Illness, injury, and accidents are an unfortunate, but inevitable, part of life for pets and people alike. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) in the event of one of an emergency can go a long way toward maximizing your pet’s safety and comfort. Assembling a pet first aid kit and knowing how to use one is the first step in the process of being a prepared pet owner, and the team at Godspeed Animal Care is here to help!
Pet First Aid Kit
Ideally, every pet owner should keep a pet first aid kit in their car and home. Kits can be purchased online or in most pet stores or you can assemble your own.
If you’re putting together your own pet first aid kit, start with a sturdy container, such as a lunch box or tackle box. Something with a strap is ideal so you can sling the kit over your shoulder should you need to carry your pet. Include the following essentials:
- Information – Download and print PDFs about pet first aid from the American Red Cross, and install their pet first aid app on your phone. Also have the numbers for Godspeed Animal Care, the Pet Poison Helpline, and an additional emergency contact programmed into your phone.
- Basic supplies – Many of the basic items in a human first aid kit can be used in a pet first aid kit. This includes gauze, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, blunt scissors, antibiotic ointment, styptic powder, cotton balls or swabs, instant cold pack, and a compact emergency blanket.
- Additional items – You may want to include other items, such as a clean towel, cloth strips, disposable gloves, saline solution, and bottled water for drinking and washing.
- Other supplies – Keep your pet’s leash, carrier, muzzle (if needed), medications, and medical records stored near the first aid kit for easy access.
Helping Your Pet
Being prepared helps keep you calm, which is what your pet needs most during an emergency situation. Before rushing in to help your pet, analyze the scene for any potential dangers, such as oncoming vehicles. Be aware that your pet might try to bite you out of fear or pain. Also keep the following in mind:
- Remove your pet and yourself from danger as soon as possible. If it’s safe, try stabilizing your pet’s wounds before moving.
- In the event of a dog fight, seek help in separating the animals, and keep your hands and face out of the fight.
- If possible, place your pet in their carrier or secure them in your car.
- Keep your pet warm to prevent shock, but make sure they do not overheat.
- Transport your pet to our clinic or to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Call ahead for help and to let the staff know you’re on your way so they can be prepared for your arrival.
If you have further questions about putting together a pet first aid kit, please don’t hesitate to contact Godspeed Animal Care.