french bulldog with first aid kit.

Despite how common it is to deal with things when/if they happen, most of us can attest to the virtues of preparation. Planning for a scary pet emergency, like a sudden illness or injury, may not immediately provide a sense of control. And yet, if you’re ever in a situation that depends on basic pet first-aid skills, you’ll be ready when your pet needs you the most. 

You Know Them Best

While pet emergencies can occur at any time for any reason, pets that receive routine wellness exams benefit from early detection of developing conditions, effective treatments, and positive outcomes. 

Any changes to a pet’s appearance or behavior warrants further observation and investigation. Keep an eye on their environment, and be sure that all potential hazards are off the floor and properly stored. To prevent illness, follow a year-round approach to parasite prevention and maintain all vaccinations and boosters. 

Types of Pet Emergencies

Certain pet first-aid tactics can positively influence the outcomes of various illnesses/injuries. Depending on the situation, pet first aid can help until transport can be arranged to a veterinary hospital. Choking, breathing difficulties, seizures, heat stroke, loss of consciousness, poisoning, and physical trauma from a fight, fall, or collision, must be professionally treated to preserve health.

What’s In Your Kit?

Every pet owner should have at least one fully stocked pet first aid kit at home. Ideally, there is one in each vehicle and in a backpack used during exercise, as well. Rotate supplies out as they become expired or beyond their effectiveness. Keep your pet’s medical records and important health contacts inside each kit. 

Share the locations and contents of each pet first-aid kit, and discuss how to use the following items: 

  • Gauze
  • Self-sealing tape
  • Non Stick bandages
  • Bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Small flashlight
  • Activated charcoal and hydrogen peroxide (only for use under the advice and care of a veterinarian)
  • Saline solution
  • Sterile lubricating jelly
  • Scissors
  • Eye dropper or oral syringe
  • Thermometer
  • Muzzle
  • Back up prescription medications
  • Styptic powder
  • Gloves
  • Rags, towels, bankets

In order to gain confidence using any of the above first-aid supplies, the American Red Cross offers comprehensive pet first-aid training online or use this mobile app.

Not Breathing

We hope your pet is never in a situation that requires life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). However, we encourage all pet owners to brush up on the skills necessary to complete this essential component of pet first aid. This step-by-step guide can help owners familiarize themselves with proper techniques if this type of emergency ever occurs. 

We Are Here to Help

Pet owners that prioritize their pet’s health and safety may have an edge when it comes to speedy, calm action in a pet emergency. The more prepared a pet owner is, pet health outcomes can improve. 

Many pet first-aid applications are a stop gap before veterinary help can be achieved. Please call us at (813) 654-6222. We can advise you over the phone and arrange for a sick pet appointment.