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Pet Emergency Preparedness

You probably have at least one first-aid kit tucked away in your home in case you, a relative, or a guest is in need of medical attention. And, while we love our pets, we don’t always think of their risk for a health emergency in the same way.

But, just like us, not every medical emergency requires an ER visit—sometimes a little bandaging or taping up is all it takes, so having a pet first-aid kit can help you prepare the next time your friend needs tending to.

Items to keep stocked:

Adhesive tape: secure bandages to protect open cuts or wounds

Alcohol wipes: use to prevent infection and clean up blood or dirt around cuts

Antibiotic ointment/hydrocortisone cream or spray: prevent infection in open cuts

Benadryl/diphenhydramine: use in the event your pet experiences an allergic reaction

Cotton balls/swabs: use to clean out very small cuts and openings

Disposable gloves: protect transferring infection to your pet’s wounds

Gauze pads and bandages: cover and protect wounds; secure hurt paws or limbs

Ice packs/heat packs: apply to an injury to prevent swelling or bruising

Important papers: rabies certificate, microchip info, and vet contact info, etc.

Nail cutters: clip nails to prevent breaking/infection

Oral syringe: safely deliver liquid medication orally

Pill treats: inconspicuously deliver pills to your pet

Scissors with blunt end: trim fur away from a wound, and cut bandages or gauze

Small flashlight: use to illuminate your pet’s ears, mouth, or nose

Sterile saline cleaning solution: flush out wounds or sores

Styptic powder: helps stop bleeding when trimming nails/grooming

Towels: wipe off dirt/blood/other materials from your pet

Tweezers: pull out splinters, bugs, plant materials, etc.

Don’t forget to download these printable window signs and wallet cards to alert first respondents of your pets whereabouts in an emergency.

For more pet emergency tips and ideas, visit