Pet First-Aid Kit

A typical first-aid kit can be supplemented with items specific to pets to create a pet first-aid kit. Whether you are at home or away, having a pet first-aid kit should ensure readiness for most emergency situations and make ready items which might provide intermediate support before visiting a veterinary emergency and critical care clinic.

While collecting items for a pet first-aid kit, it is also advisable to review Disaster Preparedness with regard to your pet(s).

(Adapted from information provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),1 the Humane Society,2 and the Red Cross.3).

Pet-Specific Items

Item Notes
Phone numbers
  1. Your veterinarian
  2. The nearest veterinary emergency and critical care clinic (with directions from your location), which you can identify using the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Clinic Directory
  3. An Animal Poison Control Center
Paperwork for your pet(s) In a waterproof container or bag, keep:

  1. Proof of Rabies vaccination (Rabies Certificate)
  2. Copies of other important medical records
  3. A recent photo of (each of) your pet(s) (in case they get lost)
Temporary identification tag Include your local contact information and use when traveling, most especially if your pet lacks permanent Identification)
Digital thermometer “Fever” or animal-specific thermometer; normal temperatures4 (always obtain your pet’s temperature rectally):

  • Dog: 100.2-103.8°F
  • Cat: 100.5-102.5°F
Water-based lubricant (or petroleum jelly) Use to lubricate the thermometer
Isopropyl (“rubbing”) alcohol Use to clean the thermometer
Muzzle or strips of cloth Use to preventing biting; do not use a muzzle if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing, or otherwise having difficulty breathing
Pillowcase or towel Use to restrict a cat’s movements during treatment
Nylon leash Use only if you pet is capable of walking
Elastic, self-clinging bandage material Sticks to itself but not to fur; available at most pet stores
Glucose paste or corn syrup For dogs with diabetes or low blood sugar
Portable grooming clippers  
Hydrogen peroxide (three percent (3%)) Use to induce vomiting only when directed by a veterinarian or poison control expert
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) Use only if approved by your veterinarian for allergic reactions; a veterinarian must provide the correct dosage for your pet’s weight
Pet carrier  
Any additional items recommended by your veterinarian specifically for your pet  

Typical First-Aid Supplies

Item Notes
Absorbent gauze sponges or pads, towels, or strips of clean cloth Use to control bleeding or protect wounds
Adhesive tape Use to secure absorbent material
Gauze roll 2″ width
Cotton balls or swabs (“Q-tips”)  
Sterile non-stick gauze pads  
Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder, or spray  
Compact, foil emergency blanket “Space blanket”; available at many department stores
Instant cold pack Alternatively, place an ice pack in an insulated bag prior to travelling with your pet
Non-latex disposable gloves  
Scissors “Safety scissors” with blunt tips
Sterile saline solution Available at most pharmacies
Tweezers  

Other Useful Items

Item Notes
Ear-cleaning solution  
Plastic card E.g., a sample credit card from a direct-mail offer; used to scrape away insect stingers
Nail clippers  
Non-prescription, topical antibiotic ointment  
Penlight or flashlight with appropriate replacement batteries  
Plastic eyedropper or needle-less syringe Used to administer oral treatments or flush wounds
Splint appropriate for the size of your pet  
Tongue depressors Also appropriate for fashioning a small, temporary splint for smaller animals
Styptic powder or pencil Available at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, or local pharmacies
Needle-nosed pliers  
Magnifying glass Use to identify insect stingers or mouth-parts
Insect sting relief pads  
Epsom salts  
Sterile eye lubricant  
Safety pins Medium/Size 4

References

  1. ^ Pet first aid supplies checklist. American Veterinary Medical Association. https://avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx.
  2. ^ First Aid Kit for Pets. Washington, DC: Red Cross; 2007. http://redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4440087_First_Aid_Kit_for_Pets.pdf.
  3. ^ What You Should Have in Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit. Humane Society of the United States. http://humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html. Published November 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Morgan RV. Small Animal Practice 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co; 1997: 5t.