Be prepared for any animal emergency with an animal first aid kit.
We don’t like to think about our animals getting hurt, but we need to be prepared. Here are some basic animal first aid kit supplies to get you started. As always, we recommend contacting your veterinarian before giving your animals any medical attention or care.
Basic Supplies for Every Animal First Aid Kit
An animal first aid kit includes many of the same items as a human first aid kit. Of course, there are some animal specific supplies you’ll need to care for your animals. Farm animals will need some different supplies from your household pets.
Keep your animal’s medical information in the animal first aid kit. Include proof of vaccinations and up-to-date medical records. Store the paperwork in a waterproof container or bag. You will also want your vet’s contact information in the animal first aid kit. This way, if a real emergency occurs, you’ll know exactly where that information is. It’s a good idea to also have poison control’s number in the kit, in case your animal accidentally gets into something.
If your pet does ingest something poisonous, you will want hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal to induce vomiting. However, be sure to contact your vet or poison control before treating your pet for poison or start vomit inducing.
Wound Treatment Supplies
Keep vet wrap and gauze around at all times for proper wound care. Don’t use human bandages on your animals. You’ll want to have alcohol prep pads, scissors and cotton balls on hand to dress and protect any wounds. Tweezers and needle-nosed pliers should be in the animal first aid kit.
Treat the wound as soon as possible to prevent infection or other problems. Sterile saline solution should be used to clean the wound. You can use a syringe with no needle to flush out the wound. Be sure to have disposable non-latex gloves and anti-septic wipes, spray or powder handy.
Fever Treatment Supplies
In case your animal has a fever, it’s best to have the right supplies on hand. You will want a rectal thermometer to take their temperature. For livestock, tie a string to the end of the thermometer. Using a clothespin, attach the string to the animal’s tail while taking their temp. Use petroleum jelly to lubricate the thermometer. Rubbing alcohol can be used to clean it.
Liniment and probiotic paste are great things to have on hand if your animal starts to show signs of sprained joints or dehydration. Basic pet supplies can also be kept in your kit. Nail clippers and a nail file are good additions. Keep a penlight or flashlight handy. Paper towels and cloth towels should also be accessible. Keep eye wash and ear solution with an eye dropper in the kit.
Small Animal First Aid Kit Supplies
If you are caring for your small animals, there are a few specific supplies you will need. Keep a pet carrier on hand in case you need to take your pet to the vet. Keep a muzzle or a strip of cloth in the kit to prevent biting during treatment. Don’t use the muzzle or cloth if your pet is vomiting, coughing, choking or having any other breathing problems.
If you are treating a cat, keep a pillowcase in the kit. It is easier to get a cat into a pillowcase than a cat carrier. It can be used to confine the cat if you need to take it to the vet.
Additional First Aid Supplies for Farm Animals
Your livestock and small farm animal first aid kit will need some more supplies.
Emergency hoof care supplies should be kept in the kit. Keep epsom salt on hand to soak hooves. You will also want hoof dressing for cases of thrush or hoof rot. Keep a spare hoof pick in the kit to quickly remove debris from hooves.
Udder balm can be kept in the kit for cattle, goats and sheep. Read the label to make sure it’s okay to use on a dairy animal. Udder balm is used to moisturize the udders. It soothes cracking udders, along with minor cuts and chapping.
Animal First Aid Kit Storage
Once you know what you are going to put in your kit, you can purchase a box that is large enough for your supplies. Tackle boxes make for easy storage and organization. These boxes are also durable and will help keep out moisture.
The key to a good animal first aid kit is organization and quick access. Don’t pack it full of long-term care products, think emergency use only. However, if your kit is going to be stored in a barn, antibiotics could be included as well. Store medications accordingly so you can easily access them. Of course, always contact your vet if it is a serious emergency. Use your best judgment to keep your animals happy and healthy.