Part of being a responsible dog or cat owner involves having a properly stocked pet first aid kit at home for your furry companion. For the well being of your pet, it’s important to keep essential pet first aid items on hand in case of an emergency. The month of April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so we thought we would remind everyone what should be on hand so you can order items to keep together for an emergency. Remember, first aid should not replace professional veterinary care. It’s for minor issues and sudden emergencies until you can get to your vet for the proper treatment your pet may need.
By putting together a pet first aid kit you will be more prepared to deal with a medical emergency if one confronts you for your dog, cat, or any other pet. Keep this kit in the house and filled with supplies at all times. Keep it next to the first aid kit for your family. Many of the items in the family first aid kit can be useful for pets, as well.
Here is our list of essential items to keep in your pet first aid kit:
Emergency Phone Numbers
Make sure to place an index card with your veterinarian’s phone number and address. You will also want to include the nearest 24-hour pet emergency clinic phone number and address, as well as the number to the animal poison control hotline. In the event of a disaster, you might not have electricity, internet, or phone service. This is why we suggest keeping a hard copy of all of your pet’s information with your emergency pet first aid kit. You’ll also want these emergency numbers ready to go, in the event if you lose or replace your phone where you usually have your contacts.
Paperwork: Vaccination & Medical Records
When you’re dealing with a critical emergency, you’ll want all of your dog’s information kept in one place. This will help if your dog gets hurt and needs medical attention. If you can get to an emergency vet, they’ll be able to provide better, safer care if they know your pet’s past medical history. Even a USB drive with your dog or cat’s records on file is a good thing to have in your pet first aid kit. Also, if a situation arises where you need to leave your pet with a dog sitter or friend, you can easily make sure they know where the paperwork and contacts are in the event of an emergency.
Gauze, Scissors, Tape, Rubber Gloves, Nonstick bandages
Gauze may need to be used for wrapping wounds or if necessary muzzling your pet. Sometimes under stressful situations an animal will instinctively bite to protect itself. Scissors are used of course to cut rolls of gauze or tape. The tape is for securing gauze wrap or bandages. And, rubber gloves to keep clean and protect you and your pet from potential cross-contamination. Nonstick bandages for pets so the bandage does not get stuck in fur, and to control bleeding or protect open wounds.
This antiseptic we all know is an effective method for cleaning minor cuts and wounds. Also, if your pet ingests something toxic, you may need to induce vomiting, and this can be done with hydrogen peroxide. However, always check with a poison control professional or your vet first before inducing vomiting. Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the proper instructions on how to do this. During an emergency situation, time is of the essence, and it is not the time you want to learn how to do this sort of thing.
Milk of Magnesia or Activated Charcoal
These are products that are useful to help absorb poison or toxic substances. These are demulcents. A demulcent is an agent that coats or soothes the stomach. However, once again, Always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison.
If your pet gets a small cut or scratch, an antibiotic ointment will help prevent infection, it can also help to relieve pain, and it acts as a barrier from bacteria and germs. It’s something every pet first aid kit should have. Even minor cuts and scrapes can lead to a variety of more serious major health problems if they get an infection. Triple Antibiotic Ointment is a combination of three antibiotics that are safe for use topically on cats and dogs: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. Another popular dog and cat antibiotic ointment is Neosporin. It is also safe to use to treat bacterial infections of minor cuts, burns, or scrapes on the skin of your animal.
Sometimes when your pet is behaving abnormally or appears sick you may want to check body temperature. Fever or low temp may be indicators of infections or serious medical problems. Even for your own peace of mind, you may want to check your pet’s temperature if you suspect something is wrong. Do not insert a thermometer into your pet’s mouth. A dog or cat’s temperature must be taken rectally for accuracy.
Normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Some pets maintain a baseline temperature a little above or below average, but if your pet’s temperature rises above 103.5 degrees F or falls below 99 degrees F, take him or her to a veterinarian.
A Towel Or Blanket
If your pet has an injury or in a panic, gently wrapping them up in a soft blanket can help calm them down and this may allow you to inspect or treat their injury with less likelihood of being scratched or bitten. A microfiber towel or blanket is ultra-absorbent and can help in an emergency situation. A towel or blanket also offers a soft surface for you to rest your pet for an examination if the ground or floor is too hard and you need to get a better look at an injury.
If your pet takes regular medications or supplements you may want to keep a week supply in the pet first aid kit. Talk to your vet about keeping a small backup supply of any prescribed or useful medications for your kit. If you’re traveling in the future and lose or can’t find the medication, you’ll always have a backup supply so you don’t have to panic or spend a day having your vet call in a prescription somewhere.
It’s never a bad idea to have a few vet-approved, over-the-counter medicines on hand. This includes your pet’s supplements, flea and tick medications, antacids or meds for stomach issues, and any approved sedatives or calming products. Periodically check to make sure these medicines are not past expiration date.
At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your four-legged friend. Our Flexpet joint care supplements are highly reviewed and they are made in the USA from human-grade US ingredients. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.