To learn more about American Red Cross First Aid or register for a course, visit