Creating a Pet First Aid Kit

 Brought to you by Peterborough West Animal Hospital:

Just like it is important to have an emergency first aid kit on hand for the members of your family, it is equally important to have one on hand for your furry family members as well.  An emergency can cause stress and panic and having the things you need ready to go and in one place can help to alleviate some of these emotions.

What is an emergency?

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cardiac failure
  • Massive hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Shock
  • Anaphylaxis (allergic reactions)
  • Hit by car
  • Penetrating wounds to the abdomen or chest
  • Coma or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Burns and scalds
  • Heat stroke
  • Bites or fight wounds
  • Continuous vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Inability to urinate


To start with, create a list with phone numbers and addresses, stored in a sealable sandwich bag to keep dry, including:

  • Peterborough West Animal Hospital 705-745-4800 or your local veterinary clinic
  • The nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!)
  • Pet Poison Helpline – 1-800-213-6680
  • Microchip ID number and company phone #
  • Updated vaccine records, especially proof of rabies vaccination
  • List of temporary evacuation centers/shelters, which are pet-friendly

Secondly, some basic transportation equipment including:

  • Kennel/pet carrier for safe transport and confinement of pet
  • Nylon leash
  • Large towel/blanket- to assist in moving an injured, sick pet or to avoid possible bite from scared or injured pet

Lastly, your basic first aid supplies which include:

  • Artificial tears, ophthalmic saline solution and sterile saline solution
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Bandage material: absorbent gauze pads, adhesive tape, stretch gauze rolls, sterile non-stick gauze pads, and tongue depressors.
  • Vetrap (self-adhesive stretch bandage material)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Corn syrup/table syrup/honey (~1/8 cup in case of hypoglycemia)
  • Diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl®) 25 mg tablets or liquid 12.5 mg/tsp (5mL) concentration (with NO other combination of ingredients.  Please call to speak with a veterinary professional at Peterborough West Animal Hospital or your local veterinary hospital before administering for dosage instructions).
  • High calorie food supplement – e.g. can of tuna or cat food
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% (within the expiration date) for inducing vomiting in dogs only upon the advice of your veterinarian.  NOT for use in cats.
  • Oral dosing syringe to administer hydrogen peroxide
  • Hot / Cold packs
  • Cleansing / antiseptic soap
  • Nail clippers and styptic powder or pencil
  • Penlight or flashlight
  • Rubber gloves and/or Latex-free exam gloves
  • Safety Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Triple antibiotic ointment (with NO other combination ingredients – NOT for use in CATS!)
  • Tweezers
  • Tourniquet

Before you attempt any type of treatment with the supplies in your first aid kit, always make sure to speak with a veterinary professional at Peterborough West Animal Hospital or your local veterinary hospital first.

As stated above, never administer hydrogen peroxide to any pet without checking with a veterinary professional first, as sometimes it’s not appropriate to induce vomiting at home and never administer it to cats.

At Peterborough West Animal Hospital we are

“Pawsitively devoted to your best friend…..”


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