It is in every pet owner’s best interest to know about pet first aid to ensure you are prepared for an emergency.  Here are 5 things to know about pet first aid.

Have a Pet First Aid Kit on hand. This is especially important if you are travelling or going on hikes where there is a higher risk of something happening. Research the most important items to have and make sure your kit is stocked at each outing.

Remain Calm. Nothing stresses your pet out more than when you get worked up as well.  Try to remain calm as best you can. Speak in a soothing voice and approach the dog or cat from the side with their face sideways.  Animals in pain can react by biting, so best to have a muzzle or fabric that can act as a muzzle in your pet first aid kit to use. Place this on the dog or cat slowly and calmly.

Bleeding Claw. This is probably one of the most common occurrences that can happen with a pet. Whether it be from cutting the nail too short or catching a claw on something while out on a walk, it’s an easy thing to happen. Try to stop the bleeding with household products like baking soda or corn-starch. Place an absorbing bandage around the foot high enough that it won’t fall off. If the bleeding does not stop in a reasonable amount of time, take a trip to the vet.

Seizure safety.  Clear the space surrounding your dog or cat and try to make the environment as safe and quiet as possible.  Avoid touching them as they may unknowingly try to bite. Take your pet to the vet as soon as you can after the seizure ends.

Act fast. A rule of thumb with any pet first aid situation that occurs is to go the veterinarian when you can.  This can prevent complications or even death.


When an emergency strikes, the last thing you should be doing is scrambling for items you need. Assembling a first aid kit for pets will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be prepared in case of an emergency. Make sure to check your cat first aid kit or dog first aid kit every six months or so to make any necessary replacements or updates.

Here are 10 supplies you should always have stocked in your first aid kit for pets.

1. Emergency Contact Card

Use a contact card to write down the phone numbers for your veterinarian and a 24-hour emergency clinic. If you have to leave your pet with a sitter, a copy of the card can be left with them.

2. Blunt-Tipped Scissors

A pair of scissors can be an overlooked element in a first aid kit for pets, but without them, it’s often difficult to administer care. Whether you’re removing hair near an injury or applying bandages, scissors always come in handy.

3. Bandages

Bandages are staples in any dog first aid kit or cat first aid kit. In many cases, the bandage you place after an injury will be temporary until you can get to your veterinarian. Even so, it serves a vital role by providing support and preventing contamination. Make sure bandages are snug enough so that they won’t fall off but not so tight that they compromise blood flow.

4. Sterile Eye Solution

It’s scary to think of chemicals or foreign objects being anywhere near your pet’s eyes. If an irritant finds its way into the eye, the animal is likely to scratch or rub and make it worse. Since eye injuries can be true emergencies, consult your veterinarian before attempting any treatment at home. If you are told to flush your pet’s eye, you’ll want a good rinse close at hand.

5. Latex or Rubber Gloves

When providing first aid for pets, gloves are essential items to have. In addition to protecting yourself, using gloves helps decrease your pet’s risk of infection. It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally contaminate an animal’s wound. Consider keeping multiple sets of gloves in your kit. One pair could rip, or you might need the assistance of another person.

6. Plastic Syringe

Anyone who has tried to give liquid-based oral pet meds to a fidgety pet knows the value of a syringe. A needleless syringe can also be used to give oral fluids to a dehydrated pet, or you can use it to flush out and clean a wound. Make sure to keep your syringe sealed up and clean until you need it.

7. Medications

Depending on your individual dog or cat’s needs, you may need to have specific medications (including prescription medications) in your first aid kit for pets, but make sure to keep an eye on those expiration dates.

8. Tweezers

When a sharp object, such as a thorn or piece of glass, becomes lodged in a pet’s skin, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove with just your fingers. Tweezers are the easier, safer and more sanitary choice. You may also need tweezers for tick removal. When pulling out a tick, you need to grab it as close to your pet’s skin as possible – a feat that is much simpler with tweezers.

9. Antiseptic Wipes

Using antiseptic wipes or rinses on your pet’s wound will minimize the risk of infection. Wipes are especially convenient for cleaning around the face or in-between the toes.

10. Digital Thermometer

Measuring your pet’s temperature can help you understand how serious their condition is. When consulting your veterinarian over the phone, it will also be good information to convey. For stress-free insertion, apply a petroleum or water-based lubricant to the end of the thermometer. If possible, have someone gently restrain and distract your pet while you lift the tail only as far as necessary to slide only the metal tip of the thermometer into your pet’s rectum (approximately one-half inch).

11. Treats

If you’re in a situation that requires first aid for pets, chances are good that your fur kid could use a distraction. That’s where dog treats or cat treats come in—as long as your pet can safely eat, of course. Do not feed pets who are vomiting, are unable to swallow normally, are having seizures or are mentally impaired.

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