Here’s what you’ll need to set up your dog’s first aid kit.

Pet first-aid kits are just like human first-aid kits with some added, pet specific items. It’s important for any pet owner to have a well-stocked pet first-aid kit and know how to use it. Look for a Pet First-Aid and CPR class offered in your area to learn how to use your pet specific kit. Knowing pet first-aid can make, or break a successful outcome in case of an emergency.The contents of any pet first-aid kit should fit easily into a small, sturdy, carrying case and ideally should be located in your home, in your car and if you hike with your pet, make a kit that fits into a fanny pack or back pack that can be carried with you easily.

The contents of all pet first-aid kits can be broken down into just 4 categories. Under each category I have listed the essential items that should be included in your kit, for your pet.  All of these items are easy to come by and a good kit can be put together for about $25 if you’re a frugal shopper.

Dressings and Bandages:

  • Gauze pads and 1 gauze roll. Individually wrapped sanitary napkin for bleeding wounds, sterile non-stick pads, Q-tips.
  • Adhesive tape (1” roll), or self-adhesive bandage wrap
  • Betadine solution – small amount in water tight container
  • Non-latex exam gloves


  • Digital thermometer (check batteries twice yearly)
  • Small Scissors – blunt tipped
  • Tweezers – for removing slivers, foxtails, ticks, etc.
  • Syringe – Large for flushing wounds. Small for administering medications
  • Toenail clippers appropriate for your pet, in case of nail injury.

Ointments, Disinfectants and Medications:

  • Styptic powder for bleeding nail injuries
  • Antihistamine – Benadryl – Know your pets dose and label each dose for each pet. Ask your veterinarian about dosing.
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3% – Know your pets dose so that when called for to induce vomiting following ingestion of toxin you are ready to give the right amount. Always call poison control BEFORE inducing vomiting. In small watertight container. Not for wound cleansing.
  • Chemical Ice Pack – Strains and sprains
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug– Pain and swelling associated with severe trauma. Do not give human products. Ask your vet for appropriate medication and dosing for your pets. Not for cats!
  • Saline flush for irrigating wounds – can be found with contact lens items at any store.

Equipment and Supplies:

  • Slip leash
  • Muzzle – sized for your pet for everyone’s safety when any animal is in pain
  • Needle nose pliers for cutting wire and extracting fish hooks
  • Penlight – For visualizing the back of the throat
  • Space blanket – For shock
  • Towel or blanket – For restraint of cats and small dogs
  • Emergency phone numbers: Pet Poison Hotline, Emergency Vet Clinic, Police

 Crucial Tip: Keep a list of pet emergency contact numbers & your pets vital statistics (including that dosage information mentioned earlier) by your home phone, and in your cell phone, and in your first aid kit.

Nothing can replace having a well-stocked pet first-aid kit on hand in times of animal emergencies. Quick, confident action greatly increases the possibility of a successful outcome for your pet in any emergency.

Here’s your action plan:

  1. Find a good first aid kit online and order it (compare their itemized list with the above recommendations and purchase any missing items) Alternatively, you could put together your own.
  2. Check with your Vet and get all dose information and your dog’s basic vitals, as well as get your local emergency contact numbers, to keep in your kit.
  3. Condition your dog to regular first aid handling procedures so they’re a good patient.
  4. Relax with the peace of mind that you are prepared for an emergency with your dog and the likelihood of a good outcome for your pet just went up! Nice work!

Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared!


A Note from Sean

I wanted to take a moment to thank Lynn for being our first guest blog author at The Dog’s Way Blog. Lynn Russell is a Licensed Veterinary Technician with 25 years experience in mostly small animal emergency medicine, internal medicine and oncology. She graduated from Pierce College in Tacoma, WA. in 1991 and has worked at Washington State University and the University of Missouri in their veterinary teaching hospitals. She has helped start two veterinary practices and was instrumental in starting a Veterinary Technology program at a regional community college. Currently Lynn has her own business providing in-home veterinary nursing assistance and she teaches classes in Pet First Aid and CPR in Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties.


Lynn will be posting several articles on Pet medical care and Lynn is an upcoming guest on The Dog’s Way Podcast.  I know you and your dogs (and cats!) will truly benefit from the vast experience and information that Lynn has to offer.  You can find out more about Lynn at her website:

Thanks again Lynn!