Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Your Own Pet First Aid Kit

Accidents happen (and usually at the worst times). I like to keep things on hand so when they do happen I don't have to frantically run around or go to a store to get things that I need to make my puppy dogs better. If it is a true emergency then you wouldn't even have time to go to a store - you would have to react immediately (timing is very crucial for certain things).

Sometimes you can avoid an emergency room visit by having these things on hand. I know first hand about that. One evening, D'Angelo decided to eat a whole plate of dark chocolate chips cookies that he snuck off our table. You are probably aware that dark chocolate is the most toxic of all chocolate to dogs. He is such a small dog and he ate so much that something had to be done immediately. I frantically called the Animal Emergency Hospital in our area and they said there was no time to get him there before he possibly died from toxicity/poisoning (we lived 30 minutes from the emergency hospital). They told me that I was going to have to do the procedure that they would do if I wanted to save his life. They instructed me to give him Hydrogen Peroxide in specific dosages and at certain intervals so he would vomit the chocolate cookies before they could harm him. I have never seen an animal throw up so much in my life nor had I ever been so happy about vomit before. Poor little D'Angelo - he had a very rough night but wound up being just fine because I had the items on hand and because I reacted so quickly to the situation. Crazy things like that can happen to the best of us and when we least expect it. Okay - so back to the Pet First Aid Kit.

I started buying first aid items for my pups and created what I like to call the "puppy medicine bin". It's very simple, I use a Sterilite 16 Quart Clear Container w/ lid (can be purchased at Walmart, Target, etc or online). You can use anything you like for your Pet First Aid Kit - have fun with it. Since I am a label nut, I made a " Puppy Dog Medicine Bin" label for it so I wouldn't mix it up with the human medicine bin.

Now the next step...what to put in it? First start with the basics like: Pet Sterile Eye Wash, Antiseptic First Aid Lotion, Bayer Baby Aspirin , Benadryl Tablets (consult vet first for specific dosage), Pepto Bismol Tablets (for stomach aches; also check with vet for dosage amt), Gauze Pads, Q-tips, Vaseline, Syringes, Hydrogen Peroxide (to induce vomiting - please consult a vet first before using), a can of dog food, a zipper closure bag of dry dog food and/or a bag of Pill Pockets to help them get medicine down, an Elizabethan collar (a.k.a. E-Collar) so they won't lick or bite their wound and the list goes on.

For a full list of what to put into the Pet First Aid Kit please click here or even here. You can find find the items at your local pet store like Petsmart, Petco or you can order them online at sites like Doctors Foster and Smith.

Before you buy all kinds of over the counter (human) medicines for your pet, please check with your vet regarding what animals can and can't have. Also, dogs can have things that cats can't and vice versa. I know that dogs can have Benadryl, Baby Aspirin and Pepto Bismol. However, (can't remember which one) either Pepcid AC or Imodium AD is not good for animals at all. Also, Tylenol is deadly to animals as are many other human over the counter drugs so please be careful and always ask your veterinarian first before giving your beloved pet any medicine. When in doubt - don't give anything at all.

Don't forget to make a smaller first aid kit or make the one you have mobile so you can take it in the car with you when you travel with your pets. You could possibly save your sweet fur baby's life. Stay safe and happy! :-)