Taking your pet regularly to the vet is praiseworthy; as you are responsibly taking care of your furry (or winged/scaled) friend. However, we are not always able to instantly take our pet to the doctor’s office once an incident occurs. There are so many things one could do to help the animal in the meantime. Also, there are plenty of situations that you can resolve on your own, without expert help; you’ll just need some professional equipment. To this end, and without further ado, here is a list of all the essentials for your pet first aid kit.
Let’s start with the basics. Humans cannot live without the precious liquid, and it is just as vital for our pets too. Just remember to pack a collapsible dish, too, to keep your pet well hydrated.
Water is not used just for drinking, though. You may need it to soothe burns, soak a paw, flush wounds or wash off toxins.
We can’t imagine the human first aid kit without a bandage, and the same goes for the pets. There are several materials which could serve the bandage purpose: clean rags, gauze, or even a sock. All of these are perfectly acceptable for controlling the bleeding and keeping the wound clean until you get to the doctor. If you could add a non-adhesive vet wrap to your first aid kit, even better. They don’t stick to animal fur, but if you don’t have one, even ordinary duct tape could do as a temporary solution.
To do any bandaging, you’re going to need some scissors. If possible, buy a pair which is specially designed for cutting bandages close to the pet’s skin as their blades are curved in a way to avoid cutting the pet by accident.
Sterile saline eye wash
If you go camping, for instance, it’s quite possible your pet may end up with smoke irritating its eyes. In the city, wind may blow some debris next to a construction site, too, causing your pet to feel restless and agitated. In order to successfully deal with such irritations, apply the sterile eyewash and flush the eyes until the issue is removed.
When you’re dubious about whether your pet is shivering due to fever, a thermometer will help you end the guessing game and see if there really is a reason to feel worried. The normal body temperature for canines and felines is between 99.5-102.5°F. You can take your pick when it comes to pet thermometer offers, from traditional to digital ones.
Bear in mind the best way to take the pet’s temperature is rectally, so it’s recommendable that you have a water-based lubricant in the kit as well.
Every now and then you are bound to end up in conditions that may be too cold for you and your furry friend. Naturally, you are going to keep yourself warm by wearing a warm jacket or cozying up under a blanket. Your pet deserves the same treatment, so you should always carry a thermal blanket in your pet kit. Some species are particularly sensitive to the weather changes, so packing a warm thermal blanket is a must. If you haven’t already bought them a thermal coat or a parka for harsh weather conditions, then buying a thermal blanket is the least you can do.
Besides your pet’s regular medications ( a small dose, of course), there are some others you should always have in your pet first aid kits, such as sugar tablets, styptic powder, and diphenhydramine. The last one is used to deal with minor allergic reactions. Sugar tablets are an excellent solution for a diabetic pet or pets with low blood sugar. Also, the styptic powder is used to stop minor bleeding, e.g., with small cuts or torn nails.
In case your pet is in pain or its feeling anxious, there is one medication used by humans which seems to have positive effects on animals as well. Cannabis extracts are a great aid for a number of pets related health conditions, and it comes without the side effects triggered by most common medications (stomach and kidney problems, sedation, etc.). As with all medications, you should be careful about the right dosage.
Perhaps you have also heard that hydrogen peroxide is a great asset in a dog first aid kit for causing vomiting when the pet has swallowed some toxic material or foreign objects. Still, this requires vet supervision due to the fact that some materials can cause even more damage while being thrown up. Remember: hydrogen peroxide must never be given to a cat!
To get all those tiny creatures bothering your four-legged friend, you’ll definitely need a pair of tweezers, and possibly a magnifying glass.
Your pet isn’t the only one needing protection – remember to take care of yourself, too. PVC gloves protect you from any germs or bacteria your pet may be suffering from, and they’re also keeping your hands clean and preventing contamination of the wound.
Humans normally get grumpy and annoyed when they’re feeling under the weather. If we are seriously hurt, we usually can’t hurt others. With animals, though, it’s a whole different story. You can risk getting injured, and they can make the injury even worse by fidgeting, licking, scratching, etc. To this end, it’s mandatory that you have some kind of restraint in the pet first aid kit. These can come in forms of a thermal blanket, a proper leash, a muzzle, and so on. Mesh bags with handles are also handy when you have to isolate and transport your kitty. On the other hand, a dog muzzle is a must when you’re trying to give first aid to your dog since it may accidentally bite you.
So, you may indulge hiking and walk on all types of terrain with your faithful companion by your side, but he/she may not enjoy it as much as you. While you have your sturdy walking shoes on, your pet’s paws are fully exposed to the rough terrain and susceptible to all kinds of cuts and bruises. Therefore, you should always carry some paw pads in your kit and be wary of the usual signs of sore paws and don’t wait for your dog to start limping before you become aware they are struggling to keep up with you.
When you see your pet is scratching more often than usual, that can come as a consequence of a multitude of reasons, many of which are preventable. The reasons for itching vary greatly, but there are also just as many ways how to relieve the pet from constantly scratching. One of them could be insect bites, such as spiders, ants or other insects. These are manifested with redness and swelling and can be cured with a proper ointment. If it’s a large tick that’s causing problems, you can use the above-mentioned tweezers to get rid of it, though they don’t work in all cases (some ticks can burrow themselves very deep).
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day on your cat’s body, which speaks volumes of how difficult it is to get rid of them. Consequently, you had better have an extra flea or tick control product in the kit, and regularly wash your pets with a recommended shampoo as prevention is even better than dealing with tiny organisms carrying various disease.
We have talked about restraining your pets, keeping them safe and giving them medications, but don’t forget they need some more encouragement from you than just kind words. Pack some of their favorite treats and congratulate them on their good behavior. A pat on the head is always a pleasure, but if you top it off with their special snack, you’ll have one happy pet. Also, treats are extremely handy if your pet is injured and needs to be still during bandaging.
Instant ice pack
An instant ice pack is something your pet will be very grateful for because it cools down their injury and helps them keep still and act in the way we prefer them to so that the wound could heal much faster. Ice packs should bring them some peace and help them feel more comfortable and calm.
No, we do not propose you should give your pet any injections, but it’s a convenient tool to have if your pet should take some oral medicine.
We have discussed treats, but this type of food is also very practical. Nutrigel is a calorific, mineral dietary supplement for cats and dogs. It may so happen that you run out of food for yourself and your pet; but this supplement should give them enough nutritious material for the time being.
If you haven’t made one already, now it’s time you dedicated yourself to making one emergency pet first aid kit. It’s fairly simple, and it will prove priceless if your pet encounters any trouble.