Always have a first aid kit ready.
Emergencies do happen and when we least expect it. So be prepared and keep the kit readily available and periodically check to make sure all the items are up to date and present. A small plastic tool box or fishing tackle box works well to hold all the necessary equipment.
On the outside of the box, write your name, address and telephone number in case you lose it. Also include the telephone number of your veterinarian as well as the telephone number of a local veterinary emergency facility.
If someone is taking care of your pets while you’re away, be sure to discuss your pets with them. Make sure they understand what you consider an emergency, how to contact you, the name and phone number of a secondary contact person you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you were unavailable, and where to take your pet in case of an emergency.
You may want to consider leaving a credit card number to pay for any unplanned expenses relating to your pet’s health.
Once the emergency information is complete, it’s a good idea to have separate information sheets for each pet. Include a photo of each pet with the name, age, breed, sex, identification (microchipping information), and any health problems. This can help if your pet is lost or if someone unfamiliar with your pet is needed to care for him.
Everyone who shares a home with a dog should have a basic canine first-aid kit on hand. Poodles ‘n’ Pooches recommends including:
- A good pet first-aid book
- Phone numbers:
- The nearest emergency veterinary clinic
- A poison-control centre or hotline
- Copies of any important medical records
- Rectal thermometer (your dog’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Sterile gauze rolls and pads for bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
- Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
- Epsom salts
- Petroleum jelly
- Antiseptic lotion, powder or spray
- A Nylon leash
- A carrier for small dogs
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Splints and tongue depressors
- A muzzle or strips of cotton to prevent biting
- Penlight or flashlight
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Ice pack
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Sterile saline solution
- Glucose paste or corn syrup
- Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals and pet supply stores)
- Latex gloves
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Nail clippers
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