National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

What is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month?


A campaign initiated by the American Red Cross, the month of April marks the start of National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. The purpose of this campaign is to create awareness on the importance of pet first aid, and educating pet owners to know how to properly handle a pet injury crisis. Most people will never have to deal with a serious pet injury, but it is crucial to be prepared as one could be faced with an unexpected situation.


Things to Keep in Your Pet First Aid Kit


The Ruffin’s Family wanted to save you the hassle of researching for items needed in a pet first aid kit, so we are providing you with a complete list below. Most of these items can be easily found at the local drug store and should be available in all homes for emergency use. Stocking your first aid kit with these items allows for quick intervention during an injury.


Here is a list of items that should be available in your first aid kit:


  • Disposable gloves
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3%
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gauze pads & rolls
  • Cotton swabs and balls
  • Adhesive tape 
  • Flexible bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Towel
  • Antibiotic cream


Signs to Watch for:


Your pet can exhibit a variety of symptoms, and being able to recognize them will help in avoiding further complications. It may be difficult to observe such symptoms, but calling your vet when in doubt is always recommended. 


Here are some common symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Trauma
  • Collapse
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Straining to urinate/cystitis
  • Poisoning/indiscrete ingestion
  • Bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Whelping/kittening issues
  • Seizures
  • Neurological (nerve or brain) problems
  • Eclampsia
  • Eye problems
  • Stings/bites/allergic reactions

Click here to learn more details about the symptoms listed above. 


Pet First Aid Steps:

Accidents happen, and they are inevitable. But, it is important to be prepared and aware, just in case. 


It is crucial to know what to do in case of an emergency, as it can potentially save your pet’s life if such situations arise. It is also crucial to remain calm during these situations, as the pet will become more anxious if its parent is agitated. Using a muzzle is always recommended to prevent innate actions such as biting when in pain. 


Here are some steps that you should follow to keep your pet safe in case of an emergency:

  • Keep calm at all times.
  • Secure the accident area and remove any physical threats (a chewed electrical wire, aggressive animals, harmful substances, glass splinters, etc).
  • Compress any bleeding, minor or major cuts.
  • Check their vital signs (pulse rate, breathing, etc.).
  • Start CPR if the pet shows breathing issues.
  • Call emergency numbers.
  • Perform more first aid as directed by your vet.
  • Check if your pet has broken or injured bones before moving him.
  • Drive your pet to the nearest vet clinic as soon as possible


As scary as this topic might sound, being prepared can truly make all the difference. Please feel free to reach out to one of our representatives at your local Ruffin’s for any questions you may have in regards to your pet care. After all, we’re here to help you make the right decisions.