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As June marks National Pet Preparedness Month, it’s the perfect time to ensure that our furry friends are as prepared for emergencies as we are. Whether it’s a natural disaster, an unexpected injury, or any other unforeseen situation, having a well-stocked pet first aid kit can be a lifesaver. At Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, we believe that preparedness is key to ensuring the safety and well-being of your pets. This guide will help you build a comprehensive pet emergency kit, so you can handle any situation with confidence.

If you are ever in doubt, Family Friends Veterinary Hospital offers Urgent Care Services every day of the week for minor injuries and emergencies for cats and dogs. Give us a call at 616-575-6520 to schedule a same-day appointment today!

Why a Pet First Aid Kit is Essential

Pets, like humans, can encounter a variety of emergencies, ranging from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious injuries or health issues. Having a first aid kit specifically tailored for pets means you can provide immediate care, potentially preventing a minor issue from becoming a major one. Quick action can also make a significant difference in more severe cases until professional veterinary care is available.

What to Include in Your Pet First Aid Kit

Basic Supplies

  • First Aid Manual for Pets: A comprehensive guide can provide you with essential information on how to handle various types of emergencies. Consider the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App as an additional resource.
  • Digital Thermometer: Pets can’t tell you when they have a fever, so a thermometer helps you monitor their temperature accurately. Remember, pets have a higher normal body temperature than humans.
  • Gauze Pads and Rolls: Useful for wrapping wounds, controlling bleeding, and creating makeshift muzzles if necessary.
  • Adhesive Tape: To secure bandages in place. Make sure it’s pet-safe and non-toxic.
  • Non-stick Bandages: Prevents sticking to wounds while providing necessary protection.
  • Antiseptic Wipes and Solution: For cleaning wounds and preventing infection. Chlorhexidine is often recommended.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (3%): Induces vomiting in dogs if instructed by a vet or poison control. Do not use on cats or without veterinary guidance.
  • Scissors: To cut tape, gauze, and fur around wounds.
  • Tweezers: For removing splinters, thorns, or ticks.
  • Saline Solution: For flushing out wounds or eyes.
  • Disposable Gloves: Protects both you and your pet while treating injuries.
  • Instant Cold Pack: Reduces swelling and can be used to cool down an overheated pet.
  • Muzzle: Even the gentlest pets may bite when injured or frightened.

Medications and Treatments

  • Antihistamines: For allergic reactions. Always consult your vet for the appropriate type and dosage.
  • Activated Charcoal: In case of poisoning, but only administer under veterinary guidance.
  • Anti-diarrheal Medication: Consult your vet for a pet-safe option.
  • Pain Relief: Only use medications specifically prescribed by your vet.
  • Eye and Ear Drops: For treating minor eye irritations or ear infections.
  • Flea and Tick Prevention: Keeps pests at bay, reducing the risk of bites and related diseases.

Comfort and Care Items

  • Blanket: To keep your pet warm or to use as a stretcher in emergencies.
  • Pet Carrier: For transporting your pet safely, especially if they are injured or scared.
  • Extra Leash and Collar: In case the primary ones get lost or damaged.
  • Favorite Toy or Treats: Helps to calm and comfort your pet during stressful situations.
  • Bowls for Food and Water: Keep collapsible versions for easy storage.

Documentation and Emergency Contacts

  • Medical Records: Including vaccination history, current medications, and any chronic conditions. A ‘Health Certificate’ can be sent to you at any time, just ask your FFVH team vis email, text or at your next visit!
  • Veterinarian Contact Information: Your regular vet and an emergency veterinary clinic. Luckily Family Friends Veterinary is BOTH! Keep our phone number handy in case of emergencies: 616-575-6520
  • Pet Poison Helpline Number: Easily accessible in case of poisoning emergencies.
  • Recent Photo of Your Pet: Helps in case they go missing.

Tips for Using Your Pet First Aid Kit

Regularly Check and Replenish Supplies: Ensure nothing is expired and all items are in good condition.

Familiarize Yourself with the Contents: Know where each item is located and how to use it.

Take a Pet First Aid Course: Knowledge and confidence are critical in an emergency. Many organizations offer courses, both online and in-person.

Practice: Role-play different scenarios to better prepare yourself and your pet.


Building and maintaining a pet first aid kit is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. It’s a step that can save lives and provides peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared to help your pet in times of need. During National Pet Preparedness Month, take the time to assemble your kit and educate yourself on basic first aid. Your pet’s safety is worth every effort.

At Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to the health and well-being of your pets. If you have any questions about pet first aid or need guidance on creating your emergency kit, don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can ensure our pets are safe, healthy, and well-cared for, no matter what comes our way.

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