The vets at Anasazi Animal Clinic are always here for you if your pet needs medical attention, but it never hurts to know some basic first aid. What if you’re on a wilderness hike with your dog and they get hurt? Or what if your cat gets wounded in the middle of night and you need to care for them until our veterinary clinic opens in the morning? 

For small emergencies, we highly suggest that if you have pets you keep a basic first aid kit on hand. Just like the first aid kit you have for yourself, a pet first aid kit provides basic medical supplies to help pets stay comfortable until you can get them to a veterinarian.  

What to Put in a Pet First Aid Kit

To get you started, we made a list of ten priority items to place in your pet first aid kit. After you assemble a basic kit, add any other supplies you feel are helpful, depending on how many pets you have and on their individual needs. Then keep the kit in a safe place where you can reach it quickly, and bring it with you whenever you travel with your pets.

1: Emergency Information

Keep a card inside your pet first aid kit listing: 

  • The names and ages of your animals, as well as any known medical issues and their last vaccinations
  • Your veterinarian’s name and phone number
  • The Animal Poison Control Center phone number 
  • Contact information for 24-hour emergency veterinarians where you live and any places you frequently travel to

We also suggest making copies of this card to give to your pet sitter or boarding facility, and also keeping one in your wallet in case your kit becomes lost or damaged. 

2: Current Medications

If your pet is on any medications, keep a small quantity in the first aid kit. They might come in handy if you are traveling and your pet’s medicine gets lost or stolen. To make sure a prescription never runs out unexpectedly, sign up for auto shipping from our online pharmacy.

3: Pet Bandage Wraps

Keep a roll of bandages specially designed for pets. Use them to bandage a wound until you can get to a veterinarian. You can buy them online or at your favorite pet store.

4: Gauze and Cotton Balls

These two items are staples for any pet first aid kit. Gauze helps to stop bleeding and can act as an impromptu bandage if needed. Cotton balls can be used to assist with cleaning wounds or for applying pressure to stop bleeding.  

5: Blunt-Tipped Scissors

You will need to be able to cut gauze and pet bandages to size, so keep a pair of blunt-tipped scissors in your kit. Because they do not have sharp points, they are a safer option for storage and for use around pets. 

6: Antibiotic Wipes and Disposable Gloves

If your pet gets wounded, using antibiotic wipes before placing a bandage helps lower the risk of infection. You can also use antibiotic wipes to clean your hands before treating a wound. And for even more protection against germs, keep a pair of disposable gloves in your pet first aid kit so that you won’t transfer any bacteria from your hands to the wound. 

7: Water

Always keep a bottle of drinking water in your pet’s first aid kit for emergency hydration. You can also use it to clean wounds, flush toxins from your pet’s fur or skin, or cool them down if they become overheated

8: Muzzle, Leash, and/or Carrier

Just in case your dog loses or breaks a leash, it’s good to keep an extra one in the kit. You should also keep a muzzle in your kit to ensure your dog does not accidentally bite you if you need to administer first aid. Also, consider having a small carrier handy for cats in case of an emergency.

9: Blanket

A small blanket provides a bit of comfort and a soft place for your pet to lie down if you need to administer first aid. Additionally, it acts as a temporary restraint for cats and small dogs if needed. 

10: Waterproof Case

Keep all your first aid supplies in a case that is brightly colored and waterproof. This makes it easier to quickly find your kit when you need it, makes it more convenient to bring with you wherever you go, and keeps the supplies inside safe from spills and leaks. 

First Aid for Pets in Gilbert, Arizona

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to put together a basic pet first aid kit. We also suggest setting a calendar reminder to restock your first aid kit every six months, to make sure you always have supplies at the ready in case of an emergency. If you ever do have a veterinary emergency, call Anasazi Animal Clinic at 480-497-0505 and bring your pet in for an urgent examination.    

Photo by Roger Brown on