Top 10 products for your Dog or Cats’ First Aid Cabinet

First aid

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Top 10 products for your Dog or Cats’ First Aid Cabinet

  1. Bandages, both sticky and self-adhesive – there is a skill to applying a bandage successfully to an animal, but these articles can be used in emergencies to apply pressure to wounds or minimize movement of broken bones for short periods of time. In these situations, you should always seek Veterinary attention. Sticky Bandages – Elastoplast. Self-adhesive Bandages – Coflex, Vetwrap, WrapIt
  2. Swabs, Gauze, and cotton wool – these may be used to help apply topical creams or clean wounds. Gauze wraps can also be used to make TEMPORARY EMERGENCY muzzles for dogs, if a dog is frightened and reacts defensively.
  3. Chlorhexidine wash 4% – a great antiseptic to help clean areas of scrapes or chewed skin, or raw patches of dermatitis (such as Hot Spots). Can be purchased as bottles of liquid to apply via swabs, or comes in a lotion (Pyohex lotion) that can be gently applied to the skin.
  4. Saline – great for general flushing of skin wounds or eyes. A great new Eye Drop is available – Eye Clear – that also contains other natural ingredients to help decrease inflammation or irritation to the eye without causing detriment should the irritation result in ulceration.
  5. Pill Popper – for getting tablets down!
  6. PAW Calming Gel – an excellent gel that can be applied to any skin problem that is red, hot, itchy and inflamed. 100% natural, studies have been done comparing the effectiveness of the Calming Gel to Neocort, a prescription medication often dispensed for these skin problems, and found to be of equal effectiveness, so a great non-script item to try.
  7. FiltaBac – an antibacterial antiseptic cream, but also a sun filter for sensitive areas such as the tip of the nose or ears.
  8. Ear cleaner – Sometimes, ear infections can be eliminated by regular use of a general ear cleaner, and some infections can be cleared before becoming a problem if using a general ear cleaner. There are several types:             Regular: Epi-otic, Milo’s, Clean Ear Natural: Gentle Ear Cleaner, PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner
  9. Cat Lax or Furlax – These are to help prevent regurgitation as a result of hairball blockage or to help relieve symptoms of constipation. This is extremely important article to have in a cat’s first aid box.
  10. Antidiarrhoeal treatment – alas, it is not uncommon for a pet to develop a sudden case of the ‘runs’ due to scavenging or eating something that does not agree with them. Direa Tablets can be used in cats and dogs, and Peptosyl liquid can be used in dogs. Probiotic powders can also help with mild cases, but usually have short expiry dates, so these may need to be purchased ‘as needed’.


Other useful tools to keep handy: Towels (can be used as a stretcher, or to help lift the hind end of a large dog), syringes (without needles), droppers, spare leads, gloves and scissors.

This list can be modified for other pets, keeping the top 4-5 products and adding in other related first aid treatments as required.

Also be aware that some products that are suitable for humans can be toxic to pets. For example, Dettol is highly toxic, but a first point of reach for pet owners that are trying but may not be aware. By having a seperate first aid kit with animal friendly products, you can avoid further mishaps, but if you are uncertain, ask your vet or leave it be.

Remember, the aim of first aid is not to replace medical assessment, but to help keep a pet comfortable on the way to the vet, or slow down irritations caused by a symptom. Should symptoms persist or increase, or should a life-threatening incident occur (including extensive vomiting/diarrhoea or inappetence), you should seek veterinary advice or attention immediately. If at any stage you are uncertain, see your vet.

CPR, First Aid and Pet Care Course

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