Pet emergencies can happen at any time, whether at home, out at the park, or on a walk. You should always be prepared with a pet first-aid kit and your human supplies when they occur.
Assembling a first aid kit for pets will give you the peace of mind that you'll be prepared in case of an emergency. Check your cat or dog's first aid kit every six months or so to make any necessary replacements or updates.
Knowing what to put in your pet's first aid kit to begin with, will help make sure you've got all the essentials at hand. Dogs and cats can have different emergencies, so while some items on your pet first aid kit checklist will be the same for both animals, others will differ. So, let's take a closer look at what to add to your kit!
YOUR PET FIRST AID KIT CHECKLIST
We've put together a checklist to help pet parents be prepared should an emergency strike. You can download the FREE complete checklist here. Keep reading for a few of the essentials.
Gauze, Bandages, and Pads
While we always do our best to keep our cats and dogs safe, they can sometimes get cuts and wounds, just like us humans. If this happens, you'll want to be able to clean and dress those wounds in gauze and bandages.
First, you'll need to flush wounds, dress them, and add your gauze and bandages. So, add these items to your list:
Absorbent gauze pads
Strips of clean cloth or cotton
Cotton balls or swabs
A pair of scissors is also really handy for when you need to cut tape, gauze, or bandages. If the wounds are nasty and there is a lot of blood, you might still need to clean and bandage before heading to the vet.
There are a few tools that will come in handy in your pet first aid kit. Not only will these resources help you in a medical emergency, but they will also help you and your family be prepared at all times. Add these items to your pet first aid kit list:
A small flashlight
First aid scissors
A foil blanket
An oral syringe
A digital thermometer
Restraints (and possibly a spare leash)
With these supplies in your emergency first aid kit, you're on your way to being well-prepared to deal with any wounds your pets might have.
Solutions, Ointments, and More
Dealing with a pet emergency is never pleasant, but with the right items in your pet first aid kit, it'll help take some of the stress off. Here are some essential solutions, ointments, and other products to add to your first aid kit for cats and dogs:
3% hydrogen peroxide (Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean wounds as well as induce vomiting if your pet happens to consume something toxic)
Paraben-free antibacterial spray
Milk of magnesia
OTC antibacterial ointment
These first aid items should cover most pet emergencies, but you can always add anything extra if you think it could help your cat or dog. It's also a good idea to check with your veterinarian to see if there are any products they would suggest adding to your first aid kit.
A first aid kit for dogs and cats wouldn't be complete without these extras:
Emergency contact card
List of prescribed medications (for each cat and dog you own)
OTC nausea tablets
Your pet's favorite treats
Medical records (of each cat and dog you own)
On your emergency contact card, you will want to include the phone numbers of your local veterinarian, animal poison control, and a next of kin to call. It's a good idea to have this card laminated so that it doesn't get ruined by any medicine in the first aid kit for pets, making the phone numbers unreadable.
WHAT TO DO IN A PET EMERGENCY
Now that you've got your first aid kit for dogs and cats, you should be ready for a pet medical emergency. However, having the right tools is only one part of equipping yourself. Learning how to respond to a stressful event that is a pet emergency can help you, and your pet get through it. Here are some steps to follow.
Stay Calm & Assess the Paw-blem
This is certainly easier said than done when your pet is hurt or in pain, but it is really im-paw-tant. If you panic, your pet will become more afraid, and we don't want that. Take a deep breath, and try to remain as levelheaded as you can. This will help you analyze your pet's symptoms or look closely at their wound to determine the next course of action.
Respond as Much as You Can at Home
Having your first aid kit for pets ready when you need it is super helpful because you'll be able to help your pet quickly at home. If you see that there is something you can do to help your pet there and then, you can go ahead and do this. If you are unsure, contact your vet and take it from there.
Call the Experts
After assessing your pet and responding as well as you can at home, call the veterinarian, poison control, or any other relevant expert immediately. This should be done within just a few minutes of realizing you're dealing with a pet emergency.
If you are unsure if it's an emergency or not, call and speak with a doctor to determine how urgent the matter is. Do not wait until it's too late before you contact the vet. Keeping those phone numbers in your emergency kit allows you to have them on hand when needed.
Calm Your Pet
Your pet is likely to be agitated and afraid if it is conscious during a pet emergency. If your pet is a dog, approach slowly to prevent the risk of biting. If your dog is fearful and at risk of biting—without causing harm to yourself or any more injury to your pet—muzzle your dog before trying to interact further.
If your pet is a cat, drape a thin towel over its head to keep it from biting you. The towel will also help your cat feel more secure. Do not pull the towel too tightly, or you might risk causing breathing difficulties.
Ask a Family Member to Help
If a pet emergency occurs, there is a chance you might be the only one home and will have to deal with it on your own. If you have other family members around, ask them to help you take care of your pet. Have your pets first aid kit easily accessible to you at all times.
The chosen person needs to be old enough to respond appropriately to the emergency and mature enough not to panic. They should also be able to get on the phone with the vet and let them know you're on the way.
Get your Pet Safely to the Vet
Once you have done what you can at home to help your pet, safely put them into their crate (if possible) and drive to the vet. Try to keep yourself, and your cat or dog calm during the drive. If you can get a friend or family member to drive you, this may work best as you will be stressed.
As pet owners, accidents can happen as much as we try to protect our pets and keep them safe. Being prepared with your first aid kit for dogs and cats and the know-how to deal with an emergency can lead to a paws-itive outcome for everyone involved.
DOOR BUDDY CAN HELP PROTECT YOUR PETS
Does your doggo enjoy digging in the cat's litter box for poop treats? This can be a health hazard and can even lead to choking. Create your own dog-proof litter box with Door Buddy! Your dog is kept out of the litter box by installing your Door Buddy on the door to the litter box room, without blocking your cat from entering and exiting.
Door Buddy is also here to help when recovery time is needed for your pets and they need to be kept in or out of a room until they get better.