Putting Together a First Aid Kit for Your Pet
While pets are tough little creatures, they could suffer an accident or a medical emergency. Being prepared in such circumstances will make it much easier for you to react in the best possible way and give your little buddy adequate assistance.
A first aid kit for your pet should feature a couple of essentials, as well as tailored supplies that address the specific medical needs of your kitten or puppy. If you’ve never created a pet medical kit in the past, this guide will acquaint you with some of the biggest essentials.
Be Prepared for Common Diseases and Injuries
We’re prone to headaches, sprains and muscle stiffness. We suffer from colds and the flu virus. The emergency measures we undertake are based on a good understanding of the ailments that we as humans are susceptible to.
To ensure the provision of proper medical supplies for your pets, you should gain some understanding of the most common ailments and injuries.
As far as injuries go, the typical ones include foreign body ingestion, bites by another animal, eye trauma, ligament ruptures, broken nails and heat-related issues (like heat stroke).
Some of the most common diseases in cats include FIV, ringworm, upper respiratory infections, diabetes, kidney problems and worms. Dogs are susceptible to ear infections, worms, renal failure, parvovirus infections, heartworm disease and fungal diseases.
First Aid Supplies to Address Wounds and Injuries
The first part of your emergency kit focuses on addressing wounds and injuries. These could occur easily – when you go for a walk or take your pet to a vacation.
The specific supplies that you will need to take care of such problems include:
- Bandages and gauze
- Antiseptics like hydrogen peroxide
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls and swabs for wound cleaning
- Disposable gloves (you should be thinking about your own safety, as well!)
- Rubbing alcohol
- An antibiotic ointment (for abscesses and more serious infections)
- Wet wipes
- Towels and blankets (to make a pet in pain feel a bit more comfortable)
A first aid kit should also put emphasis on the medical history of your pet. If something happens and you cannot respond to an emergency, another person should have access to all of the important information about the health status of your beloved puppy or kitten.
For a start, you should feature the medical records for past vet visits. The emergency kit should let someone know everything about vaccinations, anti-parasite treatments, grooming and special treatment that the pet has had for a particular medical problem in the past.
You also need to have a hard copy record of medicines your pet is taking for the treatment of a medical problem and the dosage recommendations. This information should always be submitted to a dog sitter or a person that will be taking care of your pet while you are away.
Other Supplies and Medicines
A good first aid kit for a pet has to be fully-stocked with essentials, as well as items that may be required eventually.
To address all possible problems, consider adding the following items to your emergency kit:
- Medications your pet is taking
- Anti-parasite sprays or tablets
- Petroleum jelly
- A thermometer
- Ice packs
- A vet-approved medication for allergic reactions (both pills and an ointment)
- Ear cleaning supplies
- A nail clipper
- A flashlight
- Eye droppers and syringes
- Comfort items (a toy, a favorite pillow)
- A collar and a leash
- A pet carrier
When putting the kit together, you should definitely talk to your vet. While these are the basic supplies most pets are going to need in the case of an emergency, there could be some specific recommendations. The vet knows your pet and their medical history, which is why you should definitely get them involved in the process.
A Few Additional Tips and Suggestions
There are several additional things you can do to ensure your pet’s health. Make sure that the first aid kit features the vet’s contact information. One again – you have to be prepared for instances in which somebody else will be responding to an emergency.
If you want to be 100 percent prepared, you may also want to consider completing a pet first aid class. Organizations like the Red Cross make such options available for pet owners. There are trainings you can complete online and if the course is good enough, it could potentially save lives.
Whenever you have to go to the vet or the emergency room, bring the first aid kit with you. A medical professional who is not familiar with the history of your pet is going to find both the information and the supplies particularly beneficial for the provision of adequate medical assistance.
A final thing to remember is that certain supplies need to be changed periodically. Take a look at the expiration date of medications and emergency supplies. Create a schedule for first aid kit updates in order to make all of the supplies useful.