A first-aid kit is important not only in the event of a natural disaster, but any time your dog or cat is in need of immediate help. While there are many pre-made kits that can be bought online or in a store, building your own kit (or adding to a pre-made one) can be the best way to have a kit customized specifically to your pet's lifestyle and needs.
Things your First-Aid Kit Should Include
- Scissors - for cutting out things matted in fur, freeing your pet from entanglements.
- Blood Clotting Powder - fo quickly and effectively stop bleeding from wounds, bites, and even torn nails. (Cornstarch also works for torn nails, but not for skin wounds.)
- Gauze - used to clean wounds. An aid to stop bleeding.
- Non-stick Bandages or Wraps – if you need to cover a wound to prevent infection or wrap up a sprained limb, use bandages that won’t stick to fur.
- Tape - 1" white medical tape is recommended. It is easy to tear off and holds well. The tape will help secure a temporary bandage if you don't have a self-adhesive bandage cover.
- Disinfectant Wipes - wound disinfectant wipes using non-sting ingredients like chlorhexidine or betadine are recommended. Rubbing alcohol is not recommended for open sores or wounds.
- Thermometer - experts recommend using a digital thermometer specifically designed for rectal use in dogs or cats.
- Dogs - normal temperature is between 101 F and 102.5 F. Fever is over 102.5 F. Hypothermic/Low temperature is below 101 F.
- Cats - normal temperature is between 100.5 F to 102.5 F. Fever is over 102.5 F. Hypothermic/Low temperature is below 100.5 F.
- Antihistamine – dogs and can get allergic reactions to bug bites, stings, and plants. Just like humans, they can take Benadryl orally to calm the itchiness, swelling, and hives. The dosage depends on their size so please consult your vet.
- Cold and Heat Packs – these can be used to cool down the skin of your pet after a burn or to keep it warm if they are hypothermic. It is recommended to keep a cloth between the pack and the skin.
- Tweezers – to remove splinters or any other foreign object from wounds or skin.
- Extra towels and/or blanket - use to clean, to keep your pet warm/cool, and if necessary, a way to transport the injured pet (stretcher for transport).
- Eye Dropper or Turkey Baster - to flush out wounds or to administer fluids/medication by mouth
- Eye Wash – if your pet gets dirt, insects or any other foreign objects in their eyes, use an eye rinse to flush and clean any irritants and wounds. This will also offer relief from burning, stinging, and itching.
- Information - phone number, clinic/veterinary name, address to your clinic/veterinary. It's also important to have handy the numbers to Poison Control and of any local vets if you're traveling.
Make sure to check your pack every few months to make sure nothing has expired or needs to be replaced.
Below is a FREE printable of a checklist, to make sure you don't miss anything you may need when you start creating your kit.