Be Prepared With Your Winter Pet First Aid Kit
As our winter season hits, we’re thinking about all things safety. A pet first aid kit is a great tool for making sure your pets can stay safe and get the help they need should an emergency happen. And in the wintertime, this kit should include a few extras.
You can purchase pet first aid kits online, however, building your own kit, or adding to a pre-made one may be your best bet for making sure you have everything customized for your pet’s lifestyle and needs. So, what to include? Here are our tips for a winter pet first aid kit.
Organization and Storage
Keep in mind that you may need several versions of your pet first aid kit. It’s smart to keep a kit at home, of course, but also in your car (this can be a lifesaver if you ever need to evacuate your home). A small plastic storage box or car caddy works well for this type of mobile kit.
What’s Inside a Winter Pet First Aid Kit?
Here are some of the items you should have in your pet first aid kit.
Scissors – for freeing your pet from entanglements
Bandage scissors – blunt nosed scissors are best for snipping bandage material
A fresh bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide – for cleaning and also in case of accidental poisoning. Never administer without a veterinarian’s guidance, as you could make the situation worse.
Bandage material and tape – this includes roll gauze, vet wrap, and medical tape to stop bleeding wounds and keep things clean until you can get to the vet.
Sterile eye wash and ointment – for washing debris from eyes and ointment specific to eyes
Tweezers – for removing small debris and other foreign objects from wounds
Toenail trimmer – if a toenail gets torn, trimming it away may be necessary.
Styptic pencil – this handy tool can seal small nicks and cuts, or broken toenails that tend to bleed a lot.
Antibiotic ointment – over the counter ointment for skin use (not in eyes) to dress light wounds and scratches.
Latex gloves – these come in handy when the situation is messy.
Antiseptic wash or wipes – cleaning solutions for wounds and cleaning away dirt and debris
Telfa pads – non-stick wound dressings.
Thermometer – you need to be able to tell if your pet is hypothermic or cold.
Small bottle of dish soap – Dawn dishwashing liquid is the standard in veterinary hospitals, used to wash toxins and chemicals off coats and paws
Slip leash and extra leash and collar – in case your pet loses theirs or you need to muzzle your dog
Foldable bowl for food and water – a collapsible bowl is helpful in an emergency
Water and canned food – in an evacuation, you need to have adequate supplies for your pet for a few days.
List of veterinarian phone numbers and addresses – if your cell phone battery dies, it’s great to have a physical list of important veterinary contacts.
Your pet’s medical records – it’s important to give pertinent medical history to the emergency veterinarian, and having a copy of your pet’s medical record is a good way to do this. By getting a Pet Patient Portal Account, you can access your pet’s full vaccine history, bloodwork, and medications. If you need help getting an account, contact us at any time!
For a winter pet first aid kit, add the following to your basics:
Mylar emergency blanket – you can wrap your pet in this to keep in body heat if hypothermia is a concern
Booties – these protect paws, whether they are injured or from snow, ice, and deicing chemicals
Paw wax or balm – to moisturize dry, cracked paw pads
Warm blankets and pet bed – for general use if you are evacuated and/or staying in your car for any length of time.
Customize Your Kit
Depending on your pet’s lifestyle and health, you may need to customize your pet first aid kit even farther. For example, if your pet takes prescription medications, you’ll want a supply of that plus a written prescription from your veterinarian. If your pet is a diabetic, you may need Karo syrup in your kit in the event of a diabetic emergency. Consult with us at your pet’s next visit to learn what we recommend for your particular pet.
Kits Aren’t Enough
Although a winder pet first aid kit is a great start, it won’t help you in the event of an emergency unless you know how to use it. Taking a pet first aid course (check the American Red Cross website) is a wonderful way to get prepared for a pet emergency. Remember that pet first aid is also a first step, and should be considered temporary until you can have your pet evaluated at a veterinary hospital (unless a very minor scrape).
If you need help or more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s our goal at Highway Veterinary Hospital to keep your pet safe and healthy. We’re here to help!