What would happen to Fido in a TEOTWAWKI situation? While most of us think about extra dog food, or whatever specific medication your pet might be taking, but what about all the other things that you might need to keep your pet happy and healthy when you might not have easy access to a vet? The good news is that pet first aid kits are pretty similar to human first aid kits, so if you find a good deal on the human first aid kit, you can use it as a starting point and swap out unneeded items (don’t forget to add the extras to your human first aid kit!) with some dog-specific ones.
We have also included some things that are obvious when you think about it, but not obvious until you need them, such as an extra leash and collar. You don’t want to be scrambling to remember where you left the leash last when an emergency strikes, you can grab the kit with the extra collar and leash in it. There are also specific items that are pertinent for hot or cold weather.
Here is a list of what should go in your Emergency Survival Kit for Dogs, but which can easily be tailored for cats and other pets too.
- Pet food, dry
- Pet food, canned wet
- Water (a good rule of thumb is that they drink about 1 gallon/day depending on size. You can measure water consumption for your pet on a hot/warm active day to get a better idea of how much your pet drinks, especially for large or small dogs).
- Vetwrap / Vet Wrap bandage (self adhesive bandage that sticks to itself, easier to bandage wounds on furry legs)
- Liquid bandage (for wounds on the pads of dog’s feet)
- Couple pairs of old socks (to put over your dog’s feet/legs and secured with tape to prevent them from biting at wounds)
- antiseptic towelettes
- Antibiotic cream (ie. polysporin)
- ace bandage
- Cotton balls & Q-tips (in plastic)
- Bandage scissors (can also be used for cutting out mats of hair, etc)
- Oral syringe
- Tick remover (if you live in an area where ticks are a problem)
- Rectal thermometer
- Petroleum jelly (for thermometer)
- Empty spray bottle
- Eye wash
- Aspirin (ask your vet for dosage for your pet before using, ask about it at your next vet appointment)
- If your dog is prone to hotspots, a hotspot medication/treatment that you know works.
- Cone that affixes to their collar. This will be a lifesaver if your pet gets injured. They store flat.
- Collapsible dog bowl
- Pooper scooper bags
- Disposable gloves
- Emergency blanket
- Dog booties (if you live in extreme hot or cold climates. If you are in a shelter during August, you might need to walk your dog over hot pavement to get to a bathroom area and you don’t want burned pads)
- Sweater (particularly if you have a toy/small dog and live in cold climates)
- Extra leash & collar, with dog tags with your contact information
- Full documentation of pet’s medical information, including copies of all prescriptions. Include an empty prescription bottle if you have it.
If you want to purchase a pre-made first aid kit for dogs, I recommend the American Kennel Club’s 51-pc first aid kit for dogs, it has many of the above items in it, you can add the extras. If you are using it for a TEOTWAWKI emergency kit where access to a vet might not be available, you probably want to supplement some of the bandages and supplies with extras, although the price for the kit is very reasonable and you could purchase multiples.
The American Red Cross also offers a first aid kit for pets, but it is not as thorough.
Here are a few first aid for dog books that you might want to keep as well, so you always have access to pet medical information when you can’t get to a vet.
Also, there was a recall on some first aid kits for pets by the Creative Pet Products and MAI/Genesis (Veterinary Concepts) brands. Okease see here for specifics on which kits and lot numbers were contaminated with bacteria.