Dogs may not be quite as accident-prone as kids are, but they’re not far behind. In fact, dogs seem to have a particular gift for injuring themselves in odd and unexpected ways.
So, it behooves pet parents to be prepared to treat minor injuries or illness. And this is particularly true if you’re traveling, camping, or doing something else that makes it difficult to get to the vet quickly.
There are a bunch of first-aid kits on the market that are specifically designed for pets, so it’s easy to prepare yourself for such contingencies. We’ll talk about three of our favorites below, and we’ll also explain what you should do if you want to make a DIY pet first aid kit instead.
But first, let’s address a pretty common question.
Can’t You Just Use a Human First-Aid Kit for Your Pet?
In the event of an injury, it would certainly be better to have a regular old people-oriented first aid kit than nothing.
But there are a few important differences between first-aid kits designed for two footers and those designed for four-footers.
For example, many authorities (such as the American Veterinary Medical Association) recommend keeping hydrogen peroxide in your pet’s first aid kit, as it can be used to induce vomiting.
Similarly, pet first-aid kits often come with very few Band-Aids or even leave them out entirely. Band-Aids are of relatively limited use for fur-covered four-footers, so there are better resources to include in these kits, such as copious amounts of gauze.
But even if you just wanted to use a human-oriented kit to take care of your pet’s needs, it would be wise to pick up a second entire kit (as opposed to the one you use for your family), which you can keep with your dog’s belongings.
So, if you’re going to be buying a new kit anyway, you may as well pick up one that’s designed for your pooch.
In the grand scheme of pet-related expenses, first-aid kits aren’t really that expensive, and there are several budget-friendly options.
Best Pet First Aid Kits You Can Buy
There are a million pet first aid kits on the market, and most come with the same basic supplies. However, we found three that really caught our eye and appear to be among the best possible options on the market.
We’ll discuss each in greater detail below.
1. RC Pet Products Pocket Pet First Aid Kit
About: If money and space are tight, the RC Pet Products Pocket Kit is a great choice.
- Include 1 walks 'n' wags pet first aid pamphlet, 1 latex free exam gloves, 1 first aid tape, 3 gauze...
- Includes 1 gauze pbt bandage roll, 4 antiseptic wipes, 2 patch adhesive bandages and 1 elastic...
- Pocket size design is lightweight and perfect for everyday use
- Carabiner for easy attachment to leash or backpack
The RC Pet Products First-Aid Kit certainly isn’t the most supply-packed option on the market, but it comes with all of the basics. It also features a first-aid pamphlet, which may be extremely helpful during an emergency, when your nerves are frazzled and you’re having trouble thinking clearly.
All of the supplies fit neatly into a zippered travel case, which is colored blaze orange to make it easy to spot in emergencies. This compact kit is perfect for canine road trips and other small-time adventuring.
The case also features an attached carabiner, so you can clip it to your dog or yourself, and it comes with a poop-bag portal, which makes it easy to access bags when nature calls.
- One Walks ‘n’ Wags pet first aid pamphlet
- One pair latex-free exam gloves
- One first-aid tape
- Three gauze pads
- One gauze bandage roll
- Four antiseptic wipes
- Two patch adhesive bandages
- One elastic bandage
Simply put, this is the best option for owners who need a bare-essentials first-aid kit for a reasonable price. We like that the travel case comes with a clip and that it is easy to see, and the included first-aid pamphlet may prove very helpful if your pooch gets injured.
We’d like this kit more if it came with more supplies, but that would force the manufacturer to charge more and use a bigger travel case.
2. FabFur Gear Pet First Aid Kit (Best for Outdoor Adventures)
About: The FabFur First Aid Kit will work just fine for canine-in-the-city adventures, but it’s designed specifically with outdoor activity in mind. It’s probably your best option if you frequently camp or hike with your canine.
- first aid kit for dogs: Handy set to have close by in case of an accident in the house or while...
- 65 PIECES: These emergency kits for dogs include items such as compression bandages, gauze, clean &...
- EXTRA BONUS FIRST AID PET KIT PRODUCTS: In addition to the handy, must-have first aid items, it also...
- PREMIUM QUALITY BUNDLE: This camouflage printed bag is made of heavy-duty fabric with a big teeth...
The FabFur First Aid Kit is relatively comprehensive, and it includes most of the bandages and similar supplies an owner would want. It doesn’t include any antiseptics or other medications, but you could always add those in on your own.
A dual-zippered case (which comes in green or pink camouflage) is included to help make it easy to keep the kit organized. You can attach the kit to yourself, stash it in a backpack, or hang it from your dog’s harness.
And it bears mentioning that this kit includes some other tools, which are helpful, if not necessarily first-aid-oriented. This includes things like a flea comb and poop bags.
