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Pet First Aid Kit

If you own a pet, make sure you have a first aid kit at home. Here are several items pet owners should have in a first aid kit:

  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% (within the expiration date) -- to induce vomiting Dogs only
    Never administer hydrogen peroxide to any pet without checking with a veterinary professional first, as sometimes it's not appropriate to induce vomiting at home.
  • Liquid hand dish washing detergent (i.e., Dawn, Palmolive)  -- for cleaning potentially toxic substances off of pets, such as flea meds meant for dogs that may have been applied to a cat
  • Rubber gloves
  • Triple antibiotic ointment with no other combination ingredients Dogs only
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Bandaging material: absorbent gauze pads, adhesive tape, gauze rolls, sterile non-stick gauze pads, splints and tongue depressors
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Diphenhydramine tablets 25mg (with NO other combination ingredients) -- for allergic reactions or insect stings
  • Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears -- to flush out eyes
  • Can of tuna packed in water or tasty canned pet food -- for use when poisonous plants or cleaners that cause severe drooling or foaming are ingested
  • Sweet electrolyte-containing beverage
  • Corn syrup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Muzzle (an injured pet may bite)
  • Carrier to transport pet to emergency veterinary hospital

Many of these items will help you provide first aid to your pet if it ingests a toxin -- however, always make sure to speak with a poison control specialist and/or your veterinarian first prior to initiating any therapies using these items at home. In the case of toxins, it is imperative to use the proper treatment protocol, which includes:

  1. knowing if the product ingested was poisonous to begin with,
  2. what the true antidote is, and
  3. if emesis (inducing vomiting) is warranted or medically indicated. It may not be!

Use of these items without veterinary advice can have unintended and sad results. And never administer any over-the-counter human medications to animals without speaking to your veterinarian first.

Updated: July 16, 2015

Information courtesy of Pet Poison Helpline.