Necessities to Include in Your Pet’s First Aid Kit

Girl holding dog

Accidents are just as unpredictable for pets as they are for humans. As a pet owner, you should have a first aid kit in the event of an emergency.

Here are items recommended by Veterinary Pet Insurance® and the Humane Society of the United States.

First Aid Essentials

  • Pet first-aid book – Books like Pet First Aid: Cats & Dogs or The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats (Prevention Pets), recommends what to do in various emergencies.
  • Self-cling bandage – These bandages stretch and adhere to themselves, not to your pet’s fur.
  • Absorbent gauze pads – Use these pads to clean wounds.
  • Adhesive tape for bandages – Don’t use adhesive products made for humans. Look for pet-specific tape to help bind bandages.
  • Rectal thermometer – Your pet’s temperature should not be above 103°F or below 100°F.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Use to clean the thermometer and other tools before use.
  • Petroleum jelly – Use to lubricate the thermometer.
  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe – Helps administer oral medications or to clean wounds.
  • Leash – Keep an extra one to transport your pet if they’re mobile.
  • Pet carrier – To transport your injured or sick pet.
  • Soft muzzle – Can help prevent your pet from biting or irritating an injury.  Don’t use a muzzle if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or having trouble breathing.
  • E-collar – This cone-shaped protector can prevent your pet from biting or scratching an injury.
  • Ice pack – Can help reduce swelling.
  • Tweezers – Use tweezers to remove objects from skin or paws.
  • Expired credit card or sample credit card – An effective tool to scrape out insect stingers.
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Antiseptic wipes

Other Documents & Info You Should Have Handy

Contact information for:

If you have to visit an emergency veterinarian, these documents can help the vet become acquainted with your pet’s medical history:

  • Copies of medical records
  • Pet license
  • Proof of rabies-vaccination status

A first aid kit is key in an emergency, but you should always contact your veterinarian if your pet is sick or injured.