Emergencies can strike at any time, so it’s important to prepare a first aid kit for your pet that you can turn to in the event of a veterinary emergency or natural disaster. As these situations often arise without warning, having a kit with the necessary supplies can make all the difference and may even save your pet’s life.
What Should I Include in My Pet’s First Aid Kit?
Here’s a handy checklist of all the essentials to include in your pet’s first aid kit:
- Gauze rolls
- Bandage material (preferably ones that stretch and stick to themselves instead of adhering to your pet’s fur)
- Non-stick gauze squares
- Saline flush
- Medical tape (to secure gauze or bandages)
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Povidone-Iodine antiseptic towelettes
- Instant ice pack
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 25mg tablets (not the kind with decongestant)
- Bandage scissors (for cutting bandages, gauze, tape, and safely removing bandages from your pet etc.)
- Tweezers (good for picking out splinters or ticks from your pet’s fur)
- Hydrogen peroxide (can help induce vomiting in case of poisoning where you cannot get to a vet. However, you should ALWAYS contact your vet or local poison control center for exact dosage before administering to ensure safety)
- Antibiotic spray / ointment (for cuts, sores, skin rashes, etc.)
- Digital rectal thermometer (a pet’s temperature should not rise above 102F or fall below 98F)
- Syringes (to administer liquid medication or flush out wounds)
- Metallic rescue blanket
- A magazine (you can wrap and secure it around your pet’s limb to make a makeshift splint)
Extra Supplies for Natural Disasters and Evacuations
For larger, emergency kits you can keep in your home to prepare for natural disasters or when quick exits are required from the home, also add:
- Collapsible travel bowls
- Leash and collar
- Soft muzzle (even the gentlest of animals may bite when injured or scared)
- Towels / blanket
- Pill box organizer (if your pet takes multiple medications, separating by compartments makes them easier to administer) and a 2 week supply of medications.
- Carrying crate for smaller pets
Remember that some of these items may have expiration dates, so check your kit every few months and replace whatever has expired.
Having a first aid kit with the necessary supplies can make all the difference and may even save your pet’s life.
Other Important Information to Include
In addition to the above items, it’s important to include copies of important medical records, proof of vaccinations, and the phone numbers for your vet and a poison control hotline such as the ASPCA poison control center: 888-426-4435.
You should also include relevant details for your pets, in case someone other than you needs to look after them. Include things like medical conditions, vet info, food preferences, personality (i.e. shy or fearful of men).
If you’re planning to travel out of state with your pet, look up the nearest emergency veterinary clinic where you’ll be staying in case an unexpected situation arises.
For more tips, check out our article on preparing an emergency plan for your pet, to help prepare further for natural disasters or evacuation orders.
Prepare Now to Stay Safe
Having a first aid kit for your pet is important in case an emergency arises. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but it’s always best to be prepared!