Are you prepared? Putting a first aid kit together for your pet.

By October 23, 2014 Cats, Dogs, First Aid

It is always a good idea to have a pet appropriate first aid kit at home.   Yes, veterinary care is often required in the event of an emergency or injury, but having some supplies at home can help you to provide some support on the way to the clinic.     This kit should be kept in a spot that has easy access, and should be taken along with you when traveling with your pets.

It can seem a bit daunting when sitting down to think of all the supplies you may need, so we have put together a list of some of our top items.   To make things easier, you can often start off purchasing a human first aid kit, then add or remove things as needed.   As your collection grows, a fishing tackle box can be used to store all your pet related first aid items.

Below is a list of some of our approved items to keep in your kit.

Contact Numbers & Health Records

  1. Veterinary Clinic number (regular clinic) –  Thickson Road Pet Hosp. 905-434-2885
  2. Animal Emergency Clinic – Durham AEC 905-576-3031 (after hours clinic)
  3. Pet Poison Helpline –  1-800-213-6680
  4. Animal Control – check for your city’s number
  5. If travelling:  animal control and a vet clinic in that area
  6. Requesting a copy of your pet’s health records from your veterinarian is an excellent idea, for those traveling with pets.  Be sure to keep an up to date record so you will have all the necessary information about your pet’s health conditions (any diseases, allergies, medications, etc.)

 Medical Supplies

  • rectal thermometer & petroleum jelly – to lubricate the thermometer & get a temperature 
  • nail clippers – can be helpful to remove a broken nail
  • styptic powder – used to stop the bleeding if trimming nails & the quick is cut
  • bandage material (gauze, vet wrap, medical tape) – to place a light bandage or apply pressure until a vet clinic can be reached.
  • Bandage scissors (with blunt ends) – could be used to cut something out of the fur, cut bandage materials
  • tweezers – can be used to remove slivers, porcupine quills, stinger etc.
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Hydrogen peroxide – can be used to induce vomiting or for cleaning wounds (call veterinarian for dosing)
  • Eye wash – can be used to rinse the eye if any debris gets in it
  • Syringe (for flushing, administering medication, force feeding)
  • Antiseptic soap – often used for cleaning wounds
  • Corn syrup (if diabetic – used for low blood sugars)

Non-Medical Supplies

  • blanket or towel – for keeping a pet warm
  • cold pack – to ice an injury to reduce swelling
  • muzzle – Always recommended when dealing with a painful pet.  Pain can cause lots of pets to bite instinctively who normally would never bite.  ***Should never be used on a pet who is vomiting or has a potential of vomiting***
  • tick remover – if not available, tweezers will work
  • leash – helps your keep control of the pet


  • Benadryl (call veterinarian for dosing) – antihistamine that can be used for mild allergic reactions ***a veterinarian should always be consulted before giving***
  • Polysporin

NOTE:  You should always consult your veterinarian before giving any human medications.  There are several human medications that are not appropriate and can be harmful if given to your pet (for example, Advil should never be given).



Normal Reference Ranges

 Species  Dog  Cat
 Heart Rate (beats/minute)  70-160  150-210
 Temperature (rectal)  34.5-39°C  38-39° C
 Respiration Rate  (breaths/minute)  8-20  8-30



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