Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog
Be Prepared: Building A Pet First Aid Kit
No one expects an injury to occur, but most of us have first-aid supplies handy just in case. Band-Aids, gauze, and an antimicrobial spray or cream are standard in most medicine cabinets, especially when your home includes children.
Accidents can happen to dogs and cats as well. Whether at home or away, maintaining a pet first-aid kit is an essential part of your pet care kit. Putting together the necessary supplies, and learning how to use them, can make a huge difference in your pet’s overall safety, and may even save a life.
Putting Together A Pet First-Aid Kit
You can gather the supplies for your own pet first aid kit, or purchase one from a reputable source. The kit should be stored in an easily accessible place in your home and brought with you every time you take your pet along on a vacation, camping trip, etc.
If you’re making your own pet first aid kit, start with a sturdy container such as tackle box or padded lunchbox, ideally with a strap or handle. Include the following:
- Rolled gauze
- Rolled cotton wrap
- Tape – Medical adhesive tape, elastic and non-elastic, of varying widths, White waterproof bandage tape, Vet Wrap or self-adhering sports wrap, Micropore tape – useful for dressings that needs to be changed out frequently
- Bandage scissors – Lister brand bandage scissors is a good quality option
- Disposable exam gloves (make sure to get them in your size)
- Tourniquet – disposable 1”x 18” latex free blue are the best
- Leash and extra collar
- Bottled water for drinking and washing
- Digital thermometer
- Eye dropper
- Towels and old, clean t-shirts
- Small flashlight
- Fresh saline solution and artificial tears
- Benadryl – Use the diphenhydramine only tablets, general recommended dosage for dogs is 1 mg per 1 lbs.
- Copies of your pet’s medical records
Having a first-aid kit is only the beginning; you will also need to know how to use the various items you’ve collected. Download the Red Cross Pet First-Aid App for helpful written and video instructions. Also, don’t forget to program your local emergency vet clinic phone number, Animal Emergency & Specialty in Kirkland at (425) 827-8727 is a good option in our area, and the Pet Poison Helpline phone number into your phone as well.
To The Rescue
Staying calm in the event of a pet emergency is just as important as having the right supplies on hand. Before rushing in to help an injured pet, take stock of the situation and watch for potential dangers like oncoming traffic or aggressive animals, then:
- Remove your pet and yourself from danger
- Stabilize your pet’s wounds before moving, if possible
- Keep your pet warm to prevent shock, taking care not to allow them to become overheated
- Bring your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital as soon as you can. If possible, call ahead of time to let the staff know you’re coming.
Keep in mind that fear and pain can cause even the gentlest pet to try and bite. Take precautions to make sure you aren’t bitten.