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Create Your Own Canine First Aid Kit

The following post was written by PETA Celebrity Marketing Coordinator Lauren Gordon.

Regular readers of this site may already know that I love my pooch Penny and am a stickler for safety. So when I heard about a workshop on dog safety and first aid with Melanie Monteiro, author of The Safe Dog Handbook, I immediately signed up. Melanie provided a ton of useful tips and ways to help keep our furry friends safe in emergency or dangerous situations.

Accidents can—and do—happen, so being prepared is crucial to keeping your dog safe. A simple yet important place to start is by programming useful contacts into your mobile phone, to ensure that emergency numbers are at your fingertips and you don’t waste valuable time searching for them when needed. Program the phone numbers and addresses of your veterinarian and a 24-hour emergency animal hospital into your phone. If possible, save the addresses in your car’s GPS.

In honor of National Poison Prevention Week, March 19–25, I’d like to call attention to commonly found items that can be poisonous to canine companions. Human medications topped the list of pet toxins in 2010. Accidentally dropped or misplaced pills can seem like treats to our furry friends. Household toxins or cleaners, insecticides/rodenticides, and plants are also common toxins for dogs. Being aware of these toxins and exercising prevention can help keep your animals safe. The ASPCA Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline (1-888-426-4435) is another valuable resource to have in your address book.

A canine first aid kit will help provide a swift and efficient response to an accident or injury. Purchase a pre-made first aid kit or create your own by filling a small container or bag with key supplies, many of which can be found at your local drugstore. Keep one at home and make one to have in the car for when you’re on the go. The first thing to do in the event of an accident or injury is to consult a veterinarian. Many of the items found in a first aid kit should only be administered under the vet’s guidance, but having them readily available allows for quicker treatment and can minimize pain or discomfort that your animal may be experiencing. Some of Melanie’s suggestions for items to include in a first aid kit include the following:

  • Muzzle or strip of fabric to prevent biting (in cases of severe pain during treatment but only when there is no injury to the throat or neck, vomiting, or difficulty breathing)
  • Leash
  • Pediatric digital rectal thermometer plus water-based lubricant
  • Oral syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Saline eye wash
  • Epsom salts
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mild soap
  • Cut- and wound-care items: hand sanitizer, antiseptic (povidone-iodine) solution such as Betadine, elastic or ace bandage, stretchable gauze, gauze pads, non-stick bandages, non-scented sanitary pads (for heavily bleeding wounds), first aid adhesive tape, blunt scissors

It is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any treatment or medication, especially the following:

  • Hydrogen peroxide #3% USP (to induce vomiting)
  • Toxiban or other vet-approved activated charcoal (for use in certain poisoning emergencies)
  • Diphenhydramine antihistamine, or Benadryl (to counter allergic reactions)

See additional information on creating a first aid kit for your canine companion here. Learn more about dog safety by checking out The Safe Dog Handbook or viewing Melanie Monteiro’s YouTube Channel for videos on dog safety tips.

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  • chander kumar soni says:

    i lovee my pets, so i will care for them.

  • Melanie Monteiro says:

    @tducay If your dog is bitten, there is no medicine a lay-person would be advised to give on scene. The important things to remember are to 1) Do not attempt to kill the snake, and remember even a dead snake can bite reflexively for an hour after death. 2) Remain calm and either carry your dog if possible, or walk her slowly back to your vehicle. The goal is to prevent her blood circulation from increasing due to stress or exertion, which speeds the circulation of venom. 3) Remove her collar if she was bitten on the face or neck 4) Rush to the nearest vet – and call ahead if possible to ensure they are equipped to treat her. 4) Never cut, suck, or apply a tourniquet! 5) Consider “rattlesnake aversion training” – ask your local humane society if they can advise. There is also a rattlesnake vaccine – I wouldn’t give it to my own dog but if your dog is young and very healthy and you hike a lot AND your dog likes to investigate critters, your vet may recommend this. Hope that helps!

  • tducay says:

    I live in california where rattlesnakes are common on the hiking trails. If my dog is bitten while walking I would like to have some medicines to give while getting to the vet hospital. What can I buy over the counter or thru a vet?
    thanks

  • Pat Mayer says:

    Surprise.The use of iodine,Most humans can`t use this.Says MD..Its alright for dogs????

  • Zoom Room says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this invaluable information with pet owners everywhere. We’re delighted you were able to attend the Pet Safety Seminar at the Zoom Room.

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