Must-haves for a pet first aid kit

Most homes aren’t without some sort of first aid box or kit. A responsible pet owner should also have a pet first aid kit to provide for any unforeseen emergencies. Keep the kit in a portable box or bag which you can take with you on holiday if your pet is joining you.

Here is a comprehensive list of the most important pet first aid items:

Emergency contact numbers Print or write a list of emergency numbers including a few of your nearest veterinary hospitals as well as your local animal poison control center.
Gauze swobs5 – 10Great to have in the event of an injury. Useful for applying and protecting ointment and wounds to be covered with a bandage.
Conforming bandage2Perfect for quick cover-ups until you can get your pet to the vet.
Non-stick self-adhering water-repellent bandages2These do not stick to fur and are non-slip and water resistant, making them ideal for animals who are outdoors in keeping wounds clean and dry. These should be used as an outer layer to the wound dressing and not directly onto an open wound.
Adhesive tape2Otherwise known as a sticky bandage for those stubborn areas that don’t wrap well without the bandage moving. Again, these should not be stuck onto an open wound, rather covering a gauze or cotton wool dressing.
Cotton Wool Perfectly soft for cleaning wounds and applying medicine.
Hydrogen Peroxide A topical antiseptic to clean wounds and avoid infection.
Wound spray or gel* An anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-septic gel/spray to ensure wound does not get infected.
Burn gel* Burn gel sachets may be most practical.
Antihistamine* such as Pegasus Homeopathics’ Histamine Comp 30c For bee, wasp, or caterpillar stings. Ensure the antihistamine is pet friendly.
Activated Charcoal* Can be used to absorb and counteract any poisons that your pet might have ingested until you can get him/her to the vet.
Digital Thermometer1To check your pet’s temperature. A healthy dog’s temperature is between 38.3°C to 39.2°C.
Scissors1Blunt end scissors are safest.
Tweezers1Stainless steel tweezers with slant tips are best for removing thorns, other sharp objects, and ticks.
Syringes5ml & 20mlUseful in giving oral medication.
Soft Muzzle1Animals in pain may bite. It is safer to treat a wounded dog with a muzzle.
Slip lead1To maintain control of the dog.
Latex gloves2 pairs 

*Double check with your vet as to which brands of these products are best and safest for use in pets. It is not advisable to administer human medicine and treatment to your pets.

A fantastic range of homeopathic pet remedies to always have on hand and at home belongs to the Pegasus Homeopathic Pet range. We recommend the following as part of your first aid box:

Anti-Virabac 30c  
  • A homeopathic ‘antibiotic’ which stimulates the body to fight suspected viral and bacterial infections.
Bites 30c  
  • For bites from spiders, dogs, scorpions, snakes etc.
  • To be used as treatment until you can get your pet to the vet.
Calming 30c  
  • Use for anticipatory anxiety such as a visit to the vet, thunder, loud noises, etc.
D.V.C. 30c (Diarrhea, Vomiting & Cramping)  
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms and dehydration.
Injury 6c  
  • For any injury including bruises, sprains, muscle strain, nerve/spinal injury etc.
  • Deals with emotional and physical trauma.
Sting & Itch 30c  
  • Insect stings or red, itchy, and irritated skin of an allergic nature.
Travel Sickness 30c  
  • For nausea, vomiting and vertigo associated with motion.
T.R.S. 200c (Trauma, Rescue, & Shock)  
  • Any sort of trauma which includes separation anxiety, grief, piteous howling.
  • For in-the-moment trauma.
Herbal Antiseptic Solution (Topical)  
  • Application to wounds to help soothe, initiate healing, and prevent infection.

These products are completely natural and safe, making an overdose impossible. In terms of dosing of the pillules, cats, dogs and other small pets should have 5 at a time, whereas animals as large as horses would take 10. Dose as per instructions on the bottle.

Kindly note: In most cases if a positive response is not seen within 3 – 5 days, then the pet should be referred to a veterinarian. However, in an emergency such as the event of a serious bite or sting, dose pillules until you can get your pet to the vet immediately.

Besides the items mentioned above, it is important to keep your pet’s medical records including up to date vaccination cards, sterilization record and any other relevant information in a safe place. With the rabies virus being specifically prevalent in South Africa, a record of this vaccination should be kept as proof.