What To Keep In A Pet’s First Aid Kit

With summer in full swing and many of us taking advantage of the beautiful weather and all the great things in the outdoors that British Columbia has to offer, you never know when injury will strike you, or your pet – on a walk, a road trip, or in your own backyard. Having the essentials on hand to help your pet in an emergency will help keep them happy and healthy until you can get in to the vet.

Keeping a first aid kit for your pet is just as important as having one for yourself. It can help you in the event of an emergency where you need to quickly get to their rescue; or for the more adventurous types who are always hiking or travelling, it doesn’t hurt to keep a spare kit in the trunk of your vehicle, in with your camping gear, or at the cottage, to aid in any injuries that may arise.

Medical Paperwork – keeping copies of your pets medical history will greatly help if you are in a rush to bring your pet into a veterinary clinic. In emergency situations, a different veterinarian may be able to contact your regular clinic to get information on medications, allergies, or past medical conditions. In these cases, having a list of problems, and medications will greatly aide an emergency veterinarian, until you can bring your pet back to see your regular vet.

Hydrogen Peroxide – this can be used to clean small wounds as an antiseptic. It can also be used to induce vomiting in the event of a toxin ingestion, however, we do not recommend using it unless there is no possible way to get to a veterinarian. It is much safer to have a trained professional use a more appropriate medication in a controlled environment.

A towel/blanket – keeping one of these on hand will help if your pet is bleeding and you need to apply pressure to the wound, or if they happen to have gotten wet and need to be dried off to keep warm.

Food/water and bowls – having a small amount of their regular food and a bottle of water available may come in handy in the event you and your pet are stuck in a situation for a lengthy time or may need food and water while they are recovering.

Antibiotic ointment and bandaging material – if your pet gets any cuts, scrapes, or bites, be sure to clean them out and apply an antibiotic ointment. If possible, apply a small bandage. (Bandaging materials can include gauze, sanitary pads, cotton rolls, VetWrap, tape, and bandage scissors, among many other things). This will help reduce the risk of infection, further contamination and aid in the healing process until they can be seen by your regular veterinarian.

Medications – if your pet is on any medication on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to keep a days’ worth in the first aid kit, (or more depending on the length of your trip). If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot get home when expected, then you will still be able to get your pet medicated on time. Do not forget to check the expiry date regularly and change out any expired medications.

A flashlight – will help during unexpected incidents at night.

Creature comforts – a familiar toy or blanket can help calm your pet in the event of an emergency, and keep them busy while you’re helping take care of the situation.

It is also helpful to familiarize yourself with pet first aid, such as learning how to perform CPR, or the best way to bandage up a wound. This information can be found online, or attend a course through your local community center or learning center for in person workshops.

Happy Travels Everyone!