First Aid Kit For Pets
Veterinarian Reviewed on April 7, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Unfortunately, during every pet owner’s life, there comes a time in which they find themselves needing to administer First Aid to their pets. It is therefore advisable to be prepared in advance for such events by keeping an adequately stocked First Aid Kit for your pets.
Curiosity doesn’t always ‘kill the cat’, but often times it can cause injury to a cat. Dog are just as equally curious, especially regarding new surroundings. Both cats and dogs can sometimes get themselves into dangerous situations. Nevertheless, it is your job as their human companion to help your cat or dog when they do get into trouble and, until you are able to get your pet to a vet, he or she will depend solely on you. It is therefore imperative to have the correct supplies that you may need on hand in order for you to help your pet more effectively.
Since you’ll never really know when your pet will have an injury, it is a good idea for you to create two First Aid Kits: one to keep at home and the other one in your car. You can include all the items you may need in a water proof, air tight container. It is a good idea to write on top of the container, in indelible ink, your vet’s phone number, closest emergency animal hospital number, and poison control number. Of course, do not forget to write your name, address and phone number as well. Additionally, if you have not taken a Pet CPR or Pet First Aid Class before, you should also keep a small copy of basic pet first aid and CPR instructions inside the container.
Some of the items that you should incorporate in to your pet’s first aid kit include:
- Rolls of gauze and tape, as these are handy to slow or stop your pet’s bleeding.
- First Aid Tape.
- Dog Muzzle
- Scissors – preferably with a rounded tip
- Nail clippers
- Nail file
- Styptic powder or other blood-clotting topical products
- Eye dropper
- Cotton swabs
- Rectal thermometer
- Disposable gloves
- Syringes of various sizes
- Needle-nose pliers
- Napkins or a roll of kitchen paper towels
- Bitter Apple or other product to discourage licking
- Cold and heat packs
- Antibiotic ophthalmic ointment for eyes
- Eye wash solution
- Sterile saline
- Anti-diarrheal medicine such as Plantearis
- Diphenhydramine, for an allergic reaction to bee or wasp stings
- Ear cleaning solution
- Hydrogen peroxide which is used to make a dog vomit and to clean out any wounds.
- Activated charcoal to absorb ingested poisons. But make sure that you talk with your vet before administering it to your pet!
Remember to check the expiration date on the medicines that you keep in your pet’s First Aid Kit and replace them as needed.
Another important item to keep with the First Aid Kit is an old, but clean, blanket that can be used to wrap your pet in should he or she be in shock. A blanket can also be used as a sling if need be.
Some pet owners also keep a small stock of Karo Syrup, a syrup that is very high in sugar. This is given to those pets that are going into shock. Gatorade and Pedialyte are also safe to give to pets to help them with their nutritional needs during a time of shock or pain, or when they are not eating or drinking enough.
Make sure that are quite familiar with all the items that are in your pet’s first aid kit as well as learning the basics of first aid for animals.
Some American Red Cross Agencies conduct Pet First Aid Classes. Check to see if there are any in your neighborhood.
Also it is a good idea to store your vet’s phone number as a speed dial, either on your home phone or cell phone. Become familiar with how to get to an after-hours emergency vet as well.
Photo Credit: sciondriver
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan