FIRST AID KIT
The first thing you need for a first aid kit is a suitable container. A fishing tackle box is works well. Label the outside with a permanent marker. In an emergency someone else might have to locate and use this kit.
Afix a card to the inside with the following information:
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Name and phone number of someone to contact in an emergency who will take care of your pets in case you are not available.
- Your pet’s names and any information about medications, allergies or significant medical conditions they may have.
- Name and phone number of your family veterinarian and the veterinary emergency hospital in case your family veterinarian is not available.
Also attach a card with a list of common medications, their general dosages, and the specific dose for each of your pets. This may include Benadryl, aspirin, hydrogen peroxide for inducing vomiting, Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate, Immodium, and mineral oil. List the actual dosages for your pets’ weight. We recommend that you consult your family veterinarian to obtain the correct information.
NEVER give Tylenol (especially to a cat), Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil, etc.) to you pets. Consult a veterinarian before administering any anti-inflammatory drug to your pet.
It is also a good idea to keep copies of your pets’ vaccination records, including a copy of the Rabies Certificate, in the First Aid Kit. Also include information regarding the type of heartworm preventative being used and what day of the month it is given. Copies of the information should be kept in each car. Don’t forget to post an emergency alert on your door to tell firefighters how many pets are in the house. Placing a microchip in each of your pets will help keep them safe in case they get lost. Make sure you keep the microchip information up to date if you move or change your telephone number.
THINGS TO PUT IN YOUR FIRST AID KIT
- Cotton gauze bandage wrap – 1.5 in width, 3 in width
- VetWrap – 2 in width, 4 in width
- Ace bandage
- Cotton 4×4 gauze pads
- White medical tape – 1 in width
- Regular bandaids
- Cotton swabs or Q-tips
- Ascriptin (dogs only) – buffered aspirin
- Pepto Bismol tablets (dogs only) – it contains aspirin
- New Skin liquid bandage (useful for abrasions on pads)
- Iodine tablets – to treat stream water if you can’t boil it.
- Oral syringes – for administering liquid medications or drying ear solution
- Needle and thread
- Safety pins In several sizes
- Razor blade – paper wrapped for protection
- Tweezers or hemostats – useful for tick and sliver removal
- Small blunt scissors
- Rectal thermometer
- Antibiotic ointment (such as Bacitracin, Betadine or Triple Antibiotic Ointment)
- Topical steroid (such as Hydrocortisone Cream)
- Eye rinsing solution (simple eye wash)
- Hydrogen peroxide 3% – for inducing vomiting and minor wound care
- Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing) – small bottle
- Alcohol or antiseptic wipes – in small individual packets
- Small jar of Vaseline
Those supplies proceeded by an * must be obtained from your veterinarian. All other supplies can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores. Several dog supply catalogs and internet suppliers offer a variety of medical first aid supplies.
If your dog is severely allergic to bee stings, consider asking your veterinarian about stocking your first aid kit with medications that might be needed for that sort of special emergency. If you go to areas where your dog may encounter a poisonous snake, you might want to prepare for that possibility as well.
Be sure to clearly label all medications and supplies with their name and expiration date. Be sure to replace medications that may have exceeded their recommended expiration date. Go through the kit at least once a year, replacing expired medications, replenishing supplies, etc. A good time to do this is right before you go on vacation so your kit will be current when you travel.