Being prepared for emergencies with your pet If you've never thought about it, having an emergency kit or pet CPR and First Aid kit for is a good, good plan! Personally, I have one in my home and always carry one in my car. This articles covers what types of things should be in a well-stocked kit and sources for ready-made kits.
Why You Need a First Aid Kit for your Pet
Having an emergency kit specific to your dog or cat is a good idea. This is especially true if you spend time outdoors with your dog. Sprains, strains, cuts, bites or other injuries happen fast. If you take your dog on hikes, camping trips, or even a trip to the local park, it's critical to be prepared. Dogs can get into trouble very quickly! I keep an emergency kit both in my home and in my car at all times.
It costs very little to put together a kit of necessities. All you need is a few essentials and a plastic bin to store them in. You can also buy ready made kits that contain virtually everything you need. The nice thing about pre-made kits is that they're often designed to be space conscious and easy to carry or store in your car. These kits contain most essentials and there are only a few more items you'll want to add.
What Should be in a Well-Stocked Pet First Aid Kit
Here's a list of essentials that should be in any pet emergency kit. Where it's not obvious, a brief mention is made of the purpose of some of the items.
Dressing & Bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Gauze pads
- Gauze rolls
- Triangular bandages (for easy placement around joints)
- Digital thermometer
- Blunt end scissors
- Eye dropper
- Syringe (with no needle) - for getting liquids down your pet
Ointments, disinfectants and medications:
- Antihistamine -- Benadryl is one of the best
- Antibiotic - such as Neosporin
- Hydrogen Peroxide - used to clean wounds
- Cayenne Pepper - this works beautifully to initiate the healing process and stem bleeding
- Baking Soda - neutralizes burns
- Activated Charcoal - absorbs poisons
Other equipment and supplies:
- Small flashlight
- Needle nose pliers
- Extra leash and collar
- Plastic bags - for clean up or to take samples to your vet
- Photo of you and your pet in case they get lost
- Towel or blanket - to transport your pet comfortably if needed or to clean them up
- Latex gloves
Source: PetSaver Program, 2009 Pet Tech, Inc. CPR Manual
Pet Emergency Training
Consider attending a pet CPR course. These are offered by the Red Cross and other organizations and can be found in most parts of the country. In a just a few hours, you can learn important facts and techniques that can save your dog.
For example, American Humane offers a series of 2-day training courses - one for animal rescue, one for basic emergency services, and one for disaster sheltering. The Basic Emergency Services course is affordable and appropriate for so many of us! In case you haven't considered taking a course like this, it's worth checking into. The cost for non-members is only $125 - which is a great deal for this level of training! You can visit their website to see the details of their course offerings and find training dates and locations. Check into it!
Ready-To-Roll Pet First Aid Emergency Kits
Another good alternative is to purchase a pre-made kit that includes most of the items you might need in an emergency. If you elect to do this, there are only a few additional items you'll want to add - such as blankets, extra leashes, and the like.
The Camping Dog has a couple of ready-made kits available. What's great about these is that they are portable and fit in a drawer or in the glove compartment of your car. I have two - one for home, and one that lives in the car. The link to the travel supplies section of the site is here.
Whether you make your own or buy one - be prepared!