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White dog first aid kit

The essentials

  • It could save your pet’s life — Accidents and emergencies can happen, and knowing what to do could be the difference between life and death.
  • You can become certified in first aid for pets — Online training courses through the Red Cross and Pet Tech teach CPR, treating injuries, and more.
  • Check your kit for expired items — Over time, bandages, solutions, and creams can deteriorate and become less effective at treating wounds.

The last thing pet parents want is to see their furry family members in pain, but accidents and emergencies happen. In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to know what to do. A pet first aid kit can help you stay prepared in an emergency.

Familiarizing yourself with the basic cat or dog first aid items and when to use them can save your furry friend’s life. Here are some great items to add to your first aid kit.

Build your pet first-aid kit

Having the right tools in an emergency can make all the difference. Here’s a list we created with the help of this AVMA article to stock up your kit.

Phone numbers

Have on hand the Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 , the Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661, and an emergency veterinary clinic phone number near you. If there is an animal ambulance service near you, add their number, too. Transporting large injured animals is difficult, and you may need the help of others.

Leash and collar

In emergencies, having a spare leash and collar can really come in handy. Depending on the situation, this can help you control your dog if you need to do first aid or lead them if you need to go somewhere. Most of us may not have an extra leash lying around, so having one in your first aid kit can be a relief if your dog is stressed or in case of a natural disaster.

Gauze pads

Gauze can absorb fluids and help reduce bleeding. It can be used for scrapes, burns, and cuts, and to apply ointments or other cleaning solutions. Gauze can also act as the base for bandages to wrap and secure wounds.


These are a great multi-use tool for giving medicine or cleaning wounds. If you need to give your dog a certain dosage of medication, a syringe without a needle is an accurate and easy way to do so. They also allow you to flush wounds by targeting them more precisely.

Towels and non-stick bandages

These can help protect wounds and slow down or stop bleeding. Non-stick bandages won’t stick to your dog’s fur. In stressful times, towels also help keep your pet warm and feel comforted and can be useful in cleaning up messes.

Adhesive medical tape

Dog-safe medical tape can help keep bandages in place on your dog’s fur or skin. This helps protect wounds from staying open, your dog licking at them, or causing more trauma to them, overall making your pet more comfortable.


These will probably come in handy when you least expect them. They’re great for removing thorns, glass, ticks, and more. If your dog has an embedded object or piece of material under their skin, you’ll be glad you have these.


Blunt-tip scissors help ensure bandages and other materials are the right size to care for wounds safely and accurately. If you need to remove any dressing, bandages, or hair around wounds, blunt-tip scissors can help you do so without the risk of cutting your pet.

Cotton balls

Cotton balls are perfect for cleaning injuries. They can also help in applying creams, absorbing blood and fluids, and removing debris. They can also reach areas that may be harder to clean, like the eyes, ears, and in-between paw pads.

Magnifying glass and flashlight

A magnifying glass and flashlight can help you easily see cuts, wounds, or the cause of an injury. It can be especially more difficult to see in areas between the paws, on the chest, under the armpits, or in the ears.

Digital thermometer and lubrication

Make sure you have a thermometer that will read high enough for your pet. A pet’s temperature is taken rectally, so you’ll want to make sure you have some lubricant on hand too. Dogs’ and cats’ normal body temperatures are ​​between 101.0 to 102.5°F . If their temperature goes below 99°F or above 104°F, you’ll want to take them to the vet immediately.

Rubber gloves

Rubber gloves can help protect your hands when cleaning wounds or caring for them. If there’s a lot of mess, you’ll be glad you don’t have to touch it with your bare hands. They’ll also help maintain hygiene around wounds and protect your pet from infection.


If you have a pet that’s unable to move, sick, or injured, you can create a makeshift stretcher using a board, blankets, sheets, or mat to move your pet safely.


Muzzle your pet if they’re not vomiting. Animals can become fearful and defensive when injured or not feeling well, so this prioritizes the safety of others around you. If someone starts touching a painful area, your dog may inadvertently snap. You can also use gauze to create a makeshift muzzle in an emergency.

Milk of magnesia, activated charcoal, hydrogen peroxide (3%)

If your dog ingests a toxin or poison, milk of magnesia and activated charcoal can help absorb it. Aside from an antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide can also be used to induce vomiting. Contact poison control and/or your veterinarian before you try to induce vomiting or treatment for poisoning.

Antibiotic spray or cream

Some sort of antibiotic spray or cream can help create a barrier, preventing bacteria from entering a wound, which could lead to an infection. Sprays are a quick way to do this, especially in an emergency situation where you need to act fast.

Travel bowls

If your dog is overheated, dehydrated, or needs food, foldable travel bowls are great to have on hand with your first-aid kit. You never know when you might need one.

👉 Check the inventory on your kit every few months to make sure items aren’t expired.

Accidents and emergencies can happen at any time. Preparing a dog first aid kit and knowing how and when to use it can give you peace of mind if an emergency does happen. Whether you’re home or traveling, basic first aid supplies can help you stabilize injuries until you can get to a vet.

Pet first aid kit

Pet first aid kit

Frequently asked questions

What should a dog first aid kit include?

A dog first aid kit should include supplies such as emergency hotline numbers, a leash and collar, gauze, towels, non-stick bandages, medical tape, rubber gloves, and antibiotic wound spray.

What first aid should given to a dog?

If your dog is unresponsive, open its mouth and make sure nothing is stuck. Gently pull its tongue out of its mouth and extend its head and neck out straight (do not overextend). Hold its mouth shut and breathe 2 to 3 breaths into its nose. Look for its chest to rise; if it doesn’t happen, reposition its neck. Continue providing rescue breathing for 20 breaths a minute. If nothing happens, attempt CPR and immediately call your vet.

What should be in a pet emergency kit?

A pet emergency kit can include your first aid kit along with medications, current photos of your pet, food, water, info on medical conditions, and a bed or toys.

Do I need a pet first aid kit?

A pet first aid kit is a great idea to have. It can be helpful during a natural disaster, camping, vacationing, or anytime you’re away from home.

How often should I replace the items in my dog first aid kit?

Check your first aid kit every six months to make sure nothing has expired or needs to be replaced.