When we moved to the country, we knew we wouldn’t have a 5 minute drive to the veterinarian anymore. It’s now turned into a 45 minute drive and that’s only to the nearest veterinarian. The closest animal emergency hospital is 90 minutes so we knew we’d have to get a little more hands-on when it came to first aid care for our pets.
So we decided to put together a pet first aid kit and luckily, have only had to use a few of these items in the year we’ve lived here. But I still feel so much more comfortable knowing that we have the supplies needed to handle minor injuries or hold us over until we’d be able to get to a vet for major injuries. If you’re not sure how to handle a lot of minor injuries, I’d also highly suggest getting a first aid book like The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats.
Below are all of the things in our first aid kit along with a printable that you can use to put in your own! I’d recommend a sturdy (and waterproof if possible) storage container for all of this as well.
Please remember that this information is NOT a substitute for veterinary care. First aid that is administered to your pet(s) should always be followed by veterinary care and your veterinarian or emergency animal hospital should be contacted immediately for any potentially serious injury, illness or condition. You should include anything that your veterinarian recommends specifically for your pet(s) and regularly check your Pet First Aid Kit and replace any items that have expired.
- Important Paperwork for your Pet(s) – this includes vaccination records, pet records, and photos of your pet in case they get lost
- Important Numbers – this includes your veterinarian’s phone number, the local emergency animal hospital’s phone number, and the Animal Poison Control Line (the number is (888) 426-4435 – you may be charged $65 for this call though.)
- Sterile Gauze Pads – used to help control bleeding and keep a wound clean.
- Examination Gloves – to protect both you and your pet.
- Self-Cling Bandages – this sticks to itself and not the fur.
- Bandage Tape – used to keep bandages closed as they shouldn’t be sticking to the fur to stay put.
- Blunt Scissors – used for bandaging as well as trimming fur around a wound.
- Blunt Tweezers – used to remove splinters or foreign objects.
- Eyedropper/Syringe – used to give oral medication or to flush wounds.
- Rectal Thermometer – used to check a dog’s temperature, preferably with petroleum jelly to lubricate it prior to use.
- Thermal Blanket – used to warm up a pet, restrain a pet if necessary or even use as a stretcher.
- Cold Packs/Hot Packs – aid in cooling or heating a pet.
- Sterile Saline Eye Wash – used to flush eyes.
- Antiseptic Liquid Soap or Towelettes – non-stinging options like betadine are your best bet.
- Styptic Powder/Pencil – used to stop bleeding. Styptic powder is commonly used for nails that are accidentally clipped too short as well.
- Water – used to flush wounds, rehydrate a pet, or cool a pet down if they are overheated.
- Cone/Inflatable Collar – used to prevent a pup from getting to a wound. Something like this KONG Cloud E-Collar (inflatable cone) or the standard cone like this Comfy Cone E-Collar work great.
- Treats – used to help keep the pet calm in tough situations.