Are You Prepared to Help Your Pets Survive an Emergency?

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first aid for petsThe other day, my son’s dog starting limping and he called us asking what he should do. He lives in our old cabin in the woods which is about a 40 minute drive if he were to have to take his dog to the vet.

This planted a seed in my mind and I’ve spent the last few days wondering how many preppers are really prepared to treat an injury that their pet might sustain during a natural disaster or other emergency situation.

We happen to own horses and anyone who has ever owned a horse knows that if there is a way for them to injure themselves, they’ll find it. Consequently, we keep lots of first aid supplies on hand for treating any minor injuries that they might sustain.

The Types of Pet First Aid Supplies You May Want to Have on Hand

Let me just start off by saying that I’m not suggesting that you buy a bunch of supplies so you can save yourself money on vet bills. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about preparing yourself to be able to provide emergency first aid to your livestock or pets until you can get them help from a licensed veterinarian.

Many of the same first aid supplies that you might keep around for treating yourself or your family members can also be used on your pets. However, make sure that you check with your veterinarian to make sure any products you put in a pet first aid kit are actually pet safe.

You can actually buy a first aid kit that is stocked with many of the items that you might need to provide basic emergency medical care for your pets. To see some that are available, click here.

One of our favorite products for bandaging and treating injuries on both our horses and our dog is called “Vet Wrap”. It’s relatively inexpensive and in our experience, it does a great job of securing a bandage to our horse’s or dog’s legs.

It’s like tape in the sense that it sticks to itself but it also stretches. One of the reasons we like it so much is because it does stretch and remain flexible. Oftentimes, an animal might injure itself on a joint and a bandage that is secured with Vet Wrap will remain flexible it it bends that joint. If you would like to buy some, you can click here.

Our experience has been that most of the injuries our animals have had were cuts or puncture wounds. We’ve been very lucky and haven’t had any broken bones but we do have supplies on hand to splint a limb if our dog happens to sustain a break.

With this in mind, most of the injuries we’ve had to treat required cleaning the wounds, disinfecting, and bandaging them. Keep in mind that many of the same procedures for treating a wound on people apply to animals.

Wounds should be kept as clean as possible and bandages should be changed regularly to hopefully prevent infections. Even then, your vet may recommend antibiotics. However, in an emergency where you can’t get antibiotics or you can’t get help from a vet, it will be even more important to properly clean and care for the wound.

Livestock vs. Personal Pets

Many livestock owners often provide basic medical care such as vaccinations and medications. This is just part of owning livestock. Fortunately, most farm supply stores carry a large assortment of medical supplies for livestock.

It’s much easier to put your toy poodle in your car and run to the vet than it is to load an injured horse or cow into a trailer. Therefore, I highly encourage you to educate yourself about what you may need to do to provide first aid to both livestock and pets in an emergency. For example, if a horse gets colic and goes down, a responsible owner will know what to do in order to help that animal while waiting for a vet to arrive.

In a true doomsday scenario or even in a common natural disaster, you probably won’t be able to get a large animal vet to come out to your place at all.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Getting Proper Training

Along with storing medical supplies for your furry friends comes the responsibility of gaining the knowledge of how to provide first aid to them. Supplies without knowledge may be of little use to you. Do the right thing by your pets and spend the time now to learn how to help them before it becomes necessary to do so!

The Bottom Line

The purpose of this article wasn’t to teach you how to provide first aid to your animals. It was to encourage you to take a close look at your emergency preparedness plans to determine if you are really prepared to care for them properly in an emergency or if it’s not possible to get them treated by a veterinarian.

I sincerely hope that you’ll take this matter just as seriously as you do when you are stockpiling medical supplies for you and your family members.

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