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Pet First-Aid Kit

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When it comes to your pet’s health, the best thing you can do is to make sure you’re always prepared. One way to do this is to make your own fully equipped pet first aid kit—you may never have to use it, but you’ll be grateful you have it if there’s an emergency. So grab a large, waterproof container and fill it with the following items:

  • Tweezers
  • Latex (or hypoallergenic material) gloves
  • Gauze roll
  • Gauze sponges in a variety of sizes
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Elastic cling bandage
  • Medical tape
  • Small scissors
  • Tongue depressors
  • Clean cloth, towel, and compact emergency blanket
  • Muzzle (even the sweetest animals may become aggressive when in pain)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent)
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Non-adhesive sterile pads
  • Sterile saline wash
  • Sterile eye lubricant
  • Eye dropper
  • Instant cold pack
  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Small flashlight
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl—get approval from your veterinarian first)
  • List of emergency numbers—include the number for your normal vet, emergency vet, animal control, and animal poison control center

Customize it. Different pets have different needs, so you may need to include some additional items based on your pet’s age, activity level, and state of health.

Familiarize yourself. None of these items are very helpful if you don’t know how to use them. Check with your veterinarian to see if there’s a local pet first aid class you can attend; if there’s not one already, maybe your vet can help you set one up for the community.

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