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How to: Pet First-Aid Kit

Today's blog post isn't actually training-related in nature, but it's no less important: pet first-aid kits.


With the Summer season upon us, we're heading outside more; we're taking vacations and camping trips; and we're taking our SideKicks with us! All of the extra activity is a recipe for fun...but sometimes it's a recipe for accidents, too. S@#$ happens, you know? And, in these cases, it's best to be prepared!

Pet first-aid kits can be purchased ready-made in stores, but you can also put together your own kit fairly easily by adding pet-specific supplies to a human first-aid kit or by assembling the suggested items below:

Pet-specific supplies

  • Pet first-aid book

  • Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!) and a poison-control center or hotline

  • Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your SideKick (in case they get lost)

  • Nylon leash

  • Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur)

  • Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting

Basic first-aid supplies

  • Absorbent gauze pads

  • Adhesive tape

  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray

  • Blanket (and/or a foil emergency blanket)

  • Cotton balls or swabs

  • Gauze rolls

  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with veterinarian or animal poison control expert before giving to your pet)

  • Ice pack

  • Non-latex disposable gloves

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Rectal thermometer

  • Scissors (with blunt ends)

  • Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages

  • Sterile saline solution

  • Tweezers

  • A pillowcase

  • A pet carrier or kennel

Other Useful Items

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. A veterinarian must tell you the correct dosage for your pet's size.

  • Ear-cleaning solution

  • Expired credit card (to scrape away insect stingers)

  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)

  • Nail clippers

  • Over the counter antibiotic ointment

  • Penlight or flashlight

  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe

  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)

  • Splints and tongue depressors

  • Styptic powder or pencil

  • Temporary identification tag

  • Towels

  • Needle-nosed pliers

Put your kit together in a small, plastic tub with a lid or a water-resistant, zippered tote bag. Additionally, add anything to your pet first-aid kit that your vet may recommend for your SideKick specifically. Be sure to check on the supplies occasionally for anything that is expired or needs to be replaced. Keep the kit in a handy spot in your home (though still out of the reach of children and all pets) and take it with you while traveling.

It might seem like a lot, looking at the list, but you might just thank yourself later on for putting all of it together when and if an accident happens! Besides, the extra peace of mind a pet first-aid kit provides is priceless.

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