Pet First Aid Tips from PetFirst

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April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, PetFirst helps pet parents prepare for the unexpected accident and illnesses of their pets.

Keep in mind your pet may be in pain, and may be scared or confused. Your pet, who is normally loving a gentle, may show aggression, growl and even try to harm anyone who comes near them.

Taking care of your pet in an emergency situation can be a challenge. Many families associate their pet similar to a family member and don’t want to see them in pain. So by taking time now to prepare yourself and a few supplies for a Pet First Aid Kit, you’ll be better prepared in time of an emergency. PetFirst shares tips and information on you can better prepare.

Standard information and supplies for every pet owner:
There are supplies every pet parent should have on hand in case of an emergency or natural disaster such as important phone numbers for the veterinarian, the emergency veterinary clinic and the Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), as well as your pet’s medical history. It is also important to keep your pet’s collar with tag on your pet at all time. Make sure the tag’s information is up-to-date, as well as any microchipping information should your pet be microchipped.

Other general supplies to consider include:

  •     Gauze for wrapping wounds or muzzling an injured animal
  •     Nonstick bandages, towels or strips of clean cloth are necessary to control any bleeding or protect an open wound
  •     Adhesive tape to secure the gauze or towels over a wound
  •     Milk of magnesia, active charcoal, or hydrogen peroxide to absorb any poisons consumed by your pet (always contact your veterinarian or poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating your pet for poison)
  •     Digital thermometer for taking your pet’s temperature (must be done rectally)
  •     An eye dropper or large syringe (without needle) will be handy for giving oral treatments or flushing wounds
  •     Muzzle to cover your pet’s head, but never muzzle a pet who is vomiting
  •     Leash to transport your pet
  •     If you need a stretcher move your pet, think creatively by using a door, wide board or blanket

Examining or evaluating your pet’s injuries:
Keep in mind your pet may be in pain, and may be scared or confused. Your pet, who is normally loving and gentle, may show aggression, growl and even try to harm anyone who comes near them. Keep these tips in mind as you assess your pet’s injuries:

  •     Never assume that your pet will not bite or scratch you when they are injured
  •     Don’t attempt to hug an injured pet; always keep your face away from the pet’s mouth
  •     Perform any examination slowly and gently; stop if your pet becomes agitated
  •     Call your veterinarian before you move your pet to alert them you are on your way
  •     If necessary, muzzle your pet (only if they are not vomiting)
  •     Cats and some small dogs can be wrapped in towels to restrain them, but do not wrap too tightly, making the injury worse or not allowing them enough room to breathe
  •     If possible, try to stabilize the pet’s injury by splinting or bandaging
  •     Keep your pet confined in a small area when transporting to reduce the risk for additional injury

To learn more about Pet First Aid, including treatment for poisoning due to household chemicals and pet seizures, visit

Should your pet be involved in an accident or become ill, pet insurance from PetFirst can reimburse pet parents up to 90% of their veterinary expenses. The time to get pet insurance is now, before an accident or illness occurs. For more information on PetFirst pet insurance and to customize your personal quote, visit or call 877-894-7387.

About PetFirst
PetFirst is the fastest growing pet insurer in North America offering easy-to-understand lifelong coverage for dogs and cats. PetFirst’s comprehensive coverage is unique in the industry providing simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic and breed-specific conditions with no per diagnosis limits. PetFirst offers pet insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through animal welfare agencies, retailers, employers as well as other partners. PetFirst polices are underwritten by American Alternative Insurance Corporation (Munich Re) which is rated by A.M. Best as A+. Additional services are underwritten by Lloyd’s. For more information about PetFirst pet insurance, visit or call 877-894-7387.

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Lynne Choate
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