April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and our team at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert wants to help you put together an affordable pet first aid kit for your household! Sure, you can purchase premade kits, but making your own will save you money and ensure it is tailored to your pet’s specific needs.
How To Begin
You can begin building your pet first aid kit by purchasing a basic human first aid kit at the store. This kit should include the following:
- Adhesive tape
- Anesthetic spray or lotion
- Antiseptic wash or wipes (Look for non-stinging preparations such as chlorhexidine or betadine. Rubbing alcohol is not good for open sores or wounds. Keep chlorhexidine away from the eyes.)
- Antibiotic ointment (Caution is advised for animals that may ingest by licking.)
- 4″ x 4″ sterile gauze pads—for covering and cleaning wounds, as a soft eye patch
- Roll gauze
- 2″, 3″, and 4″ Ace bandages—for wrapping sprained or strained joints, for wrapping gauze on to wounds, for wrapping on splints
- Adhesive bandages (all sizes)
- Topical corticosteroids, such as over the counter Hydrocortisone 1% for rashes
- Aloe vera topical gel or cream for burn relief
- Exam gloves (This is for your pet’s protection—and yours. These can also be made into ice packs.)
- Polysporin antibiotic cream
- Non-adhesive Telfa pads
- Pocket mask for CPR
- Safety pins (These are for splinter removal and for securing triangular bandages.)
- Triangular bandage (Use as a sling, towel, or tourniquet.)
- Tweezers (Use for splinter, stinger, or tick removal.)
- Sterile eyewash
- QuikClot (Use to stop bleeding of wounds.)
Customize the Kit for Pets
Add the following items to your first aid kit to customize it for pets:
- Ear wash (Call us to discuss the best ear wash for your pet.)
- Toenail trimmer and styptic pencil (Use for torn toenails.)
- Vet Wrap
- Vet-prescribed pain relief (Do not use human prescription or over-the-counter pain medications for pets. Some human medications, like Tylenol, are poisonous and may be fatal to pets. Call us to discuss prescription NSAID pain relief for your pet.)
- A muzzle (Even well-trained animals may bite when injured or afraid.)
- Water-based lubricating jelly (Use with a rectal thermometer.)
- Ice and hot packs (Use these to cool down skin after a burn—or keep your pet warm if hypothermic. Use a cloth between the pack and skin, and check frequently for redness or irritation.)
- Extra towels, washcloths, and a blanket (Use these for washing your pet, keeping your pet warm/cool, and transporting an injured pet.)
- Oral antihistamine like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) (Use in case of stings and allergic reactions. Call us to discuss proper dosing.)
- Syringe or large eyedropper (Use this to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth.)
- A list of phone numbers (Include your regular vet, the emergency vet, animal control, and animal poison control numbers. Program these numbers in your cell phone, as well.)
- Honey or Karo syrup (Include this if your pet is diabetic.)
- Regular medications (If your pet takes certain medications regularly, you should include a couple days supply of all current medications in your kit.)
- Meta-splint (Use in the event of a broken leg.)
- A bottle of liquid dish soap (Use to safely remove any potentially poisonous chemical or toxin from an animal’s fur or feathers.)
- Resealable oven bag (Use this as a container for contaminated articles, or as a makeshift ice pack.)
After Building Your Pet First Aid Kit
Now that you’ve built your first aid kit, it’s important to become familiar with how and when to use your first aid items. Here are some great next steps:
- Take a pet first aid class (Give us a call for class information or check with the American Red Cross.)
- Educate yourself by reading pet first aid books.
- Use the Pet First Aid by American Red Cross app to educate yourself and have quick access to pet first aid information in the case of an emergency.
- Pre-program your phone with phone numbers for your vet, your emergency vet, and animal poison control.
- Pre-program the address of your veterinarian’s office and emergency veterinarian’s clinic into your phone’s maps/GPS app.
Contact Us Today!
In the case of an emergency, our team of highly skilled veterinarians at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert wants you to be empowered to help your pet until professionals can step in. Lets celebrate National Pet First Aid Awareness Month together by being prepared! For more information, give us a call at 480-426-8364 today or contact us online. Together, we can keep our pets healthy and happy for a lifetime!