A person wearing a red emergency jacket stands outside on a mountain in the snow holding a bag of Get Joy's dog treats. A Black dog is wearing a red vest and standing on the human.

18 Essential Items for Your Pet First Aid Kit

Emergencies are unexpected and nerve-wracking. Not to mention, worst-case scenarios can be scary and stressful to even prepare for. Anytime a pet is far away from immediate veterinary help, a first aid kit goes a long way. Thus, creating a handy pet first aid kid will help you prepare for unexpected emergencies.

A Pet First Aid Kit for Dogs: Recommendations by the Animal Poison Control Center

The APCA (Animal Poison Control Center) recommends the following 18 first-aid kit essentials. Take a look!

1. Absorbent Gauze Pads

Gauze pads are easy to use for cleaning wounds and preventing infection and bacteria. A protective barrier is created on your dog’s wounded skin when using gauze pads. Here’s a high-quality absorbent gauze pad pack.

2. Adhesive Tape

Adhesive tape secures bandages or dressings without sticking to your dog’s fur.

3. Cotton Balls

If pus or blood is leaking from a recent wound, cotton balls or swabs help absorb thoroughly the fluid.

4. Fresh 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

If your dog suddenly eats a poisonous substance, hydrogen peroxide will help induce vomiting to get the culprit out. However, ensure you check with an animal poison control expert or veterinarian before administering such a powerful substance.

5. Ice pack

The coldness of an ice pack will cool down your dog’s wounds in the case of accidents that cause swelling and bruising.

6. Disposable Gloves

Gloves are always a good idea for your kit so you remain safe and uncontaminated while treating pet wounds.

7. Scissors

Scissors are used to cut gauze, dressings, or bandages. They can also be used to trim fur around wounds.

8. Tweezers

Ticks, splinters, and other unwanted, stuck-on-the-skin items may be plucked out with a good pair of tweezers from your dog’s body.

9. OTC Antibiotic Ointment

Sedatives are quick releases that relax your dog. They may be used to stop acid reflux if a harmful substance is ingested, or to soothe any pain they may be experiencing. Learn more about the different kinds here.

10. Oral Syringe

An oral syringe is used to administer liquid medicine to your dog that may otherwise spill or not be taken in all the way.

11. Liquid Dishwashing Detergent

This will help clean up messes in a safe and suitable fashion. Here’s a reliable liquid dishwashing detergent to check out.

12. Towels

Towels are always a good idea to store in your kit in the case that a wet dog needs to be dried up ASAP.

13. Small Flashlight

A small flashlight may help you see better into a wound or tick that needs to be treated on your dog's skin.

14. Alcohol Wipes

These may be used to treat wounds more thoroughly after using a gauze pad. 

15. Styptic Powder

Styptic powder acts as an anti-hemorrhagic agent, stopping light wounds from bleeding.

16. Saline Eye Solution

Eyes are very sensitive, if they get infected a saline eye solution will flush out debris and wounds from your dog. A natural eye rinse to consider is Burt’s Bees.

17. Artificial Tear Gel

An artificial tear gel is what soothes discomfort and irritation in your dog's dry eyes.

18. Phone Number, Clinic Name, Address of Your Veterinarian

Keeping your local veterinarian’s information in your first aid kit can help a family member who may not have phone access gain the information they need to take action.

Other First Aid Kit for Pets Tips

Consider storing your dog's medical record, local veterinary emergency clinics, necessary medications, and other important contact information. Lastly, be sure to store 3-5 days' worth of dog food in your kit. You’d be surprised how much a dog can be comforted with their favorite food! 

A great, healthy food option to consider is Get Joy’s fresh freeze-dried food. Aside from being incredibly nutritious and perfect for your dog’s gut health, it’s also pantry-friendly and easy to store, making it perfect for your first aid kit.

Prioritize Your Dog’s Wellness with Get Joy!

Get Joy’s mission is to empower pet owners to give their dogs a quality life. We offer many resources to keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible. Check out our meal planner page to create a profile for your dog and customize their well-being to suit your family’s precise needs.


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