April is pet first aid awareness month. Did you know you should have a pet first aid kit that has the essentials for all the pets in your home? While you don’t really need one kit per pet, there are items that a dog can use, but a cat cannot (like a muzzle) and if you have a horse, they should have their own first aid kit in your trailer or tackroom --not at your house. If you do have a first aid kit for your pet(s), when was the last time you checked it to make sure all of the medications weren’t expired and it had everything you needed? This should be done about once a year. Make it in January to keep it easy to remember, new year, new first aid kit essentials.
You might be saying, “Great! That’s all well and good to have a first aid kit, but I don’t have the time to search up and down CVS and find the items needed to make a kit, and then ensure they’re safe for my dog and/or cat.” Luckily, there are a plethora of premade kits available with just a simple Google search. Chewy.com and Amazon have some great options. One of our favorite brands is Adventure Medical Kits. Available on Chewy.com for dogs (and people) of all different adventure levels, from your average dog to working dog, they have you covered. Chewy also has a great Equine Triage Kit available. For cats, the best one we found was on Amazon from ARCA
With so many great premade kits available online, we really don’t recommend building your own. It’s very time consuming and will cost much more than purchasing one. But if you really want to build your own, here is a short list of items we recommend: (1) adhesive bandage tape, (2) over the counter antibiotic ointment (dogs only), (3) antibiotic eye ointment, (4) antiseptic spray/lotion/powder, (5) betadine, (6) cotton bandage rolls, (7) cotton balls/swabs, (8) ear cleaning solution, (9) elastic bandage rolls, (10) hydrogen peroxide, (11) instant ice packs, (12) alcohol prep pads, (13) latex gloves, (14) muzzle or strips of cotton to create a muzzle, (15) tweezers, (16) non stick bandage pads, (17) petroleum jelly, (18) leash, (19) syringe without the needle, (20) rectal thermometer, (21) saline solution, (22) scissors, (23) gauze rolls, (24) styptic powder, (25) towels or blankets.
Also, it’s very important to know how to use all of these items. There’s nothing worse than to have the correct items and in an emergency, not know how to use them! Denise Fleck, of Sunny Dog Ink, is an amazing teacher of pet first aid and she has a great YouTube channel, where she teaches the basics of Pet First Aid and CPR.
One of the benefits of having us as your professional pet sitter and/or dog walker is everyone here is trained in Pet CPR and First Aid, and we renew this training every two years. In fact, we have a few team members up for renewal this year. Interested in joining us in learning Pet CPR and First Aid? We’re more than happy to send you a link to the class we’re attending online (or at least one very similar). Hopefully come next renewal time, we can take an in-person course again.
Easter is on Sunday (4/4/2021), so hard to believe! But with Easter comes it’s own share of pet safety concerns. From chocolate bunnies, to Easter basket grass, to family members not keeping doors closed, to Easter lilies, there are a few things to keep in mind this weekend.
Chocolate bunnies, plastic Easter eggs, candy, etc: Chocolate should not be ingested by any pet as it is toxic and requires an immediate vet visit. Do not offer your pet any Easter candy, no human candy is safe for pets as they contain fake colors, sugars and other chemicals that are dangerous to pets if ingested.
Easter Dinner: While a few bites of lean ham/meat (no fat) or plain green beans/veggies are ok, everything else should not be given to your pet. Onions, garlic, grapes are all toxic to pets, fatty foods can lead to gastrointestinal issues and pancreatitis. Avoid salty foods as well.
Easter Basket Grass: Jenn has personal experience with this one. Her childhood cat decided to eat the plastic Easter grass in her basket. This landed him at the emergency vet overnight while they worked to get him to pass it. Paper grass is a safer option, but even so, if your pet eats too much, it could cause a blockage and a visit to the emergency vet. So be mindful of your child’s Easter basket, and make sure it’s kept out of the reach of pets.
Family/friends gathering: If you’re having family and friends over for Easter this year, be sure to remind your guests to keep doors and gates closed so your pet does not escape. If your pet is feeling nervous about seeing a bunch of people after a year of really only seeing you and your immediate family (and possibly your dog walker), put your pet in a quiet room or in their crate for the duration of the gathering. Give them a safe bone or chew toy to keep them busy. Also play relaxing music or put on doggy/kitty TV for them.
Easter lilies: NO! These are not to be brought into your home if you have pets, no exceptions! All parts of the plant are toxic and absolutely deadly to cats. If you like the look of lilies, get a fake plant. The life of your pet is not worth a pretty flower.
Alcohol: NO! While it may seem cute to see your pup drink some beer or wine from your glass, it is not ok. Alcohol is very toxic to pets and just a little bit can lead to kidney failure.
While all these things need to be considered during Easter, we want you to enjoy the holiday with your family/friends and your pets as well. Happy Easter to those who celebrate and make it a safe one for you, your family and your pets.
Jennifer, CPPS has loved caring for animals since childhood, and she’s had quite a few throughout the years. From cats to dogs, to birds, hamsters, fish, guinea pigs, and even a horse; she’s had more four-legged family members than two legged ones!