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Animal First-Aid Kit: What Every Pet Owner Should Have on Hand

How to keep your pet safe in an emergency

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Having a first-aid kit on hand in your home or car is crucial for emergency situations. However, most first-aid kits only cater to the needs of the human members of your household. If you’re a pet owner, you should also assemble a pet first-aid kit to help keep your animal companion safe.

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Whether you’re in a natural disaster or facing an injury or health issue, here are the items to have on hand for your dog or cat. 

First is to have any emergency contact information written down, such as the phone number, clinic name and address of your veterinarian as well as some local veterinary emergency clinics. The American Kennel Club also recommends including copies of important paperwork, such as medical and vaccination records.

According to the ASPCA, other basics to include are a towel, a flashlight, disposable gloves, tweezers, scissors with a blunt end, gauze, adhesive tape, cotton balls or swabs, an ice pack and dishwashing liquid for bathing. 

To treat common issues or injuries, you should also include antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, styptic powder, saline eye solution, artificial tear gel and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting, as can milk of magnesia or activated charcoal, though you should check with your veterinarian before administering any of these to your pet.

The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends having a digital thermometer, a dropper or a syringe without a needle to give oral treatments or flush wounds, an extra leash as well as muzzle if needed to cover your pet’s mouth so you can treat them.

Related

Your pet first-aid kit should be kept in your home or car alongside your regular first-aid kit. If you don’t have one yet or it’s been ages since you’ve updated it, here’s everything you need to include in your own first-aid kit.