Be Prepped For a Pet Emergency With an Animal-Friendly First Aid Kit

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Hey, who said people are the only ones who cut their fingers or stub their toes? Every pet owner should have a few basic first aid supplies assembled so that, in case of an emergency, you don’t waste time digging through your medicine cabinets trying to determine which items are pet-safe.

Start with a sturdy box or canvas bag that can be stored in an easy-to-grab location. Include a list of emergency phone numbers including your vet, the closest after-hours emergency vet, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).

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The kit should include these basic supplies:

  • Gauze
  • Nonstick bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin)
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • In case of poisoning, include milk of magnesia or activated charcoal (to absorb poison) and hydrogen peroxide, three percent (to induce vomiting). However, you must call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center to determine which treatment is appropriate for what your dog or cat swallowed.

If you have extra space, here are additional items to round out your kit:

  • Syringe or eye dropper to administer an oral treatment or flush a wound
  • Epsom salts to create a saline solution to use for rinsing wounds
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Styptic powder or cornstarch to stop bleeding from broken nails

If you travel with your pet, consider making a second kit with the basics for your car. In addition to the items listed above, add a bottle of water, a leash, and a blanket or towel to your car kit.

Most importantly, always follow up any first aid you administer with a veterinary visit.

Images: adria.richards, marvinxsteadfast