Do you know what to do in a pet emergency?

Let’s hope you never have to find out!  

April is the American Red Cross Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to brush up on pet safety basics!

The number one thing to remember is that first aid is no substitute for going to the vet. First aid simply gets your pet through an emergency situation long enough to get the necessary medical assistance.

Prevention is always the best medicine.

Here are some ways to keep your pets out of harm’s way.

  • Always pay attention to your pets eating, drinking and potty habits, so you’ll notice when something is off.
  • Keep poisonous items such as antifreeze, cleaning products, medicines, chocolate, and toxic plants away from your pets.
  • Keep pets away from machinery and chords and keep your trash bins covered.
  • Keep your dogs safely fenced or leashed, and try to keep your cat indoors as much as possible.
  • Give your outdoor dog plenty of shade and cool water on hot days.
  • Bring your sensitive pets indoors during thunderstorms or fireworks.
  • Pay attention, a chew toy for a small dog could be a choking hazard for a larger dog.

Do you have a ‘Pet Emergency Contact and Info List’?

Be sure to have an emergency contact and info list handy at all times. Keep a copy on your fridge, near your home phone, in your mobile phone and/or in your first aid kid. You don’t want waste precious time searching for this information if you need it during an emergency. Be sure to include the following:

  • Animal Poison Control
  • Emergency vet or clinic
  • List of medications and food allergies
  • Current medications & dosages
  • Emergency medication doses i.e. Benadryl
  • Medical records
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet names, photo, & vitals such as baseline temperature, weight and microchip information

What’s in your first aid kit?

The contents of your first aid kit will depend on where you live. Here in Central Oregon, cheatgrass and foxtails are concerns someone in NYC wouldn’t worry about.

  • Pet emergency and contact info card
  • First-aid book
  • Bandaging material for wounds or to use as a muzzle
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Bubble wrap for splints
  • Tweezers & Needle-nose pliers for removing foreign objects
  • Electric clippers to trim fur around wound
  • Eyedropper or Large needleless syringe to give liquid medication
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Clean towel or blanket & washcloth
  • Ready-made cold packs & hot packs
  • Antiseptic liquid soap and solution to clean, soak or flush injured areas
  • Cotton balls
  • Lubricants
  • Sterile saline contact lens solution to flush wounds
  • Karo syrup or honey for shock, field dogs working in cold weather are potential candidates for hypoglycemia
  • Antibiotic ointment for wounds
  • Activated charcoal preparation (ToxiBan – under vet’s guidance)
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide for poisoning (under vet’s guidance)
  • Buffered aspirin (for dogs only!)
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl with vet’s approval to treat allergic reactions)
  • Stypic powder for minor bleeding

* Always contact your vet for dosage and brands of human medicine that might work for pets. Some human medicines that work for dogs should never be given to cats.

You can find most of these items at Bend Pet Express. Come on in and let us show you!