Every pet owner should put together a pet first aid kit – a handy, easily created resource that will help a pet owner think and act quickly in the event of an emergency.
Pack the listed items in a clear container to facilitate finding them quickly. Include an emergency telephone list inside the kit, or you might even tape it to the outside of the container. Having these numbers on hand will allow the first response to an emergency to be a telephone call to the appropriate emergency information source. The telephone list should contain:
• Your veterinarian’s telephone number and address
• The telephone number and address of the closest veterinary emergency facility
• The number of your local animal ambulance or transportation service
• Animal Poison Control: 1-888-426-4435*
*The advice is well worth the Animal Poison Control user’s fee. If you call, be sure to record your case number and give it to your veterinarian who can contact them for additional consultations about your pet.
First aid kit items:
- Muzzle: Should be of the appropriate size for you pet. Injured pets are likely to bite even their owners due to pain or fear. Muzzling protects the person caring for them in an emergency.
- Tweezers: For splinter or tick removal
- Nail trimmer: Ask your veterinarian for the style of trimmer right for your pet. For cats, my personal favorite is the $1.29 one available at the checkout counter of your local drug store.
- Blunt-tipped scissors: Handy for hair clumps and trimming out foreign material like burdocks and plants.
- Pre-packaged povidone-iodine cleaning pads: Use to clean off cuts and wounds. Follow cleaning with a clean water rinse to remove the soap.
- Saline solution: Regular human contact lens saline solution can be used to flush out dirt, sand or other irritants – just squeeze the contents directly into the eye. The nozzle tip of these bottles makes it very useful to direct the saline into a cut or scrape to flush out sand and dirt.
- Triple antibiotic ointment: To place directly on a cut after it has been cleaned with povidone-iodine and water.
- Sterile petroleum jelly: Put ¼ inch in each eye to protect it from soap or povidone-iodine if cleaning a wound around your pet’s eyes. Works well if you’re bathing your pet, to prevent soap and water from getting in the eyes.
- Sterile nonstick pads: Sticky bandages and fur don’t mix. Wrap the wound with the pads before placing a bandage on your pet.
- Bandage material: Elastic bandages or gauze, which can be used to hold a nonstick pad in place.
- Peroxide: To only be used to induce vomiting when Animal Poison Control instructs you to do so. You should call Animal Poison Control when your dog or cat has consumed something from the pet toxins list. Peroxide should NOT to be used for cleaning wounds, as it slows healing.
- Leash: In case the accident happens when you don’t have one available. Use only if the pet is able to walk.
- Towel: A big, clean cotton towel to dry the pet off, to keep him/her warm, to cover a cut or to use when applying pressure to stop bleeding.