A basic first aid kit is something that most people have at home to use in case of emergencies or minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, and bee stings. But, have you thought about a pet-specific first aid kit for your fuzzy friends?
You’re probably wondering: When would you use it? What would you do if your pet needed quick medical attention? The obvious and best answer to these questions is to consult with your veterinarian when you have any concerns. They’re your best resource and know the ins and outs of what is best for your fuzzy. However, if you’re in a pinch, there are many minor pet health problems that you can handle on your own at home with the proper tools. Here’s what we recommend for you to have at home:
Basic First Aid Kit for Cats & Dogs
- A muzzle: an essential for dogs with serious injuries or in fearful situations. A fearful pet is more likely to put itself (and YOU) in dangerous (although unintended) situations. Protect yourself first so you can better care for your pet. For cats, there is a similarly designed muzzle to help as well that we can recommend. Do NOT use this if your pet is coughing, choking, vomiting, or having trouble breathing in general.
- Bandaging material: sterile gauze and a self-adherent wrap.
- Cleaning supplies: mild soap and water or hydrogen peroxide to clean cuts and scrapes.
- Sterile saline eye wash: to rinse eyes– great to use after dusty hikes and playing at the beach.
- Benadryl: ,given at 1mg per pound of body weight, can be very useful for bee stings, insect bites, and allergic reactions. (12 lb dog = 12 mg of benadryl. 50 lb dog = 50 mg of benadryl).
- A cone: (or E-collar) to prevent your pet from chewing or licking wounds.
- Topical antibiotic ointment: like Neosporin, can be applied to minor cuts and scrapes. Always use a cone afterward to prevent your dog from licking it off!
- Tweezers: for removal of ticks, burrs, foxtails, insect stingers, and splinters
- Styptic Powder: also known as “Quik-Stop”, for stopping bleeding on broken toenails.
- Instant Ice Packs: for icing injuries or cooling down an overheated pet
- A rectal thermometer and lube: to check for fevers or overheating.
- A list of your local veterinarians and emergency facilities.
- A copy of your pet’s medical records.
Of course, all the materials in the world are useless if you don’t know how to use them. When used inappropriately, most of these items could actually cause harm to your fuzzy. That’s why when in doubt, the best decision is to contact your veterinarian for advice.