During a meeting I attended this evening, for some reason the conversation turned to pets. This topic was not a typical topic discussed at the support group I am involved in for teens and young twenty-somethings. As the conversation continued, they were all surprised that I had a first aid kit for my pets, and we discussed the items I have in mine. I am amazed how many people don’t think about first aid kits for their pets. Therefore, here comes a not typical on a Sunday post.
It is just as important to have a first aid kit for your pet, after all, they are a part of your family.
Here is a list of things you should have in a first aid kit for your pet. I keep all of these items in a simple Rubbermaid Roughneck tote with other containers to keep small things in order. I store this kit in my hall closet.
Make A First Aid Kit For Your Pet
1. Important Numbers
Your vet’s name number and address
Your nearest emergency vet care and directions to it
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (if you live outside of the U.S., you will have to find the number for your country. Sorry.)
2. Your Pet’s Documents
Keep these in a waterproof bag such as a Ziplock bag or food saver bag. I keep a bag in my pet first aid kit for each of my pets.
An updated photo in case they run away or get stolen.
A list of medications approved by your vet and the dosage amount (For instance, my GSD Scout has pollen allergies. Our vet has prescribed Benadryl, I keep his dosage amount in his document bag, and as he grows and the vet changes the dosage, I rerecord it on his paper.)
3. A Leash
If your pet can walk, having a leash keeps your fuzzy safe during transport, and can also make him feel more secure. Having a leash in your kit makes it easier and more comforting to your pet than having you run off to get his normal leash and leaving them without you, their best friend.
Bites can happen when your pet is in distress. It’s not their fault. They are scared. Remember, you are dealing with a being that has the mentality of a 2 to 5-year-old human child.
Please do not use a muzzle if your pet is choking, has labored breathing, nausea or vomiting.
3. Absorbent Gauze, strips, and pads
Can be used for wrapping a pet or a makeshift muzzle.
Again DO NOT muzzle your pet if they are choking, have labored breathing, nausea, or vomiting.
4. Nonstick, self-clinging bandages and towels to control blood loss and protect wounds.
These are stretchable bandages that cling to itself but doesn’t get stuck in fur.
You can buy bandages like this at Petco and Petsmart. Both stores carry them in store, so you don’t have to order online.
5. Adhesive tape for securing gauze wrap
Do not use band-aids or another human type of adhesives
I use the Well & Good Flexible bandages mentioned above in point 4. It holds the gauze in place just as well as any other tape.
6. Cotton balls and cotton swabs
7. Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.
NOTE: Only do this under the direction of your vet as some items are more toxic if vomiting is induced, plus your vet can tell you the correct dose.
DO NOT EVER give this to a cat.
Once the peroxide is not bubbly, it has lost its power to do the job you have it in your box for. Toss it or use it to help clean your silver and stainless steel pots, and replace the bottle in your kit.
8. Milk of Magnesia or Activated Charcoal
Used to absorb poison.
Always contact your vet or poison control before administering this to your pet.
9. A means to administer peroxide
Some kind of syringe with measurements on the side. I have large dogs, so I keep a turkey baster in my kit that has the ozs listed on the sides of it.
10. Instant Cold packs
11. Rectal Thermometer
You can use a normal thermometer, but I prefer the digital ones that I can see better. Your pet’s temp should not be higher than 103 F or lower than 100 F.
12. Petroleum Jelly
Used to lubricate the thermometer
13. Non-Latex Gloves
Used to protect yourself from any substance on your pet’s skin or fur
Used to remove stingers, splinters or other foreign objects like glass shards
15. Liquid Dish Soap
Used to remove substances from your pet’s skin and fur
16. Blunt end scissors
Used to cut bandages
17. Saline Eye Solution
Used to flush foreign items from their eyes
18. Over the counter antibiotic ointment
19. Styptic powder
Used to stop minor bleeding and can be purchased at stores like Walmart or any other pharmacy.
20. Artificial Tears
Used to soothe your pet’s eyes after a saline flush
21. Alcohol Wipes or Rubbing Alcohol
Used to clean the thermometer and as an antiseptic to clean certain wounds.
22. A small flashlight
Not only for dark places, but I also use a flashlight to check my pet’s eyes, such as dilation, eye movement, etc.
23. Any medications your Vet has recommended
Benadryl (I keep a spare in my pet’s first aid kit in case we are traveling, and I have forgotten to grab the bottle I keep at my desk.)
Vet approved sugar tablets if your dog is diabetic or you have a pet prone to hypoglycemia
Wondering about the best glucosamine for your dog? Check out Diamondpup’s article.
24. Nail Clippers
I keep mine in their kit, otherwise I misplace them.
25. Ear Cleaning Solution
Again, my vet has recommended I clean my GSD’s ears monthly. I keep it in their kit so I don’t forget where I put it.
26. A Blanket large enough to use as a stretcher, or a pillow case for a smaller pet.
If your pet can not walk, you can use a blanket or a pillow case as a stretcher to transport your pet.
27. A can of food specific for your pet
Helps dilute a toxin or gives bulk to their vomit
28. A bottle of water
I keep a gallon jug of water in my kit in case I need to flush a wound, cool my dog down, etc. Comes in handy when you are traveling with your pet or in an area where you are not close to a water source.
Remember to check the dates on your supplies and replace as needed.
Have you made a first aid kit for your pet? What items do you have in yours? What items do you think I should add to mine?