No matter how careful you are, emergencies can happen! Here’s what to include in your pet first aid kit to ensure you’re prepared.
Pet first aid emergencies can happen to anyone, no matter how careful we are. It’s impossible to anticipate injuries such as animal attacks, accidental sprains, or cuts from sharp objects. Unfortunately, we can’t dial “911” as we would in a human emergency. That’s why it’s important to ALWAYS carry a well-stocked pet first aid kit.
In recent years, pre-manufactured pet first aid kits have become available both online and in stores. Some kits contain excellent quality supplies, others do not. Building your own kit or augmenting a pre-existing one is another option. When choosing your pet first aid supplies, always choose quality over lowest price.
In addition to bandage scissors, medical tape, triangular bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers, here are a number of key items to stock within your pet first aid kit:
- Sanitary napkins (maxi pads): these are clean, large, and designed for absorbing blood. A great asset to your Pet First Aid kit. Buy individually packaged pads without wings.
- Extra gauze pads and gauze rolls: Almost no first aid kits contain enough gauze so please add more! Gauze is inexpensive, lightweight, and doesn’t take up much space.
- Pantyhose legs or toddler sock: cut the pantyhose at about the knee and store the lower
“legs” in your kit. If your pet has a leg or footpad injury, slide the stocking tube over your bandage to help hold it on snugly. For a smaller dog, use a toddler sock instead of a nylon leg. The extra layer also helps prevent your pet from chewing at the bandage.
- Emergency phone numbers: list your regular veterinarian, plus a backup, emergency veterinarian, Pet Poison Control, and more. Put these into your cell phone, and also onto a note within your pet first aid kit. The faster you can make these phone calls, the better.
- Pencil/pen and paper: when someone calls the veterinarian for advice in an emergency, get them to write the information down. It is important to receive accurate veterinary advice (especially if there are medicine dosages involved) so don’t rely on anyone’s memory.
- Pocket emergency pet first aid guide: source out a mini guide from a reliable source with steps of what to do in a pet emergency. Even if you are first aid trained, a guide can assist you in the event your mind temporarily goes blank in a panic.
Hopefully you will never need to use your pet first aid kit, but “Better safe than sorry” is always the best policy when it comes to our furry companions.
Lisa Wagner lives in Vancouver, BC with her two dogs, two cats, and her human family. She and her family are active hikers and regularly travel off the grid, backpacking and camping with their pets. Lisa is also Operations Director of Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid. In her spare time, she volunteers with both local and international animal rescue and sterilization agencies. Lisa is very passionate about animal health, safety and adventure!