Our pets are beloved members of our families. For seniors, pets are sometimes their main source of companionship. In addition to being loyal friends, pets provide lots of other health benefits, like lower blood pressure, less depression, increases in social opportunities, and exercise. Since your mom’s dog or cat is such an important part of her life, you want to make sure that it stays healthy. April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to check your mom’s existing pet first aid kit for the necessary supplies. If your mom doesn’t currently have a first aid kit for her pet, now would be a good time to put one together. Your mom’s elder care provider may be able to take her to the store to pick up the items needed to deal with minor pet injuries or illnesses.
Supplies for a Pet First Aid Kit
Some people keep very elaborately stocked pet first aid kits, and what you choose to put in the kit may depend on your mom’s pet and its special needs. However, there are some basics that should be in any pet kit. Basic pet first aid kit items include:
- Gauze bandages and non-adhesive vet wrap
- Saline eye wash
- Styptic powder used to stop bleeding in minor wounds, such as a nail clipped too short
- Dish soap for washing toxins away (rinse pet thoroughly after using)
- Rectal thermometer and lubricant
- Emergency phone numbers, including the veterinary clinic, emergency veterinary clinic, and poison control
- Items for restraining the pet, such as a muzzle, blanket or towel, and leash
- Treats to calm or distract the pet
- Cotton balls
Keeping Mom’s Pet Healthy
A pet first aid kit is important, but the first line of defense in protecting your mom’s pet from injury or illness is to follow some basic rules for keeping it healthy. Pets need plenty of exercise. For dogs, that usually means walks. Pets also need to be fed on a regular schedule and need constant access to fresh, clean water. Regular vet checks and vaccinations are also important.
Properly caring for a pet can be difficult for senior citizens. Your mom’s elder care provider can help her to take care of some of the tasks involved in pet care, like feeding, watering, and walking. An elder care provider may also be able to drive your mom and her pet to veterinary appointments.
If your mom would like to learn more about pet first aid, the Red Cross offers classes in pet first aid. Check with your local Red Cross chapter for classes near you.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elder care in Sunnyvale, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.