Do you have a first aid kit for your pet?

If an accident or injury occurs for the humans in your home, it is likely that you have supplies to handle that “emergency”, but how many of you have a first aid kit for your pet?  Having these basic supplies on hand can hopefully insure the health and safety of your furry family member.

  • Phone numbers and your pet’s medical record (including medications and vaccination history).  Be sure to include the number of your regular veterinarian, as well as the emergency veterinary clinic.  The number for the Animal Poison Control Center is 888-426-4435.  (There may be a fee for this call.)
  • Gauze for wrapping wounds and or muzzling the injured animal.
  • Nonstick bandages (Telfa pads), towels, or strips of clean cloth to control bleeding or protect wounds
  • Vet wrap-Do NOT use human adhesive bandages on pets
  • Latex or exam gloves
  • Large syringe without the needle to give oral treatments or to flush wounds
  • Tweezers or hemostats to remove embedded ticks or splinters
  • Scissors to cut bandage material
  • Towel or blanket to use as a stretcher and another to keep your pet warm
  • Ice pack (wrap in towel before using)
  • Digital thermometer– To check your pet’s temperature.  Do NOT insert a thermometer into your pet’s mouth-the temperature must be taken rectally.
  • Water based lubricating gel to use for taking temperatures with the thermometer
  • Muzzle (In an emergency, a necktie, soft cloth, stocking, or gauze may be used.) If you pet is vomiting, do NOT muzzle it.
  • Ear Wash-Speak to your veterinarian about what is best for your pet.
  • Quick Stop and Nail Trimmers-Corn starch or flour can also be used to stop bleeding.
  • Diphenhydramine (aka Benedryl) for stings and allergic reactions.  Please consult your veterinarian for the proper dosage.
  • Antiseptic Wash-Chlorhexidine Scrub or Betadine Scrub
  • Antibiotic ointment-Over the counter “general purpose” antibiotic ointment for light use with minor skin wounds-NOT for eye use
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%) to induce vomiting.  Use ONLY under the direction of Poison Control or your veterinarian.

Common Sense Advice– In addition to the items listed above, include anything that your veterinarian recommends specifically for your pet.  Check the supplies in your pet’s first aid kit occasionally and replace any items that have expired.  For your family’s safety, keep all medical supplies and medications out of the reach of both children and pets.

****ALWAYS remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care.  First aid care is NOT a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.