In the case of an emergency – which could be medical or disaster related – your pet is relying on you to keep them safe. Do you have pet first aid kit available to help your pet should they need it? If not, it’s the perfect time to put your DIY hat on and make one. If you do have one, why not check your supplies and make sure nothing has expired.
We all hope that to never be in a situation where we need to use a pet first aid kit, but it’s always good to be prepared. As they say, “expect the best, but prepare for the worst”. This first aid kit could really help your pet until you can get them to your veterinarian.
Depending on the pet you have… and the type of activities that you do with them… you may need to add some items to this kit. Generally however, most pet first aid kits should include these items:
When choosing a container for your first aid kit, pick something that is easy to take with you if you travel. You could try something like a tool box / fishing tackle box or if you prefer something a little more light weight, a small backpack or duffle bag. If the kit will be weathering the elements, you should ensure that it’s water tight so that your supplies stay dry and safe.
A digital copy is good, but it is important to ALWAYS have a paper copy – just in case you don’t have electricity or access to an internet connection when you need to access this information.
- Emergency Contact Numbers – includes your veterinarian, poison control and your local animal emergency hospital
- Microchip Number – ensure that their records are up to date with your contact information
- A Copy of your Pet’s Vaccination Records
- A Copy of your Pet’s Medical Records – any information about conditions, allergies and medications
- A Photo of your Pet – this can be used to help find your pet if they are ever lost – a fun selfie of your and your pet is always a good option!
- Non-Stick Gauze Pads
- Medical Adhesive Tape
- Vet Wrap Bandages – example here
- Scissors – with a blunt end
- Tick Removal Tool
- Antibiotic Ointment – over the counter
- Saline Solution
- Rubbing Alcohol / Alcohol Wipes
- Cotton Balls
- Oral Syringe
- Eye Wash Solution
- Styptic Powder
- Anti-histamine – always consult your veterinarian for appropriate dosages
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide – always consult your veterinarian before giving to your pet
- Pet Thermometer
- Disposable Gloves
- Ice Packs
- Supply of Pet’s Medication – rotate often so it doesn’t expire
- Spare Leash
- Spare Collar
- Poop Bags
- Muzzle – even the most gentle dog can be aggressive if injured or in pain… be safe for both you and your dog’s sake
- Grooming Wipes / Pet Safe Wipes
- Nail Clippers
- Some of your Pet’s Food
- Drinking Water
- Food and Water Bowls – collapsable saves on space in your kit
- A Toy or Comfort Item – can help to calm your pet in a stressful situation
- Flashlight – be sure to include extra batteries
Every few months be sure to check your first aid kit, noting anything that has expired or needs to be replaced or refilled. Wherever you store you first aid kit, ensure that it is easy to get if you need it, but it’s also well out of the reach of children.
Having a pet first aid kit is an important tool to have on hand to help keep your your pet safe, but they are not a substitute for veterinary care. If you are in a situation where you need to do first aid treatment on your pet you should always follow up with your veterinarian.
Here are a few other resources for you if you are interested in learning more about some basic first aid… and CPR skills. Taking the time to learn… whether you do it casually, or get certified… could save the life of your pet.
How to do CPR on a dog:
How to do CPR on a cat:
Virtual Pet First Aid Workshop:
You can also download a pet first aid app for your phone like this one: Pet First Aid App from the American Red Cross