Cats and dogs are curious by nature and as a result, are prone to getting their paws on things they shouldn’t. It’s important to ensure all toxic substances and hazardous items are out of your pet’s reach. In the event that they do get into something they shouldn’t, it’s crucial you’re prepared. Here’s a list of some items you should have on hand in a pet first aid kit in case of an incident:
Pet poison first aid kit contents:
- Notebook or index card with phone numbers and addresses of your nearest emergency veterinary practice and the Pet Poison Helpline, and a list of your pet's normal values (respiration rate, heart rate and rectal temperature)
- Hydrogen peroxide 3% used to induce vomiting in dogs (within the expiration date)
- An oral dosing syringe or turkey baster (for administering hydrogen peroxide)
- Teaspoon/tablespoon set (to calculate the appropriate amount of hydrogen peroxide to give)
- Liquid dish washing detergent (i.e., Dawn, Palmolive)
- Rubber or latex gloves
- Triple antibiotic ointment (with no other combination ingredients) e.g. Polysporin
- Vitamin E oil (a small container of oil or several gel caps)
- Diphenhydramine tablets, 25mg (with no other combination ingredients) e.g. Benadryl
- Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears
- Can of tuna packed in water or tasty canned pet food for help administering medication
- Sweet electrolyte-containing beverage
- Corn syrup (1/4 cup)
- Vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
Before using any of the items above, consult a poison control specialist, like the Pet Poison Helpline (no cost if you have Pets Plus Us coverage), or your veterinarian, to find out:
- If the product ingested was poisonous
- What the true course of action/antidote is
- If inducing vomiting is warranted or medically indicated. Never administer hydrogen peroxide to any pet without checking with a veterinary professional first, as it’s not always appropriate to induce vomiting at home and may cause more harm.
Know the signs of pet poisoning, read our article on how to spot the signs of poisoning in dogs and cats.
Resources: Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $59.00 USD* per incident includes follow-up consultations for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.
*Price is subject to change.