16 Must-Haves in Your Pet's First Aid Kit
PET FIRST AID KIT SUPPLIESGauze: This can be used for wrapping an injury, applied to a bleeding wound and can even provide a makeshift muzzle. Nonstick bandages: Controlling bleeding and protecting wounds is important to prevent infection. Nonstick bandages are great in this situation, as Band-Aids are not fur-friendly. Clean towels: There are many uses for clean towels; washing, keeping warm or cool, can even be used as a makeshift sling for the injured animal. Eye dropper: This is a great tool for giving oral treatments or when flushing out wounds. A large syringe without a needle will also do the trick. Muzzle: When your pet is in pain and feels threatened, he may become defensive. Having a muzzle handy can help prevent accidental bites during treatment of an injury. Do not use if your pet is vomiting! Leash: If your pet is capable of walking without further injury, an extra leash is helpful in transportation if you don't have time to find his usual one. Scissors: Things matted in your pet's fur may need to be cut out. Scissors can also free your pet from entanglements. Tweezers: Removing ticks, splinters or other foreign matter may require tweezers. Bactine: To help sooth irritated skin and protect from infection, antiseptic like Bactine can be applied. It will not harm them and should also taste bad enough to your pet to prevent them from licking it off. Hot and cold packs: These packs will help cool down skin after a burn or keep your furry friend warm in the case of hypothermia. Always use a cloth between the pack and the skin, and check frequently for redness or irritation. Cotton balls or swabs: Can be used to clean wounds and apply ointments and other medicines. Nail clippers: Prevent further damage and pain to your pet's paws by cutting torn or broken nails. Of course, be sure these are pet-safe nail clippers, and not human ones. Activated charcoal: This is given orally to prevent the absorption of various toxins. Benadryl: Can be used to alleviate or reduce allergic reactions. Disposable gloves: When dealing with an open wound, you want to keep it clean to prevent infection. Disposable gloves will help to prevent the spread of germs between you and your pet. Digital thermometer: This is used to take your pet's temperature. You will need a "fever" thermometer, as the scale of regular thermometers does not go high enough for pets. The temperature must be taken rectally.
KEEP IN MIND
- This list is not exhaustive.
- You may already have many of these items, like an extra leash, pet nail clippers, or towels. No need to buy an extra set--just make your Pet First Aid Kit their regular storage place.
- Any first aid administered should be followed by immediate veterinary care and is not a substitute for a trip to a veterinary clinic.
- Medicines like Benadryl and activated charcoal should only be administered under orders from a veterinarian.
- It is a good idea to know or have easy access to the telephone numbers for your regular vet, a 24-hour emergency animal hospital and an animal poison control center.
- Always keep one handy at home and in your car, as you never know when or where a pet emergency might occur.