As an experienced traveler, you probably already have a human first aid kit in your car. But if you take your pets along, it’s important to be sure that your kit is stocked with items specific to their needs.
People who love to take road trips know how important it is to keep a first aid kit in their car. Carrying the essentials to treat headaches or bandage cuts can prevent minor ailments and injuries from becoming more serious. And the same is true for your furry travel companions! If you travel with pets, we’ll help you ensure that your pet first aid kit is stocked with items you might need to assist them.
How To Make A Pet First Aid Kit
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Finding a pet first aid kit you can purchase is easy. They contain the basics, but you’ll still need to make some important additions to round out your kit.
If you’re willing to invest a bit more time, it’s can be more economical to start from scratch and gather everything you’ll need to make your own pet first aid kit. Fortunately, you probably already have many of the items on hand!
Even before you begin gathering the first aid supplies, it’s important to know how to use them. A pet first aid book is a handy reference. And if you keep it with your kit, you’ll be able to quickly review any procedures you need to help your pet.
In a waterproof container or bag also include your veterinarian’s phone number, the APSCA poison control hotline (800-426-4435), your pet’s vaccination certificates, and copies of other important medical records.
The most common pet injuries are cuts, scrapes, and torn toenails, so let’s start there. When dealing with one of these injuries, you’ll want to stop the bleeding, clean the wound, and cover it until a professional can examine it. Here are the supplies your pet first aid kit should include for these injuries:
- Alcohol-free hand sanitizer
- Antiseptic spray or cream
- Blunt nose scissors
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Gauze – both pads and rolls
- Instant cold pack
- Nail clipper for dogs and cats
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Pee pads – to keep wounds clean and protect your upholstery
- Protective collar – either inflatable or soft cone
- Saline solution
- Styptic gel – stops bleeding
- Vet Wrap – sticks to itself, not fur or skin
- Wound boot or rubber booties
Your pet first aid kit should also include certain medications. These should only be administered if you’re instructed to do so by a veterinarian or poison control center.
- Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) – to inducing vomiting, as instructed by a professional
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) – for allergic reactions, if directed by a vet
Other Useful Items
It’s difficult to anticipate all the things your pet can get into while you’re out and about. Having the following items in your pet first aid kit can be helpful in a variety of situations:
- Basket muzzle – basket muzzles allow dogs to pant
- Disposable syringe – to administering liquid medicine or small amounts of water
- Digital thermometer – Be sure you know your dog’s normal temperature for comparison!
- Emergency blanket
- Petroleum jelly – for lubrication
- Plastic comb or pliers – to remove cactus spines
- Tick remover
Be Prepared for a Vet Visit
If your pet is injured or ill, there’s a good chance you’ll be visiting a veterinarian. In that case, you’ll be glad to have your pet’s medical records, scanned to a USB drive, in your pet first aid kit.
Having all of your pet’s vaccination and health information with you will allow the veterinarian to quickly assess your pet’s condition and begin treatment.
It’s frightening when your furry travel buddy is injured or sick. But when you’re prepared with a little first aid knowledge, a good pet first aid kit, and information for the vet, you can stay calm and focus on helping your pet.
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