Owning a pet can be exciting, but always preparing for emergencies is essential. Having basic pet first aid supplies on hand can help you keep your dog healthy and comfortable until you can get to the vet. Keep a pair of gloves handy to reduce the chance of infection, and choose non-stick wrap to protect gauze bandages or splint broken bones. You can also use a pair of scissors to trim hair near injuries.
Disposable gloves like the ones at https://www.retailmenot.com/view/CHEWY.com are one of the most essential supplies to keep on hand for cleaning your dog. Gloves provide a barrier to protect your hands from germs, metalworking fluids, harsh chemicals, and soapy water while also helping reduce the spread of germs from person to person when cleaning. Whether washing your pet’s fur or cleaning the litter box, gloves are a must-have for every dog owner. They help you clean your pet more effectively by allowing you to reach areas that would be difficult or impossible to get to with just your fingers while protecting it from scratches and bites and reducing the likelihood of transferring bacteria or allergens to your skin. Medical-grade disposable gloves can be purchased in various materials, but nitrile, vinyl, and latex are the most popular. Nitrile gloves offer the best touch sensitivity and a high level of protection but may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Vinyl gloves are an affordable option that offers allergy-free protection and a similar degree of touch sensitivity as latex.
A good pair of tweezers is essential to any first aid kit and a must-have for the pet owner. These precise tools can be used for various tasks, from picking splinters out to extracting stingers or removing barbed fishing hooks that dogs may have swallowed (under vet guidance). Stings and bites are common problems; tweezers help you quickly remove them. Avoid squeezing the sting site, as this can inject more infectious material into the wound. Stainless steel tweezers with slant tips are best, but also consider a set that comes in a small case to protect them from contamination. Other essential tools to keep in your pet’s first aid kit include hydrogen peroxide, which can induce vomiting if your pet has eaten something harmful, and non-aspirin pain relievers for allergic reactions or inflammation (under vet approval). A flashlight is also helpful for emergencies, especially in dark areas. Some owners prefer a headlamp that provides a hands-free source of light. You should also include a thermometer.
Medical gauze is a type of fabric used to wrap or cover wounds. It absorbs seeping fluids and allows the skin to breathe, essential for keeping an open wound clean and safe. It also reduces the risk of infection and halts bleeding. Gauze comes in various forms, including rolls, strips, tiny pads, and huge sheets that can be cut into pieces to fit a particular wound. It can be dry or soaked in a healing substance such as petroleum jelly or antiseptic. Some types of gauze are sterile, meaning they have been packaged to keep them free from dirt and germs until they are used. Woven gauze is typically made from cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. The weave is loose, which helps it wick away the liquid from a wound. However, it shouldn’t be applied directly to a wound because it would dry it out, making dressing removal painful, and it could damage tissues that have just started to recover. Woven gauze also leaves a lot of lint in the wound, which can cause problems as any debris could hinder healing.
Antibiotic ointments are topically applied to the skin to help kill bacteria and promote wound healing. These are often used for scrapes, cuts, and minor burns. Veterinarians prescribe antibiotics to animals when they have determined that a specific illness or health condition is caused or exacerbated by bacteria. Different diseases or health problems require different lengths of antibiotic treatment. If an animal is given a course of antibiotics and the owner stops the medication early, bacteria can fail to be killed, and the disease or health problem may return. Our research suggests that pet owners prefer arguments based on the possible adverse effects on their pet or antibiotic resistance to less-preferred arguments around relative cost or public health (e.g., the development of ‘superbugs’). They also prefer reassurance when a veterinarian declines to give their pet antibiotics or delays prescribing them. Interestingly, this desire for reassurance varied by the subgroup of pet owners. Those with a health background were more likely to understand that giving antibiotics to their pets could directly affect their health.
A digital thermometer is a must-have for any pet owner. Whether your dog has a fever or is experiencing an allergic reaction, taking their temperature will help you determine the best action for them. Typically, digital thermometers use a small computing mechanism and a sensor (called a thermoreceptor) to detect temperature changes. The thermometer then gives you a digital readout in degrees. A digital thermometer is safer than mercury versions and more convenient to use as it provides quick reading. Some digital thermometers offer features that make them more useful for pet owners, such as flexible tips (for rectal use), instant or rapid readings, the ability to store your dog’s temperature history/readings, and resistance against breaking. When choosing a thermometer, look for one labeled as “pets-only” so it can be dedicated to your pet without the risk of accidentally being used by other family members. You can also purchase thermometers explicitly designed for your dog’s ear or mouth to take their internal temperature. These thermometers require more skill to insert, but the results are typically considered more accurate.