Much like a human first aid kit, a pet first aid kit is important to have but hopefully, will never have to be used.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation with your pet, having a fully stocked pet first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death.
Pet first aid kits can be purchased from any pet supply store, but it's just as easy to make your own. If you're interested in putting together your own kit, below is a list of the must-have items that should be included.
Just like when providing first aid to a human, you want to make sure that you are always wearing disposable gloves. This will keep both you and your pet safe by providing a protective barrier to prevent the spread of germs.
Pet First Aid Book
A high-quality pet first aid book will help guide you through the basics of pet first aid. It's important to review this before an emergency takes place, so you are familiar with what is covered in it and have a solid foundation of knowledge to draw on in the event of an emergency.
Just like with contact information, it can be easy to forget the details of your pet's immunization records in times of stress. This is why it's important to keep an up-to-date copy accessible in your first aid kit.
Important Phone Numbers
In an emergency situation, it can be hard to think clearly, which is why it's a good idea to have all important phone numbers at the tip of your fingers.
Contact information for your vet, an after-hours emergency clinic, and animal poison control are three good ones to start with. If you're leaving your pet with a sitter, including your own contact information is also a good idea.
No matter how friendly your pet is, if they are hurt and scared they may lash out.
This is why it's a good idea to muzzle them before you begin providing first aid. If you don't have a muzzle, medical gauze provides a good substitute.
Keeping a selection of bandages, gauze, and vet wrap in your kit will allow you to control bleeding and cover wounds until they can be examined by a vet.
Just make sure that you try and avoid placing adhesives directly on your pet's fur, as they can be difficult and uncomfortable to remove.
Bandages, gauze, vet wrap, and other items in your kit can quickly become useless if you don't have scissors to cut them with.
Scissors can also be used to remove fur around the injured area, if necessary.
Believe it or not, dish soap if very effective at removing toxins from your pet's skin and fur.
Just make sure that you rinse all soap off later as prolonged exposure can cause dryness and irritation.
Hydrogen peroxide actually serves two purposes in pet first aid kits. The first, more obvious use is for cleaning wounds, but the second, less obvious use is to induce vomiting in your pet if they have ingested a poison.
Before using peroxide to induce vomiting, always consult with your vet or vet poison control employee.
Tweezers are important to have if you need to remove something that has become embedded in your pet's skin, such as a tick.
The fine tip of the tweezers makes it easy to remove even the smallest embedded object.
Medical tape is specifically designed to stick to skin but can be removed easily. If you do need to adhere something, such as a bandage, directly to your pet's skin or fur, do so with medical tape.
This makes removal much easier and comfortable for your pet.
Rectal Thermometer and Lubricant
Rectal thermometers are the best way to get an accurate reading of your pet's temperature.
To make inserting the thermometer easier and more comfortable for your pet, keep a small quantity of water-based lubricant handy.
Antiseptic wipes can be used to clean the wound before you bandage it up, reducing the chance for infection.
These wipes can also be used to sanitize equipment before and after using it, as well as your own hands.
Treats are great to use if you need to calm or distract your pet while providing first aid. While your pet is focusing on their treats, you can quickly finish the task at hand, such as banding a cut or removing an embedded item.
As you're putting your pet first aid kit together, make sure that you are comfortable using each of the items in it. If you have any questions about how to use any of the equipment, the best person to ask is your veterinarian.
They will be happy to answer any of your questions at your next appointment and will sure to be impressed at your initiative!
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