- 7.5-centimeter x 4.5-centimeter PBT bandages
- 5-centimeter x 4.5-centimeter PBT bandages
- Rolled elastic bandages
- Cotton balls
- Medical tape
- Cotton-tipped applicators
- 40-inch x 40-inch x 56-inch triangular bandage
- 4-inch x 4-inch sterile gauze sponges
- 2-inch x 2-inch sterile gauze sponges
- 4-inch compression bandages
- 160-centimeter x 210-centimeter emergency blanket
- Metal tweezers
- Metal scissors
- Tourniquet with buckle
- Flea comb
- Waste bags
- Stretchy blue protective gloves
- Dog emergency collar
This first-aid kit would work well for regular home use, but it’s probably most valuable as a travel kit – especially if you’re traveling to the great outdoors. It provides pretty good value for the price, it comes with a nifty carrying case, and it comes with helpful extras, such as a spare collar.
All in all, this is a pretty solid first-aid kit, and we don’t have many negative things to say about it. However, it’s disappointing to see that this kit doesn’t come with any medications at all.
3. Rayco International Ltd Pet First Aid Kit
About: The Rayco International Ltd Kit comes with most of the typical first aid supplies, as well as a few neat bonus items, such as an emergency LED collar.
- Saline Solution (3 year shelf life)
- Styptic pencil (5 grams)
- LED Collar with writable tag.
The Rayco International Ltd Kit is pretty well-supplied, and it is the best-stocked kit of the three we discuss here.
It includes a few items that few other kits do, such as saline solution, an instant cold pack, and a tick-removal tool. It also comes with a few things you probably wouldn’t use on your dog, such as Band-Aids, but that shouldn’t be a big problem.
All of these supplies come in a multi-pocket carrying case, which makes it easy to keep your kit organized and find things at a glance. The travel case is red and black to make it easy to find when you need it.
- Two gauze rolls
- Two small gauze pads
- One elastic bandage roll with butterfly clip
- One Blue Pet paw print self-adhesive bandage roll
- 10 large Band-Aids
- Two patch adhesives
- Two triangle bandages
- One pair of exam gloves
- One tweezer
- One angled scissors
- One roll of first-aid tape
- Two wooden tongue depressors
- One cold pack
- One emergency blanket
- One blue collapsible water bowl with key chain clip
- 1-15 milliliter saline solution tube
- Eight antiseptic wipes
- One tick-removal tool
- One (10) milliliter syringe
- One LED flashing collar
We’d probably identify this kit as one of the best-stocked options available at an affordable price. The tick-removal tool is a pretty awesome addition for a canine first-aid kit, and the organizational setup of the carrying case is a very helpful bonus.
There isn’t much we don’t like about this first-aid kit. However, it doesn’t come with any first-aid information, and – like most others – it lacks things like hydrogen peroxide and a triple-antibiotic ointment.
How to Put Together a Dog First Aid Kit
After looking at some of the supply lists for the first-aid kits discussed above, you may start to wonder if you could just put your own kit together.
Absolutely. There’s no reason you can’t put together a DIY first-aid kit if you like.
But that doesn’t always mean it’s the right decision. For starters, you’ll undoubtedly spend much more money if you try to assemble your own kit.
The carrying case itself will likely set you back 10 bucks, and the assorted bandages, gauze pads, and similar supplies will probably cost more than you’d pay for a reasonably well-equipped kit.
But, if you already have some supplies sitting around, or you just like the idea of making your own kit, go ahead and put one together yourself. Just be sure to include everything you could reasonably need.
We’ve put together a list to help you do so below.
We’d recommend printing this out and taping it to the inside cover of your kit. That way, you can just make little notes when you run out of something, which will help you keep your kit well-stocked over the years.
- Your vet’s contact information
- Copies (NOT originals) of your pet’s health records
- Plenty of gauze (including gauze wrapping material and gauze pads)
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide
- Milk of magnesia
- Activated charcoal
- Alcohol wipes
- Styptic powder
- Saline eye solution
- Digital thermometer
- Ice pack
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- First aid scissors
- Safety razor
- Tick-removal tool
- Triple-antibiotic ointment
- Oral syringe, eyedropper or small turkey baster
- Pet-safe liquid soap
- Small flashlight
- Artificial tear gel
In addition to these items, it is also obviously important to keep any of your pet’s prescription or regular medications in your first aid kit.
Supplies Are Important, But So Is Information: Pick Up a Pet First Aid Guide
You obviously need the supplies and equipment to take care of your dog in a medical emergency, but you’ll also need to know how to put those items to use when necessary.
So, it is always wise to include a pet first-aid book (or some other type of resource) in your kit.
You can probably find a brief, downloadable pet first-aid guide on the web, but you can just purchase a dedicated book for relatively little money.
The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats covers just about every conceivable scenario, and it has received tons of great reviews from other owners. You can even get it in Kindle form, so you don’t have to carry around an actual book.
- Used Book in Good Condition
- Shojai, Amy (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 448 Pages - 03/15/2001 (Publication Date) - Rodale Books (Publisher)
It’s definitely not fun to shop for a pet first-aid kit or to make one yourself, but you’ll be glad you’ve covered your bases if you ever find yourself dealing with a sick or injured floof. So, be sure to invest the necessary time and effort or cash, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Have you purchased any of the first aid kits discussed above? Have you found an alternative that works especially well? Let us know all about it in the comments below!