A group of pet owners gathered at the Calgary Humane Society on Sunday for a special class set up to learn about some of the techniques needed to help save your pet’s life in case of trouble.

The first aid course was developed by Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid and is offered through Calgary-based Paw Responder.

Sarah Macknak says that prevention is the best way to keep your pet safe, but when something happens, it’s important to know how to help, especially because animals are much different than humans.

“There are restraint techniques if an animal is not being cooperative,” said Macknak. “Safety first is important to know to assist the animal safely.”

She started Paw Responder after owning a pet daycare for 12 years, so she knows a thing or two about the trouble that pets of all sizes can get into.

One of the key techniques that was taught during the course is animal CPR and says that it’s never something that you want to employ at any time, but it’s important to know how.

“It’s about how to step in and knowing what to do in the event that it does happen.”

Some of the more common things that pet owners could come across are choking and poisoning and she says that prevention is also key.

“Knowing to keep your animal out of a certain situation so that it doesn’t happen.”

The first aid course that the Humane Society offers lasts about 10 hours and owners receive a certification by the end of it. That document is valid for three years after the date of issue.

“It really applies for pet professionals so dog daycares and pet walkers can really benefit from it.”

(With files from Bill Macfarlane)