Friday, 20 May 2016
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Creating a Home First Aid Kit for Our Pets

Making a first aid kit for pets

In follow on to last week's Free Pet Emergency Information Sheet Printables and reader comments/questions, here is a peak at our home first aid kit for our dogs and cat along with some handy links on assembling your own pet first aid kit.

 Contents for a pet first aid kit will depend on your type of pet(s), any special medical issues that they have, any local health risks that you need to cater for, and the purpose of the kit. What you pack for a hike will, of course, be different from you home kit, which might be different again from an emergency/evacuation kit for your vehicle. Personally, I feel that there is a lot of overlap between pet first aid kits and our "human" first aid kits. Most items are common-use and some are lifed, so it seems more efficient (for our situation at least) to have a few extras in the home kit and with the vehicle kits. If you don't already have a stocked personal/family first aid kit, check out the Red Cross, St. John, or your local equivalent for advice.

Extra items added to our kit to better cater for our pets (two dogs and a cat) included a few new shared supplies and a few pet-specific items:

  • expendable/old washcloth
  • flexible-tipped thermometer (not sharing that one...hehe...)
  • tongue depressors
  • pet nail clippers
  • a comb and disposable razor
  • self-adherent cohesive bandages (sticks to self, not to fur)
  • peroxide
  • eye drops
  • styptic powder
  • bitter wound guard
  • ear wash 
  • roll of poo bags

Our dogs occasionally suffer from sensitive skin due to certain plants in our area, so we also have a tube of their usual prescription cream from the vet at the ready, just in case.  Other pet-friendly first aid kit items items (see links at the end of post) such as thermals, gauze, elastics, tapes, scissors, tweezers,  disinfectants, etc. were already part of our general use kit so no need to double up on cost, space, or potential expiry.

You may notice that there are no collars or leads, which are a staple on most pet first aid kit lists. We keep those near the door so they are easy to grab on the way out, if needed, plus we have extras in a small emergency go bag, which we keep ready to roll in the trunk of the car. 

Adding supplies to a household first aid kit for pets

Our home kit is a big red box with a smaller red box inside for pet extras, and I DIYed a few simple stickers using free Pixabay graphics for the labels to pretty things up.  I have a copy of our Pet Emergency Information Sheets and a small pet first aid booklet tucked under the lid.  I have a copy of these essential information sheets on my mobile phone, and backed up remotely as well.

📝 As a lesson learned the difficult and panicked way when Oli had a major medial issue after hours shortly after we had moved towns, if you are unsure about your local after hours support, have recently moved, or if you travel with you pet, find out the local after hours emergency options and add those numbers and addresses to your mobile phone contacts for ready use. I hope you'll never need them, but better prepared than to lose any time in a critical situation.

Making a first aid kit for pets

For the car, we also have a bag with towels, blankets, collapsible drinking bowl, extra collars, leashes, and poo bags.  It hangs out in the trunk in case it's needed - although we hope it's more often used for impromptu dry-offs from unplanned swimming expeditions and rainstorms than real emergencies! See our Free Pet Emergency Information Sheet Printables post for handy links on emergency planning, and we also have a growing Pet Health and Wellness board on Pinterest where we'll be adding new ideas, so please let us know if you have great links or resources for us to check out. Don't be shy - we love hearing from you.

Helpful links for planning your customised pet first aid kit contents: AVMA (includes a free printable brochure) | Humane SocietyAbout: Vet MedicinePaw Rescue  


  1. Have you needed to use any first aid for the pets?

    1. Hi there! We have many times, but fortunately nothing serious - usually just minor things like nicks and scratches from adventures or playing that just need a clean-up...a lot like human kids! As I mentioned in the post, rashes are an issue for our dogs so we sometimes need antiseptics (to ward of secondary infection), creams (to help sooth the itching), and wound guard (to try and reduce licking). The eye drops are the surprise winner though - very handy for environmental irritants or general sore eyes. Our vet recommended a while back that we keep some on hand and we have been grateful for it ever since.

      You never know what you may need, but there is so much in common with a good household kit that adding a few extras for pets is pretty simple, and it might bolster your human readiness too (like my fancy new bandages). I hadn't even thought of a few special pet add-ins, like the disposable safety razor, but will certainly be happy to have them if we ever do have an emergency. The links were definitely helpful.

  2. I've never heard of cohesive bandages. Where did you buy them?

    1. Hi Susan! You can get them in the standard first-aid supply section of most department stores, pharmacies, and pet shops. Here is a link to Amazon so you can see what they look like: Cohesive Bandages on Amazon You may have seen/heard it as vet tape, sports wrap, or other similar names but its all the same sort of thing - a nice stretchy bandage wrap material that only sticks to itself, not skin, fur, hair, etc. Hope that helps!


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