Are your pets prepared?

You very likely have an emergency plan for your family: you know where to take an injured family member; you may have taken a first aid or CPR course so that you can provide aid in case of a crisis; you may even have supplies on hand in case of a storm or power outage. Your kids practice emergency procedures in school.

But do you have a plan for your pets?  If your dog or cat is wounded, do you know how to stop bleeding? What if he or she ingests some toxin? What if an emergency arises late at night, when your veterinarian is out of reach?

It is helpful to have a first aid kit available for your pet. You may want to include items such as absorbent compresses to apply to stop bleeding, disposable gloves, a leash, and sterile water-soluble lubricant such as KY jelly, a digital thermometer.

While you are stocking up on supplies for your family in case of a power outage or storm, be sure to include your pets, too! Food and water sufficient for about 3 days, extra bowls, and a manual can opener are good items to have on hand.

Be sure to have the number of the nearest emergency clinic on hand! Also have available extra leashes and/or carriers so that you can easily transport your pet if the need arises.

A mobile app, such as the Red Cross Pet First Aid app, is a great way to find more information about emergency procedures for dogs and cats, assembling an emergency kit for your pet, and organizing your pet’s medical records.  You can find information at, or get the app in the iTunes or Google Play app stores.