Sometimes, it seems that getting into scrapes is what pets do best. Getting out of them, however, can be another matter and may require medical care.
While a serious injury or illness will require immediate veterinary attention, there are many minor injuries that your pet may incur for which home treatment is perfectly acceptable. From minor cuts, scrapes or bites to bruising from a slip or fall, accidents happen. And it’s important to have what you need to treat such injuries to hand, if and when you need them.
Having a travel first aid kit in your car is also a great idea, so you have the essentials to hand should your pet get injured while away from home.
A first aid kit specifically meant for your pet is helpful because it provides items that are not often found in the first aid kit you may have for your family. And while there are many pre-made kits that may be purchased for pets, building your own kit, or adding to a pre-made one, might be the best way to have a kit customized for your pet’s lifestyle and needs.
What to include in your Pet’s First Aid Kit
It’s a really good idea to include important documentation in your pet’s first aid kit, including:
Pet emergency contact list
- Your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Contact information and directions for the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital.
- Poison control center or hotline details.
- An emergency contact – either a loved one or friend who may be able to help during an emergency.
Pet emergency paperwork
It’s important to record your pet’s medical information, such as vaccination status and past illnesses. And in a state of emergency, it may be hard to remember everything you need.
If your pet’s paperwork is easily accessible in your Pet First Aid Kit, you’ll have the information you need at your fingertips, should you need it. The records should include:
- Vaccination status
- Medical history of past illnesses
- Current illnesses
- A photo ID of your pet
- A sturdy lead
- An extra collar
- A muzzle to keep your dog restrained in case he becomes over stressed, but don’t use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, or in respiratory distress
- Pet carrier. While this may not fit in your Pet First Aid Kit, make sure its easy to access in case of emergency.
First Aid Supplies
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Digestive medicine. Tummy troubles can be uncomfortable for your pet. Including a medicine such as Digestive Upsets can help ease discomfort from minor digestive problems in your pets
- Gauze rolls
- Ice pack
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Pet First Aid Book
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Petroleum jelly
- Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Self-cling pet bandage. Many pet stores sell non-stick bandages that will securely attach to your pet but not stick to the fur
- Skin treatment. Skin issues are common in pets, so having a medicine such as Skin and Itch handy in your Pet First Aid Kit will mean it’s always to hand if your pet gets scratchy
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Sterile saline solution
- Tick remover tool – if you are in a tick-infested area, consider one of many tools to easily remove ticks and reduce additional damage or infection during removal.
- Wound cream – a general wound cream that promotes healing, such as HP Healing Cream
Purchasing or building a kit is a great first step, but won’t be a lot of help in the event of an emergency if you are not familiar with how and when to use the items. So in addition, it’s a great idea to:
- Take a pet first aid class – check with your veterinarian on the best options local to you.
- Read your pet first aid book, so you know what to do should your pet need your help.
- Use the Pet First Aid by American Red Cross app or similar – to familiarize yourself and have essential information on hand at all times.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Or feel free to contact our Customer Care Line Staff – we’re here to help!