Nothing is more terrifying for pet parents than experiencing an emergency with their beloved pet. In fact, during emergency situations with my own pets, I need to gain my composure, calm down, and go back to my training. Emergencies are scary and stressful for everyone, even the most trained and prepared people. I am a firm believer in preparing for pet emergencies before they happen, which can help pet parents avoid the immediate panic that sets in. After reading this article, you should be able to put together your own “Pet’s First Aid Kid,” and you will have more confidence and comfort if you ever experience an emergency with your pet at home. Let’s get started!
The first thing that I always stress to pet parents is to contact your veterinarian immediately with any pet emergency. First-aid is not a substitute for veterinary care; however, it may save your pet's life until you can reach your veterinarian. Any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care.
Your pet first aid kit
Your Pet First Aid Kit should include:
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Gauze rolls
- Ice pack
- Muzzle (don't use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, or in respiratory distress)
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Petroleum jelly
- Pet carrier
- Rectal thermometer (your pet's temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Self-cling bandage
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Sterile saline solution
- Splints and tongue depressors
Pet emergency contact list
It is important to have any necessary contact information at your fingertips for dealing with a pet emergency. Even if you have memorized these numbers, in times of distress much of what we know is difficult to remember. Your list should include:
- Contact information for your pet’s veterinarian.
- Contact information and driving directions for the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital.
- Contact information for the poison control center or hotline.
- An emergency contact. Either a loved one or friend who may be able to help during an emergency.
Pet emergency paperwork
It is always helpful to know your pet’s latest vaccination status, and keep appropriate medical records. Many times, in a state of emergency, it is hard to remember everything you need. If your pet’s paperwork is easily accessible in your Pet First Aid Kit, this will be helpful for your veterinarian for immediate treatment in an emergency. The records should include:
- Vaccination status
- Medical history of past illnesses
- Current illnesses
- A photo I/D of your pet
Pet emergency medications
Keeping some medications in your Pet’s First Aid Kit can be helpful in emergency situations, but it is important to consult with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate dosing and whether these medications are safe or indicated for your pet:
- Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)- your veterinarian must tell you the correct dose before administering this medication
- Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or small breed puppies with low blood sugar)- speak with your veterinarian before administering glucose paste or corn syrup to your pet
- Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- Valium (for pets that have seizures)- your veterinarian must tell you the correct dose before administering this medication
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%) (helpful to induce vomiting)- please speak with your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison or a swallowed object
I hope this helps everyone be a little more prepared and less panicked in case of a pet emergency. Having the essentials to deal with an emergency will help you feel more secure and ready to care for your beloved pet. Please update your Pet First Aid Kit every 6 months to make sure you have everything you need, and medications are not expired. And remember to keep the kit out of the reach of children. Keeping our pets safe and healthy is always my top priority.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian. They are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
13. A Guide Book For Pet First Aid
Answer quickly: how do you administer CPR to a small dog?
If you panicked at the idea of even attempting CPR on a dog, maybe you should brush up your skills.
The Safe Dog Handbook or Dog First Aid from the American Red Cross would be a great place to start. You should keep these handy for quick reference, as well. If there’s an emergency and Google isn’t an option, you’ll be glad you have a hard copy.
What would you include in your doggy first-aid kit? Are there any essentials we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
First Aid Kit For Pets – Emergency Resources For A Pet Owner
Pet emergency resources or pet first-aid supplies are non-negotiable in any pet owner’s life. Also, all those who keep a pet at home should always maintain a first aid kit for pets. Not to mention, giving first aid to a dog, cat or any pet for that matter in a tense situation can appear quite intimidating.
As a responsible pet owner, you should carefully assemble a well-stocked first aid kit that will prepare you for any unforeseen emergency. Take a look at some of the most important items you should keep in your first aid kit for pets.
A piece of socks, clean rags, or gauze can also be used as an emergency bandage material to keep wounds clean and reduce bleeding. Also, non-adhesive pet wrap can be a good item in your first aid kit for pets.
These non-adhesives are not only easy to remove since it does not attach to animal skin or fur. Overall, duct tapes are also necessary for managing splints or treating temporary wraps.
Without a cutting medium, it would be near to impossible to cut splints, gauze, tape, or any bandage for that matter. There are plenty of pet-specific shears or scissors with an edge that enables you to carefully remove bandages without damaging your pet’s skin.
Water is an important item in keeping your pet healthy but also helps in
- Soaking a paw
- To remove toxins
- Soothing burns
- Flushing wounds
Therefore, always carry a gallon of water along with a removable dish in the first aid kit for pets.
4. Sterile Saline Healthy Eye Wash
As a pet owner, you should carry a sterile saline wash to treat emergency smoke or debris that affects your pet’s eyes. Bear in mind, just use liberally and wash the eyes until your dog’s vision improves.
Additionally, you can also carry sterile eye lubrication for soothing your dog’s or cat’s eyes after treating your dog with the sterile flush.
5. Dish Soap
Use any dish soap to remove poisonous materials from your pet’s fur and skin. So, you should just clean your pet afterward with clean water.
6. Medications (Diphenhydramine, Hydrogen peroxide)
Alternatively, besides the regular pet medications for dogs with health problems, you can carry sugar tablets, Diphenhydramine, or styptic powder in your first aid kit for pets.
- Styptic powder – This powder prevents bleeding but only in small cases such as torn nails or minor cuts.
- Benadryl – An antihistamine that manages mild allergic reactions.
- Sugar tablets – This helps a small dog or a diabetic pet with low sugar level.
- Hydrogen peroxide– Hydrogen peroxide is used to flush out foreign objects and other ingested toxins by inducing vomiting. But on the other hand, a pet owner should induce vomiting only under the guidance of a vet. Finally, never give hydrogen peroxide to a pet cat.
7. Digital Thermometer
A thermometer is important in deciding whether your pet is hypothermic or has a fever. However, vets suggest that the reading is measured rectally since this method accurately identifies your pet’s correct temperature.
Also, applying a lubricant can make the insertion painless.
Never forget the treats. Treats are an excellent way to distract or calm an ill pet. So, giving treats help while bandaging your pet and also is useful in any tense situation.
9. Leash (restraints)
Injured animals are always known to shown signs of aggression when confronted. So, you better safeguard yourself and place your pet at a safe distance. For this purpose, you can carry a mesh bag, muzzle, slip-leash, a blanket, and also a collar.
You can use a muzzle to prevent any untoward incident when administering treatment. Mesh bags enable easy transportation and blankets are used to cover injured pets.
10. Contact Details
(Pet poison helpline- +1-855-764-7661, USD $59 per consultation applies )
In an emergency, never waste your time searching for a poison helpline, local police, vet, or an animal clinic. Keep all these important details and identification details for your pet’s rabies tag and microchip.
Stretchers are mainly used to stop further injury and stabilize the affected animal during travel. In an emergency, you can use a floor mat, a blanket, a door board, or a door.
12. Milk Of Magnesia(Activated charcoal)
This material absorbs any toxic material. A pet owner should never induce vomiting without consulting an expert.
You can take a print out of this list next to your first aid kit for immediate reference.
Caution – All first aid treatment should be succeeded by proper vet care.