How to Build a Pet First-Aid Kit
In this article, we’ll learn how to build a pet first-aid kit and why it’s a good idea to have one specifically for them! While we never want anything to happen to our furry friends, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and be prepared for any emergency.
Firstly, building a first-aid kit for our pets is as essential as building one for ourselves. Just like our own first-aid kits, your pets’ first-aid kit should be kept in your home near their other necessities, like food and medications. But make sure all first-aid kits are kept out of reach of your pets and children. Secondly, having a second kit is strongly recommended and should be kept somewhere handy, like in your car or bag for use on the go. Thirdly, and most importantly, when you build a pet first-aid kit for the first time, consider the types of events and emergencies you want to prepare for, like the ones listed below.
These tips will help you build a useful pet first-aid kit and ensure you and your pet(s) will be ready for (almost) anything, anywhere!
Types of events or emergencies to consider when building your pet first-aid kit:
- Day trips
- Taking your pet on any vacation away from home
- Leaving your pet with a sitter or anyone who is not you
- Natural disasters
How to build your pet first-aid kit and things to include:
You can find most of the items on this list in your home, at your local pharmacy, or pet supply store, or you can order them online. Once you build your pet’s first-aid kit, be sure to check it every few months to replace anything that’s expired.
First, some essentials
- A container or bag: to hold everything and keep it organized
- Your pets’ food and treats
- A large bottle of water (preferably a few)
- An ice pack
- A favorite backup toy
- Your pets medicines
- A card with emergency info, like your primary vet, the closest emergency vet hospital, and your own contact information
- A leash: to keep your pet safe and secure
- A muzzle: to protect you and your pet in case of emergency
- A small flashlight
- Liquid dishwashing detergent: for bathing your pet and washing supplies
- Your pet’s medical records saved on a USB drive* (or on your phone)
*If your pet is ill or injured, especially away from home, there’s a good chance you’ll be visiting a vet you’re not familiar with. Having your pet’s vaccination and health information on hand will allow the veterinarian to assess your pet’s condition quickly and begin treatment.
Next, some basic first-aid supplies
- Disposable gloves: for use when administering meds to your pet and caring for any cuts or wounds
- Clean towels or washcloths: for bathing and sleeping
- Different sizes of gauze: for wrapping wounds
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive medical-grade tape
- Cotton balls, pads, or swabs
- Rubbing alcohol or antiseptic wipes: to clean cuts or wounds
- OTC antibiotic ointment: to prevent infection of cuts or wounds
- Styptic powder: to apply to wounds
- Tweezers: for removing ticks, splinters, or pieces of glass
- A small pair of scissors with a blunt end
- An oral syringe or turkey baster: to flush out wounds or to administer medicine
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide: to induce vomiting (always check with your veterinarian or an animal poison control expert before giving this to your pet)
- Saline eye solution
- Artificial tear gel
- Digital thermometer: to check your pets’ temperature *(an average temperature for a dog or cat is 101.0 to 102.5°F)
The most important thing in an emergency is to remain calm
Keeping calm is the best way to keep you and your pet safe. If an emergency happens, after you’ve treated your pet with the first-aid kit, make sure to call your primary vet to provide guidance and any next steps. If necessary, take your pet to the nearest emergency vet hospital for a more thorough exam.
“Expect the best, but prepare for the worst” is the best way to keep our furry friends safe. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your pet’s first-aid kit. Still, it’s always a good idea to have one on hand so you’re prepared to treat your pet in an emergency and keep them safe until they can be seen by a veterinarian.
Pet First-Aid Kits are recommended by the ASPCA and Animal Poison Control Center
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The ASPCA and Animal Poison Control Center both recommend that pet parents keep a pet first-aid kit on hand in case of emergencies.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. (A consultation fee may apply).
Pet insurance is a great way to keep your pet safe
Pet insurance covers illnesses and emergencies and can even provide helpful tips for preventing accidents. Get a free pet insurance quote today through Pet Insurance Review, and compare plans from more than 20+ top providers! With so many options, there’s a plan for every budget. Get a fast, free quote today and ensure your pet’s healthcare is covered, keeping them safe and ready for anything.
- ASPCA Pro. (2021). American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. How to Make a Pet First Aid Kit. Retrieved from https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit
- ASPCA Pro. Animal Poison Control (2022). Call Animal Poison Control. Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control
- VCA Animal Hospitals (2022). Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH; Lynn Buzhardt, DVM. Taking Your Pets Temperature. Retrieved by https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/taking-your-pets-temperature