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What should I have in my pet’s First Aid Kit?


Basic first-aid supplies:

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder, or spray
  • Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Gauze rolls
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
  • Ice pack
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 39.5°C or 103.1°F or fall below 37°C or 98.6°F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  • Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  • Tweezers & Tick twister
  • A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
  • A pet carrier

**Please use extreme caution when using hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting as it may cause stomach ulcers and severe blood loss when used outside of the guidance of a veterinarian.

Other useful items:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet’s size.
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  • Nail clippers
  • Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
  • Tylenol (Formulations recommended: children’s (small dog), regular strength (large dog)) A veterinarian MUST give you the correct dosage for your dog.
  • Penlight or flashlight
  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
  • Splints and tongue depressors
  • Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
  • Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet’s collar when you travel)
  • Towels
  • Needle-nosed pliers

**Please NEVER give your dog any over-the-counter medications without a veterinarian’s approval. Some day-to-day human pain and/or fever relievers are extremely toxic in the smallest of doses!!  Eg. Advil (Ibuprofen), Alieve, etc.  If your pet is on other medications, please check with a veterinarian prior to giving OTC medications as well as some medications can produce negative drug reactions when used together (whether dosed at the same time, same day, even same week!).