Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And it couldn’t be truer! Everyone should have a first aid kit that has the essential supplies needed for emergencies. But it’s not just humans who need them. Our pets need an emergency kit just in case they need treatment before you can take them to a vet. Here are ten of the most important supplies you need in your pet’s first aid kit.

1. Digital Thermometer

Feeling your dog’s ears and nose is not an accurate way to tell if he’s running a temperature. A digital rectal thermometer is the best way to determine if your dog has a fever. You also need petroleum jelly for proper application. To get your pet’s temperature, two people are needed to perform this difficult task. If your pet’s temperature is below 99°F or above 103°F, contact your vet immediately. Dangerously low temperature could mean your pet is experiencing shock, while a high temperature indicates infection.

2. First Aid Book

If you’re a pro at handling pet emergencies, you might not need this. But it’s highly recommended to have one in your first aid kit. It’s a quick reference on what to do in different situations such as administering CPR, what to do if your dog swallowed toxic substances, treating shock, and more.

3. Gauze, Tape & Scissors

These three usually come as a package and a first aid kit isn’t complete without them. Gauze is often needed to stop bleeding but can be used as a makeshift support or brace for fractures. Both gauze and tape can be used in place of a muzzle as well. Take note though that there are special bandages that are made for pets. As much as possible, please avoid using supplies for humans.

4. Muzzle

We all know how much our dogs adore us. But furkids who are in pain or injured may bite you instinctively. Don’t we all become a bit aggressive if we are in pain and someone tries to touch or move us? To be safe at all times, especially when administering first aid, include a muzzle in your dog’s first aid kit. However, if your dog is vomiting, don’t muzzle him!

5. Blanket or Towel

There are many uses for a blanket or towel in an emergency kit. First, you can keep your pet calm and less panicky if you wrap him in a foil blanket or towel. Second, a soft covering can help prevent shock and keep your pet warm and secure on your way to the vet. Third, you can cover the hot or hard surface if you need to examine your dog. Fourth, a blanket can be used as a stretcher if there are no floor mats or boards available. This helps ensure your pet is safe from further injuries.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

Keep a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide (3 percent USP) handy to induce vomiting for pets who ingest toxic substances. ALWAYS call the poison control center or your vet before you induce vomiting. They will provide instructions but it’s always best to learn how to do induce vomiting properly beforehand and not during the emergency.

7. Antibiotic Ointment or Wipes

Scrapes and wounds are prone to infection. Don’t leave any minor wounds untreated as this can start a bad infection. So, before covering wounds with bandage, flush out small particles with water. Apply the antibiotic ointment or wipes and proceed to cover the wound with bandage. The ointment and wipes can also relieve pain.

8. Eyedropper or Syringe

You may need to administer oral medication to your pet. An eyedropper or a large syringe (without the needle) can be used. An eyedropper is also used to administer hydrogen peroxide. Eye droppers and syringes are wonderful tools in flushing out harmful substances from your dogs’ eyes as well.

9. Medications

If your pet has prescribed medicines, it’s always best to keep another set of medicines as back-up. Make sure to keep a record of their expiration dates so you can replace them with new ones before they expire. Check with your vet or poison control centers on what medications and antidotes you need to stock up.

10. Vet Information, Important Numbers & Medical and Vaccination Records

Just imagine dealing with an emergency and having to look all over the place for paperwork! You’d be in a panic and might overlook where you placed these important records. Another reason you should keep these in one place is in case you’re out of town and have left your pets with a sitter. Should an emergency come up, they won’t waste precious minutes calling you to ask for the information.

FYI, the Animal Poison Control Center number is:
888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435)

In conclusion, pet emergencies can happen even to the savviest dog parents. Putting together an essential emergency kit can save the lives of your dogs, if not someone else’s. Your first-aid kit need not be an expensive one. For a complete list of first aid items to include and a guide on emergency care for dogs, bookmark our Ultimate Guide to Emergency Dog First Aid blog post. That way, even if an unfortunate event happens, you are still fully prepared and ready to tackle the problem.

You can also purchase a pre-assemble kit like the Kurgo Dog First-Aid Kit, a 50-piece stylish and functional kit that comes with a first-aid guide and a foil blanket. Just add specific medications to your pet and easily store it in your car’s compartment or at home. Be safe!