Veterinarians are the experts in dealing with pet emergency issues. However, most of us do not have the privilege of having them within our residence. For this reason, all pet owners ought to have pet first aid kits. An emergency involving your pet can occur at any time. Such emergencies need immediate attention. A pet first aid kit helps to prevent severe damage.
A pet first aid kit helps to prevent severe damage before getting help from the vet or pet hospital. It is a vital tool for disaster preparedness. It has supplies that come in handy in case of both human and pet first aid needs. Apart from having the pet first aid kit, you also need to equip yourself with the required skills to deal with those emergencies. These emergent situations involve anything; Ingestion of poison, body injuries, choking or even cardiac arrest.
Pet Disaster Preparedness
Failing to prepare for a disaster involving your pet is dangerous. It is the responsibility of every pet owner to include pets in their emergency plans. It will help to keep them safe during an emergency. Doing so not only protects the health of the pet but the entire family.
Disasters happen without warning. You first need to have a plan. Make sure that your pet wears a tag with contact information and identification. Microchipping your pet is another great way of preparing for disaster. Microchips help in finding your lost pet. Having a good shelter for your pet is another great way of preparing for disaster. Make sure that the shelter is pet friendly and with no toxins.
You need to assemble an emergency kit for your pet. It will come in handy in case of disaster. The emergency kit should include sturdy leashes and carriers to transport the pet safely. They prevent the pet from escaping. The pets’ food, water, and medications should be readily available. Because many pets look alike, you need to have a current photo of you and your pet. It helps to eliminate cases of mistaken identity and confusion. Another requirement is to have copies of its medical record, information on feeding schedules and any medical condition. This information should be stored in a waterproof container. Lastly, you need to have a pet first aid kit. You can buy it or make one of your own.
Making a DIY Pet First Aid Kit Checklist
Pet first aid kits have a variety of medical supplies to be used during emergency situations. The American Veterinary Association (AVMA) has provided recommendations on what DIY pet first aid kit should have. The recommendations include:
1. Gauze. It is a basic requirement for any first aid kit. It is used to cover a scrap or to muzzle an injured animal. The muzzle is used to prevent biting. A dog that is nauseated, coughing or one that as breathing problems should not be muzzled. The American Veterinary Association say that pet owners can use ropes or a towel in case of an emergency.
2. Self-adherent bandages. They are a fundamental part of a first aid kit. They are used to protect a wound and prevent infection. AVMA recommends the use of non-stick bandages with adhesive tape because human bandages can stick to pet’s fur when changing it.
3. Digital thermometer. It is used to check any drop or rise in temperature that could be life threatening e.g in cases of hypothermia. To make sure that you get accurate results, the temperature should be taken rectally. The temperature can not be measured orally. The normal temperature of an adult dog should be between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
4.Pet first aid book. Having a first aid book is a great addition to your kit. The books contain information that will guide you on how to deal with different emergency situations.
5. Emergency veterinary clinic phone number. You need to have the digits for your vet, emergency clinic, and the poison control hotline. Before administering any medications for possible toxic ingestion should be done under the direction of a veterinarian, because other adverse reactions could occur.
6. Latex gloves. Prevent contamination of wounds.
7. Scissors and nail clippers. Use to trim bandage materials and gauze. Also, cutting broken toenails.
8. Alcohol and cotton balls. For cleaning wounds and sanitizing equipment.
9. Tweezers. Remove splinters or thorns/weeds from fur.
10. Instant ice pack. Apply to area of injury to help prevent pain and swelling.
If you are a pet owner, make sure that you have a checklist of the items listed here. They will come in handy in case of an emergency. Emergencies have no warning. You never know when it will strike.
Giving Your Pet First Aid
Having a pet first aid kit is not enough. You need to learn how to use the different items contained in it. Knowledge on how to handle these emergencies is equally important. You can learn how to administer first aid in some pet hospitals or in some Red Cross branches. Search the web to see if there are any classes in your area. Most of the courses are cheap and are typically one or two days long. The courses will equip you with skills on how to deal with different emergencies, including CPR. In most of the courses, you will be given a first aid book which you should keep with your pet first aid kit. If it is not offered in your course, then ask your instructor for a recommendation on a book you should buy.
Create your DIY pet first kit today to enjoy the benefits that come with it. The first aid kit should always be in your luggage when traveling with your pet especially in places that accidents could occur. Be prepared at all times because it could make the difference between life and death for your pet. Emergencies are considered a health crisis and they can become life threatening in a short while. The kit is a vital component of disaster preparedness as well.