Travel First Aid
By: Dr Jessica Rock.
Here in the Maritimes we are heading into the fall, which is arguably the most enjoyable season in Atlantic Canada. Temperatures are comfortable, mosquitos and blackflies are on the decline, and water temperatures are at their annual highest. This is prime hiking, swimming, cottage, and camping season!
More and more, people are taking their pets along on outdoor and seasonal adventures and vacations. All of this time outside, stretching the limbs, strengthening the body, and settling the mind is great for the humans and pets alike, but are you prepared if your pet has an unexpected accident or emergency during your adventure?
How about assembling this easy to make travelling pet first-aide and care kit for your trip? None of these tools should delay you in calling your veterinarian for help if an injury or emergency occurs.
- Water – carry enough for you and your pet, or bring supplies to clarify water
- Collapsible bowl
- CURRENT ID tags – if you are travelling a long way or for a long while, attach a spare tag with your temporary contact information
- Extra Collar and Leash
- More pet food than you think you’ll need
- Thermometer and lubricating jelly
- Travel packs of honey – nab a spare for your kit the next time you have breakfast out
- A small dixie cup and some bandaging tape (you probably shouldn’t ask, but if you ever need it you (and your vet) will be SO glad you have it…)
- Veterinarian Phone Number and Address – plan ahead – look up the veterinary offices that will be closest to you while you’re enjoying your travel/vacation
These materials are available at your local pharmacy.
- Betadine – for cleaning wounds
- Non-stick sterile gauze
- Gauze Pads
- Gauze Cling rolls
- Vet Wrap (self clinging bandage wrap)
- Scissors (to cut bandage material to size)
- Bandage tape
- Muzzle – it’s a good idea to have a muzzle in case of a painful injury, your pet might be the sweetest ever in the whole world, but if they are badly injured and frightened they may snap or bite when you are trying to clean and bandage their wound – no one wants two injured road warriors so be safe and take a muzzle
Make a point of talking to your veterinarian about these over the counter medications – your vet can help you make a travel pharmacy that’s customized to your pet
- Artificial Tears
- Diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl)
- Dimenhydrinate (e.g. Gravol)
- Bismuth Subsalicylate (e.g. Original Formula, name brand Pepto-Bismol IN CANADA)
- Hydrogen peroxide
Remember, in an emergency you should try to get to your nearest veterinarian as quickly as possible, but having these materials on hand can be life-saving in the interim between injury/illness and getting to the nearest veterinary office, especially when the unexpected happens while you’re away from home.
So brush up on your pet first aide and make an appointment to create a customized travel pharmacy for your pet.
Oh. And enjoy your adventure!