Now that Pet First Aid Awareness Month is coming to an end, it is the perfect time to discuss what to keep in your pet’s first aid kit, and what measures should be taken if your pet has an accident. Of course, it is always best practice to take your pet to the vet if the injury seems more severe than you anticipate being able to handle. Pet owners should also consult with their veterinarians for more recommendations as to what you can include in your pet first aid kit and how to use the items.
To get you started, here are some items that you should keep in your pets’ first aid kit should something happen to your furry little one!
1. Adhesive gauze
Keeping a roll of gauze handy will be super helpful when it comes to unexpected bites or bleeding. Including scissors, tape, and rubber gloves in your kit are great additions to ensure you’re fully ready to take on an emergency right away. Tape and scissors will be handy to help secure and cut the gauze down to the desired piece sizes. Gloves are essential to have as well to ensure you protect yourself from blood or any other bodily fluids. Gauze can also act as a temporary brace to provide support to your dog’s limbs should you suspect they may have any fractures.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you have ever fallen and scraped your knee or elbow, your mom or dad likely grabbed hydrogen peroxide immediately to clean the wound! This solution is excellent for treating minor injuries on your pets too. Along with this, having cotton pads available would be great to control the amount of Hydrogen Peroxide being used depending on the size of the wound. The most common way to use this is to apply it topically, but it can also be used to induce vomiting in case your pet eats something poisonous. Always consult a professional before considering this as an option. They will be able to guide you in the right direction, depending on the needs of your fur baby.
3. Rectal Thermometer
It’s much easier to take a human’s temperature and get an idea of whether or not they have a fever or something disrupting their ability to maintain average body temperature. With pets, it’s not so simple considering they are covered in fur, so direct access to their skin is quite challenging! That’s why having a rectal thermometer in your pet first aid kit is a great resource to have if your pet appears lethargic or less alert. If your pet is shivering or trembling for no known reason, taking their temperature is your best bet to find out if there is something going on internally. For your reference, normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (which is 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius).
4. Antibiotic Cream/Ointment
If you are very active with your dog, and you like to go on a lot of runs or hikes, having an antibiotic cream would be of great help if your pup happens to step on something sharp that results in a little scratch. It is a good idea to prevent small cuts and scrapes from developing into major problems! Avoiding infections that can lead to significant health problems is always a good idea to keep your pup as comfortable as possible! These ointments can also help act as a barrier between the cut and other potential bacteria and germs.
Most of the time, dogs don’t require any permanent medications from the moment they’re born. Still, there are a few things you can keep in your first aid kit just in case you run into the unexpected. If your pet does have health issues, you can always speak to your vet about providing you with a backup supply of medication in case you can’t access what you have at home. You can also stock up on some over the counter medications if your pet comes across an allergy you didn’t know they had! These additional medications could be antihistamines, antidiarrheal medications, and even flea and tick medications!
Prevention is always the key to avoiding any accidents or injuries. A few other helpful techniques to keep in your back pocket are Pet CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. Make sure you have access to the phone numbers for the nearest emergency veterinarian and the poison control hotline. Along with emergency numbers, pet vaccination records should be accessible at all times to you and your pet sitter. Having this information readily available will help in aiding the treatment of your pet should you have to resort to taking them to a pet hospital. Prevention and education will ultimately lead to a successful life for your pet and save you both any major stress during an emergency situation!