Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Aid Items You Didn't Know You Needed

     First Aid kits are essential for all animal owners.  Keep your collection of items together in a box, tote bag or drawer so they are handy when you need them.  You don't want to be searching for that one item you need in a time of crisis.  Here are things you should have in your kit, that might not occur to you:

  1. Activated Charcoal - this can help absorb toxins if ingested.  Administer ONLY if your veterinarian or poison control center tells you to do so.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide - 1 tablespoon will make a dog vomit.  Again, don't give it unless instructed to do so by your vet or poison control center.
  3. Digital Thermometer - mercury thermometers do not go high enough to measure an animal's temperature accurately.
  4. Sterile Water-Based Lubricant - use around (NOT on or in) a cut to keep dirt, hair and debris out.
  5. Pen Light - to evaluate pupil dilation.
  6. Oral Baby Syringe - to flush wounds.
  7. Sterile Eye Lubricant - to protect eyes in case your animal cannot or will not blink.
  8. Dawn Dish Washing Detergent - I swear this stuff is the wonder product.  For animal care, it strips the skin of oils and toxins (also useful for removing the oil from poison ivy, among other things).
  9. A Muzzle - no matter how gentle your animal is, when in pain he or she may bite.  It is important that you are safe and that you have a muzzle suitable for your animal.  "Quick Muzzle" is one brand that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit all types of dogs, cats and even ferrets. 
For a complete list of items to keep in your First Aid Kit, print out our First Aid Kit Tip Sheet.


  1. This is great! None of these are on my list. But what would be the circumstances that would require elevating pupil dilation?

  2. You use the penlight to check for shock and brain trauma. When you flash a light in the eyes, the pupils should contract. If they don't - you've got a problem.

    It is also helpful for getting a better look at a cut or other injury.