April - National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
Although awareness of the importance of pet first-aid is on the rise, only a small portion of pet owners have first-aid kits designed specifically for their animals. A handful of prepackaged pet first-aid kits are on the market.
Many pet owners would prefer to create their own basic kit. Many of the essential contents of a pet first-aid kit are not that different from those for a human so pet owners may already have many of the items right in their homes.
The basic necessities that should be included in a pet first-aid kit are latex gloves, gauze bandages and pads, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic swabs, scissors and cotton swabs. These are the bare bones items that should be in the kits, but there are many other items that can come in handy in the case of a pet emergency. Other items found in prepackaged kits include eye and skin wash and wipes, inset sting swabs and adhesive tape. In addition, the Humane Society of the United States recommends pet owners include the following in their kits: a pet first-aid book, phone numbers for a veterinarian, poison control line and the nearest emergency veterinary clinic, medical records for their pet, a rectal thermometer, tweezers, splints and tongue depressors, a muzzle or strips of cotton to prevent biting, a penlight or flashlight, needle nosed pliers; an ice pack, a plastic eye dropper or syringe and nail clippers.
In addition to basic pet first-aid items, the contents of a first-aid kit will differ according to the type of pet the owner owns. So, whether making their own or purchasing one, make sure it fits the species of pet. Using the kit, pet owners should be able to stop bleeding, clean a wound, apply an ointment to promote healing and cover affected areas.