Just like you (hopefully) have a first aid kit for yourself and your family, it’s important to also be prepared with a pet first aid kit. Nicks and scrapes are bound to happen if you have pets. And although none of us likes to think about it, natural disasters, injuries, and illnesses can and do happen both close to and far from home.
A first aid kit is a critical first step in being prepared should a pet emergency arise. With a little preparation and planning, pet parents can perform on the spot care to help or save their pet’s life. Once stabilized, it will likely be important to have your pet seen. Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital is always here to answer questions, and if you are worried about your pet, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care immediately.
Pet First Aid Information
Aside from a durable, waterproof container, the first thing in your pet first aid kit should be a pet first aid manual. Better yet, download the Red Cross Pet First Aid App, which gives you information about common pet emergencies and how to handle them. The Red Cross also offers classes in pet first aid, a great idea for any pet owner.
You should also have a laminated card with your veterinarian’s phone number and the emergency clinic’s number, and have these phone numbers pre-programmed into your phone as well.
Lastly, if you are traveling, have local veterinarian phone numbers and the number for Animal Poison Control.
Equipment and Supplies
Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to build your kit.
Disinfectant soap – a simple soapy cleanser can help clean minor cuts and scrapes as well as wash dirt and debris out of more serious wounds. Keep a small bottle in your kit.
Gauze – gauze squares can be used to clean a wound or to stop bleeding. Store them in a ziplock bag so they stay clean.
Slip lead or muzzle – if your pet is in pain, chances are he won’t want you touching painful areas. A muzzle is a good idea, especially if you’re not the one treating him.
Self adhesive bandage material – known in the veterinary parlance as vet wrap or cling gauze, a simple bandage kit is great for slowing bleeding and keeping wounds clean and dry while you’re on your way to the vet.
Digital thermometer – a thermometer can both give peace of mind and alert you when there’s a life threatening emergency on the horizon.
Tick remover tool – removing ticks from your dog is essential to avoiding tick borne disease. These tools are inexpensive, easy to use, and effective.
Medications for Your Pet First Aid Kit
Antibacterial spray or ointment – polysporin or an equivalent ointment or spray can keep scrapes and cuts clean and also alleviate some pain. Make sure to get one without alcohol (which stings!).
Antihistamine – in the event your pet has an allergic reaction from a bee sting or other insect bite, this medication can help prevent life threatening facial and throat swelling. Talk to us about the proper dose for your pet.
Hydrogen peroxide 3% – while not recommended for wound cleaning, hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in the case of accidental poisoning. Be sure you call us or the emergency clinic for instructions.
Skin and paw balm – cracked paw pads can be very painful. You can slather on bag balm or another mild paw balm to ease pain, condition the skin, and moisturize the area.
In addition to the above, make sure to have a good supply of the following basics on hand:
- Cotton balls
- Sterile applicators
- A clean t-shirt
- 1” medical tape
- Towels and cloths
- Small flashlight
- Saline solution
- Heat pack (always keep a towel between the heat pack and your pet to prevent burns)
- Disposable gloves
Your pet may need different or additional items based on his or her lifestyle. If your pet has health conditions, ask us what else should be included in their kit.
However you build your kit, you can always call us with any related questions or concerns.