Elements of a Complete Dog First Aid Kit

A dog first aid kit is important for emergency care for any dog owner. There are a few elements that are necessary in every pet first aid kit: equipment and supplies, medicine, bandages and important phone numbers.

Equipment and Supplies

A complete dog first aid kit needs the following equipment and supplies:

  • Surgical gloves. Keep several pairs of surgical gloves and use them whenever you deal with an injured dog, or when collecting urine or feces samples.
  • Scissors and tweezers. Scissors are needed to cut the hair around a wound in cases of burns or different injuries. Choose a pair of small scissors and make sure you always disinfect them with hydrogen peroxide before use. You also need tweezers to remove any splinters that may get stuck in a dog wound.
  • Thermometer. You may opt for a rectal or ear thermometer.
  • Rubbing alcohol or disinfectants. Rubbing alcohol comes in handy when disinfecting wounds to prevent an infection. The alcohol may cause uneasiness and pain. Alternatively, you may use a solution of iodine or betadine. Both are effective disinfectants and hurt less.
  • Dog splints are important when your dog has an injury and you suspect that he might have broken bones. Immobilize the limb by using splints.
  • Eye wash is important when there are impurities in your dog's eyes. You can also use a saline solution. An eye dropper or a syringe can make the process easier.
  • Towels and blankets. Towels can be used to wrap the dog when transporting him to the vet or to keep him warm. If your dog has hypothermia, you need to make sure he's warm enough. Keep a blanket handy.


Every pet first aid kit should contain medicine:

  • Benadryl tablets. Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine can help when allergic reactions occur in your pet. Dogs may be allergic to food, chemicals, dust, pollen or mold.
  • Hydrocortisone cream. A topical ointment that may be used for rashes, swellings or skin allergies. It contains steroids.
  • Triple antibiotic ointment. Useful when the skin is injured and is in danger of getting infected.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate. Dogs may often have diarrhea and stomach aches. When the condition is not severe, a few tablets of bismuth subsalicylate may solve the problem. You may also find these tablets under the name of kaopectate tablets or pepto-bismol.
  • Activated charcoal. Dogs may get poisoning from various foods, plants or chemicals. It's essential to offer pet first aid in the first 30 minutes after the ingestion to avoid coma or death. The activated charcoal helps to absorb the ingested toxins in your dog's stomach.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Used to induce vomiting in dogs when they ingest toxic foods. Get a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.


Bandages should be included in all dog first aid kits. They help protect wounds. Get gauze of various sizes, first aid tape and band aids.

Important Phone Numbers

Have the important phone numbers available: the vet's number and address, the number for an emergency clinic or for a pet poison control center.

Remember to check the expiration date of the medicines and change them on a regular basis. Always consult your vet before administering any medicine to your pet.