What To Include In Your Pet First Aid Kit

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Guest post by Melanie Monteiro

What if you walked into
your living room to find your pup just chowed down the bowl of
grapes you
D.Taiga bandaged foot accidentally left on the coffee table? What if your kitty is stung by a
bee and her head swells up like a watermelon? In the first moments following an
emergency, your pet’s outcome may depend on your ability to respond swiftly
and properly until you can get her to a vet — and having a well-stocked pet
first aid kit is rule #1.

Most of the items you’ll need
are inexpensive and can be purchased at the drugstore, or you can start
with one of the many ready-made kits available online, then customize as
needed. Once you’ve got all your items, keep everything together in a
brightly colored backpack that you can easily spot at home, quickly grab for day
trips, or pack for longer travel.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Phone numbers of pet’s
    regular vet, after-hours emergency vet, ASPCA Poison Hotline (888-426-4435),
    pets’ microchip # and microchip company hotline
  • Pet first aid guide such
    a The Safe Dog Handbook or Pets
    America
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3% USP
    (to induce vomiting under a vet’s guidance only)

  • Commercial muzzle (for
    cats or snub-nosed dogs) or strip of fabric 24-36 inches long, for muzzling
    when treating pets in extreme pain (**NEVER muzzle a pet that’s vomiting, has
    difficulty breathing or has throat/neck/head injury)
  • Oral syringe
  • Tweezers or needle nose
    pliers
  • Styptic powder/cotton
    swabs
  • Diphenhydramine
    antihistamine such as Benadryl (for use under a vet’s guidance only)
  • Saline eye wash
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Pediatric rectal
    thermometer and water-based lubricant
  • Epsom salts (to make
    larger batch of saline solution to rinse wounds)
  • Can of pop-top chicken
    broth or tuna in water (to dilute oral burns/irritations, or as base to get pet to
    drink hydrogen peroxide when vomiting is indicated by a vet.)
  • Spare leash
  • Cut and wound care items to pout in your first aid kit include:

    • Hand sanitizer
    • Antiseptic
      (povidone-iodine) solution, such as Betadine
    • Flexi-wrap (self sticking
      elastic bandage roll or Ace)
    • Antibiotic ointment such as
      Polysporin
    • Stretchable gauze
    • Gauze pads/ non-stick
      bandages
    • Non-scented sanitary pad
      (for heavily bleeding wounds)
    • Clean cotton sock/t-shirt
      (for quick-wrapping wounds)
    • First aid adhesive tape
    • Blunt scissors and smaller
      sharp scissors for clipping hair
    • Duct tape

    Also, make sure you always keep a blanket/large
    towel, fresh water, treats and dish in your car. Naturally, having a pet
    first aid kit won’t do much good if you don’t know how and when to use the items it
    contains – so be sure to get pet first aid training! Look for a class
    through your local Red Cross, ask your local humane society, or check
    out the instructor list at pettech.net,

    Author photoWe all know accidents can
    happen at anytime or anywhere. So tell us … do you already have a pet first
    aid kit, or will you plan to put one together soon?

    Bio: Melanie Monteiro is a dog
    safety & lifestyle expert, pet first aid instructor, writer and author
    of The Safe Dog Handbook 
    the acclaimed manual inspired by her adventures with Taiga, the world's most
    accident-prone puppy. 

     Editor's Note: Melanie was a guest on #BlogPawsChat on Twitter last week where she answered questions about pet safety and pet first aid kits. On Tuesday, July 30, #BlogPawsChat will be welcoming Dr. Jason Nicholas @preventivevet of The Preventive Vet. He will be tweeting about stroke awareness
    & prevention. Perfect timing as July 31st is National Heat Stroke
    Awareness day. The #BlogPawsChat is on Twitter from 8-10 pm EST. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/adoptfostervolunteer Viveca Stone-Berry

      Good info! Thanks so much!