A Guide to Pet First Aid Kits

Although we would all like to think it’s not true, a pet emergency or injury could happen at any time,  anywhere. Having a pet first aid kit can provide your pet with the first response care they need until you  can get them to the vet. Or, provide the right tools for minor injuries to stay minor.  

Always take your first aid kit with you on adventures or when traveling with your pet. As a petter sitter, I  always have a pet first aid kit in my car, not far from reach if needed. Be sure to let your pet sitter know  where to find your first aid kit when you’re away.  

Don’t have your own kit yet? Keep reading for buying tips, or build your own using this guide!

Tips for Purchasing a Pet First Aid Kit 

There are a lot of great pet first aid kits on the market, so which one should you buy? A pet first aid kit is  little to no use if you can’t easily take it with you, if the material gives out or doesn’t protect the  contents, or if it’s not brightly colored and hard to see in an emergency situation.  

• Look for a compact kit that is easy to carry, like in your backpack when hiking.  • Purchase a kit made of sturdy material and that easily seals. Nylon is a great choice! • The kit should be brightly colored and easy to see in a hurry – no camouflage, please! • Check that pack has all of the essentials for minor and more serious injuries. 

Building your Own Pet First Aid Kit 

Building your own pet first aid kit is a great way to have all of the tools for your own pet’s needs and  lifestyle.  

If you regularly hike rough terrain, a meta-splint in case of a twisted ankle or break may be important to  you. If your pet takes any medication regularly, be sure to include a few days’ supply – just be sure to  rotate supply as necessary so it doesn’t expire! Generally, here are a few items you should have in any  pet first aid kit: 

• Bandage scissors 

• Gauze 

• Non-stick bandages 

• Adhesive tape 

• Sterile eyewash  

• Tweezers 

• Tick removal tool – especially important here in New Jersey where deer ticks carry Lyme  disease.  

• Antiseptic wash or wipes 

• Antibiotic ointment

• Syringe  

• Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal – if a poison is ingested.  

• Vet-prescribed pain relief – never give your pet over the counter human pain relievers,  medication such as Tylenol may be poisonous to pets.  

• A sturdy box to carry all of you supplies – plastic, metal, or nylon are all great choices.  

In addition to these items, it’s always a good idea to have a towel to wrap an injured animal in. Always  remember that an injured animal may be panicked – avoid hugging or placing your face close to theirs.  Although friendly, a scared hurt pet may bite or scratch.  

Using your Pet First Aid Kit 

Having a pet first aid kit is only the first step to keeping your pet safe and healthy!  

Familiarize yourself with all of the items in your pet first aid kit – know the correct doses and uses for  each item! And be sure to set aside time to check the expiration date of these items. April is Pet First Aid  Awareness Month and would make a great time each year to do this! 

Want more resources on what to do in a pet emergency? Take the American Red Cross Cat and Dog First  Aid Online Training – an affordable way to be prepared for any emergency.  

And lasty, always hire a professional pet sitter that has all of these tools when caring for your pet!

Sarah Schloerb

Founder of Sit Stay NJ

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