Pet First Aid Kit
1. Cotton balls have a variety of uses. You can use them to stop bleeding on small cuts or
a nail that has been cut too short, clean off eye, or clean ears.
2. Self-adhere wrap (aka vet wrap.) This wrap is stretchy and sticks to itself but not skin or
3. Tick removal device: Similar to fleas, ticks are nasty little things. Forget the advice
about removing ticks with a hot match or any other home remedies. Direct removal is the
best approach. If your dog just stays at home, you won’t necessarily need these, but if
you are a frequent hiker/camper or your area is heavily infested with ticks, you should
have them on hand. There are many options available including the de-ticker and tick
spook. For other types of insects, (like a bee) regular tweezers or even an expired credit
card can be used to remove a stinger.
4. Gauze pads / rolls: Gauze pads are great for stopping blood flow in the event of a major
cut or injury. They can also be used underneath bandages to cover a wound. You
shouldn’t use sticky bandages on dogs, so the gauze rolls will be the first layer over the
pad to keep it in place. Keeping scissors in your kit will be helpful for use with gauze as
5. E -collar: The good ol’ “cone of shame.” This will prevent licking or chewing areas that
need to be left alone. Most pets get one when spayed or neutered and it’s never a bad
idea to save it! If they outgrow it, or damage it, there are many options you can get at a
local pet store.
6. Saline solution: If your dog has an eye irritation, you should never administer a
medicated eye solution or eye medication in case there is a serious injury to the eyeball.
Eye injuries are serious and should be seen by a Vet right away. Saline solution is safe
to use to flush the eye if particularly irritated or flush out debris in the meantime. Saline is
also good to flush wounds. Tap water should never be used to clean out a wound, or you
will risk infection. Saline solution is sterile and safe to use.
7. Disposable gloves: Don’t have medical latex gloves? Grab a bunch of household ones,
They will work just as well. It’s good to have them available. Whether or not you use
them is another matter. In emergencies, it’s not uncommon for for people to forget about
cleanliness. If for some reason your dog is bleeding profusely, your first instinct will be to
compress the wound, and sometimes there is not enough time to open a pair of gloves
and get them on. However, you may want them around for minor cleanups (like vomiting
8. Pet Poison Control number / Peroxide / Syringe: Whether you choose to keep this in
your kit, or in your phone, is up to you, but it is always a good idea to have this number
handy in case your pet ingests something they shouldn’t. They can determine whether
something is toxic and the pet needs immediate medical attention or what side effects
could occur. They may suggest that you induce vomiting with peroxide. Do not do this
without speaking with them or your Veterinarian first. In certain situations, this may
cause more damage. They can also give you proper dosing instructions. Additionally,
they will open a case to work with your Veterinarian to comprise a treatment plan, if
needed. Also, keep the numbers of your Veterinarian and a local emergency hospital
9. Thermometer: An ear thermometer is much easier to use, however a rectal
thermometer is the only truly accurate way to take a dog’s temperature. Have some lube
(or vaseline) on hand to make the process more comfortable. That being said, it does
not hurt, just in case, to have both! A normal temperature for a dog is 101.5 degrees,
plus or minus one degree. This can come in handy in many situations. If calling your
Veterinarian with a concern about your pet, knowing their temperature can help ascertain
if it is an emergent situation or not.
10. Muzzle: Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but when a dog is seriously injured, they
often do not want to be moved or handled. Even if your dog would not bite under normal
circumstances, if he has been hit by a car or just had a seizure, he could bite out of fear,
pain, or confusion. A muzzle is a tool to keep you both safe. If you do not have a muzzle
during an emergency, your leash could work in a pinch, for a dog. For a cat, there are
specific cat muzzles available, or an e-collar can be helpful in keeping their mouth away
11. Styptic powder (cornstarch in a pinch): This powder is used to make blood clot
quickly. It should never be used on flesh wounds because it burns quite a nit. Instead,
it’s great for nails that are bleeding because they have been cut too short, broken, or
worn down on a walk.
12. Towel/Blanket/Pillowcase: This depends on your pet. Towels or pillowcases can be
used to restrain or transport a cat, while blankets are helpful in a situation where a
makeshift stretcher is needed. These items can also be used to help create a sling, or
just clean up a mess. Depending on where you live or area of travel, a foil thermal
blanket could be a great addition to your kit. If a pet is injured and needs to be easily
kept warm, these are a good choice.
13. Cold and heat packs can cool down skin after a burn or keep your dog warm if they are
hypothermic. Always keep a cloth between the pack and the skin and keep an eye out
for redness or irritation.
14. Nail clippers: to help with cut or broken nails.
15. Water bowl: If you will be outside in moderate to higher temperatures, it is very
important to keep your pet hydrated.
16. Especially if traveling, keep your pet’s Rabies certificate, medical records and licence
with you (in digital or hard copy form) as well as any medications they take.