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Having A First Aid Kit for Your Pet is a Must

Here is a list of items every pet owner should have at hand for their pet first aid kit. The kit itself can be stored in a waterproof pouch if kept on a boat and in a small toolbox or other kind of box in the house. A small version can even be kept in your car trunk. Since some of the items in your kit will carry expiration dates, check your kit periodically, discard outdated medications and supplies and make sure you have all the supplies you need. If your pet has any special conditions or needs, ask your veterinarian what additional items you may need for your first aid kit. You should also consider a first aid manual for reference. Read and study it before the need arises.

  • Latex gloves
  • Gauze sponges in a variety of sizes, both large and small.
  • Roll gauze, 2-inch width.
  • Roll bandages, such as gauze wrap that stretches and clings.
  • Material to make a splint. This can include pieces of wood, newspaper, and sticks.
  • Adhesive tape, hypo allergenic.
  • Non-adherent sterile pads. These pads make excellent dressings.
  • Small scissors.
  • Grooming clippers or a safety razor.
  • Nylon leash (at least one.)
  • Towel.
  • Muzzle. A cage muzzle is ideal, but a soft collapsible one may be more convenient to carry. Get one you already know fits your pet. If you do not want to purchase one, at least have plenty of roll gauze available to use as a make-shift muzzle.
  • Compact thermal blanket. If you cannot get a thermal blanket, have a regular blanket available.
  • Pediatric rectal thermometer (may be digital).
  • Water-based sterile lubricant (washes off easily).
  • Three percent hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl).
  • Over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment.
  • Baby dose syringe or eye dropper (not glass). These are available at pharmacies or in the baby section of most grocery stores.
  • Sterile eye lubricant.
  • Sterile saline eye wash.
  • Diphenhydramine, appropriate dosage for your pet’s size, if approved by your veterinarian.
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup.
  • Epsom salts.
  • Styptic powder or pencil. Pharmacies carry styptic pencils for use when people cut themselves shaving. Veterinary styptic products are sold at veterinary hospitals, pet supply stores and through catalogs.
  • Expired credit card to scrape away stingers.
  • A list of emergency telephone numbers including your pet’s veterinarian, an afterhours emergency veterinary hospital and the National Animal Poison Control Center 800-548-2423.
  • Petroleum jelly.
  • Penlight.
  • Clean cloth.
  • Needle-nose pliers.

Excerpted from American Red Cross Pet First Aid Handbook. Provided by Bobbie Mammato, DVM, MPH.

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