Everyone who shares a home with a pet should have a basic pet first aid kit on hand.
Keep a kit in your home and in your car if you travel with your pet. You can buy a first aid kit for people and add pet-specific items to it, or you can purchase a pet first aid kit from a pet supply store or catalog.
- Pet first aid book
- Phone numbers: veterinarian, nearest emergency veterinary clinic (and know how to get there!), poison-control center or hotline (such as ASPCA poison control center at 1-800-426-4435)
- Paperwork (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies vaccination status, copies of other important medical records, current photo of your pet in case he gets lost
- Nylon leash
- Self-cling bandage (Stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and through pet supply catalogs)
- Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (as long as pet is not vomiting, choking, coughing, or otherwise having difficulty breathing)
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- Blanket (foil emergency blanket)
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Gauze rolls
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting when directed by a veterinarian or poison control)
- Ice pack
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Petroleum jelly (to lubricate thermometer)
- Rectal thermometer (your pet's temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
- A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
- A pet carrier
Additional useful items
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. Vet must specify 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
- Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
- Penlight or flashlight
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean thermometer
- Splints and tongue depressors
- Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals and pet supply stores and your local pharmacy)
- Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your dog’s collar when you travel)
- Needle-nosed pliers
In addition to the items listed above, include any items recommended by your veterinarian specifically for your pet. Check the supplies in your pet first aid kit occasionally. Replace any items that have expired.
For your family’s safety, keep all medical supplies and medications out of the reach of children and pets.