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How to Create a First Aid Kit for Your Pet

Pet emergencies are critical health crises that need immediate medical intervention. Having a pet first aid kit handy is recommended for all people who own pets — it may very well buy your pet critical time until veterinary care can be sought. Many of the supplies you will be using to create your pet first aid kit will also be handy in case of human first aid needs.

What Should Your Emergency First Aid Kit Contain?
You can purchase pet first aid kits or make one yourself. A plastic tote is good for storing your kit. It is advised that you make not one but two kits: one that will be in your house and one you can keep in your car.

Your Kit Should Include:

  • Batteries
  • A Flashlight
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gauze pads and bandages
  • First aid tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • A muzzle
  • A leash
  • A splint
  • Styptic powder to stop bleeding
  • Pepto bismol
  • Prescription medications (for you and your pets)
  • Sterile latex gloves
  • Eye wash
  • A book on human and pet first aid
  • Mineral oil
  • Buffered aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • Imodium for infants
  • StemPets® (and related products)
  • A blanket
  • A large bottle of water
  • Self-activating hot pack
  • Self-activating ice pack
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Copies of veterinary documents
  • Thermometer

Whenever possible, a cell phone with service that can reach 911 in case of emergencies with the phone number of the nearest emergency vet programmed is a great addition to your emergency first aid kit. Check your batteries periodically to make sure that they are ready to go when you need them in an emergency.

Giving First Aid to Pets
Now that you’ve created your kit, what will you do with these supplies in case of an emergency? Some pet hospitals offer courses in pet first aid, as do many branches of the Red Cross.

Courses are usually fairly inexpensive and are typically only one or two days long. Many courses will include a pet first aid book — if yours does, keep it with your first aid kit.

Just as your pet first aid kit will contain many items which are valuable in human medical emergencies, many of the topics covered in a pet first aid class will mirror those taught in a human first aid class, like performing CPR, helping an animal who is choking, recognizing and responding to signs of shock, cleaning and bandaging wounds, splinting, assessing vital signs, and insect and snake bites.

Prepared And Knowledgeable Saves Lives
The time and expense invested in creating a first aid kit and learning how to use it effectively in medical emergencies can very well save the life of a loved one, two or four-legged. You do not need to create separate first aid kits for the pets and people, although separate first aid training is advocated for human and pet first aid emergencies. Recertification is critical and recommended at least every two years. Get certified in pet first aid and create your emergency first aid kit today. Your family will thank you for it!

Related:

Is your pet prepared for disaster?

FEMA: Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

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Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets

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“The List” – What Can You Do to Prepare?

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January 7, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is your pet prepared for disaster?

Survival Life:

When it comes to preparing for a disaster you need to make sure that you prepare not only for yourself and your family, but also for your pets. A 2012 study from the Humane Society shows that 33% of all US households own at least one cat. It also shows that 39% own at least one dog. To some people a pet may just be an animal but to many, Fido and Fluffy are extensions of the family. With this being the case it is fairly surprising to me how few preppers remember to pack an emergency kit for their pets.

I have heard too often that pets will be able to “make their own way” and that it is their natural instinct to survive. The truth of the matter is, most house trained cats and dogs don’t make it very far on their own. The average life span of a stray animal is cut nearly in half compared to that of a house kept pet. With that being said I urge any of you with pets to make sure that you consider them when making your preparations.

If you believe bringing your pet with you during an evacuation is not an option, there are other solutions for you.

  • Contact your veterinarian and ask for a list of their preferred boarding facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter for pets.
  • Ask trusted sources outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If you do plan on taking your pet with you, it is very important to create a Pet Evacuation Kit or PEK handy for your pets. This kit is not unlike your own Bug Out Bag and will contain all of the same basic ingredients. Keep this PEK with your personal go bags and make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are. This kit should be clearly marked and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or purchase one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (make sure that you follow the first in first out rule with pet food as well as human food)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans work well, are inexpensive and usually come with lids to keep the smell down)
  • Litter
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Medications should also be rotated out the same as food to avoid having ineffective or bad medication when your pet needs it
  • Bottled water, at least 3 days’ worth for each person and pet
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet (folding crates and carriers work well and they will stow away in a tight area when not in use)
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you need to make “Lost” posters)

Choosing a “Designated Caregiver”
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence but still far enough away that they would be outside of any immediate danger zone. This should be someone who you have a great amount of trust in and it should be a reciprocal relationship.

Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet. They will need to have met your pet and you need to make sure that your pet is comfortable around them. If you are willing and able to rely on them they should be able to do the same for you if the situation is reversed.

Step 5 Evacuation Preparation
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Never assume that you will return in a few hours. If you think you may be gone for only a day, prepare for the possibility that you may not be able to return for several weeks.

When recommendations for evacuation have been announced or a mandatory evacuation order has been declared, follow the instructions of local and state officials. Below are a few simple steps that will help to minimize your evacuation time.

  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his or her name, your telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters and will contain all of your contact information.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented or frightened and wander away from home during a crisis.
  • Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of an impending disaster.

Geographic and Climatic Considerations
Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, be sure to create your evacuation plan accordingly.

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens in your home. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements typically work exceptionally well as safe zones.
  • A supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during the first stage of any crisis
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, but make sure that you still have some sort of an escape route from that room.

If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your PEK pack and other supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed and anxious during the in-house confinement, if so you should consider crating them for both your and their safety and comfort.

FEMA: Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

Make sure the pets are safe during storms

Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets

N.J. pets welcome at hurricane evacuation shelters

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Travel, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments