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What You Need to Know About Pet First Aid

Are you prepared in the event of an emergency? Here are some tips for how to prepare yourself should your dog or cat need first aid.

From torn paw pads to foreign body consumption, being prepared in the event of an emergency will help keep your pet safe and comfortable. It could even save your dog or cat’s life! Always keep a first aid kit for pets handy, and remember that any medical event should be quickly followed up with a phone call or visit to your veterinarian. Here are some tips for how to prepare yourself in the event your dog or cat needs first aid.

Keep Pet First Aid Kits in Your Home and Vehicle

giant schnauzer in the woods

A pet first aid kit is a must-have for any dog or cat parent. At a minimum, keep the following items in an easy-to-reach place in both your home and vehicle for quick access during an emergency:

  • Copy of your pet’s medical records
  • Emergency phone numbers, including your pet’s veterinarian, a list of nearby emergency vet clinics, local poison control, and non-emergency police
  • Digital thermometer for pets
  • Spare collar and leash
  • Saline solution
  • Gauze and adhesive tape
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Clean towels
  • Activated charcoal or milk of magnesia
  • Eye dropper
  • Any necessary medications that are specific to your pet

By keeping these items on hand, you will have an easier time remaining calm and administering care to your dog or cat in the event of an emergency.

two cats eating freeze-dried raw

Know How to Care For an Injured Pet

Knowing how to care for your pet in the event of an emergency will help keep you and your dog or cat safe in a potentially distressing situation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind should something happen to your pet:

  • Approach carefully. Remember that no matter how well you may know your dog or cat, an injured pet may bite or scratch out of pain. Always proceed with caution when caring for any animal. Perform any examination carefully, and stop if your pet becomes agitated. 
  • Call a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your first step in caring for your injured or sick pet should always be to call their veterinarian or a local emergency vet to confirm that any action you plan to take will not do more harm than good. Most emergency vet clinics are available 24/7 and can provide help over the phone. 
  • Bandage or splint wounds before moving your pet to another location. If a cut goes deep enough it can cause your dog or cat immense pain, and attempting to move them can cause additional harm to the animal or to you. 
  • Always confirm with your vet before attempting to induce vomiting. In the case of your pet ingesting something toxic, vomiting can sometimes be induced at home prior to visiting your vet’s office. Calling your vet first will ensure you’re doing it properly. Remember, you should never muzzle a dog that is actively vomiting. 
  • Confine your pet to a crate while transporting them to the veterinary clinic. A car crate or pet carrier is recommended to prevent your dog and cat from sustaining additional injuries while you’re on your way to the vet. If you do not have a crate, a cardboard box or other container may work fine.
dog eating a snack on a hike

First Aid for Pets While Traveling

Many of us love to hike, camp, and travel with our pets. As much fun as this can be, it’s important to be prepared for an emergency situation while you and your dog or cat are away from home. 

  • Pack a travel-size first aid kit for pets.
  • Bring enough water and shelf-stable, lightweight pet food such as freeze-dried raw for up to two weeks in the event you are stranded somewhere with an injured pet
  • Keep important phone numbers on-hand. These should include your pet’s veterinarian, a local emergency veterinarian, and the National Animal Poison Control Hotline which is (888) 426-4235. 
  • Ensure your pet is wearing an ID tag that includes your name and phone number as well as a travel tag that includes information for where you are staying on your trip. It is also recommended to have your pet microchipped in the event they slip out of their collar. 
  • If your pet is acting unusual in any way while traveling, call their veterinarian with an update.

Remember that your pets are completely dependent on you to protect them in the event of an emergency. Making a plan and knowing where your pet first aid kits are could save their lives in the event of an emergency at home or while traveling.

Stella & Chewy’s Cares

At Stella & Chewy’s, we want all dogs to feel happy and be healthy, which means feeding them the good stuff! Be sure to calm your dog or cat when they experience distress by offering one of our delicious treats for dogs or freeze-dried meals for cats. For more helpful articles, product information, and updates, check out Our Blog: For the Pet Obsessed.


Cat, Dog, Lifestyle