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FOPAWS: Build a First Aid Kit for Your Pet



We never expect an accident to happen, but if it should…are you prepared? And you might have supplies ready if you or a member of your family has a minor medical problem, but what we do for our pets can be a bit different. In addition to what we keep for ourselves, the American Red Cross suggests that a simple First Aid Kit for your pets should include these items in a waterproof container:

  • Latex (or hypoallergenic material) gloves
  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying glass
  • Grooming clippers or safety razor
  • Nylon leash
  • Towel
  • Muzzle
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Baby-dose syringe or eyedropper
  • Styptic powder or pencil
  • Plastic card (such as an old credit card) to scrape away stingers


A small bottle of liquid dish soap for safely removing any potentially poisonous chemical or toxin from an animal’s fur or feathers. For example, if your cat accidentally had a dog flea and tick medication put on it, you’ll need to bathe off this chemical immediately to prevent tremors and seizures. Likewise, if your pet rolled in something poisonous (like motor oil), you can safely wash it off with liquid dish soap.

A can of tuna (in water) or chicken broth (with a tab-open top). You’re probably wondering why this needs to be in a first aid kit. Well, several plants (Dieffenbachia, Poinsettias, and others), household products (glow sticks), and household cleaners can cause severe foaming and drooling of the mouth due to irritation. By simply diluting the taste or chemical out of your pet’s mouth with something tasty (like the water from the tuna), you can safely flush out the mouth and esophagus. This is much safer than using a spray or hose to flush out the taste from your pet’s mouth, as there is a chance your pet could aspirate that fluid into their lungs.

Pre-program emergency numbers into your phone including those for your pet’s veterinarian, an after-hours emergency veterinary hospital, and the National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435).

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until s/he receives professional veterinary treatment! For more information, visit redcross.org. You can also download their app HERE.

Thanks again, everyone…and please – collar, tag and microchip your pets!

FOPAWS (Friends of Pets and Wandering Strays, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity) has certainly had a busy summer serving residents and the lost and stray pets in Fall Creek (20 since June and 43 total this year to date with 3 of them heartworm positive), but with your warm and continued participation and support, we’re making a real difference by providing care for those who need us. If you’d like to see what we’ve been up to, please visit our Facebook page. If you’d like to get in touch with us, send an email to fallcreekfopaws@gmail.com. We’ll do our very best to respond quickly.

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