Do you carry a first aid kit in your car? What about a pet first aid kit? Pet first aid emergencies can happen at any time and place, and must be treated immediately in order to produce the best possible outcomes.
Fortunately, pet parents who put together a first aid kit will be well prepared to confront health emergencies, no matter where or when they occur. To create your pet first aid kit, include the following items:
- Bandages: Every good first aid kit includes bandages. Your kit should contain a mixture of gauze, pads, and non-adhesive dressings to help stop bleeding and cover wounds. You should also include antiseptic wipes to gently clean wounds before wrapping them. Make sure you pack some non-adhesive vet wrap to hold dressings in place and provide a protective coating over bandages. In an emergency, even a sock or rag can help to control bleeding.
- Gloves: It's important to include disposable gloves in your first aid kit to avoid contaminating wounds while cleaning or wrapping them. They should be thrown out after use and your kit restocked with fresh ones.
- Scissors: Include a pair of sharp surgical scissors to cut tape, size bandages, and remove fur from around an injured area.
- Tape: Micropore tape is a good choice for your first aid kit because it can be torn easily if you don't have scissors handy. It's used primarily to hold dressings in place.
- Water: Include a bottle of water in your first aid kit to clean wounds, soothe burns, wash off toxins, or simply rehydrate a hot pet. A foldable bowl is handy to keep with your water.
- Saline Solution: Sterile saline solution is useful for cleaning and flushing dirt and dust from the eyes, but if that's not available, then plain water will do the job.
- Tweezers: If your pet has a foreign body in a paw or wound, a pair of tweezers is a great tool for removing it without causing further injury or contaminating the area.
- Plastic Bags: Plastic bags can be used to dispose of soiled dressings, cover foot injuries, or keep wounds clean. Additionally, they can be used to cover bandages and keep them dry.
- Medications: If your pet is on important medications, obtain some extras from your vet and keep them in your pet first aid kit. This ensures that you'll always have extras and that your pet will never be without life-saving medications. Check expiry dates on the medication regularly and make sure they're kept cool and dry.
These items may seem excessive, but they're important pieces of a well-rounded pet first aid kit. When all the items are put together, this kit should fit into a gallon Ziploc bag or small duffel that's ideal for keeping in the car or tucking into a hiking backpack. In order for your pet first aid kit to be effective, you need to remember to take it with you when you are out with your pet. It's also advisable to sign up for a pet first aid training class. Although nobody wants to deal with a pet medical emergency, being well prepared is the best way to increase the odds of a positive result.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.