Did you know that April is Pet First-Aid Awareness Month? It’s the perfect time to go back and re-check your pet’s current first aid kit to see which supplies need to be thrown out or restocked. If you haven’t put one together yet, then we’re here to help!
As much as you don’t want anything bad happening to your furry companion, there really is no way of predicting accidents and emergencies. The best thing you can do to ensure your pet’s safety is to always be prepared.
Of course, veterinary care is of utmost importance in these situations and should be sought out as soon as possible. However, when you can’t get to a vet or have no other choice but to care for your pet until they receive emergency treatment, it’s crucial to have a first-aid kit containing everything you need on the ready.
And to help you do just that, here’s a list of 12 items that you definitely don’t want missing from your pet first-aid kit:
1. Important documents
When your pet’s life is in danger, there’s nothing worse than having to waste precious time going through cabinets to find necessary paperwork—be it your pet’s medical history, vaccination schedule, list of allergies, or your vet’s contact information and address. That’s why you have to make sure that all of them are in one place.
In case you lose your phone or don’t have it with you, you should have hard copies of important information, contacts, and addresses. Storing a copy of each document into a flash drive for backup is also a good idea.
2. 3% Hydrogen peroxide
Aside from disinfecting wounds, hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in your pet if they ever ingest something toxic. However, NEVER give your pet hydrogen peroxide or make them vomit without consulting with a veterinary professional first and learning how to do it properly. If you can’t get ahold of your veterinarian, contact a pet poison control hotline immediately.
3. Activated charcoal
While hydrogen peroxide works to induce vomit, activated charcoal (or milk of Magnesia) absorbs toxins to prevent poisoning. However, for your pet’s safety, ALWAYS call a veterinary professional or a pet poison control hotline before attempting to give it to your pet.
4. Eyedropper or needle-less syringe
Having an eyedropper or needle-less syringe around allows you to give your pet liquid medication anytime and in a more convenient manner. They also come in handy if your pet ever gets something inside their eye, making it quick and easy for you to flush the foreign substance or material out.
5. Antibiotic ointment
If you and your pet like going on outdoor adventures together, like camping or hiking, then you need to have an antibiotic ointment with you at all times. If your pet accidentally gets a cut or a scratch, applying some antibiotic ointment on the wound can keep it from being exposed to germs or insects and getting infected.
6. Gauze bandage, adhesive tape, and scissors
There’s more than one item here, but since they all work together, they’re pretty much a package deal.
If your pet gets injured really bad, wrapping the affected area with gauze bandage can help control the bleeding or even temporarily stabilize a fractured limb. Use the adhesive tape to hold the gauze bandage in place.
If you want a more detailed explanation on how to bandage your pet correctly, you can check out this great article from PetFirst.
Tweezers are great tools for removing splinters or thorns from your pet’s paws. Unlike fingers, tweezers are capable of removing the foreign object without breaking it and leaving some parts remaining.
8. Pet-specific antibacterial wipes
In case you run out of hydrogen peroxide, you can use antibacterial wipes to disinfect your pet’s wounds before you wrap it up using gauze bandage and adhesive tape.
9. Disposable rubber gloves
When you need to come into contact with blood or any other type of bloody fluids, it’s important to protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. If you have goggles or eyeglasses with you, it’s best to wear those, as well.
10. Towel or blanket
If your pet is hurt and panicking, covering them with a soft towel or blanket can help make them more at ease and less likely to bite or scratch when you examine their injury. A towel or blanket may also serve as a comfortable surface for your pet to lay on while as you care for their wounds or wait for someone to pick you up in case you didn’t bring a car with you.
If your pet is on medications, talk to your veterinarian about having a backup supply on-hand in case of an emergency, especially if you travel with your pet a lot. The last thing you want is to have to call your veterinarian for prescription meds in the midst of an out of the country getaway.
12. Small flashlight
This last item is quite easy to forget; most people don’t even think of including a flashlight in their pet’s first-aid kit or their own. However, pet emergencies can happen at any time—even during brownouts or while you’re walking home in the middle of the night.
What if it’s too dark for you to see the splinter on your pet’s paws or you drop their last maintenance pill on the ground? Including a flashlight (with extra batteries) in the kit can solve those issues and others like it.
Are you prepared to save your pet’s life in case of a medical emergency? Check out these Pet First Aid Courses and make sure that you always are!