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Pet First Aid: Build Your Own Pet First Aid Kit

Posted December 18, 2014 in Dog Checkups & Preventive Care

Dr. Justine Lee gives you the information to build your own pet first aid kit. For more from Dr. Lee, find her on Facebook or at!

Do you know April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month? If you don’t have a first aid kit for your household, now is the time to remember to get one! If you already have a first aid kit around, bravo! You can use this for your two-legged and four-legged members in your household. 

Keep in mind, however, that while human first aid kits are typically sufficient, they may not have everything that you need specifically tailored for your dog or cat.

For a good pet first aid kit, check out the American Red Cross’s recommendations found here. But, don’t forget to add in these few extra key materials! 

The top 5 extra added ingredients that I would include:

  • A fresh, unexpired bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide. This isn’t for cleaning wounds necessarily, but rather for inducing vomiting if your dog gets into something poisonous! Accidental poisonings in our pets occur thousands of times a day across the world, so you always want to be prepared to induce vomiting if necessary. That said, never induce vomiting without consulting your veterinarian or an animal poison control center first, as sometimes it can make your pet worse.
  • A bottle of liquid dish soap (e.g., Dawn, Joy, etc.). I personally always have a bottle of Dawn at the clinic – not for washing dishes, but for safely removing any potentially poisonous chemical or toxin from an animal’s fur or feathers. For example, if your cat accidentally had a dog flea and tick medication put on it, you’ll need to bath off this chemical immediately to prevent tremors and seizures. Likewise, if your pet rolled in something poisonous (like motor oil, etc.), you can safely bath it off with liquid dish soap.
  • A can of canned tuna (in water) or a can of chicken broth. You’re probably wondering why this needs to be in a first aid kit. Well, several plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Poinsettias, etc.), household products (e.g., glow sticks) and household cleaners can cause severe foaming and drooling of the mouth due to irritation. By simply diluting the taste or chemical out of your pet’s mouth with something tasty (like the water from the tuna), it can safely flush out the

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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.