How to Build a Pet First Aid Kit

Every pet owner should have a pet first aid kit available in case of emergency. If you need help to put one together, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of many of the essential items your pet could need in the event of injury or trauma. Keep in mind that if you give your pet first aid care, follow your treatment up with immediate veterinary attention. First aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it could save your pet’s life or prevent further injury until you see a veterinarian or critical care specialist.

Basic items to start with:

  • My Pet's information Card. Information about your pet including vaccinations, medications, medical records, and a current photo
  • Phone numbers: veterinarian, nearest emergency veterinary clinic including directions, and a poison control center hotline (Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435). DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital can be reached at 503-228-7281 and is located at 1945 NW Pettygrove St., Portland.
  • Nylon leash
  • Pet crate or carrier (a safe, calming place for your pet for transport)
  • Nonstick bandages, towels, or strips of cloth – to cover wounds and control bleeding
  • Gauze rolls – for wrapping wounds or muzzling
  • Adhesive first aid tape for bandages (human adhesive bandages should not be used on pets)
  • Sterile saline eye solution (to flush out eye contaminants and wounds)
  • Gloves (non-sterile or nitrile)
  • Bottled water and drinking container
  • Digital pet thermometer and lubricant – take a pet’s temperature by inserting the thermometer rectally
  • Clean towels (used with direct pressure over wounds to help control bleeding)
  • Socks/T-shirt – for foot bandages or warmth
  • Tape (duct, masking, medical)
  • Water-based lubricant
  • Muzzle
  • Medications your animal is currently taking

Additional items that could be helpful:

  • Pet first-aid book that outlines the basics of treating wounds and injuries
  • Self-cling bandage (sticks to itself but not to fur)
  • Anti-bacterial wipes or pads
  • Betadine solution
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Q-tips
  • Hot/cold pack (to reduce swelling). Note: Never use directly on your pet. Always use a barrier (i.e. towel)
  • Eye dropper – to give oral medications or flush wounds
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Thermal Blanket (to help control shock)
  • Tweezers
  • Paper towels and hand sanitizer
  • Penlight

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