First Aid Kit & Tips
If you share your home with a pet, it’s smart to have a basic pet first-aid kit at the ready. Here’s a list of the supplies we recommend you have on hand to keep your pet safe and healthy. Be sure to take the kit with you when you and your pet leave home, too!
A First Aid Kit for Your Pet: Are You Prepared?
To flush out a wound when it has dirt or debris in it (saline is sold over the counter)
- Triple antibiotic ointment
To treat minor scrapes and cuts and help prevent infection. Bacitracin and Neosporin are common antibiotic ointments available over the counter. Important: Don’t allow your pet to lick the ointment off the injury!
- Gauze and wrap
If your pet gets a cut that’s bleeding, it’s important to control it until you see your veterinarian. Place gauze over the wound, then apply a wrap to hold it in place. Vet wrap is a type of soft, stretchy wrap that sticks to itself but not to your pet’s fur. When wrapping, place a finger underneath the wrap to ensure you’re not wrapping too tightly.
- Fresh hydrogen peroxide
This liquid is to be used to induce vomiting if your pet ingests something toxic (not for cleaning a wound). However, ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian or poison control center before giving your pet peroxide. In some cases, vomiting should NOT be induced (such as when a pet has ingested kerosene or certain other chemicals).
- Styptic powder
This product helps blood to clot at the site of a small wound, such as when a toenail is torn, stopping the bleeding. Styptic powder is available at most pet stores.
- Disposable latex gloves
Important to wear in order to reduce the risk of infection when treating a pet’s wound, and to keep blood off your hands.
- Tick removal tool
Vermont’s forests and fields are full of ticks eager to feed on our furry friends and transmit such potentially life-threatening diseases as Lyme, ehrlichia, and anaplasma. Tools such as tick spoons help you easily remove a tick that’s attached to your pet. The tick should then be killed so that it can’t re-attach to a pet or human.
When pets injure themselves, they’re in pain, which may cause them to snap at or bite anyone who comes near. A muzzle will help prevent you or any other helper from being bitten.
- Water-based lubricant
This is helpful to apply around a wound to keep fur out of it and prevent more contamination.
- Phone numbers
Place the phone numbers of your pet’s primary care veterinarian, the emergency veterinarian, and Poison Control inside your first aid kit. Being able to provide minor first aid is great, but your veterinarian should always be called for advice or further treatment. Poison Control is an excellent resource to help you know what to do if your pet ingests a toxic substance.