What to have on hand to immediately help your dog, cat, puppy, or kitten in case of an injury or wound
Whether you and your BFF are on a trip, camping, hiking, or just hanging out at home, it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit nearby. Basic first aid can help you contain injuries and prevent your panicked pet from doing more damage to themselves on the way to the emergency vet.
What to stash in your pet’s first aid kit
- For your veterinary team
- For the local emergency or after-hours pet hospital so you can call and let them know you’re on your way
- Clean non-stick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth to clean wounds and control bleeding
- Elastic bandages are always handy to wrap wounds, control bleeding, or stabilize injured legs
- Eye dropper so you can drop meds in mouths or a bottle of saline eye rinse to flush wounds
- Large towel or blanket to carry your pet, and for clean up
- Leash (or harness) to help keep your pet close
- Muzzle materials, like gauze, rope, a necktie, or small towel (because scared, hurt pets can be aggressive)
- Plastic bags and latex gloves
- Rolled gauze to wrap wounds
- Scissors to cut bandages and gauze
- Tape to hold bandages or wraps in place
Human adhesive bandages, like Band-Aids®, are not recommended for pets.
Special supplies — use only when directed by a vet
- Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poison
- Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in dogs - only if needed
- Digital fever thermometer, plus KY jelly for lubrication, to rectally check your pet’s temperature (if they’ll let you)
- Diphenhydramine for some allergic reactions, and only under direction from a veterinarian, who will tell you the dose and how to administer it
Never put a thermometer in a pet’s mouth. Ask your veterinary team how to take your pet’s temperature rectally.
Never make your pet vomit or use an epi pen unless directed by a veterinarian.
During non-hospital hours, please contact your local emergency hospital.
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