Nothing is more terrifying for pet parents than experiencing an emergency with their pet. During emergency situations with your pets, it is important to gain your composure and calm down. Emergencies are scary and stressful for everyone, even the most trained people, therefore it is best to be prepared for pet emergencies before they happen, which can help pet parents overcome the immediate panic. After reading the following information, you should be able to put together your own “Pet First Aid Kit,” and you will have more confidence and comfort if you ever experience an emergency with your pet at home. The first thing to always remember is to contact your veterinarian immediately with any pet emergency. First-aid is not a substitute for veterinary care; however, if you are unable to do so, it may save your pet's life until you can reach your veterinarian. Any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care.
Your personal Vet
Vet nearest you
Nearest Animal Control Center
Nearest 24 hr Emergency Veterinary Clinic
Poison Control Center or Hotline
An emergency contact. Either a loved one or friend who may be able to help during an emergency.
Pet emergency paperwork
It is always helpful to know your pet’s latest vaccination status, and keep appropriate medical records. Many times, in a state of emergency, it is hard to remember everything you need. If your pet’s paperwork is easily accessible in your Pet First Aid Kit, this will be helpful for your veterinarian for immediate treatment in an emergency.
The records should include:
Warm thick blanket you can use to keep him warm on the way to, and at the vet’s office.
Clean towels - They can be useful if your dog is bleeding.
Rescue remedy, or any other brand of flower essence therapy for shock is crucial. You’ll need to keep your dog calm, and this is key for that. The most common brand is Rescue Remedy, but your vet can recommend others.
Include plenty of:
Bandage tape (non-stick and medical tape)
Elastic bandages to ensure you’re prepared for any flesh wounds. (Bandages – large and small)
Scissors with blunt ends
Alcohol wipes and swabs
Pure Water (Spring or Distilled)
Saline Solution - to flush eyes
Betadine antiseptic solution to clean wounds. This is an antiseptic used in hospitals and is available in large containers as well as smaller more convenient bottles.
Blood-clotting gel or powder or styptic powder to stop bleeding
Cold pack - the type that becomes cold when you fold the pack in half. This is to prevent or reduce swelling with a sprain or strain and to cool off pet if overheated)
There are also vet bandages, which don’t stick to fur or hair, and these are very wise addition to your first aid kit for pets. Be careful to not put them on too tightly. Check your pet’s paws often for warmth. If the paw gets cooler the bandage should be loosened as the circulation may be affected.
Make sure you have a clean:
Measuring cups and spoons
One or two clean glass (preferred) or plastic bottles.
Pet emergency medications
Keeping some medications in your Pet’s First Aid Kit can be helpful in emergency situations, but it is important to consult with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate dosing and whether these medications are safe or indicated for your pet:
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Baking Soda, Cider Vinegar, and Natural Soap can help with a variety of topical issues like itching due to allergic reactions.
Note: Find a sturdy bag or plastic box for your kit. Remember, this is just a guideline, and since every dog is different, be sure to also consult with your vet.
I hope this helps everyone be a little more prepared and less panicked in case of a pet emergency. Having the essentials to deal with an emergency will help you feel more secure and ready to care for your beloved pet. Please update your Pet First Aid Kit every 6 months to make sure you have everything you need, and medications are not expired. And remember to keep the kit out of the reach of children.
A few years ago, on New Year’s Eve while visiting my Parents, my Mother’s cat, Thunder (appropriately named) scratched my dog, Webster (pug), and he was left with one of the cat’s nails stuck in his eye. Well, after I scooped up my dog and yelled profanities at the cat, we were in the car headed towards the 24-hr. emergency pet hospital about 20 miles away. When we arrived, his eye was immediately checked (no bleeding), eye examine, antibiotic injections to prevent infection, antibiotic pill to be taken for 5 days and antibiotic eye ointment to be used 2x daily for 5 days. I did not care what it was going cost because Web was my baby and I would do whatever it took to take care of him…. Just like most loving pet owners.
When we were done, the attendant handed me a bill for 560.00 and I handed her my credit card. Thank goodness Web was fine and for that I would always be eternally grateful. The total cost after follow-up visits and the 2nd bottle of Champagne I drank that night for my nerves …. 865.00 !!
I learned 2 very valuable lessons that night and they were “Keep the mean cat away from Web” 😜 and “Get Pet Insurance.”!!
