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First Aid Kit Essentials

All responsible dog owners should prepare a first aid kit to have on hand in case of emergencies. Whether it is needed for treating of simple scrapes, bruises, or allergic reactions acquired in a day outing or addressing injuries inflicted during a natural disaster or an encounter with another animal, being prepared is the first step in averting or controlling life threatening injuries to your dog. The possession of a few simple materials considerably enhances the chances of your dog recovering from minor abrasions or surviving serious trauma. The following items should be included in any general dog first aid kit: gauze, antibiotic ointment, rubbing alcohol, self-adhering bandages, eye wash, an ear syringe (2oz), petroleum jelly, sterile non-adherent pads, Benadryl tablets, buffered aspirin, hydrocortisone cream, hydrogen peroxide, bandage scissors, splints (preferably fit for the size of the dog), tweezers, a muzzle, and a couple of zip lock bags. If at all possible, extra water and food, a blanket, the dog?s paperwork, including health records, and shot records, poison control and emergency veterinarian numbers for the surrounding area, and a picture of the dog should also be included. Also, include a thermometer in the kit. You may also want to include a pocket-sized health care manual or any printouts of health advice from the internet (although you may find these more useful stored on a bookshelf for frequent reference). Examine the contents of the first aid kit annually and replace or re-stock items that may be out of date or running low. The possession of a first aid kit not only helps to ensure the care and survival of your dog but will also help to alleviate any anxieties you might have concerning the health of your pet. The first aid kit should be kept in a well-accessible spot in your house and should be carried on any road-trip or extended outing. Make sure everyone in your family knows about the kit?s contents and its location. Also, if you have a pet sitter care for your dog at any time, instruct this person about the contents and location of the first aid kit before leaving home. Take the opportunity to read up on dog first aid and be ready to USE the first aid kit, if needed. It will do little good to have the kit if you are not sure how to respond to emergencies. Remember, the life of your dog is in your hands and to be prepared is not only a responsibility but an exhibition of love.

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