What's in your pet first aid kit for dogs?

What’s In Your Pet First Aid Kit?

So, what’s in your pet first aid kit?

That’s what the American Red Cross likes to ask pet owners whenever they work on educating them about pet first aid. Specifically during the month of April.

That’s the official Pet First Aid Awareness Month.

But of course it’s always important to have a pet first aid kit nearby and be knowledgeable in pet first aid – regardless of the time of the year.

Familiarizing ourselves with life-saving procedures for our pets BEFORE an emergency occurs enables us to feel more confident and knowledgeable in time of a crisis.

We all hope to never encounter an emergency situation with our pooch, but it’s good to be prepared just in case something DOES happen and we’re able to act quickly!

What’s in Your Pet First Aid Kit for Dogs?

What's in your pet first aid kit for dogs?

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

Knowledge: Take A Hands-On Pet First Aid Class!

I did just that on a weekend in May of 2015.

I took a 4 hour pet first aid class instructed by holistic veterinarian Dr. Brian Lapham, DVM, Instructor Southpoint Animal Hospital in Durham, NC, that consisted of a theoretical and a hands-on portion on a K9 dummy. 

We got to practice CPR on him and had to breathe into his mouth/nostrils.

He only started breathing again when we did it correctly.

Pretty cool experience!

K9 Pet First Aid Dummy

This class was taught for pet sitters from the Triangle Area in NC (Raleigh, Cary, Durham), but the Red Cross offers pet first aid classes for pet owners on a regular basis.

Just check their website for workshops in your area. You can also check with your veterinarian – they might hold classes or be able to point you in the right direction of where the next one will be held.

First Aid Class Certificate

Contents Of My Dog First Aid Kits

I currently have 2 dog first aid kits: One at home, and one in my car.

My Two Pet First Aid KitsAnd Pet First Aid Book

They both contain the following items:

  • An ASPCA Animal Poison Control Sticker with their phone number on the outside
  • Large print out of our vet’s information on the outside, to include their emergency phone number
  • A Brochure regarding what to do in a pet emergency
  • A Soft Muzzle (dogs who are in pain may bite and may therefore make it impossible to help them without wearing one). Did you know? Gauze wrap makes an excellent makeshift muzzle!
  • Scissors
  • Sterile Gauze Pads in different sizes (1,5″ x 2″, 2″ x 2″, 3″ x 3″)
  • Self-Adhering Flexible Bandages (i.e. wrap) in different widths
  • Fragrance-Free Wipes
  • Q-Tips
  • First Aid Antibiotic/Pain Relieving Ointment (I use Neosporin)
  • Dr. Harvey’s Organic Healing Cream (first aid cream for skin irritations, hot spots, rashes, cuts, sunburn and itching)
  • A Digital Rectal Thermometer & lubricant for easy use of thermometer ~ ChasingDogTales.com wrote a great article on How To Take Your Dog’s Temperature!
  • An Oral Syringe (to orally administer meds)
  • A pair of Tweezers & a Tick Twister
  • An Antihistamine (Benadryl, also the benadryl dosage information for dogs: 1 mg per lb of dog weight)
  • Disposable (latex) gloves
  • Nail Trimmers
  • Styptic Powder (stops minor bleeding of clipped nails, docked tails, and superficial cuts)
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for Poisoning
  • Sterile Saline Contact Lens Solution to flush out wounds
  • Update 2022: I also have slippery elm bark powder in my pet first aid kit at home. It makes a soothing, lubricating syrup for the digestive tract when your pup has an upset stomach.

I also keep a sleeping bag in my car as it would make an excellent stretcher to transport a medium to large size injured dog!

I came across PawFlex Bandages at Global Pet Expo last month and knew I had to add them to my pet first aid kit inventory!

They’re non-adhesive, disposable bandages with an attached wound pad for pets (even available for horses).

Definitely something I now carry on hikes as well!

Award Winning Non-Adhesive Bandages PawFlex

…by the way…the bandage can also be used on us humans as was demonstrated on my arm at the Global Pet Expo!

PawFlex Bandage Demonstrated On My Arm At The Global Pet Expo
PawFlex Bandages Are Now Part Of Our Hiking Gear

When NOT to Induce Vomiting In A Dog

A word of advice regarding the subject of inducing vomiting in your dog.

DO NOT induce vomiting if:

  • Your dog is unconscious or very weak
  • It’s been more than 2 hours since he’s ingested something poisenous (at this point in time, vomiting won’t help the body rid itself of the substance any longer)
  • He ingested bleach, a drain cleaner, or petroleum distillate, as you want to avoid additional burning of the throat when the substance comes back up

Pet First Aid Book

I found a great book covering various aspects of dog (& cat) emergencies:

SHOJAI, AMY D.: The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats. RODALE INC: 2001

It describes over 150 everyday accidents and emergencies from A -Z, contains an “At-a-glance symptom finder”, and illustrates techniques such as CPR.

Also lists human medicines that work for pets.

First Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats

Where To Buy A Pet First Aid Kit

Of course you can also buy dog first aid kits. I’ve found several places that sell pet first aid kits online: 

(1) ARCA PET Cat & Dog First Aid Kit

(2) JUSAID Pet First Aid Kit

(3) KURGO Portable Dog First Aid Kit

What’s In Your Pet First Aid Kit? Bottom Line

While it’s great to be knowledgeable in dog first aid care, it doesn’t replace a vet visit.

It may buy some time while getting to your vet, or it may get you through the weekend, but please take your dog in for a follow-up visit, they’re worth it! 

What’s in your pet first aid kit?

Have you experienced an emergency where you were able to rely on a doggie first aid kit? As always, I’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

Related Reading:

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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13 responses to “What’s In Your Pet First Aid Kit?”

  1. MilitaryWifeandPugLife Avatar

    Great idea! I’m definitely investing in one of these!! Xxoo

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      🙂 It provides some peace of mind for sure!

  2. Mark Thomas Avatar
    Mark Thomas

    Great post! Fortunately, I haven’t needed to use my first aid kit very often but I do go through it a couple times a year to re familiarize myself with all of the items I carry. I also watch the Red Cross dvd again as a refresher.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks, Mark – that’s a very good point to check it a few times throughout the year, and I love that you’re a responsible pet sitter who has a pet first aid kit on them. Way to go! The DVD refresher is a great idea, too. Can you buy their DVD right on their website?

      1. Mark Thomas Avatar
        Mark Thomas

        Yes you can. I just checked.

  3. Julie Smith Avatar
    Julie Smith

    Wonderful!! Especially on hikes. Really all the time since you never know when these pups are going to get into trouble, haha!!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      HA, absolutely, better safe than sorry, right?!

  4. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

    We have a giant first aid kit. In fact I need to go through it as I do each Spring and replace any outdated meds. I am actually planning a post on it. Whether I get to it before First Aid month is over remains to be seen….lol.

    1. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

      PS I tried to tweet this post but it did not pull the link. Not sure if it my issue or yours.

      1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

        Hm, just tried it and it worked. Maybe it was a temporary Twitter issue?

        1. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

          Not sure, but I just added the link myself. 🙂

    2. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      That’s awesome, being prepared is the name of the game, right?! I hear you as far as time goes…I could certainly use a few extra hours every day.

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