How to give first aid to a pet and what medicines are useful to have in a travel medicine kit?

Before the trip itself, check whether you have prepared the necessary documentation  and whether the hotel or private accommodation you are going to accepts pets and under what conditions.  Your personal Pet Travel Guide in addition to pet-friendly places, will also direct you to the nearest veterinarian. 


Even in positive circumstances such as travel, our pets often go through very stressful situations when it comes to changing the environment, but not each of them reacts in the same way. Luckily, today there are natural products sold in veterinary pharmacies that help them cope with situations that require quick adaptation to the external environment, act to reduce stress and anxiety, and lead to relaxation, but without sedation. They come in the form of sprays, gels, or capsules and can be mixed with food 1-2 days before the expected stressful event.

All medications except herbal ones are given only in consultation with your veterinarian.


If vomiting occurs during the vacation, water and food should be removed, and if vomiting continues after 3 hours, visit a veterinarian. Although e.g. dogs can vomit just because they quickly ate a large amount of food, this is one of the most common symptoms of many health problems. Not all medicines from the home pharmacy are suitable for treating pets, but baking soda can be very effective and relieve stomach problems by neutralizing the acid. The dose is 50 milligrams per kilogram of the pet’s body weight for 12 hours, but it is not a long-term solution for curing the pet. 

With a changed intestinal balance, activated charcoal can be used to preserve the normal function of the digestive tract and detoxify the body in case the dog has eaten something dangerous. It absorbs toxins and reduces their harmful effects and is only the first line of treatment for certain poisonings and is generally applied by a veterinarian in emergency cases of poisoning in the first few hours. 

With the probiotic for dogs,  which has a pleasant taste and is given as a supplement to the meal, the pet can avoid diarrhea and have proper bowel function.


Compared to humans, pets have an extremely high pain tolerance and almost never show that they are not feeling well. In order to help them, it is important to interpret their behavior correctly. Certainly, a dog in pain should not go on a trip. If complications arise, you may not be able to help your pet because in some places veterinary clinics are poorly supplied, so if you have already used some analgesics for your pet, you can take them with you after consulting with the veterinarian.

People relieve pain with drugs such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but they are very toxic to cats, and dogs can develop serious side effects such as liver and kidney damage, which is why they are never given without consulting a veterinarian. Rycarfa is a well-known drug from the category of analgesics that reduces pain and swelling in dogs and cats. 

Most herbal or homeopathic pain relievers are available without a prescription. 


Superficial wounds that appear in the form of peeled skin are almost always accompanied by bleeding. In order to avoid infection, it is necessary to wash it with a mild disinfectant such as permanganate, chlorhexidine, or Rivanol

To stop the bleeding of the nerve on the nails, the preparation Artero is used, but a little tobacco from a cigarette can also be used for this purpose. 

Note – Carrying drugs and medications also entails responsibility because during border control you can only have medicines prescribed by a veterinarian. The customs are quite strict when finding medicines for which you do not have a document proving that the pet uses them for therapeutic purposes. As illness or various injuries may occur during the trip, provide funds to cover unexpected expenses.


We hope that you will never be in a situation where you have to provide first aid to your pet. However, in an emergency, it is important to be prepared and stay calm, especially while traveling. 

In Vienna, a first aid course is mandatory for future owners, and participants learn the techniques of first aid as well as other basic rules for caring for four-legged friends. 

Here we wrote about some other positive examples of attitudes toward pets.  

First aid kits for animals containing various components such as gauze, bandages, scissors, plasters, alcohol pads, tick tweezers, and emergency blankets, with a booklet of first aid tips included can be bought in pet shops. 


Dogs, especially puppies, are always looking for something to play with and chew on, and that’s the easiest way to get hold of various poisons. When the owner notices some of the symptoms of poisoning such as sudden vomiting, salivation, agitation, and diarrhea, ONLY IF THE DOG IS CONSCIOUS, vomiting should be induced. Saltwater or 3% hydrogen (100-200ml) is used to induce vomiting. The dog is not given anything other than the above before being examined by a veterinarian. 


When a fracture occurs, animals are usually in a state of shock. In that case, it is important to prevent them from moving and to tie the dog’s mouth to prevent biting. The injured area should be immobilized, with as little movement as possible, using any handy tool made of hard material and plenty of cotton wool, with the fact that the bandage should be left as loose as possible. All additional procedures will be performed by a veterinarian under sterile conditions and under general anesthesia. 


In the case of a cut, the treatment begins by trimming the area around the wound and removing dirt using saline or lukewarm water. Wounds are washed with hydrogen only in cases where the pet will visit the veterinarian immediately. If the wound is bleeding profusely, and the animal enters a state of shock, the limb should be tied between the bleeding site and the heart. You can use a piece of rope, a belt, or something similar for that. Contact a veterinarian immediately. 


If the pet has been burned in any way, the area should be cooled, that is, put ice on it, and if a larger area is affected, that part can be put under a stream of cold water for a few minutes. DO NOT WRAP THE BURNED PLACE and contact a veterinarian who will repair the injury. 


As long as the dog can hide somewhere from the wind and get enough caloric food with the possibility of movement, freezing will happen rarely, most often if the animal is wet, or some part of the body is more exposed to the cold (ears, tail, paws). Then bring the pet into a moderately warm room, and gently massage the frozen part of the body, while applying warm compresses. WARM UP GRADUALLY! 


Unlike humans, dogs sweat only on their paws and not on the entire surface of their body, and they get heat stroke more often than cats. In addition to heatstroke, sunstroke is the most common summer illness that is a consequence of excessive exposure to the sun, or inadequate living, training, or transport conditions. The symptoms are very similar, which means that the dog will be short of breath, disoriented, foaming at the mouth, have a high temperature, feel general weakness, and the pulse will be accelerated. Everything that applies to the prevention and treatment of heatstroke also applies to sunstroke, and first aid is crucial. Put the dog IMMEDIATELY in a dark and cool place and wrap him in towels soaked in cold water, especially around the neck. Transport him to the vet, who will give him an infusion, and depending on the clinical symptoms, take other steps to control heat stroke. 

Brachiocephalic dogs, such as bulldogs and pugs, are particularly sensitive to elevated temperatures as well as increased activities at higher temperatures, both because of the stuffy muzzle and the lowered soft palate, which in these situations swells and blocks the airways. In such situations, you must visit a veterinarian.


In case of drowning, shock, poisoning, loss of consciousness, or prolonged epileptic attacks, artificial respiration should be applied. Loosen the dog’s collar, remove foreign objects, saliva, and vomited food and give him artificial respiration using the “MOUTH TO NOSE” technique. 

The pulse is checked on the left side of the lower part of the chest, just behind the elbow. 

For cardiac massage, the dog must lie on the right side with the head down, the owner should kneel next to him and rhythmically press his chest with his palms, six times in a row with a break of five seconds. 

In case you have any doubts, the Pet Travel Advisor team will answer them for you. Contact us for further questions at:

Author: Marina Stančević


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