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Show full transcript for Making a Cat and Dog First Aid Kit video

In this lesson, we'll be walking you through all the items that you will need to put together for your pet first aid kit, so you can be prepared in the event of an emergency or some type of natural disaster.

Perhaps not surprisingly, your pet first aid kit will look very similar to a human first aid kit, with a few important additions that obviously wouldn't apply to humans, beginning with …


Muzzles can help protect your pet in case there is an emergency. There are a few different types of muzzles, such as a basket muzzle, however, nylon mesh muzzles are more common and may be more comfortable. Just make sure that whatever muzzle you choose is appropriately sized.

Pro Tip #1: While we tend to think of muzzles only for dogs, a cat muzzle is also a good idea in certain situations. Cat muzzles typically cover the nose, mouth, and eyes. Covering the eyes is especially helpful as it sometimes can help your feline family member remain calm in an emergency.

Transport Items

It's important during an emergency for you to have a way to transport your pet safely to the veterinarian. For small dogs and cats, an appropriately sized carrier may be the best choice. It's also a good idea to choose a carrier that can be taken apart and has a top and bottom half, which will make it easier for you to put your pet in and take your pet out.

For large dogs, transportation can be a little trickier. You may have to use a sling or a large board or just simply some human help. And, as some of you know, transporting cats safely in a vehicle can be even trickier.

Pro Tip #2: For a makeshift sling, you can use a large towel. A towel can also be multi-functional as you can use it to support your dog or keep him or her warm during a crisis.

Disposable Gloves

Latex gloves are another item that you'll want to have in your pet first aid kit. Non-latex gloves are preferred as people commonly have latex allergies even if they are not aware.

When choosing disposable gloves, make sure you choose a size that is appropriate for your hands. Your disposable gloves should fit snugly. If they are too loose, you're going to have a difficult time using them.

Nail Clippers

Make sure you have a set or two of nail clippers in your first aid kit, and make sure they are appropriately sized for your pet – large clippers for large dogs, and small clippers for small dogs and cats.

Styptic Powder

Styptic powder is a substance that causes bleeding to stop. One type is a styptic pencil. These are made from alum and sulfate salts of potassium aluminum, though some are made from ammonium salts.

It's important to have something on hand for nail bleeding, especially if you are clipping your pets nails at home.


It's a good idea to have a leash for your pet that does not require a collar, as sometimes emergencies occur while your pet is not wearing one. In those situations, it's important to have a slip lead type leash, even if it's just a backup.

Slip lead leashes have a looped end that can easily be adjusted for the size of your pet's head. Simply slip the loop over the head and tighten to a snug fit.


In an emergency, it could be important to get your pets vital signs and one of the most important vitals is temperature. Because taking your pets temperature can be difficult, it's best to use a quick read thermometer that will take your pet's temperature in just six to eight seconds. You should be able to find one at your local pharmacy.

Wound Care Items

Wound care items are particularly important for your pet first aid kit. If your pet suffers any type of injury, you'll want to have the materials on hand that are needed to clean, cover, and protect the wound.

Electric Clippers

Electric Clippers can be used to trim around a wound to provide easier and better exposure. It can be difficult to know how bad an injury is if you cannot see it through all your pet's fur.

Hydrogen Peroxide/Isopropyl Alcohol

Hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol are helpful when cleaning wounds and are also multifunctional. However, it's important to keep in mind that these items do expire.

Warning: Be mindful to check all expiration dates for everything in your pet first aid kit on a regular basis and throw away and replace all expired items.

Gauze Bandages

There are two types of gauze bandages that you may want to consider – gauze squares and roll gauze. These can both be useful for covering various pet wounds and injuries.

Antibiotic Ointment

A triple antibiotic ointment like Neosporin is a handy item to have in your pet first aid kit, and we have a very popular and helpful blog post on the subject that may shed more light on this: Is Neosporin Safe for My Dog and Cat?

Lubrication Jelly

Lubrication Jelly is probably something you wouldn't think about for a pet first aid kit, but it's important, nonetheless. You can find sterile water-based lubrication jelly in single-use packets or tubes; however, packets are preferred as they are easier to keep clean while the tubes can become contaminated.


You will want to have different types of tape in your pet first aid kit. The two types you'll most want to have on hand are adhesive tape and non-adhesive tape. Non-adhesive tape, also known as a cohesive wrap, won't stick to your pet's skin, which could be useful in certain situations.


Scissors are another useful item for your kit, but make sure you buy bandage scissors specifically. This type of scissors has a blunt end on one of the blades, so when cutting bandages, you won't accidentally cut your pet's skin.

Sterile Eye Wash

For ocular emergencies, it's a good idea to have some sterile eyewash in your first aid kit. There may be situations when your pet suffers an eye injury or gets foreign matter in an eye. A sterile eye wash will allow you to flush out your pet's eye.

Contact Information

Pro Tip #3: It may sound a bit strange but contact information may be the most important part of your pet first aid kit. You don't want to be scrambling around during an emergency, so keep updated contact information for your regular veterinarian, a local emergency vet contact, and the phone number for animal poison control hotline.

Disaster Kit

A disaster kit is also an important item in case of a natural disaster. In addition to information on your pet's veterinary care, you'll also want to have information on hand regarding where you can keep your pet in case of a disaster.

There may be times when you can keep your pet with you, in which case you'll want to have a list of pet-friendly hotels both in your immediate area and perhaps even statewide. Or there may be other times when you will need someone to care for your pet like friends and family members or a local animal shelter or pet boarding house.

Having this information unhand during a disaster will greatly reduce the time you'll spend preparing to evacuate, as well as your stress in the moment. Other items for your disaster kit include:

  • Medications; you may want to have these in your pet first aid kit as well
  • Pet food, including food bowels or containers
  • Bedding for your pets
  • Toys and treats; these may help keep your pets calm and comfortable in stressful times

Pro Tip #4: Having your pet first aid kit and your disaster kit together and in a convenient location is also important. You'll save time and reduce stress knowing that these items are intact and ready for service. In other words, adopt the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared!