When it comes to your pet-pal –“Always expect the unexpected!”
So how prepared are you for a cut pad…or worse…if an accident should happen on a walk?
When you do something every day, such as walk the dog, it’s easy to become complacent. But if your fur-friend slices their pad on glass and is bleeding heavily, they need first aid immediately…which means a having a first aid kit to hand.
The Right First Aid Kit for your Pet
But not all first aid kits are created equal. For example, a basic kit often contains just one or two narrow bandages. But for some pets, this is almost as bad as having no first aid kit at all, because it lulls you into a false sense of security.
For example, those two tiny bandages are as much use for a Great Dane as putting a Band-Aid on a gun-shot wound. Any medium-sized dog or larger is going to need wide bandages and plenty of them.
When selecting a first aid kit always keep the following in mind:
- The quantities in the kit: Are there enough bandages for a large dog, say if they ripped their body on barbed wire and you needed to bind their chest?
- The width of the bandages: Are they appropriate for your pet’s size? The larger the dog, the wider the bandage you may need.
- A real life situation: Does the kit have everything required for a ‘field dressing’, such as saline, scissors, sterile gauze, bandages, and Elastoplast to secure the dressing in place?
- Day to day hazards: For example, walking in tick country makes a tick hook essential. What hazards does your pet regularly face and so what should you be prepared for?
Your Guide to ‘Must-Have’ First Aid Items
Let’s take a closer look at what should be inside a pet first aid kit. The essentials include:
Surgical gloves: To protect the wound from contamination from bugs on your hands
Sterile saline: To flush the wound. Cleaning a fresh injury can make the difference between a wound becoming infected or not. To do a proper job requires large volumes of saline, so be aware just one small sachet isn’t enough.
Scissors: To open the saline packet and cut bandages
Sterile gauze squares: To cover the wound
Primapore: This surgical paper tape is great at holding the gauze square in place over the wound, while you bandage the injury. This is really useful when you are working alone and the pet is wriggly.
Gauze bandages: Ideally of different widths, and plenty of them, to form the dressing. Remember, it isn’t just legs that get cut, and wrapping a belly or chest takes a lot of bandages.
Self-adhesive bandage: This makes a final layer over the top of the dressing to protect it, keep it clean, and help secure everything in place
Tweezers: For remove thorns or stingers out of paws
Tick hook: Removing a tick straight away reduces the risk of acquiring tick-borne diseases
Cool pack: Applying cold to an area of inflammation, sprain, or strain can give much-needed pain relief.
An emergency blanket: An injured animal needs to be kept warm to reduce the risk of shock.
Take a look at the bigger picture and what happens when an animal is injured and in pain. For example, even the friendliest of dogs may bite when distressed with a broken leg. And for an owner walking multiple dogs, how would you stop the other dogs from running off whilst you tend to the injured one?
What follows are some sensible added extras you may wish to consider:
A muzzle: The friendliest of dogs may snap and bite when in pain, and many owners get injured this way. If the animal is seriously injured, having a soft muzzle ready and waiting in the first aid kit may help you to tend their injuries without getting bitten.
A fixing point: For those walking multiple dogs it may be worth packing a metal spike that can be screwed into the ground on which to anchor the other dogs’ leashes. One injured dog is bad enough, and you certainly don’t want the others running off across a road.
First aid leaflet: Panic can do strange things to the ability to think straight. Having a handy reference guide can help keep you on track in an emergency situation.
The vet’s phone number: Always phone the vet before setting off. This allows them to get emergency equipment, such as IV fluids, ready for your arrival.
What NOT to have?
It may seem odd but it’s not appropriate to have pain relief in a first aid kit. Pain medication could interfere with whatever drugs the vet needs to give, and deprive the pet of much stronger, more effective medications once they get to the vet clinic.
What about antiseptic wipes?
Believe it or not, in my opinion, antiseptic wipes are fairly low down on the list of essentials. Antiseptics have the potential to damage tissue and slow healing. In a first aid situation, flushing the wound with saline is far more effective than disinfection at promoting a clean wound, avoiding infection, and encouraging healthy healing.
Your Pet First Aid Kit
Act now! If you don’t already have a pet first aid kit, order one today. If you have one in the cupboard, get it out and check all the sterile components are in date and the supplies are adequate for your needs. If it doesn’t, then keep it as a spare and choose one that better meets your pet’s needs.
Indeed, being truly prepared means keeping a pet first aid kit not just at home but in the car. So you consider having two: One for home and one for away! That really is being ready to “Expect the unexpected!”
10 Best Pet First Aid Kits For Dogs and Cats
1. RC Pet Products Pet First Aid Kit
Don’t be caught in a crisis with your furry pal without a pet first aid kit. The RC Pet Product Pet First Aid Kit is packed full of everything you need to immediately help your animal. This unit is designed in partnership with Walks n’ Wags to ensure you won’t be left empty-handed in your pet’s time of need. It even comes with a handy manual with instructions on how to treat many common pet “accidents.”
- The kit comes with a variety of gauze sizes
- 4 assorted bandage sizes
- Examination gloves
- First Aid tape
- Tongue depressors
- Saline and antiseptic wipes
- Cold pack
- Emergency blanket
- Organized into compartments in the handy carrying case
- Zipper extenders allow for easy access while wearing gloves
- Saline and wipes do expire
- Made in China
2. FabFur Gear Pet First Aid Kit
Perfect for dogs, cats, and other animals the FabFur Gear Pet First Aid Kit is a must-have for any pet parent. Keep this handy kit in your vehicle, or home to treat minor scrapes, cuts, or strains that your pet may experience while out playing, hiking or just romping in the park. This kit is smartly packed and well-organized, so you can get what you need for your ailing pet fast.
- Kit contains five types of bandages and an emergency collar
- Emergency handbook
- Durable canvas bag is available in both pink and green camouflage
- The bag has handles, a zipper, and is ergonomically designed to be lightweight, and compact to carry on hikes.
- A variety of first aid equipment like scissors, tweezers, tape, gauze, tourniquet, gloves, bandages, and cotton-tipped applicators (disposable).
- Roomy enough to store extra items of your choice.
- Kit does not include Antiseptic cleaners or ointments.
3. Labra Pet Canine K9 Dog First Aid Kit
Stay prepared for any pet disaster with the Labra Pet Canine K9 Dog First Aid Kit. This unit is chocked full of plenty of first-rate supplies to help your pet through any minor scrapes and cuts. It's both compact and lightweight enough to tote with you on hikes, and outdoor excursions, or to have handy in the home. Every pet parent should have one.
- Kit includes scissors, tweezers, brush, rubber gloves, assorted bandages, tape, cleansing wipes, cotton swabs, and adhesive bandage strips.
- Unit measures 8 inches by 5.5 inches.
- Full zipper allows for easy access to supplies
- Made from durable material
- Kit isn’t as well organized as others and does not contain separate compartments for supplies.
4. Rayco International Ltd. AKC Pet First Aid Kit
With two sizes to choose from, the Rayco International Ltd. AKC Pet First Aid Kit is a must-have for busy pets and the people who love them. The lightweight travel size gives you exactly what you need in the case of a pet emergency, without being overly bulky, while the larger kit is filled to the brim for your own peace of mind.
- Kits are durable with zippered closures
- Small kit includes 20 pieces with gauze, tape, tweezers, and antiseptic wipes.
- Large kit includes 50 pieces with separate compartments to hold emergency supplies such as gauze, tape, antiseptic wipes, scissors, emergency blanket, medicine applicator and more.
- Large kit comes with extra room for additional supplies.
