Basic First Aid Kit For Your Pet

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and we have some tips for you. Here are some basic things to keep around for your pet’s first aid kit.

Pet-Specific Supplies

  • Pet first-aid book
  • Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!) and a poison-control center or hotline (such as the ASPCA poison-control center, which can be reached at 1-800-426-4435)
  • Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
  • Nylon leash
  • Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs)
  • Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don’t use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or otherwise having difficulty breathing)

dog and vet


  • 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 103°F or fall below 100°F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
  • Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
  • Tweezers
  • A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
  • A pet carrier

This is a good start when it comes to keeping supplies on hand for your pet, should an emergency come up. The next time you take your pet in for a check-up at the veterinarian’s office, ask if you there is anything specific you need in your pet’s first aid kit. Pets are like people, no two are a like.

As always, we recommend you have a tag on your pet, should your pet become lost or sneak away. This will make it easier for your pet to find its way back home. A micro chip is often a good idea, as well.

Here’s to a smart and safe April with your pet. If you don’t have a first aid kit on hand for your pet, now is the time to start one.

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