Assembling a Pet First-Aid Kit

Each year, thousands of pets needlessly suffer and many die from ingesting common household foods and substances.  Accidents can happen to your pet any time, any place, so knowing what to do and having the necessary tools can stop a minor injury or a major disaster.  The most basic items your Pet First-Aid Kit should include are:

3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE- To flush minor wounds and induce vomiting due to poisoning.  Dribble 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into your pet’s mouth with a needle-less syringe.  Dosage is 1 tablespoon per 15 lbs. of the animal’s body weight. Take vomit, poison container and your pet to the Vet or Animal ER ASAP.  If poison was a caustic or unknown substance, you will be instructed to dilute (instead of inducing vomiting) by feeding your pet water or milk; Activated charcoal (or even burned toast) may also be recommended to absorb the poison. Learn what to do for the various kinds of poisons, and have phone numbers near by.

EYEWASH OR SALINE SOLUTION-To flush minor wounds and clean eyes.

4” X 4” GAUZE SQUARES- To control bleeding.  

ROLLED GAUZE- To secure the gauze squares in place.  

ADHESIVE TAPE or SELF-ADHERING BANDAGETo secure rolled gauze in place.

COLD PACK- To aid in Heat Stroke, swollen joints, burns and bee stings


NEEDLE-LESS SYRINGE or EYE DROPPER- To administer medications and other liquids

DIGITAL THERMOMETER-To check your pet’s temperature.  Normal temperature is 100.4° - 102.5° Fahrenheit and is taken “under the tail.” 

STYPTIC POWDER & COTTON SWABSTo control bleeding on a minor injury

SAFETY SCISSORS- To remove bandages or cut proper lengths of bandaging materials

TWEEZERS -To pull tick or remove debris from a wound

ANTIHISTAMINE TABLETS- For those timeswhen a bee stings or a snake bites.  Dosage is 1 mg per pound of pet’s body weight (ex. 10 lbs. cat gets 10 mg), but if your pet experiences major swelling or breathing difficulties, GET TO THE VET! 

ANTACID TABLETSTo soothe an upset stomach

ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHERTo aid in rehydration.  K9 Quencher® is best, but Pedialyte® is also good.

LEASH- To wrangle a pet in need of help or use as a temporary muzzle.

TOWEL OR BLANKET- To cover a pet who has gone into Shock OR to use as a sling or stretcher .

PET FIRST-AID HANDBOOKTo assist with the important details you need to know.

PHONE NUMBERS & ADDRESSES- Keep this information regarding your Veterinarian and nearest Animal Emergency Center readily available. 

Pets lower our blood pressure, share unconditional love and enrich our lives in so many ways.  Don’t wish you had learned Pet First-Aid and assembled a kit. Get the tools and learn what to do for those inevitable times when an injury or illness will happen.


Denise Fleck is a recent recipient of the Maxwell Dog Writer’s of America Award for her work.  She is the author of Quickfind Books’ Pet Care for dogs and cats and an animal care instructor specializing in Pet First-Aid and CPR.  Denise has appeared on various television and radio programming and shares pet tips twice monthly on the KTLA 9AM News.  In her spare time, she serves as President of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, is a member of the Surf City Animal Response Team, writes for a variety of animal publications and has developed her own line of Pet First-Aid kits. She is currently owned by two very energetic Akitas…Haiku & Bonsai!  Visit her website at

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