As pet parents, we should have a basic understanding of dog and cat first aid tips. Just as we’d know how to staunch a wound if our child fell down and hurt himself, so too should we know how to protect our dogs and cats until we can get them to the veterinarian.
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and because of that we wanted to share some basic, and practical, first aid tips for pet parents.
Prepare a pet first aid kit
Having a pet first aid kit is one of the most basic items that every pet parent should have. If you have numerous pets in the household you may need to have more than one first aid kit. Here are some of the items to have in the pet first aid kit.
- Safety scissors. Look for the scissors that have a safety tip to prevent any accidents while you’re cutting around your dog or cat.
- Sterile saline eye wash. This is necessary if your dog gets dirt or dust or other foreign objects in his eye.
- Water. Have a bottle of water in the first aid kit, just as you would in your pet emergency safety kit. The water is good for rehydrating and for washing out a wound.
- Your pet’s medication. Styptic powder or pencil, used to stop bleeding on small cuts.
- Dish soap. This can be used to wash any toxins from your pet’s fur.
- A thermometer. If your pet is acting ill, your veterinarian may ask what your pet’s temperature is.
- Your emergency contact information. If you and your pets are out of the house and you get injured and cannot speak, this contact information can be a literal lifesaver. Have the information for a family member, your veterinarian and any other pertinent information on the contact card.
- Emergency restraint items. If your pet is injured, he will be scared and could be flailing around and potentially cause himself more harm. If possible, swaddle your dog or cat in a blanket to keep them calm and still.
It’s wise to have a pet first aid kit in your home as well as in your vehicle. When you’re taking a road trip with your pet you may want to add additional items to keep your pet comfortable during the road trip, but the pet first aid kit is something you should never leave home without.
Ask your veterinarian where you could learn pet CPR and for any other first line of defense pet first aid you should be aware of until you can get an injured pet in for medical care.
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