Household Items for Pet First Aid
Here is a list of supplies to keep handy to help your pets stay healthy and safe.
Several common household items can be used to provide temporary relief until you can have your pet seen by a veterinarian. We also recommend putting together a Pet First Aid Kit which will make you more ready to deal with a medical emergency if one confronts you and your pet:
Corn Starch or Flour – If you have ever trimmed your pet’s nail too short, you know how much they can bleed. If you do not have styptic powder/pencil, using flour or cornstarch to pack into the nail can work as a good alternative. Remember to keep your pet still for at least 15-20 minutes to help slow down the bleeding. A rise in blood pressure from running or playing will cause the nail to continue to bleed.
Socks and Duct Tape – A sock can be used to temporarily contain the bleeding from a cut paw pad until you can get to the vet. Place the sock on your pet’s foot and loosely wrap the sock in duct tape. Do not leave on for more than 30 minutes and do not put it on too tightly, as this can cause more damage than good.
Dawn Dish Soap – The Dawn brand of dish soap has a gentle degreaser. If your cat has accidentally been given the wrong flea and tick preventative or if your dog has rolled in motor oil, washing your pet in the dish soap will help to remove it, then immediately contact a veterinarian.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. If your dog has ingested a toxin or foreign object of any kind, contact a veterinarian right away for proper dosing and instructions. Some toxins and objects SHOULD NOT be vomited back up because they can cause further damage to the esophagus or cause choking. Do not give hydrogen peroxide to cats.
Necktie or Pantyhose – When a pet is afraid, injured, or painful, even the gentlest dog may lash out and try to bite. If you do not have a muzzle, using a necktie or pantyhose will protect both you and your pet so you can safely transport them to the veterinarian. Do not use if your pet is having difficulty breathing, vomiting, coughing, or choking unless instructed by a veterinarian.
Scarf – A wound on the tip of the ear can bleed a lot because they have many tiny blood vessels. To prevent the blood from spattering when your pet shakes his head, fold the ear back and tie the scarf around the top of the head until you get to the vet.
Beach towel – You can use a large beach towel as a sling if your dog is having difficulty standing up or using his back legs, but is too large to pick up. Roll the towel long-ways and place under the belly, join the two ends at the top, then hoist up the back legs.
Comforter or blanket – If you have a large pet that is unable to stand or walk, you can use a comforter or blanket as a stretcher. Once you arrive to the vet, they will be able to help you get your pet out of the car and into the clinic.
Turkey Baster – If you do not have a syringe at home and have been instructed to administer something such as hydrogen peroxide, a turkey baster will come in handy since your pet probably won’t willingly drink it.
Please bookmark or print this page for a quick reference and don’t forget to visit the Pet First Aid Kit section.