First Aid

Photo by Keith Cannataro |

Fellow pet owners, it is inevitable that your furry friend will require some mild first aid care at some point in their life. It is important that you have a 'Pet First Aid' kit prepared at your disposal for times when you need to help your pet. First aid care of your pet is not meant to be a replacement for veterinary care; however, you can always be prepared for minor medical issues that may arise.

Your first aid kit should include:

  • Dry gauze pads
  • Rolled gauze
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Elastic, adhesive bandage
  • Triple antibiotic ointment for placing bandages on minor scrapes, cuts or burns
  • Stretchable bandage material
  • The phone number to your primary veterinarian and an emergency veterinary clinic

For more information on what you should or could place in your pet first aid kit, please contact your primary veterinarian for their recommendations.

How should you handle your pet in the case of an injury?
It’s important to be aware that even the most docile family pet can become agitated and potentially aggressive if injured. Because dogs often do not outwardly show or express that they are in pain, you may miss the signals that your dog is hurting.

  • If your dog is injured, do not try to hug, kiss, or comfort him in any way.
  • Move slowly and watch your dog’s body language for signs of stress or agitation.
  • Stay calm. Your tension and panic will transmit directly onto your dog.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately. If the injury occurs after hours, find the closest emergency vet in your area.
  • Enroll in a first aid course so that you know what to do in the event of an emergency

Although the rare event of an emergency with your pet can be frightening, if you are prepared beforehand with a pet first aid kid and the knowledge of how to handle the situation, you will be able to keep yourself and your dog calm.

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2 thoughts on “First Aid

  1. Lileh

    Thank you for this! I just realized that my dog doesn't have a first aid kit - we used the gauze we had in our first aid kit. we'll make a trip to the apothecary tomorrow to buy his own things.

  2. Catja

    Don't forget Benadryl! Ask your veterinarian (one that has seen your dog that you have a relationship with) for dose information for emergency use! depending on your state, a vet who hasn't seen your pet may not be legally able to prescribe a dose for your pet.

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