A few years ago, Simon impaled himself on a tree branch while he was out on a pack walk with an awesome trainer. The trainer rushed Simon to the vet where he underwent a minor surgery to clean out and suture the wound (Some of the pictures below are, frankly kind of gross, but I had to live it, so buck up.)

Unfortunately, as you can see the wound was not healing well and, literally, as I was on the phone with the vet saying, “the wound looks really angry, red and puffy” the other side of the wound kind of exploded and started oozing. Trying desperately not to vomit, I attempted to explain to the vet tech what was happening. He was trying not to laugh as I kept gagging, and suggested that I grab some large sterile gauze pads and some pet-safe adhesive tape to wrap around Simon to keep the gauze in place so that I could stop the oozing and get Simon into the clinic ASAP.


angry wound and fluid build up


close up of the angry wound

close up of the angry wound


right before she blew

Well, I didn’t have gauze pads or adhesive tape. In fact, other than a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, an expired tube of Neosporin and a box of fingertip Band-Aids, I didn’t have any first-aid paraphernalia in the house.

What to do? What to Do? 

So, I channeled my inner Macgyver, grabbed an overnight maxi pad and a roll of masking tape, wrapped Simon up and rushed to the vet where they cleaned the wound again, re-stitched my boy and sent us home with some serious antibiotics. (I’m sure that every year at the clinic holiday party, they retell the story about the crazy lady who used sanitary napkins as a first aid tool.)

From that humiliating moment on, I have had a well-provisioned pet first aid kit at the ready. You can definitely purchase a pre-made kit but I prefer to have some control over the contents so I recommend making your own kit.



a plastic pencil box makes a great container for a basic kit




despite its small size, this container holds wipes and ointment on the bottom along with pads, gloves, leash & more.




this larger kit lives in the car and fits more items you might need when out and about


A basic kit should include:

[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Pet bio – This is primarily for when you are out hiking or traveling with your pet so that you have all of your pet’s medical information and emergency contact information with you in an emergency [/five_sixth_last]

[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Sterile non-stick gauze pads and rolls– For wrapping wounds or muzzling the injured animal[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Nonstick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth – To control bleeding or protect wounds[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Pet Safe adhesive tape for bandages – For securing the gauze wrap or bandage  *do NOT use human adhesive bandages (e.g., Band-Aids®) on pets[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Hydrogen peroxide (3%) – To induce vomiting. ALWAYS contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle) – To give oral treatments or flush wounds[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray – For topical cleansing and disinfecting[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Antibiotic Ointment – The individual packets provide the right amount for treating a cleaned wound until you can seek veterinary help[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Blanket – For warmth (a foil emergency blanket is a great option)[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Cotton balls or swabs – For applying lotions, antiseptic etc.[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Ice pack – To reduce swelling[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Non-latex disposable gloves – Keeping things sanitary[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Petroleum jelly – To lubricate the thermometer.[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Rectal thermometer To check your pet’s temperature. Do not insert a thermometer in your pet’s mouth—the temperature must be taken rectally. Your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F. You can use a digital thermometer if preferred as it will read higher temperatures but it should still be inserted rectally.[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Scissors (with blunt ends) – For cutting gauze and adhesive tape rolls[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies) – For wound cleansing[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Tweezers – for removing splinters[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]An accessible pet carrier[/five_sixth_last]
[one_sixth]Blank4 [/one_sixth][five_sixth_last]Leash – To transport your pet (if your pet is capable of walking without further injury)[/five_sixth_last]

We recommend checking your supplies on occasion to restock and replace any expired items.

Check with your vet to see if they recommend any additional items for your first aid kit and ALWAYS check with your vet when treating your pet’s illnesses or injuries.  

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