Pet First Aid Awareness Month
This month, we’re reviewing a few first aid tips that you can use, if needed, for your dogs!
As pet parents, we know that our furry friends are part of the family. Usually, when we least expect it, emergency situations arise. Reacting quickly and appropriately during an emergency can help save your pet’s life. Here are a few things to know to help you respond when the unexpected occurs.
4 Pet Emergency Tips
Here are a few tips to help you be prepared in case your dog needs you:
- First aid is a helpful way to be ready in case of emergency, but it is not a substitute for veterinary care. Don’t forget to have your dog checked by a veterinarian after administering first aid to be sure all issues have been addressed and your dog can get back to their normal self, sooner rather than later!
- Know the name and telephone number of a couple of emergency veterinary clinics in your area. Keep them in a handy place at home and enter them into your cell phone. If you won’t remember their names, put them in your contact list under ‘Dog Emergency Vet” so you can easily find them.
- Prepare a pet first aid kit and keep it in your house in a place all family members know about, just in case. If something does happen, you’ll be relieved that you already have the supplies you need to quickly care for your furry friend.
- Consider taking a class, purchasing a book, or reading information online about first aid and emergency preparedness classes. Some veterinarians offer classes. The American Red Cross is another option, offering classes online. Visit www.redcross.org and follow the “Register Now” link to learn more. The Red Cross also sells a Pet First Aid Book/DVD for in-depth training on your own time.
Items in a Pet First Aid Kit
A fully equipped pet first aid kit should contain the key items below. Store your kit in a waterproof container that you can easily take with you if needed.
- Small scissors
- Magnifying glass
- Grooming clippers or safety razor
- Needle-nose pliers
Medicine / Medical supplies
- Sterile eye lubricant
- Sterile saline wash
- Water-based sterile lubricant
- Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Diphenhydramine, if approved by your veterinarian
- Styptic powder or pencil
- Insect sting stop pads
- Glucose paste or syrup
- Tongue depressors
- Latex (or hypoallergenic material) gloves
- Gauze sponges (a variety of sizes)
- Gauze roll, 2-inch width
- Elastic cling bandage
- Material to make a splint
- Adhesive tape, hypoallergenic
- Non-adherent sterile pads
- Topical antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic towelettes
Household items / Dog Items
- Nylon leash
- Cotton-tipped swabs
- Instant cold pack
- Safety pins (medium size 4)
- Compact emergency “blanket” (available in the camping department of many stores)
- Epsom salts
- Plastic card (such as old credit card) to scrape away stingers
- Baby-dose syringe or eyedropper
- List of emergency phone numbers including those for your dog’s veterinarian, an after-hours emergency veterinary hospital, and the National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435, fee applies).
- Petroleum jelly
- Penlight with batteries (AA)
- Clean cloth
Pet First Aid Resources
If you need additional information or would like to explore a few more resources about pet first aid, take a look at the list below:
- The American Red Cross – The Red Cross also offers a free pet first aid app you can download to your cell phone.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association – Great information on how to help your pet in a specific emergency.
- Bil-Jac Pet First Aid Tips
- National Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435 (charge applies)
You never know if and when your dog may need first aid support. Learning more about pet first aid can help make a big difference in case of an unexpected emergency.
Are you prepared for an emergency with a pet first aid kit? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!