There are few things worse than a pet emergency. The animal is scared, in pain, and defensive, and if you’re neither calm nor prepared, the situation can go from zero to sixty in a hot second. Without a doubt, having the right tools can make all the difference (it also helps to know how and when to use them). Putting together a usable pet first-aid kit is easy, relatively inexpensive, and part of responsible pet ownership.
Your pet’s first-aid kit should have just enough stuff to get through a wide variety of illnesses or injuries, but not too much that it’s hard to locate what you need. Keep it in a user-friendly container with storage slots or sleeves, and be sure that your household knows the location of the kit.
It’s also worthwhile to have a back up pet first-aid in each vehicle or home. Check the kit twice a year to make sure you don’t need replacements, especially regarding expired medication.
First-aid is basically a bandaid to promote quicker healing or a bridge until professional care can be found. The bottom line is you don’t want to be without special knowledge of applying first-aid, or having the necessary gear. Having a pet first-aid kit adds a sense of security, and gives you the tools to provide care to your best friend.
Check out the online class offered by the Red Cross and download their pet first aid app here.
Your pet’s first-aid kit will have many of the same items as your own, including:
Sterile gauze, rolls, and pads
Antiseptic wipes or spray
Cotton balls and swabs
Hydrogen peroxide (only use under the advice of veterinarian to induce vomiting)
Rectal thermometer and lubricant
Styptic powder to control bleeding
Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
Possibly, one of the biggest challenges to administering pet first-aid is safe containment. Your pet could be in a great amount of pain, but they don’t understand you’re trying to help them. Small animals can be restrained in order to work on them. Cats, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a pillowcase with only the affected area outside of the fabric. Enlist a helper to keep your cat calm and still while you fix them up.
A travel kennel is necessary to transport your animal to the hospital, but it might be necessary to use a blanket to move them into the car. Take a look at these animal stretchers to find a good option for a large pet.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet first-aid kit, or how to help your pet through an emergency, please call us at (951) 684-2181. Our staff at The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital is always here for you.