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Lifesaving Pack Rats
Packing the Ultimate First Aid Kit
When pet emergencies occur, the first thing we should do is call for help. However, there are just some cases when we, as pet parents, must take things into our own hands. Let's just call it damage control. Compact yet comprehensive first aid kits should be a must in your home. It won't do you any good to assemble a makeshift kit when trouble strikes; that's as insane as trying to put your seatbelt on in the middle of an accident happening. It just doesn't work. What works is preparation. Let's assemble our first aid kits now. Here are some things we recommend:
  1. Bandage material: gauze pads, cotton gauze, adhesive and masking tapes.
  2. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and antibacterial ointment.
  3. Diarrhea medication.*
  4. A pair of blunt scissors for cutting animal hair around the wound and a sharper scissors for cutting gauze.
  5. Tweezers or forceps.
  6. An eyedropper for dispensing liquid medication or for cleaning shallow wounds.
  7. Syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting in case a pet is poisoned.*
  8. A blanket to keep your pet warm in extreme conditions.
  9. Green soap or other mild antibacterial soaps for cleaning skin and wounds.
  10. Antibiotic ointment.
  11. A muzzle. Injured dogs are more likely to bite.
  12. A rectal thermometer and lubricating jelly. Avoid glass thermometers.
  13. Cotton balls and Q-tips.
  14. Rubber bulb ear syringe, for flushing ears, eyes and wounds.
  15. Phone numbers of your pet's regular vet and of nearby veterinary hospitals and poison control centers.
  16. A durable, water-resistant container that opens and closes easily and securely large enough for all of the items just mentioned, and whichever ones you brainstorm on your own.
  17. Some of your pet's favorite treats.
  18. A tourniquet to discourage the flow of blood from an artery.
  19. Tongue depressors in case you need to stabilize a small limb.
  20. Eye ointment.
  21. Charcoal tablets, which absorb gas in the abdomen, preventing bloating.
* Get permission from an animal care professional before using.

Note: Never give aspirin or other pain relievers to cats.

Remember, the purpose of first aid is to relieve suffering, save a life and to prevent further physical or psychological injuries until you can reach or be reached by a qualified health care professional. Consider all of the possible emergencies that can happen especially based on your particular region (i.e. some places have greater chance of poisonous snake bites) and pack your emergency kit accordingly to make sure we can care for our pets the best we can before delivering them into more practiced hands.

This helpful tip came from a HealthyPetNet newsletter! Would you like to get this useful pet information through e-mail each month? Newsletters are free and often cover many important pet-related topics. Click here for more information!

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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