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Assembling a Pet First Aid Kit
Accidents happen. A first aid kit specifically meant for your pets is helpful because it provides stuff that's often not found in a first aid kit for people. You can buy a kit or assemble your own at home by gathering the items and storing them in a hard plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Here are a few suggestions on what to place in your pet first aid kit.
DOCUMENTATION: protect your documentation from getting wet by laminating it.
- The name, phone number, address, and directions to both your regular veterinarian as well as an emergency vet clinic.
- List of medications and dosages, if your pet has a medical condition that requires regular treatment.
- Phone number for a Poison Control Centre.
MEDICATION: ask your vet for help in putting together
this part of your kit.
- Disinfectant and antibiotic ointment.
- Sterile saline solution.
- Ear cleaning solution.
- Canine aspirin.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
- Activated charcoal.
- Eye wash solution.
- Anti-diarrhea medication.
- Allergy medication.
- Medication to relieve itching.
TOOLS / EQUIPMENT:
- Muzzle (make sure it's a proper fit).
- Eye dropper and oral syringe.
- Nail clippers.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Nylon slip-leash.
- Disposable gloves.
- Clean towels.
- Paper towels.
- A large blanket, which can be used as a stretcher if you have to move your pet.
- A second blanket to keep your pet warm.
- Cold and heat packs (wrap in a towel - do not place directly against your pet).
- Roll of gauze (can be used to make a muzzle if needed).
- Sterile gauze pads.
- Bandage rolls, such as VetWrap.
- First aid tape.
- Cotton balls and swabs.
- Styptic powder or pencil.
- "Bitter Apple" (or similar pet-safe product) - a product that discourages dogs from chewing or licking where the product is applied.
- Nutritional supplements - ask your vet for suggestions.
- Don't give your pet human medication unless advised to do so by your veterinarian.
- Don't give your dog medication that's meant for cats, or vice versa.
- Always take precautions when handling an injured pet. Even the most gentle, sweet-natured pet may bite if it is hurt or scared.
- Know how to use the items in your first aid kit. Pet first aid courses can provide instruction. When possible, consult your vet first, particularly before administering medication.
- Periodically check the expiration dates on medications and replace them as necessary.
- Keep a portable crate next to your pet first aid kit.
- Keep your kit in an easily-accessible place in your home, and remember to take it with you when you travel with your pet, too! You can assemble a smaller kit for use during travel if you wish.
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