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What You Need for Your Pet First Aid Kit

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pet first aid kit

When I was a young woman, and living in my first house, somehow it got out in my neighborhood, that I was the lady who loved animals. Soon all the kids in the neighborhood (and some of the adults too) would bring me their pets or hurt wildlife who had minor wounds and I would help them the best I could.

I always told them that I had no medical training and sometimes I would tell them to take their pet to the vet because it was beyond my expertise but if I could help them, I would.

That’s when I made up my very first pet first aid kit. Nowadays you can easily buy them and you might want to do that with your first one. Eventually, though, you will need to refill it.

It’s so important for dog owners to have a first aid kit in the house for their fur kids. Items in first aid kits will mostly take care of minor wounds, but there is some medication that you can keep in your kit to help your dog as well.

First aid kits allow you to quickly treat your dog in case of an emergency before you can take them to an emergency or regular veterinarian. If you don’t have any medical experience, it would also be beneficial to take a first aid class, so when the time comes that you need that kit, all of the tools won’t be useless. A  first aid book for pets is a good idea too.

What do you need to put in a first aid kit?

First, you’re going to need items for any cuts, gashes, or nicks. For this, you don’t want to use regular adhesive bandages like Band-Aids. Use the non-sticking bandages that you can wrap around the wounded area, so when you or the vet takes it off, it won’t take a big clump of fur with it.

Be sure to have gauze in case of any bleeding injuries.

For broken toenails.you should also have some blood clotting solution or powder, so you can stop the bleeding faster.   ClotIt is the one I would recommend though there are other good clotting products too.

Consider the age of your dog. For puppies, bleeding injuries are more serious, because they have less blood in them. It’s extremely important that you stop any continuous blood flow immediately on your puppy.

You should stop ongoing bleeding in any size dogs, but small breeds and puppies could have more severe blood loss with ongoing bleeding.

 

pet first aid kit

 

Other items to pack into your first aid kit:

  • Tweezers   or Hemostats

  • Absorbent gauze pads

  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting in case of certain poisons, only use per Vet instructions)

  • Syringe (to administer hydrogen peroxide)

  • Activated Carbon (to aid in recovering from poisons and stomach issues-only use if instructed to by your vet)

  • Wound spray

  • Self-cling bandage or Vet Wrap

  • Bandage scissors

  • Eyewash

  • Ear wash

  • Muzzle

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Non-latex disposable gloves

  • Sterile saline solution

  • Rectal thermometer (use petroleum jelly or coconut oil to lubricate)

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Spare leash and collar

Can you think of anything else that should be in there? Leave a comment and let me know what I should add.

Be sure to read How to Prepare Your Dog for Disasters.

woman kneeling in front of a dog outside in snow

Paula Simons, DVM

This post has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Paula Simons DVM. Find out more about Dr. Simons on our About page.

Nancy Auclair

Monday 5th of July 2021

You listed, Hydrogen peroxide. Please mention "to induce vomiting in case of certain poisons", "per Vet instructions." Syringe to administer hydrogen peroxide. Activated Carbon to aide in recovering from poisons & stomach issues. Today,a holiday, I dealt with a visiting pup that ate a grape. Vets were either closed,100 miles round trip or weren't concerned about 1 grape eatten by a two pound chihuahua pup, which could cause kidney failure within 8 hours. It had only been 10 minutes since grape was eatten. I asked what could be used to induce vomiting, "per Vet instructions", I used hydrogen peroxide with success.

Cathy

Monday 5th of July 2021

Thanks Nancy, I added them.

Pet Parade 198 - Rascal and Rocco

Monday 5th of June 2017

[…] what you should have in your pet’s first aid kit at I Love My […]

Bronya

Wednesday 10th of May 2017

Can i buy a first aid kid for Chihuahuas somwhere?

kilosmom

Wednesday 10th of May 2017

Hi Bronya, They don't come breed specific but any of the pet first aid kits will be for Chihuahuas too. Click the link in the post that says "first aid kit" and it will take you to all of the pet first aid kits on Amazon. I'm sure you can get one from the larger pet stores too like PetSmart or Petco.