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Your Pet First Aid Kit Could Save a Life

By Colleen Williams
April 9, 2015 • 2 min. read

We all hate to think about our pets getting hurt. No matter how much helicopter pet parenting we do, there’s always the chance Fluffy or Fido could be hurt in an accident. In emergencies, a pet first aid kit can save your pet’s life! Learn which life-saving supplies and tools to include in your pet first aid kit.

General Supplies

Most pet first aid kits contain the same supplies as those for humans. The following is a list of basic medical supplies your pet first aid kit could contain:

  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Non-stick gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tweezers
  • Bandage scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • Ice pack
  • Disposable gloves
  • Emergency blanket
  • Antiseptic wipes or spray
  • Rubbing/isopropyl alcohol
  • Towels
  • Gallon of water (store one gallon for every person and pet in your household)


pet first aid kit


Pet-Specific Supplies

In addition to basic medical supplies, your pet first aid kit should contain some items designed for dogs and cats. A rectal thermometer is a must-have; heatstroke and hypothermia are among the most common pet emergencies.

  • Leash
  • Self-cling bandage (found at pet supply stores)
  • Size-appropriate muzzle
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Petroleum jelly (lubricant for thermometer)
  • Pet carrier or pillowcase (for cats)
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Nail clippers
  • Styptic powder or pencil (to stop bleeding)
  • Canned pet food
  • Collapsible pet bowls
If your pet has specific medical needs, such as diabetes, be sure to include additional supplies as needed. An extra supply of any essential medications is a good idea; contact your vet to obtain emergency stores of medications.

Other Supplies

pet first aid kit

Besides the above medical supplies, there are several other essential items you should include in a pet first aid kit. A pet first aid book or guide is a good idea for pet parents with little medical knowledge. Also include a list of the following emergency numbers, which should also be displayed in a central location, like your fridge:

  • Your veterinarian
  • Local 24-hour emergency vet clinics
  • ASPCA poison control – 1-800-426-4435
  • Emergency contacts for yourself (in case you need to leave other pets or children)
In addition, keep copies of your pet’s vaccination, microchip, and adoption records in a waterproof bag or container near your pet first aid kit. Although we’re in a digital age, you may also want to keep a recent photograph of your pet.

Storing Your Kit

All pet first aid kit supplies should be kept in a waterproof tub or container in case of natural disaster or flooding. In emergencies, the container may even be used as a bed for your pet, depending on their size.

Place your pet first aid kit in an easily accessible location away from sunlight and water. Be sure to mark expiration dates on any included medication or food and replace as needed. Replace or refresh supplies in your pet first aid kit yearly; damage could occur from the elements or household pests.

If you love your pets like family, you want to protect them like family. With Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, you can save up to 90% on vet bills and say “yes” to life-saving treatments, no matter the cost. If you’re not a part of our pack yet, start by getting your free quote today. 

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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