As we enter Spring and the weather gets nicer, it means more time outdoors, long walks with your dogs, or adventuring out to parks, beaches, and trails. Unfortunately, more time outdoors also means more exposure for your pet to pick up pests and find plants that can make them sick or be at risk of injury. You'll want to take extra caution to protect your pet against fleas and ticks and be prepared if something goes wrong. Just as people keep first aid kits for their families, your pet should have their first aid kit. Preventative Spring Pet Care Having a first aid kit for your pet is essential, but taking some simple steps to prevent your pet from stressful bugs or injury should be the first step before first aid. 1. Preventative Medication: Take stock of your pet's flea and tick medication or treated collars. Check on refills for prescriptions and expiration dates, and be sure not to reuse a collar from the year before since you'll want it to be as effective as possible. Always purchase a new collar at the beginning of the season. There are many options for over-the-counter flea and tick medication, so if that's what you use, double-check you're giving your pet the proper dosage and consider any weight changes your pet may have had. If you're not sure what to buy, a quick call to the Vet can help guide you on what will be best for your cat or dog. 2. Good Grooming: If you've let your dog's coat grow out a bit due to colder temperatures, be sure to schedule grooming to start sporting their Summer cut! It's also shedding season for dogs and cats, so brushing them out will keep hair off your furniture. And it's an excellent opportunity to examine your pet for ticks, fleas, and their skin in general. 3. Watch Where You Walk: When you are out and about with your dogs, walk along well-manicured paths. I know it's tempting to let your dog wander and have fun finding different smells, but they'll be safer away from the tall grass. Don't ever let pets walk near seagrass on the beach. Some dogs are more curious than others and will try to learn about new things with their mouths. Also, never let your dog pick up found objects or chew on plants and grass. You never know what may be treated with chemicals that can harm your pet. A First Aid Kit for Your Fur Friends How do you build a first aid kit for your pets? One easy way would be to purchase already-made equipment. Basic kits include bandages, dressings, and topical medication for minor cuts and wounds. They come in neat storage bags or containers that make them easy to keep in a hall closet if the need arises. Here are some suggested kits we found to have a little bit of everything:
An Adventure Medical Kit
A Pet First Aid Kit for Home or Travel
A First Aid Kit for Both You and Your Pet
DIY Pet First Aid Kit It's just as easy and maybe preferable to create a custom first aid kit that fits the potential needs of your pet. Here are some must-have items to include in any pet first aid kit.
Antibiotic Ointment and Hydrogen Peroxide for treating cuts and wounds to avoid infection.
Styptic Powder is used to stop bleeding, which can occur if you accidentally clip the quick of a toenail or cut on the pads of a paw.
Tweezers for plucking out splinters or ticks - ticks bury their heads in the skin, so you won't be able to flick or brush out a tick.
Medical Adhesive Tape, Gauze, or Cotton Pads - regular band-aids won't stay on your pet, so you'll need the tape to wrap around gauze or cotton pads. You may also want to keep a blunt-tip scissor to use for cutting the gauze or tape.
Disposable Gloves, a Water Bottle, and Washcloth - help avoid infection by always wearing gloves to treat your animal, and having a water bottle on hand will be easier to wash away a cut quickly.
Emergency Medical Information - You may already have this information stored on your cell phone. Still, when an accident happens, and you're emotions are on alert, it would be great to have all the names, and phone numbers of your Vet and a nearby 24-hour emergency animal hospital on hand in the First Aid Kit, so you're not searching or trying to remember information when time is critical.
Car Pet Emergency Kit We've gone over some critical first-aid items for your pet. But there may be other emergencies that can happen when you're traveling or just in your everyday travels that can help provide comfort if you're caught off guard due to weather, accidents, or even a happy accident when you're dog decides to jump into the water when he shouldn't have! Here's a list of items we suggest you keep in a small gym bag in the trunk of your car that can come in handy:
A small beach towel
A can of dog food and packages of treats
An extra leash, collar, and poop pick-up bags
A water bottle and a collapsible bowl
An additional toy or comfort item
Our pets love their human parents and families and bring us so much joy, so be prepared for any situation is a way of showing love right back to them. Do you have any preventative or emergency care items for pets you recommend?