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The Importance of Having a Pet First Aid Kit

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By definition, pet emergencies are critical health crises which require immediate medical intervention.  Creating an emergency first aid kit is recommended for all pet parents and may buy your pet critical time until veterinary care can be provided.  Many of the supplies you will be using to create your pet first aid kit will also by handy in case of human first aid needs.  A first aid kit for dogs and people is a vital component in an emergency disaster preparedness plan.

What should Your First Aid Kit Contain?

You can purchase pet first aid kits or make your own.  A plastic tote or a large book bag is good for storing your kit.  It is advised that you make two kits, one that will be in your house and one that can travel in your car at all times.

Your kit should include:

  •        Batteries
  •        Flashlight
  •        Cotton balls and swabs
  •        Scissors
  •        Tweezers
  •        Sterile gauze pads and bandages
  •        First aid tape
  •        Antibacterial ointment
  •        Hydrogen peroxide
  •        Rubbing alcohol
  •        Antiseptic wipes
  •        Muzzle
  •        Extra Leash
  •        Splint
  •        Styptic powder to stop bleeding
  •        Pepto bismol
  •        Prescription medications (for you and your pets)
  •        Latex gloves
  •        Eye wash
  •        A book on human and pet first aid
  •        Mineral oil
  •        Buffered aspirin
  •        Benadryl
  •        A blanket
  •        A large bottle of water
  •        Self-activating hot pack
  •        Self-activating ice pack
  •        Hydrocortisone cream
  •        Copies of veterinary documents
  •        Thermometer

Whenever possible, a cell phone with service that can reach 911 in case of emergencies with the phone number of the nearest emergency vet programmed is a great addition to your emergency first aid kit.  Check your batteries periodically to make sure that they are ready to go when you need them.

Now that you've created your emergency first aid kit, what will you do with these supplies in case of an   emergency?  Some pet hospitals offer courses in pet first aid as do many branches of the Red Cross.  Search by zip code for a class in your area. 

Just as your pet first aid kit will contain many items which are valuable in human medical emergencies, many of the topics covered in a pet first aid class will mirror those taught in a human first aid class.  Performing CPR, helping an animal who is choking, recognizing and responding to signs of shock, cleaning and bandaging wounds, splinting, assessing vital signs, insect and snake bites, etc. as well as pet specific topics such as restraining and muzzling, bloat, and taking your dogs temperature are all topics covered in these courses. 

The time and expense invested in creating a first aid kit and learning how to use it effectively can save the life of a loved one.  Get certified in pet first aid and create your emergency first aid kit today.  Your family will thank you for it!

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