Itís kind of funny to think that most of us have a medicine cabinet stocked with bandages, tweezers, medications and other things we may need in case of a minor injury, but probably nothing for our pets! And really, unless you have a 4 year old who is more curious, rambunctious, reckless, and oblivious to danger than you are, who is more likely to get a big boo boo?
Because you may not have a 24-hour pet emergency hospital in your area, and your own veterinarian may not have evening or weekend hours for the minor fixes, itís wise to be well-supplied and prepared at home. We all know that emergency visits or after hour visits to the veterinarian can be costly.
There are plenty of pet first aid kits available for both cats and dogs for purchase, and the American Red Cross will have their Pet First Aid Kit available this June (2008). If you are so inclined why not make your own kit Ė after all, you probably have a lot of the items on hand. They just need to be put together in one place for easy access in an emergency.
According to the American Red Cross, here are some of the basic things youíll need for your petís first aid kit. A list of emergency phone numbers:
o Veterinarianís office and after-hours numbers
o Emergency pet hospital Ė to locate one in your area, visit VetLocator.com
o Animal Poison Hotline: 1-888-232-8870 ($35.00 per incident charged to credit card)
o Cat First Aid or Dog First Aid book
o Muzzle that fits your pet Ė to keep him from biting during treatment
o Plenty of sterile bandages, gauze pads, gauze rolls, and hypo-allergenic adhesive tape for treating wounds.
o Cold compress
o Non-latex gloves
o Blunt end scissors (bandage scissors)
o Styptic powder to stop toenails from bleeding
o Nail clippers
o Sterile eye wash and eye lubricant (available at pharmacies)
o Sterile water-based lubricant (such as KYģ Jelly) Ė helps hold fur away from wound
o Pen light
o Syringe, baby dose size
o Meds or other items for your petís specific medical conditions
If you keep all your supplies in a handy container, you can just pack it up with the rest of your stuff when you travel with your pet or during a natural disaster. It may be more difficult to find an after-hours veterinarian when youíre on the road, so itís even more important to be prepared while traveling.
If your pet goes everywhere with you, itís a good idea to have a second kit to keep in your car or stay packed with your petís other gear.
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