First Aid Kits

Today's pet owners consider their animals' safety and health a primary concern. Owners should pay careful attention to their animals and stay alert to any signals of distress. Knowledge and preparedness can make a significant difference when an emergency strikes. It is vital to keep the veterinarian's contact numbers easily accessible.

Keeping a stocked first aid kit at home that can also be used while traveling with pets is a wise choice. Find a waterproof container and mark it boldly with “First Aid” on all sides to make it easy to locate. Following are suggested items to include in the kit, according to the American Animal Hospital Association:

  • Veterinarian's phone number, poison control numbers, medical records
  • Gauze to wrap wounds or muzzle the animal
  • Adhesive for bandages
  • Nonstick bandages to protect wounds or control bleeding
  • Towels or cloth
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poison (get the advice of a vet or local poison control center before treating an animal for poison or inducing vomiting)
  • Large syringe without needle or eyedropper (for oral treatments)
  • Muzzle (soft cloth, rope, necktie) or use a towel to cover a small animal's head. Do not use in case of vomiting.
  • If a stretcher is needed, use a board, floor mat or door.
  • Medicated Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs in the kit for skin injury treatment, especially in the event of painful hot spots, abrasions and cuts.

Pet first aid may be required in several unexpected situations, from bite wounds to bleeding, fractured bones, burns, choking, heatstroke, poisoning, seizures and shock. Contact the veterinarian or closest emergency animal hospital if the pet exhibits symptoms pointing to any of these or shows signs of extreme pain. Urgent situations such as trauma are usually obvious. Pet owners know their animals better than anyone else. If something seems off, it may signal a bigger problem. Responsible pet owners should always be prepared for pet health emergencies.