April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and as a pet parent, you can never be too prepared! A pet injury can be a scary event, and it is important to have the proper first aid supplies for emergencies or just the minor cuts and scrapes. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides great information for pet first-aid, basic procedures and how to handle an injured pet. Here are the necessities for a resourceful first aid kit for your dog or cat:
TOOLS & SUPPLIES
- Tweezers – For removing ticks, splinters, or other foreign material.
- Medical Scissors – For cutting bandages; to prevent cutting your pet a blunt tip pair is recommended.
- Syringe or Eye Dropper – To give oral medication or to help flush out wounds.
- Digital Thermometer and lubricant (Petroleum Jelly) – Ask your veterinarian to teach you how to take your dog’s temperature.
- Latex Gloves – To protect your hands and keep your tools sterile.
- Guaze Roll & Pads – To wrap the wound and muzzle your pet before treating the wound. Always wrap loosely to avoid danger to you pet.
- Cotton Balls – To help apply ointments and clean up any blood.
- Q-Tips – To help clean wounds, administer ointments, clean ears, paws, etc.
- First Aid Tape – For adhering gauze.
SOLUTIONS AND OINTMENTS
- Sterile Saline Eye Solution – For flushing debris from eyes. Do not use contact solution!
- Iodine – For applying to and washing fresh cuts and wounds. Try Betadine solution.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – To induce vomiting if your pet is poisoned. Call your vet for correct dosage, and never induce vomiting unless directed!
- Antibiotic ointment – To apply to healing wounds.
- Antibacterial Cleanser – To clean your hands and any tools you are using.
- Hand Sanitizer – Quick and on-the-go cleanser for your hands.
- Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal – To absorb poison.
- Alcohol Swabs – For on-the-go in case of scratches and scrapes.
- Soft Blanket – For keeping your pet warm/cool and transporting. It also helps relieve shock.
- Instant Cold Pack – Apply to affected area to keep swelling and pain to a minimum.
- Muzzle – Dogs in pain may bite. A muzzle helps calm your dog and prevent further injuries.
Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until they receive veterinary treatment!