By definition, pet emergencies are critical health crises which require immediate medical intervention. Creating an emergency first aid kit is recommended for all pet parents and may buy your pet critical time until veterinary care can be sought through a pet hospital. Many of the supplies you will be using to create your pet first aid kit will also be handy in case of human first aid needs. A first aid kit for dogs and people is a vital component in an emergency disaster preparedness plan as well.

What Should Your Emergency First Aid Kit Contain?

You can purchase pet first aid kits or make your own. A plastic tote or a large book bag is good for storing your kit. It is advised that you make not one but two kits, one that will be in your house and one that can travel in your car at all times.

Your Kit Should Include:

  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gauze pads and bandages
  • First aid tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • A muzzle
  • Extra leash
  • A splint
  • Styptic powder to stop bleeding
  • Pepto bismol
  • Prescription medications (for you and your pets)
  • Sterile latex gloves
  • Eye wash
  • A book on human and pet first aid
  • Mineral oil
  • Buffered aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • A blanket
  • A large bottle of water
  • Self-activating hot pack
  • Self-activating ice pack
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Copies of veterinary documents
  • Thermometer
  • Whenever possible, a cell phone with service that can reach 911 in case of emergencies with the phone number of the nearest emergency vet programmed is a great addition to your emergency first aid kit. Check your batteries periodically to make sure that they are ready to go when you need them in an emergency.

    If you have a dog that is prone to bloating or of a breed prone to bloating, your kit may require additional components. If you suspect your dog is bloating, it is imperative that you seek medical assistance immediately, but knowing how to provide bloat first aid and being prepared to do so can literally save your dog's life. Here is a great website discussing first aid for bloat which recommends the following additional first aid kit items for bloat prone dogs:

    1. 1/2 inch (inside diameter) x 6 feet, clear, non-toxic, vinyl tube (outside diameter = 5/8 inch). 1.25 cm x 182 cm (outside diameter = 1.6 cm)

    2. 1/4 inch (inside diameter) x 6 feet, clear, non-toxic, vinyl tube (outside diameter = 3/8 inch). .60 cm x 182 cm (outside diameter = .95 cm)

    3. 2x2 wood block, 8 inches long with 3/4 inch diameter hole in center. 5 cm x 5 cm x 20 cm (1.90 cm diameter hole)

    4. Water-soluble lubricating jelly, such as K-Y jelly.

    5. 2 feet of soft nylon cord, or an old soft nylon leash. 61 cm of cord

    6. Electrical tape to mark tubing

    Giving First Aid To Pets

    Now that you've created your emergency first aid kit, what will you do with these supplies in case of an emergency? Some pet hospitals offer cour...