April is pet first aid awareness month, and whether you're at home or traveling, having a first aid kit will provide peace of mind, and could help save your pet’s life.
Gather phone numbers
Keeping phone numbers in your first aid kit is a great way to keep them all in one place you remember, especially if you need to use a land-line, or don't have cell service to look them up:
- Your veterinarian
- National Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435
If you're traveling, get numbers for local veterinarians and emergency vets at the locations you'll be staying. These veterinary directories can help you locate service providers in your area:
- US: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/about_aaha/hospital_search/default.aspx
- Canada: https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/membership/directory-vets-hospitals
- UK: https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/home/
- Australia: http://www.ava.com.au/findavet
Any information that might be relevant in case of an emergency should be printed out and kept with your pet's first aid kit:
- Medical history, any current illnesses, allergies, vaccination records
- List of any medications they're taking, along with the dosage
- Your home address and phone number, plus an emergency contact
- Their microchip number, if they have one (it's recommended that all pets be microchipped, to help ensure they'll make it back home if they ever get lost or stolen)
Your Pet’s First Aid Kit
So what actual items should go into your pet’s first aid kit?
Many first aid items are the same for humans and pets, so they can do double-duty for the whole family. For traveling, consider putting together a second, smaller version of your kit, so it’s easier to pack and take with you. Place everything in a waterproof container like Tupperware or a freezer ziplock bag.
Pet first aid kits generally include:
- Latex gloves
- Nail trimmer
- Gauze: to wrap a wound, or a make a simple muzzle
- Sterile pads
- Clean towel
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide: to induce vomiting or to clean a wound
- Saline: to rinse out their eyes or a cut
- Styptic powder or pencil: to stop bleeding from minor cuts or broken nails
- Baby wipes or dog grooming wipes: to clean them up if you’re not able to give a full bath
- Benedryl: in case they have a severe allergic reaction to something like a bee sting.
- Emergency/space blanket
Consider a pet-safe skin glue/tissue adhesive, to quickly seal cuts until you can get to a vet.
What's in YOUR pet's first aid kit? Share in the comments below, if you have ideas for other first aid items!