FirstAidYour medicine cabinet is probably stocked with the things you need when you are sick or hurt. Bandages, antiseptics, tweezers, and medications for every ailment are commonly found in most people’s homes.

But do you have the things that you might need if your pet has a medical problem? If not, take a few minutes to stock your medicine cabinet or pantry with first-aid supplies for your four-legged family members. You never know when they might come in handy.

Here’s what you need…

  • Thermometer and lubricant: The normal temperature for dogs and cats ranges from about 99.5-102.5 F. Dogs and cats temperatures are taken rectally, and most pets tolerate this easily with a little lubricant and a gentle technique. You may need another person to hold the pet still.

  • Tweezers: These are ideal for removing splinters and other foreign objects if necessary.

  • Sterile saline: This can be used to flush wounds, if needed. Also consider purchasing an antiseptic solution such as Nolvasan or Betadine so that you can properly clean a dirty wound.

  • Bandage supplies: Rolls of gauze, 1-inch tape, a bandage wrap such as VetRap, gauze pads, and small scissors make the list of must-haves. These supplies are handy to cover small cuts, scrapes, and even torn toe nails until you can get to the vet. You should never leave a bandage on for an extended period of time without a veterinarian’s supervision, and be careful not to wrap it too tightly or you may cut off circulation.

  • Antibiotic ointment: You may wish to apply an antibiotic salve on small nicks, cuts, and burns.

  • Latex gloves: It is important for you to use these when handling wounds so as not to introduce or spread infection.

  • Karo syrup: Administering Karo syrup to an animal suffering from low blood sugar can help you to get to the vet before it is too late.

  • Small flashlight or pen light: Sometimes it’s necessary to see in dark places!

  • Cold pack: Cold is important to help decrease swelling.

  • Recommended medications: Talk with your veterinarian about what medications you should have on hand (and shouldn’t), and the correct dosage for your pets.

  • Hydrogen peroxide: You may be instructed to induce vomiting at some point, and hydrogen peroxide can be an effective way to do so. Never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian, at which point they will walk you through it.

  • Muzzle: Sometimes even the nicest of pets may bite when they are hurting. A muzzle may be necessary for safe transportation to help.

  • Phone numbers: Keep your vet’s phone number as well as an emergency vet’s phone number on hand. The phone number for an animal poison control line is also helpful

  • Reference Book: Consider purchasing pet first-aid book to help you know what to do the next time your pet is sick or injured.

Once you have your supplies gathered, store them in a tackle box or other air-tight container. You may also want to consider making a smaller version of your kit for your car or camping box, too.

Finally, don’t forget that most emergencies that would require first-aid also warrant a phone call to your veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call. We’re happy to help and are always here if you need us.