More and more pet parents are taking a proactive role in treating injuries their beloved fur babies suffer. Because of that we ask you, “Do you have a pet first aid kit?” If you have a “human” first aid kit in the house, you have the beginnings of what you will need in your pet first aid kit.
We don’t want to ever think our dog or cat can get injured or become ill. It does happen though and if you’re faced with a medical emergency with your pet, having a fully-stocked pet first aid kit could very well be a lifesaver.
Do You Have A Pet First Aid Kit?
We realize most of our readers are not veterinarians, but most pet parents can take care of certain pet health issues. Here are a few health concerns a well-prepared pet parent with a pet first-aid kit can take care of while waiting to get into your veterinarian’s office.
- Take care of minor injuries that befall your pet
- Stabilize your pet until you get to the vet
- Treat poisoning emergencies until you get to the vet
- Take care of minor injuries that may not require a vet visit
- Stop bleeding or remove splinters, burrs or bee stingers
Depending on how often you travel, how many pets and what species of pets you have in the household you may need more than one pet first aid kit and you may need to stock unique items. If you and your dog run or jog together or go to the dog park or a doggie daycare, pack a small pet first aid kit for when you’re on the go.
When you have quick access to your fully stocked pet first aid kit you can treat a traumatic injury or a cut, bite or toxic exposure until you get to your vet. Immediate treatment may make the difference between a fatal injury or one your pet can survive because of your quick action.
Pet Health Emergencies
- Blanket or towel. If your pet gets injured or hit by a car, he will need immediate veterinarian care. Until you get to the vet there are steps you can take to treat your pet and stabilize him. Carrying a towel or having a blanket in your first aid kit will keep him warm until help arrives. This could help prevent shock. When you have a towel or blanket you can more easily carry your dog if needed.
- Ice pack. An ice pack will slow blood flow if your dog or cat gets cut. Ice will also help reduce swelling. A styptic pencil or styptic powder can also slow the bleeding from a wound.
- Alcohol wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers and antibiotic ointment. These are staples in a pet first aid kit. Gauze will help protect a wound. Ointment can reduce the risk of infection. Wipes can be used to clean and disinfect a wound.
- Area specific items. If you live in the Northeast where ticks are a problem you will want a tick remover. The Northeast may also mean you want to have a snake bite kit in your first aid kit. Pets in Arizona should have supplies to care for a pet who’s been stung by a scorpion. Know the specific threats in your area and stock your kit with items to address that.
- Water. Keep bottled water in your pet first aid kit to wash out wounds. Water is also be important if your pet becomes dehydrated.
- Poison treatments. Your pet first aid kit should contain: liquid dishwashing detergent to remove toxins from fur; gloves to protect your hand from exposure to toxins while you’re bathing your dog; hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (do not do this unless your vet recommends it); saline eye solution to rinse your pet’s eyes.
- Contact information for your vet
- Your personal contact information in case you aren’t with your pet
- Your pet’s complete medical history
If you want to truly be prepared in the event of a medical emergency with your pets contact the American Red Cross for information on a first aid course. The organization provides an online course that will teach pet parents basic preventative and emergency first aid care. Learning how to stabilize your pet during an emergency could help save his life.
Do you have a pet first aid kit? Is it fully stocked? Do you have more than one if you spend time in more than one place?
Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words Matter, My Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.