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.
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!