Put together a simple first aid kit for pets and keep it close by.
The following items can help with minor pet emergencies and should be grouped in a small bag for easy access:
- List of your vet's telephone and after hour telephone numbers, as well as the number for the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435).
- Digital Thermometer - average temperature range for a dog or cat is 100°F to 102.5°F. A temperature lower than 100 or higher than 104 is an emergency that requires immediate attention from a vet.
- Hydrogen Peroxide - useful in cleaning wounds, but also for inducing vomiting if a pet has swallowed something dangerous. Always check with your veterinarian or the poison control center before inducing vomiting, because if the substance ingested is caustic, it might be more harmful coming back up.
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment - good for keeping small wounds and lacerations free of infection.
- Styptic Powder - helps stop the bleeding from a broken or torn nail; using household flour can also do the trick.
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine) - treats allergic reactions (from insect bites and bee stings), have this over-the-counter human medication on hand. It comes in a pediatric liquid variety, which allows you to give a lower dose than the adult tablets. As a rule: Give 1 to 2 mg of Benadryl per pound of weight.
- Tweezers - best tool for removing splinters and ticks. Avoid using your hands to remove a tick because of the risk of tick-borne diseases.