Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First Aid Kit

Here is a list of supplies to keep handy to help your pets stay healthy and safe.

Bandage Material – Gauze pads, roll gauze, and white tape can be used to create a temporary bandage. Do not attempt to clean the area or apply any type of ointment or wound spray. Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide can cause tissue damage and some ointments and sprays may be toxic to your pet. Be careful not to wrap the bandage too tightly. Remember this bandage is only temporary until you can get your pet to the veterinarian.

Elizabethan Collar – Also known as an e-collar, “the cone”, or lampshade. It is always handy to keep one in your home. If your pet is licking a sore area, trying to chew out sutures, rubbing his eyes and face on the carpet, for example, this collar will help your pet from doing any further damage until he can receive veterinary care.

Muzzle – When a pet is afraid, injured, or painful, even the gentlest dog may lash out and try to bite. The muzzle will protect both you and your pet. Do not use muzzle if your pet is having difficulty breathing, vomiting, coughing, or choking unless instructed by a veterinarian.

Leash – Even though some pets may not be used to a leash, it is important to have one to help you gain control of your pet during a stressful situation to prevent him from panicking and running away.

Hydrogen Peroxide – The purpose of peroxide in your first aid kit is not for wound cleaning, but for inducing vomiting. If your dog has ingested a toxin or foreign object of any kind, contact a veterinarian right away for proper dosing and instructions. Some toxins and objects SHOULD NOT be vomited back up because they can cause further damage to the esophagus or cause choking. Do not give hydrogen peroxide to cats.

Thermometer and Vaseline – The only way to tell if your pet has an elevated temperature is by taking it rectally. Use the Vaseline to lubricate the tip of the thermometer. Take precaution while getting your pet’s temperature. It is easier with two people, one person holding the pet still while the other works the thermometer. If your pet is showing any signs of discomfort, is growling, or trying to bite, do not continue. If your pet’s temperature is below 100 degrees or above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, contact a veterinarian. A fast read digital thermometer is recommended.

Styptic Powder or Pencil – When a toenail is trimmed too short, this can cause bleeding which is very difficult to stop. Using styptic powder/pencil will stop the bleeding. If you do not have access to either, flour or cornstarch packed into the nail works well. Make sure to keep your pet still for 15-20 minutes. Allowing them to play, run, or jump around will cause their blood pressure to rise and the nail will continue to bleed.

Tweezers – To remove a tick, grab it at the base. If you are not comfortable with this, a veterinarian can remove the tick for you.

Eye dropper or syringe – If you need to administer hydrogen peroxide or other liquids, an eye dropper or syringe will make the job much easier than using a turkey baster.

Important Numbers – Keep a list of emergency contact numbers on your refrigerator, on your cell phone, and inside of your first aid kit. Numbers should include your regular veterinarian, closest emergency veterinary clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control (800-548-2423).

Map/Directions – Having driving directions to your emergency veterinary clinic printed out will help you save time during an emergency situation.

List of Medications – Keeping an updated list of your pet’s current health problems and medications on you at all times is very important. Be sure to include the name of the medication, the strength, how much, and how often it is given. Some places to store your list are a note on your phone, an email to yourself, or a copy in your glove box.

Occasionally check the supplies in your kit for expired items and replace as needed. Keep the kit out of reach of pets or children.

Please also read our Common Emergencies and Handy Household Items sections. Being informed on how to respond during an emergency situation will help reduce your panic level.

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