Pet first aid kit

Question:

What items should I include in my dog’s first aid kit?

Answer:

Below is a list of items that should be included in a pet first aid kit. But first, it’s important to remember to keep everything in your dog’s kit out of his reach and your children’s reach. Second, be sure to regularly check expirations of medicines and supplies in the kit and throw out any outdated items. And third, if your dog has a specific medical condition, ask your veterinarian what else to add to the kit. And finally, you might want to keep your supplies in a waterproof box just to be sure it’s extra-protected, and keep a spare one in your car.

You can buy most of the items in the first aid kit at your local pharmacy. Otherwise, check your local pet store and/or hardware store.

3% hydrogen peroxide

Absorbent compresses (or gauze sponges in a variety of sizes)

Adhesive tape, hypo-allergenic

Clean cloth

Cold compress

Compact thermal blanket

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, only use with veterinarian’s guidance)

Epsom salts (for making saline solutions)

Glucose paste or corn syrup (if your dog is a diabetic or has low blood sugar)

Grooming clippers

Material to make a splint: household items like newspaper, sticks, and pieces of wood

Muzzle: you can buy one or make your own with a roll of gauze

Nail clippers

Needle-nose pliers

Non-adherent sterile gauze pads

Non-latex, powder-free disposable gloves

Nylon leash

Over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment

Pediatric dose syringe

Penlight

Petroleum jelly

Rectal thermometer (nonmercury, non glass)

Roll bandages, such as 3-inch gauze wrap that stretches and clings

Roll gauze: 2-inch width

Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)

Small scissors (with a blunt end to prevent cutting skin)

Small wire cutters

Sterile eye lubricant

Sterile saline eye wash

Styptic powder (to help with bleeding toenails)

Towel

Water-based sterile lubricant (like KY Jelly)

A list of emergency phone numbers including your veterinarian, an after-hours emergency veterinary hospital and the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435). Tape the list to the outside of the box and the inside.

Please visit our expert center for more must-know tips.