April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month! While we hope that you never have to provide first aid to your furry best friend, it’s always best to be prepared. Accidents and injuries can and do happen! Hopefully it goes without saying that you should immediately seek veterinary care for an injured pet. However, you may need to provide some first aid before you can safely transport your four-legged friend. Here, a Los Gatos, CA vet discusses creating a pet first aid kit.
You may want to start by getting a first aid kit made for people. You can find these in any drugstore. Then, add some pet-specific items. Some of the things you may want to include are gauze pads, antiseptic spray or lotion, ice packs, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, styptic powder, cotton swabs, cotton balls, sterile saline solution, tweezers, and blunt-end scissors. You may also want to add a foil emergency blanket, ear-cleaning solution, flashlight, plastic eyedropper, splints, towels, a syringe, wipes, a tick puller, treats, a muzzle, and a leash and collar. If you like, you can also add food, dishes, and waste baggies. If you ever need to evacuate, the kit can then double as an emergency bag.
Having a great first-aid kit is a wonderful first step, but it’s equally important for you to know how to use it. There are many resources on hand that can provide information on basic pet first aid. In an emergency, you won’t have time to waste searching for information. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a few of these resources in the first aid kit. You can download posters and pamphlets from many sites online, or buy a book. You can also download pet first aid apps. The American Red Cross has a good one. We also recommend keeping copies of your furry pal’s medical records in the kit.
Keep important numbers in the first aid kit. For example, you may want to include the ASPCA Poison Control number, which is (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) You’ll also want to keep your vet’s number, as well as the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic. Put these numbers in your phone contacts as well.
As your Los Gatos, CA vet clinic, we’re always here to help! Please contact us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.