Although you do everything you can to prevent nicks and small cuts, all pet groomers need to have a first aid kit on hand in case of injuries. It’s important to be prepared for yourself and for the dogs you groom – don’t be caught off guard in a first aid situation!
Build a complete pet first aid kit with these items and you’ll be ready to handle some of the smaller injuries that may happen at your grooming station. Keep in mind that you’ll need to order more supplies, so write it down in your business calendar. And remember, safety is your number one priority when you’re working with a client’s dog!
1. Gauze and Medical Tape
Have Gauze and medical tape on hand at all times in order to wrap any wounds. Gauze can help stop bleeding and keep affected areas clean – which is important when working with pets! You don’t want a pet licking or biting at their wounds, since this can cause infection. Securing gauze with medical tape will keep it in place.
You’ll need to practice wrapping wounds tight enough so the gauze doesn’t fall off, but not so tight that it pains the animal. This comes with experience, and practice makes perfect! An alternative to gauze is the Telfa pad, which is coated with a special dressing to avoid sticking to hair or skin. Telfa pads are useful for easy removal and changing of pets bandages.
2. Vet Wrap
A genius product for vets and groomers alike, vet wrap sticks to itself rather than to skin or fur. It’s great for supporting a pet sprain or to secure gauze without using medical tape. Vet wrap makes your job as a groomer easier – it’s easy to apply and remove without pulling any fur!
3. Sterile Eye Wash
An important item for your pet first aid kit is sterile eye wash. Just like humans, pets can get dust and dander in their eyes which needs to be rinsed. Using sterile eye wash will prevent any infections and keep the pet’s eyes clear.
Eye wash can also be used to flush the eyes out if anything stick to eyelashes or eyelids. This ensures a safe eye cleaning for your pet clients and clear vision!
4. Styptic Powder
The Holy Grail of pet grooming first aid! Styptic powder will stop bleeding on quicked nails. Trimming too short can cause bleeding on a dog’s nails, so it’s essential that you attend to the affected nail immediately. Black nails are especially hard to trim since it’s difficult to see the dog’s vein and pulp. Work slowly and look closely as you trim!
5. Non-stinging Antiseptic Wash
No one likes the feeling of a stinging antiseptic wash, but as humans we know we need to use it. Dogs, on the other hand, only understand the pain that comes with antiseptic. Stocking your grooming salon with non-stinging antiseptic wash will keep pets happy and prevent infections. It’s the best of both worlds, and you won’t have to sacrifice the relationship you’ve built with your pet clients!
You can also opt for antibiotic ointment which can go on wounds after they’ve been properly washed.
6. Cold and Heat Packs
Great for little bumps, cold situations, and hot weather! Keep your grooming supplies at the ready in case you encounter a pet who is under the weather. Cold packs, of course, will cool down a pet who is overheating, while heat packs can warm cold pets up. Remember, your job is to groom dogs in a comfortable environment to keep them happy and healthy! However, a dog that is overheating may very well require veterinarian attention.
7. Latex Gloves
A simple explanation – protect your hands! When you’re dressing small wounds or working with antiseptic products, it’s important to keep your hands clean and covered. This protects the dog from any infections as well as protecting you from contaminants.
8. Tweezers and Tick Twister
Remove ticks easily with a tick twister. Since ticks can be pesky to remove with simple tweezers, it’s crucial to have a tick twister available in your pet first aid. Dogs are prone to ticks because they love to play outside (who doesn’t?) so be prepared to see some of these little guys in your shop!
On that note, dogs aren’t immune to injuries like slivers. Get these out quickly with a pair of tweezers – but carefully! Be gentle so as not to cause any further pain or discomfort.
9. Small Flashlight
This will be helpful to getting a closer look into the eyes and under the fur. Since some spots can be hard to see with the naked eye, having a flashlight on hand will help you during your grooming process.
There are many more options for your pet first aid kit. As long as you plan ahead and know your supplies, you’ll be ready to face any little nick and tick that comes up! Stay tuned for the Pet Studies course which will guide you through more information about pet first aid!
Ready for more dog grooming advice? Find out the pros and cons of grooming classes!
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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!