- Not suitable for birds
5. RC Pet Products Pocket Pet First Aid Kit
Compact enough to attach to your belt or leash, the RC Pet Products Pocket Pet First Aid Kit is handy enough to take with you everywhere you and your pet adventure. Measuring in at only 6.1 inches high, this pet emergency kit includes the essentials that may just save your pet until you can seek veterinarian care. It’s economical and easy, so every pet parent should have one.
- Kit includes Walks 'n' Wags pet first aid pamphlet, latex-free exam gloves, first-aid tape, gauze pads, bandage roll, antiseptic wipes, patch adhesive bandages, and an elastic bandage.
- Convenient enough to never leave home without it.
- Includes a durable carabiner to attach to the leash, or backpack/purse
- Waste bag portal included
- Highly visible in orange
- Some items in the kit may expire.
6. Tactical Freedom Pet First Aid Kit
Perfect for hiking, camping, or just to have in your home, the Tactical Freedom Pet First Aid Kit is your first defense against minor pet emergencies. This unit is lightweight, durable, and packed full of everything you need to stop bleeding or to clean a minor wound. The bag itself is also water-resistant and durable enough to take drops.
• Kit includes saline, self-adhering elastic wrap, gauze, antiseptics, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, and scissors
• Kit measures in at 5 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches.
• Water-resistant fabric
• Can attach to a belt loop
• Compact and durable
• Reasonably priced
- Some items may expire.
7. Dog First Aid Kit with Thermometer
This top-rated emergency pet kit has been designed by pet parents with years of experience, so you know you are getting exactly what you need in a pet-related crisis. This durable, handy kit comes neatly packed with gauze, scissors, tape, an ice pack, an emergency blanket, and even a digital thermometer. The kit measures in at a convenient 6.3 inches by 4 inches by 2.75 inches, so it's no trouble to take it along on hikes, camping trips, or even to just have on hand in your home.
- Compact enough to fit onto your dog's leash or your backpack
- Packed full of essential first aid supplies
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy-to-attach adhesive strips
- Antiseptics have an expiry date.
- May be pricey to some.
8. Adventure Medical Kits. Me & My Dog
Purchasing a first aid kit before you need one is smart planning and the Adventure Medical Kit, Me & My Dog may be the one for you. Not only does this unit come with two handy informational books, but it is packed full of supplies for both you and your pet. Included in this 1.47-pound kit is gauze, tape, antiseptics, saline wound, and eyewash, nylon leash, splinter picker and so much more. This handy pack is a must-have for any devoted pet parents.
- Everything you need for first aid for both humans and animals
- Only weighs 1.47 pounds
- Zipper closure
- Includes two informational books; "Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine" and "Pet First Aid."
- Not well organized
- May be pricey to some
9. Diatonic Pet First Aid Kit
With 42 essential products, the Diatonic Pet First Aid Kit will be your best friend in your pet's time of need. The durable, water-resistant bag is filled to the top with items such as gauze, tape, wipes, a portable water bowl, scissors, bandages, instant ice pack, gloves, saline solution and much, much more. Plus, this well-organized unit is portable enough to bring along with you wherever you may go.
- Comes with 42 essential medical products
- Compact and easy to take along
- Durable and water-resistant
- Comes with portable bowls
- Doesn't have individual compartments for supplies
10. iCare-Pet Pet First Aid Kit with Thermometer & Veterinary Otoscope
The iCare-Pet First Aid Kit is your veterinary-in-a-bag. This unit not only comes with first aid supplies like gauze, tape, bandages, and antiseptic, but it also has a digital thermometer and an Otoscope for examining your pet's ears. This durable pack folds open with two additional side flaps for holding smaller items such as scissors and thermometer, while the inside of the kit has its own handy compartments to keep supplies organized and ready for use.
- Plenty of medical supplies you will need in a pet-related crisis
- Measures in at 6.69 inches by 2.56 inches by 7.87 inches
- Durable canvas exterior
- Handy compartments inside
- Eary-grip handles
- Comes with the otoscope that not many people will know how to use.