Today's blog post isn't actually training-related in nature, but it's no less important: pet first-aid kits.
With the Summer season upon us, we're heading outside more; we're taking vacations and camping trips; and we're taking our SideKicks with us! All of the extra activity is a recipe for fun...but sometimes it's a recipe for accidents, too. S@#$ happens, you know? And, in these cases, it's best to be prepared!
Pet first-aid kits can be purchased ready-made in stores, but you can also put together your own kit fairly easily by adding pet-specific supplies to a human first-aid kit or by assembling the suggested items below:
Pet first-aid book
Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!) and a poison-control center or hotline
Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your SideKick (in case they get lost)
Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur)
Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting
Basic first-aid supplies
Absorbent gauze pads
Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
Blanket (and/or a foil emergency blanket)
Cotton balls or swabs
Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with veterinarian or animal poison control expert before giving to your pet)
Non-latex disposable gloves
Scissors (with blunt ends)
Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
Sterile saline solution
A pet carrier or kennel
Other Useful Items
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet's size.
Expired credit card (to scrape away insect stingers)
Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
Over the counter antibiotic ointment
Penlight or flashlight
Plastic eyedropper or syringe
Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
Splints and tongue depressors
Styptic powder or pencil
Temporary identification tag
Put your kit together in a small, plastic tub with a lid or a water-resistant, zippered tote bag. Additionally, add anything to your pet first-aid kit that your vet may recommend for your SideKick specifically. Be sure to check on the supplies occasionally for anything that is expired or needs to be replaced. Keep the kit in a handy spot in your home (though still out of the reach of children and all pets) and take it with you while traveling.
It might seem like a lot, looking at the list, but you might just thank yourself later on for putting all of it together when and if an accident happens! Besides, the extra peace of mind a pet first-aid kit provides is priceless.