You never know when the unthinkable happens to your pet, especially when you’re away from home. You should be prepared for the unexpected by preparing a Pet First Aid Kit. You can either buy one already assembled or make one for yourself.
Here’s a checklist of pet first aid kit supplies that will help you be prepared for the unthinkable:
1. Phone numbers to your regular veterinarian, Animal Emergency Hospital. This may seem obvious, but during an emergency having these numbers easily accessible will give you access to a trusted advisor.
2. Instant Cold Pack: Use on minor burns or swelling.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide: Used to induce vomiting. Always contact the nearest animal emergency hospital BEFORE you induce vomiting. (For example: DO NOT induce vomiting if your pet ingests acid, alkali, petroleum or rat poison.)
4. Milk of Magnesia or Activated Charcoal: Also used to induce vomiting. You should always contact the nearest animal emergency hospital BEFORE you induce vomiting.
5. Digital thermometer: Check your pet’s temperature rectally. If you have it handy, you can use a little KY jelly to make insertion a bit more comfortable.
6. Gauze: Use in place of a bandage or to control bleeding.
7. Vet wrap or flexible cohesive tape: Can be wrapped around gauze or bandage pad, or be used in place as a muzzle, if you didn’t pack one. Don’t wrap it too tight or you will cut off the blood circulation.
8. Sterile Eye Wash: Flush eye of particles.
9. Syringe or Eye Dropper: To flush a wound or give oral treatments.
10. Latex gloves: To be worn by pet parent during emergency. These can also double-up as a fecal sample baggie.
11. Antiseptic Wipes: Clean abrasion or clean minor wounds such as porcupine quills, fishhooks or grass seeds. Never use on gaping wounds or severe bleeding!
12. Triple Antibiotic Cream: To be used on minor cuts or abrasions. Once again, never use on gaping wounds or severe bleeding!
13. Antihistamine tablets: To use if there’s an allergic reaction to a bee sting or plant.
14. Muzzle: To help cover a pet’s head in case of unpredictable behaviour. Never muzzle your pet if she is vomiting or unconscious.
15. Cotton Swabs: Clean wound.
Buying a similar kit online or spending 15 minutes in a pharmacy to pull these items together into a tote bag – that you keep in your kitchen, in your car or by your front door – will give you extra peace of mind that you (or a friend) can help your pet immediately in an emergency.