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What Should be in Your Dog’s First-aid Kit?

They're called accidents because you never know when they're going to happen. But if something unfortunate does occur, will you have what's needed to handle it?

A few phone numbers

An emergency is not the time to be scrambling for information, so have key numbers well at hand ahead of time, starting with your regular vet. Since many vets aren't open at all hours, have the number of a 24-hour emergency pet clinic, plus directions to get there. In addition, keep the number for a poison hotline handy, like the ASPCA Poison Control Center. It's on call 24/7 to offer advice if pets have eaten something they shouldn't have.

Medical supplies

While buying a pre-made kit is an option, consider putting a kit together yourself. Include gauze to cover any wounds and bandage rolls to wrap the gauze—or for muzzling dogs if they're distressed and biting. You'll also want to have some towels on hand and a leash. If dogs eat something potentially harmful, call your local poison control center for suggestions.

Other kinds of emergencies

Depending on where you live and what Mother Nature throws at you, there might be a time when evacuating your home is necessary. Of course, you'll want to bring your pet's first-aid kit, but you'll also want to have an evacuation kit that includes enough food for two weeks, plus plenty of water. And don't forget a can opener, if your dog eats canned food. Make sure to place your pet's vaccination and identification records in a plastic bag, along with a recent photo in case your furry friend somehow gets lost.

What if something actually happens?

Stay calm. Most injuries can be treated and most problems can be solved. So get your dog's first-aid kit in order and you'll be prepared for any emergency.