Let’s talk first aid kits for your pet! Much like people should have a first aid kit in their house, there should be one assembled for the pets as well. Although pet first aid kits can contain similar items to human first aid kits, they are still different enough to warrant having one around. Tylenol or most “aspirins” for example, can be highly toxic to dogs and cats, and yet it is commonly found in human first aid kits. Human band-aids won’t work too well on pets either due to their furry coats!
There are a lot of articles out there on do-it-yourself first aid kits for pets. This is a great idea, but when assembling all the items for the kit, it can get a little costly rather quickly. There are plenty of pet first aid kits available for purchase that could save you a little money and they contain 90% of what is needed in your kit. It can be much more cost effective to start with one of these kits and customize them from there.
Purpose of a first aid kit
Just like with people, pet first aid kits are not designed to substitute going to the doctor for injuries, they are meant to provide immediate help for an injury so that the animal has the time to get to the doctor and receive the medical attention they need. Whether it is bandaging a small wound to prevent the wound from getting dirty and excessively bleeding or making a homemade “splint” for your pet so they do not further injure themselves while you are transporting them to safety, first aid kits can come in handy when you need them. Accidents never happen at a convenient time or place, and therefore having one place to go to grab some quick materials will save time and messes.
What should be in the kit?
It can be overwhelming trying to decide which first aid kit will best suit your needs. There are even mini-kits available for activities such as working dogs, camping, hiking, and even all-inclusive kits. Whichever kit you choose, you will have to tailor it to your pet’s specific needs and lifestyle as there is not a one-size fit all option. Here are some items that should always be in your first aid kit:
- Scissors- sharp enough to cut through fur, bandage material, and gauze.
- Tweezers to grab small items from your pet’s fur or wound, as well as a magnifying glass if you don’t have great eyesight.
- Rectal thermometer and lubricating jelly or vaseline for taking your pet’s temperature.
- Styptic powder in case your pet breaks a toenail, or in case you cut your pet’s toenails too short. If you have never heard of this, check it out here, it’s a lifesaver, well at least a carpet saver!
- Bandage material to include sterile gauze pads, regular gauze, and bandage tape/wrapping material to keep the bandage in place. A common thing people run out of is the bandage wrapping material- commonly called “vet wrap”- which goes on the outside of the bandage and helps hold the bandage in place.
- Hot/cold compresses.
- Cotton swabs or cotton balls.
- Antiseptic wipes and antiseptic solution. Antiseptic cream is a good thing to have too!
- Gloves to protect yourself from getting messy.
- Sterile eye irrigation solution and eye ointment- Especially if you have a flat-faced breed such as a Bulldog, Pug, Boston terrier, Shih Tzu, Boxer, and even some Pit Bulls, as their eyeballs tend to bulge out more than other breeds due to their flattened faces. Because of this, these breeds are prone to more eye injuries.
- Oral Syringe to administer or flush liquids.
- Portable emergency blanket.
- Items for making a temporary splint in case your pet injures a leg. This can be something as simple as a tongue depressor for small dogs, to a piece of cardboard or thin piece of wood for larger dogs. Almost anything can be used if it is the proper size for your pet and you can ensure your pet’s leg will remain straight until you can get to the vet.
- If your pet is on medications and you cannot remember the names of them off the top of your head, it is wise to keep a list of current medications in your pet first aid kit. This will come in handy as some emergency medications your vet could administer to your pet may not work properly, or cause a severe reaction if given with your pets current medications.
- Dish soap for an emergency bath.
- Flashlight- or even better, a headlamp for getting some extra light on the area you need to examine.
- A muzzle for your pet. While most pets will never think about biting their beloved human, injuries are painful and pets can be very unpredictable while in pain. Its good to slip on a muzzle when moving an injured pet from one area to another.
As you can see, there are a lot of items that can go into a first aid kit! Here are my top five ready-made pet first aid kits, found off Amazon.com, however they are also found in your local pet stores:
- RC Pet Products Pet First Aid Kit– This is a really nice all-inclusive kit to start! It even comes with a basic pet-first aid manual for basic injuries.
- This 45 piece Pet First Aid Kit is another great starter and comes with a convenient flashlight/carabiner for storage.
- “WildCow Emergency” Pet first aid kit– This one comes in a nice pack to attach to a backpack if needed. It also has a little more “vet wrap” for bandaging.
- Fab Fur Gear dog first aid kit– This one also comes with scissors and a tourniquet! Note: although this is labeled as a “dog” first aid kit- it works for cats too!
- Pet Saver dog first aid kit– This one comes with a thermometer too!
All the above mentioned first aid kits are very comprehensive and are good tools to get you started! With a kit like this, you can be prepared for any adventure with your pet! Its always a good idea to keep mini- first aid kits in your vehicles as well as hiking or adventure gear bags.
Thanks for reading my post! Feel free to leave comments or any questions you may have.