Anyone who shares their home with a pet should have a basic first-aid kit always on hand. After all, you would have one ready for every other member of your family, right? So, be sure to include your pet in all safety preparations as you would for other family members.
You can easily put your own pet first aid kit together at home with some basic items from around the house or easily acquired from your local drugstore, pet supply store or veterinary office. The best way to put your first aid kit together is to first create one for human use, and then add pet-specific items to it. Here’s a list of all of the supplies you’ll want to keep in your pet first aid kit to keep them safe and healthy:
Supplies for Your Pet First Aid Kit
The pet-specific items you should keep in your kit include:
- A pet first-aid book
- A nylon leash
- Emergency phone numbers including: your veterinarian, a poison control center or hotline, and the nearest emergency-veterinary hospital with directions.
- A copy of all of your pet’s paperwork in a waterproof bag or container, including: proof of rabies-vaccination status, a current photo, as well as any other important or relevant medical records.
- A muzzle to prevent biting. Of course, you don’t want to use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or having difficulty breathing.
- Self-cling bandage, the kind that stretches and sticks to itself so that it doesn’t stick to your pet’s fur.
Basic first aid items you should keep in your kit include:
- A pet carrier
- A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Gauze rolls
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- A foil emergency blanket
Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if a veterinarian or poison control expert tells you to do so
- Ice pack
- Petroleum jelly
- Rectal thermometer
- Scissors with blunt ends
- Sterile saline solution
Other useful items you may want to keep on hand include:
- Diphenhydramine, aka Benadryl®, if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. (A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet’s size.)
- Ear-cleaning solution
- A credit card or something of similar construction to scrape away insect stingers
- Corn syrup or glucose paste for diabetic pets or those with low blood sugar
- Nail clippers
- Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol to clean the thermometer
- Splints and tongue depressors
- Temporary identification tag with your contact information
- Needle-nosed pliers
As you gather all of the items listed above for your pet’s first aid kit, don’t forget to include any additional items that may be recommended by your veterinarian.