Tips & Tricks

Pet First Aid

Pet First Aid Kit

  1. Everyone who shares a home with a pet should have a basic pet first-aid kit on hand.
  2. Keep your pet's first-aid kit in your home and take it with you in your car if you are traveling with your pet. Also, you can purchase a dog pack that your healthy dog can carry his or her own gear.
  3. They are able to carry 20% of their body weight. Make sure it is not constricting and that they can run and walk freely.
  4. One way to start your kit is to buy a first-aid kit designed for people and add pet-specific items to it.
  5. You can also purchase a pet first-aid kit from a pet-supply store or catalog. But you can easily assemble your own kit by gathering the items on our lists below.

Pet Specific Supplies

  1. Pet first-aid book
  2. Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!), and a poison-control center or hotline (such as the ASPCA poison-control center, which can be reached at 1-800-426-4435) Fees may apply
  3. If your animal is registered with HomeAgain micro chipping, you have 27-7 Emergency Medical Hotline which can be reached at 1-888-466-3242
  4. Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records, and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
  5. Nylon leash
  6. Life preserver/vest for your pet. Use a life jacket or vest to keep your pet safe when in a boat or water craft. Having a life vest is useful because it keeps pet afloat when in water and in case of injury
  7. Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs)
  8. Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don't use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing, or otherwise having difficulty breathing)

Basic First Aid Supplies

  1. Absorbent gauze pads
  2. Adhesive tape
  3. Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder, or spray
  4. Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  5. Cotton balls or swabs
  6. Collapsible food and water bowl
  7. Gauze rolls
  8. Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
  9. Ice pack
  10. Mushers Wax for dogs
  11. Non-latex disposable gloves
  12. Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  13. Rectal thermometer (your pet's temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
  14. Scissors (with blunt ends)
  15. Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  16. Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  17. Tweezers
  18. A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
  19. A pet carrier

Other Useful Items

  1. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions-to plants, as well as bites and stings. A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet's size
  2. Dog booties
  3. Ear-cleaning solution
  4. Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
  5. Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  6. Nail clippers
  7. Non-prescription antibiotic ointment (Triple antibiotic ointment)
  8. Penlight or flashlight
  9. Plastic eyedropper or syringe
  10. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
  11. Splints and tongue depressors
  12. Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
  13. Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet's collar when you travel)
  14. Towels
  15. Needle-nosed pliers

Cleaning & Care

The ASPCA provides great tips on general pet care, cat care, dog care, poison control and new pet planning. Check out these great resources at the ASPCA!

How to remove pet stains & odors from the HSUS.

Grooming tips ASPCA.

Additional Information

  1. In addition to the items listed above, include anything your veterinarian has recommended specifically for your pet
  2. Check the supplies in your pet's first-aid kit occasionally and replace any items that have expired
  3. For your family's safety, keep all medical supplies and medications out of the reach of children and pets
  4. If you are heading into the wilderness for a day or more, please take a first aid kit that can work for “man and beast alike”

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