The 9 Essential Items To Have In Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit

If you’ve just gotten yourself a pet or if you have one already, you should consider putting together a first aid kit for him or her. If you have one, we’d recommend you take a double check to make sure it’s not missing some essentials.

Chewy | Unsplash

A dog first aid kit for a car is very important when you go camping or hiking. This is because a vet may not be nearby, and you need to be able to administer first aid until you can find one.

How to get started

It’s always good to be prepared in advance and there are multiple ways to go about this. You could purchase a ready-made dog first aid kit for hiking. You can also purchase a first aid kit meant for humans and add items specifically for dogs. You’d get most of these items on Amazon. There’s also the third option of creating your own first aid kit.


Preparing for the ruff times

Before you put together a dog first aid kit for camping consider downloading a pet first aid app. This is an extremely valuable resource giving you access to a great amount of information. The app is available on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

The pet first aid app lets you keep a record of your pet handy especially when you are on the go and is invaluable during an emergency. You can call your vet right away or take them to the nearest hospital.

A pet first aid app also provides timely advice on medication, behavioral help, and what to do in case of dire situations.

Chewy | Unsplash

Empower yourself

A pet first aid course is worth considering as well and will equip you with lifesaving skills should your pet be injured in an accident. You will understand how to recognize the signs when something is seriously wrong with your dog. You’ll also learn how to measure your pet’s pulse, check if they are breathing and immediate measures to take until proper support is available.

The pets first aid course also prepares you for emergencies like choking, head injuries, poisoning, and bleeding. It teaches how to administer CPR in an emergency situation. You never know, a timely given CPR might just save the life of your pet in the event of a cardiopulmonary arrest. You’ll also be more aware of when to call your vet and how to transport your pet safely to the nearest veterinary hospital.

What’s interesting is that a pet first aid course can be done online and helps you gain the confidence and skills needed to help your pet before you get to the vet. You have access to clear explanations, videos, and infographics that will surely be useful in cases of emergencies. You’re also given a certificate upon completion.

Steve Rybka | Unsplash

Must haves in your pet’s first aid kit

As a pet owner it is important to have a pack of the following essential supplies on hand or in your car as part of your dog first aid kit for camping to deal with scrapes, injuries or even unexpected health issues. You can also add specific items as per your pet’s requirements or depending on the climate and environment in your area.

1. Gauze or bandages

Human band-aids don’t stick to fur. A band-aid for dogs is a bit different. The most commonly used Telfa pad goes over the wound and provides protection. On the outside of the bandage, the cohesive flexible bandage called vet wrap is used. This is available at any local drugstore or pet store. 5-10 squares of gauze in a small pouch are another must have.

Yuki Dog | Unsplash

2. Benadryl

Benadryl is another important item in the dog first aid kit for hiking. It’s used to treat allergic reactions. The active ingredient in Benadryl is Diphenhydramine and any other generic substitute would also work well. Never give your pet any medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian and in case of doubts also make sure you consult your vet.

3. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to clean wounds. Another reason why it is commonly found in a dog first aid kit for hiking is that it can induce vomiting. If your pet swallows something poisonous and you want to get it out of their system, hydrogen peroxide can be used. But again, this is to be done strictly on the recommendation of a vet.

Wade Austin Ellis | Unsplash

Hibiclens is also a recommended antiseptic cleaner and a must have for wound care. It’s used in most veterinary hospitals and is a must in the dog first aid kit for cars.

4. Saline solution

A saline solution is an eye wash and a must if your pet has a habit of sticking its head out of the car while on a drive. A saline solution eye wash helps you quickly get bugs or small debris out of your pet’s eyes.

Tim Mossholder | Unsplash

5. Tweezers

Tweezers are a versatile tool to have in a first aid kit. They come handy in getting out debris, splinters, ticks or burrs from your pet’s paws.

6. Bandage scissors

Bandage scissors have dull ends and are useful to cut gauze. It’s not a good idea to point a sharp object towards your pet especially when they are injured and jittery. You can also keep a sharp pair of scissors on hand for emergencies in case you need to cut away something that your pet gets stuck in.

However, you need to ensure that you keep sharp instruments safely stored away so that your pet does not accidentally hurt themselves.

Ryk Porras | Unsplash

7. Disposable gloves

A couple of disposable gloves are also essential in a dog first aid kit for camping. Gloves are extremely important to prevent the spreading of an infection.

8. Contact card/ emergency numbers

It is very important to have your veterinarian’s phone number in the dog first aid kit for the car. You may also have a few other numbers like the closest emergency vet hospital, animal care, and poison control. You may feed the numbers into your phone but having the numbers on a card can come handy if you want to leave it at home with kids or a pet sitter.

Helena Lopes | Unsplash

9. Muzzle and lead

When it comes to dogs, having a muzzle around is important even for your own safety since pets in pain tend to get aggressive. The slip lead is another item that should be part of every pet’s first aid kit since it can be used as a tourniquet in case of massive bleeding.