Core coverage for most pet insurance plans includes accidents and illnesses. Accident coverage extends to bodily injuries that result from a specific, unexpected event, like if your pet falls down the stairs and breaks a leg. Illness coverage includes treatment for symptoms that are the result of an infection or disease. Keep in mind that any symptoms that can be traced to a pre-existing condition won't be considered eligible for coverage. All insurers require that your pet gets a vet checkup before enrolling to identify those preexisting conditions. Only about 4 percent of the market is made up of accident-only and wellness coverage.
Foreign body ingestion/swallowing a toy
Breaking or fracturing a bone
Insect bites (except fleas and ticks)
Flea borne illness
Pet insurance companies also offer "accident-only" plans that cover injuries but not illnesses. Insurance policies typically specify that the injuries must be unforeseen and unexpected to be considered an accident. This type of coverage includes most physical injuries that result from a specific incident, like a car accident or a bad fall. These plans are less comprehensive but more affordable, usually costing between $10 and $15 a month for both dogs and cats.
The most commonly excluded injuries are those that are a result of a hereditary issue—i.e., an injury that is triggered by genetic factors rather than a specific incident. Two other important exclusions of which to be aware are bilateral conditions and preexisting conditions.
Pre-existing conditions: A preexisting condition is any ailment that was identified by a vet prior to your pet's enrollment into an insurance policy. No pet insurers will currently cover preexisting conditions. Additionally, illnesses or injuries that are related to or closely identified with a previous condition are often considered pre existing and are ineligible for coverage.
Bilateral conditions: These are a subset of preexisting conditions. If your dog had an injury to one side of the body, like a torn ACL on the left leg, then insurance companies reason that there's a higher chance it will happen to the right leg. Because of this higher risk for injury, most insurance companies won't cover any ailment that has already happened to one side of your pet.
Hereditary conditions: This mostly applies to larger dog breeds. Joint and ligament problems like hip dysplasia and torn ACLs are often excluded from coverage. This is because such issues are common for older and larger dogs, whose weight places a burden on their bone structure and joints. Treatment is expensive for these conditions, so many insurers won't include them in their eligible coverage.
Routine and preventative care: If you want routine and preventative care, you'll have to enroll into a wellness or health benefits package that will reimburse some of those health costs. However, paying an extra monthly premium to be partially reimbursed for a regular vet visit doesn't make sense in most cases. In general, it's usually a better idea to skip out on wellness coverage and pay for those costs out of pocket.
The list of covered and excluded conditions will vary by insurer. In general, you'll end up paying more to have more accidents and illnesses covered. Some insurers allow pet owners to purchase endorsements to their plan, or add-ons, which expand the core coverage. Common endorsements are for things like spaying or neutering, wellness exams and preventative treatments. This extra coverage will typically increase your monthly premium by at least $10 to $15 dollars.
If you live somewhere with expensive vet costs or own an injury-prone dog, you can expect your monthly premium to be closer to $70 than $25. Similarly, you'll be paying a higher premium if you want to get more coverage and decide to decrease the deductible or increase your reimbursement level.
The average cost of pet insurance for both dogs and cats has been increasing, with rates rising between 21.4% and 26.7% in the last five years, depending on the type of policy.
Here is a list of the Top 10 Pet Insurance Companies by Consumer Advocate
Pet Insurance not for you ……
If you don’t want to pay for pet insurance, consider one of the following:
1. Starting an emergency savings fund for pet care instead.
2. If you find you need help with a big pet medical bill, the Humane Society has a list of organizations that may help pay for it.
Prevention is always best …….
Regular Flea Treatments - Fleas can cause life-threatening anemia, and ticks can spread Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. An inexpensive topical solution can keep the bugs at bay.
Have your pet neutered - Doing so can help prevent health problems, including some cancers. Many shelters or chapters of the ASPCA provide low-cost or no-cost spay or neuter surgery.
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This is a great training video. It will show you how to train your puppy so that your are able to clean their teeth regularly. This is a must for maintaining good dental and physical health for your dog and save you $$$$ too ...
Overfeed Them -Treats are a great way to motivate good behavior, don't overdo it and look for healthier treat options
Forget About Their Teeth - A Doggie Toothbrush is best
The Wrong Collar - Great Collar Ideas
Neglect To Spay Or Neuter - This one is so important to avoid unexpected pregnancies.
Share Dangerous Food
Hit Your Dog
Use A Crate As Punishment-You want your dog to associate the crate with being safe and sound, not with being in trouble. never, ever use it as punishment.
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