This month we want to encourage pet parents everywhere to prepare pet first aid kits that can be used at home and on the go. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) emphasizes that first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, but knowing basic first aid helps pet parents deal with an emergency. It’s a good idea to establish a pet safety plan for handling pet-related accidents and emergencies. Knowing how to properly react during an emergency is important to ensure continued safety.
To help pet parents prepare for unexpected emergencies, build your first aid kit in a waterproof container with the following items:
Phone numbers (or business cards) including the one for our office and National Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
Non-latex gloves to prevent the spread of contaminants.
Gauze in a variety of sizes for wrapping wounds.
Adhesive tape to secure gauze and bandages.
Ice pack to reduce swelling.
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) to induce vomiting.
Antiseptic wipes, topical antibiotic ointment, and rubbing alcohol for cleaning wounds.
Thermometer to check for fever.
Muzzle to prevent biting, only if pet is not vomiting, choking or coughing. Never muzzle an unconscious animal.
We must always remember that accidents and emergencies can happen at any time, but investing in a first aid kit can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
The best way for you to determine if a pet is suffering from an injury or needs medical attention is to evaluate and observe its behavior. When in doubt, please contact our office for an expert opinion.
In addition to first aid awareness, use the following tips for practicing pet safety every day:
Create a pet-friendly home – Conduct room-by-room inspections to ensure that dangerous items—including medications, household cleaners, and personal care items—are stored out of your pet’s reach.
Secure human foods – Even small amounts of some human foods can pose a risk for pets, such grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol (artificial sweetener found in gum and other foods) and chocolate are NOT pet-friendly.
Check the collar – Regularly check your pet’s collar to ensure that it fits properly.
Supervise pets during play and when they’re eating treats– Don’t let pets play with toys that are broken or too small. It’s also important to monitor your pets after rewarding them with treats. Too often pets choke, gag and fight over treats.
Involve the family – Teach your family, especially children, pet safety and first aid tips.
Take a class – American Red Cross offers first aid and pet safety courses. Contact your local office to enroll.
We hope you will never need these tips but better to be prepared. Please let us know if you have any questions, our doctors will be more than happy to assist you.