First Aid Kit for Your Pet
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law
I am pleased to see that the idea of a first aid kit for our dog, or your cat, has really taken hold on the internet. And, just as you can order a pre-packaged human first aid kit from Amazon.com and other sellers, you can also find pet first aid kits. And, just as everyone individualizes their own first aid kits, customizing your pet's first aid kit is a good idea.
I bought a large pet first aid kit from Amazon.com. I picked it out for two reasons. First, I wanted a decent-sized container to hold all the supplies. Second, I wanted a bag that bodly said Pet First Aid Kit so I would immediately know it was geared for my pet. Many of the ingredients are the same as in a human first aid kit. But some things are different. And some things for humans are not suitable for pets. Check with your Vet before using "human" OTC medicines on your pets.
Below is my list of what you might consider for your pet's first aid kit. Enjoy.
_____ A soft muzzle. Amazon.com sells several variations. Just type in "pet muzzles" in the search box. These things are good to keep your buddy from reflexively bitting you, and may be required if you head for a storm shelter that allows pets. You can use a roll of vet wrap if you don't have a store-bought muzzle, but you will find the store-bought muzzles to be many times better.
_____ Written proof of a current rabies vaccine.
_____ A card with your pet's vet's name/phone number, a list of current medications/dosages, and the numbers for the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) and the Pet Poison Hotline (855-213-6680).
_____ A good first aid book. The Safe Dog Handbook and Dog First Aid are good ones.
_____ A good first aid book on your electronic reader, like a Kindle.
_____ Magnifying glass.
_____ Dedicated small pen light. Make sure it has a low setting for when you have to shine it in your pet's eyes.
_____ EMT or bandage scissors. You want the ones with blunt tips, not pointy tips.
_____ Tweezers. I like the ones with thin flat edges. The pointed tips are too hard for my eyes. Tweezerman makes excellent ones. Drug store tweezers often have tips that are so thick that it is hard to get "under" splinters. Spring for the Tweezerman Slant tweezers and you will never be sorry.
_____ Needle nose pliers. Useful for removing deeply embedded thorns (or porcupine quills).
_____ Tick removing tool. Get a special tool so you don't accidently pull off the tick's body, leaving the head attached to your dog.
_____ Dog nail clippers.
_____ Nail file.
_____ Septic stick or powder for nails.
_____ Styptic powder or stick (or cornstarch if you are desperate).
_____ Dawn Liquid soap for grease and oil.
_____ Vet wrap. It sticks to itself and doesn't pull your pet's hair out when you remove it.
_____ Square gauze in three inch and four inch.
_____ First aid tape. (Vet wrap is preferred).
_____ Bitter Apple solution (to keep dogs from licking the air around the wound. Do not get this stuff in the actual wound).
_____ Safety razor and blades (to shave the hair from around a wound).
_____ EMT Scissors. These will trim dog hair before you use the razor and cut away splints, etc. The round tips will minimize the chances of your poking your pet.
_____ Cotton swabs (not for ears).
_____ Paper towels, folded to take up less room than a roll.
_____ Large cloth towel.
_____ Nitrile gloves (they help with the stickiness of blood and save you water during your clean up).
_____ Eye dropper.
_____ Large syringe for flushing wounds.
_____ Saline solution for fllushing wounds or rinsing eyes.
_____ Arnicare for limps.
_____ Gatorade or Pedialyte for dehydration.
_____ Small bottle of Pedialyte for cases of diarrhea.
_____ Rescue (for anxiety).
_____ Thunder shirt (for anxiety).
_____ Tincture of iodine or iodine wiping pads.
_____ Activated carbon tablets (for poison control). See poison center phone numbers above.
_____ Benadryl tablets and liquid (make sure your dog is not allergic to antihistamines. Some dogs are. Use the syringe if your dog won't take the liquid. The recommended dose is 2 mg of Benedryl per pound of body weight. Write the dose for your dog on the box or bottle.
_____ Wound sprays.
_____ Eye wash bottles such as Arm & Hammer saline or Bausch & Lomb Advanced EyeRelief Eye Wash.
_____ Eye lubricants.
_____ Sam splint.
_____ Rectal thermometer and petroleum jelly ointment or lubrication. Normal dog temperature is between 100F and 103F.
_____ Collapsable water bowl.
_____ Collapsable food bowl.
_____ Dedicated water supply for your pet.
_____ Pet food.
_____ Pet treats.
_____ Pet medications.
_____ Paw protectors/dog booties. Essential if your dog is going over rough terrain or cuts his paw.
_____ Poop bags.
_____ At least three printed photos of your pet. You may have to leave one with someone. Having a printed photo saves wear and tear on your phone and battery, and keeps you from handing over your phone for someone to look at.
_____ Electronic photo of your pet.
_____ Pet toys.
_____ Cat litter. Good for cats and good for sopping up dog "accidents."
_____ Antiseptic wipes.
_____ A good quality mylar emergency blanket. Pay to get one of the reusable non-tear ones. Pet claws can be hard on mylar.
_____ Pillow case as cat or small dog carrier.