The natural disasters taking place across the United States shine light on why emergency preparedness is so important for pet owners. October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month, the perfect time to assemble a pet first-aid kit so you are always ready for an emergency.

Disasters aren’t the only time a pet first-aid kit can be useful. You might also need a pet first-aid kit while on a camping trip or vacation. You may even find that you utilize your pet first-aid kit most often while at home. Pets can injure themselves in the backyard chasing after a bee, playing a little too roughly with toys and other pets, or choking while eating food. Having the right materials ready to care for them while you contact or transport them to a veterinarian can make all the difference.

What to Include in Your Pet First-Aid Kit
There are many things you can include in your pet first-aid kit, and the American Red Cross has a very comprehensive list of pet first-aid kit suggestions.

At a minimum, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that you include the following:

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (never induce vomiting or give hydrogen peroxide to your pet without instructions from a veterinarian or animal poison control expert)
  • Ice pack
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with a blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name and address of your local veterinarian, as well as local veterinary emergency clinics

You should check the contents of your pet first-aid kit on a regular basis to ensure the items have not expired or become damaged. Update any phone numbers or addresses that may have changed.

For additional resources about pet first-aid, please visit the following:

–Natalie Leber

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