Pet First Aid Kit
Gearing up for a road trip down the coast or just heading to the beach for the day? Always be prepared with a custom First Aid Kit for your furry friend. An old Snoopy lunch box, or any durable, preferably waterproof, case will do. The following are the basics for a standard kit. Keep in mind not everything that works on humans is suitable for pets and never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your pet without first checking with your vet.
1. A pet first aid book. We like The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats (Ayour D. Shojai, Rodale, 2001). It’s a little hefty but it covers everything from allergic reactions to removing wax from fur.
2. Latex gloves
3. Emergency contact numbers. The digits for your vet, the closest animal emergency hospital, and the poison control hotline.
4. Tweezers (flat slant tip) and Scissors (dull ended). Avoid pointed ends lest you do more damage than good.
5. Special tweezers for tick removal. These are designed to remove the imbedded head, which, if left in, can lead to infection.
6. Cotton balls
7. Gauze Pads, Squares and Roll. For wounds—sticky bandages don’t work so well on fur.
8. Disinfectant, such as Hibitane.
9. Wound cream. To speed healing and minimize scarring try a product such as CanineAid, a soothing cream that eases discomfort and can be used on cuts, wounds, and irritations. (epicareltd.com)
10. Saline solution. Can be used to clean wounds or flush sand out of eyes. Contact solution will work in a pinch.
11. Antihistamine. May be used to calm itchiness, swelling, and hives caused by bee stings or insect bites but, as with any medication, please consult a vet first as dosage will vary depending on your pet’s size.
12. Hydrogen Peroxide. While this is not recommended to clean wounds, it can be used to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion. Check with your vet before administering; in some circumstances vomiting may not be encouraged.
13. Bulb Syringe or Small Turkey Baster. Use to flush wounds or eyes or for administering medicine.
14. Antibacterial Wipes or skin soap.
15. Skin & Paw Cream. I love Bag Balm—it works on your feet as well as pet’s! (bagbalm.com)
16. Rectal Thermometer. A pet’s average temperature is 38°C or 101°F.
17. Petroleum Jelly. For use with the above. Just trying to be considerate.
It’s also useful to have an old blanket and some towels with you when traveling, as well as a second lead, some extra pet food, a flashlight, and matches. I’m the kind of girl who knows where all the exits are, as well as the lifejacket-to-passenger ratio, so this list could go on, but the above basics should have you covered until you can seek professional medical assistance.