What are the advantages of buying a pet first aid kit?

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You should always have a pet first-aid kit on hand, whether you’re traveling or at home. At the very least, the kit should consist of blankets, bandage material, medical tape and a muzzle.

You’ll want a muzzle because an overly stressed dog –or one in pain—is a lot more apt to bite if you touch her.

You’ll need the masking tape if your dog has a spinal injury and you need to secure her to a board; the masking tape will not hurt the fur or skin.

Other things to include:

• A durable, waterproof (or at least water-resistant) container that opens and closes easily yet securely. It should be large enough to hold the items mentioned below.
• Bandage material, such as gauze pads, cotton gauze, adhesive tape and masking tape.
• Bottle of hydrogen peroxide and anti-bacterial ointment or cream in the kit. Hydrogen peroxide is needed to induce vomiting in the event your pet is poisoned. Consult your veterinarian before inducing vomiting.
• Diarrhea medication, but seek your veterinarian’s approval before use.
• Scissors, plus tweezers or forceps.
• Eyedroppers for dispensing liquid medication or for cleaning superficial wounds.
• Activated charcoal at any health food store. This remedy is good for diarrhea and controls flatulence resulting from any stomach or intestinal upset.
• Blankets in the kit to keep your pet warm in extreme conditions.
• Phone numbers of your pet’s regular veterinarian and of a nearby emergency veterinary hospital.

NOTE: Never give your cat aspirin or acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). They are extremely toxic to cats. Avoid giving ibuprofen to dogs, as it can cause kidney failure.
NOTE: When traveling, call ahead to your destination to see if there are any particular dangers, such as snakes, poisonous plants or extreme heat that you will need to consider when packing your first aid kit. Also be sure to find out the location of the nearest veterinary hospital—and perhaps give them a call to introduce yourself and let them know you’ll be in the area.

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