American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)
925-230-9422

Pet Emergency Kit

What You Need for Your Pet’s Emergency Kit

We often can’t predict emergencies, but we can plan for them! Having an emergency kit for your family and pets is a great idea, and it won’t take much effort to put one together in case disaster, illness, injury happens. Here’s a list of important items to have for your pet’s emergency kit at home—and keep in mind, you’ll want to make sure to update your kit yearly and switch out expired products:

  • Pet First Aid Guide – there are several books you could buy, but perhaps the most convenient is the free Red Cross Pet First Aid app, which you can download for iOS or Android from your app store or Google Play.
  • Pet’s information, Microchip number, and pictures of your pet – info to have on hand includes the name and numbers for your vet, the closest 24-hour emergency vet, the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435), and your pet’s vaccination records. Store these documents in a waterproof container along with helpful first-aid/emergency items such as:
  • Spare leash & collar and/or carrier for smaller pets
  • Food & water bowls
  • 5-7 days’ worth of food and bottled water
  • 5-7 days’ worth of your pet’s medications, flea, and heartworm preventative
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Anti-itch cream or antihistamines (make sure there are no decongestants or acetaminophen)
  • Gauze rolls, adhesive tape, bandage scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • Antiseptic products (betadine, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol)
  • Corn syrup (Karo syrup) for diabetic animals
  • Pen light or flashlight
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Blanket
  • Styptic pen to stop bleeding
  • Toys/treats for distraction
  • Rubber gloves
  • Emergency blanket or space blanket
  • Betadine or hydrogen peroxide
  • Sterile saline flush

Mini kit for pet emergencies in the car or on the trail

Obviously, the above at-home emergency kit isn’t practical or portable for when you’re out with your pet. But here’s a quick and easy 8-item pack that will fit in a small bag and get you through most scrapes, pet or human:

  • Pet first aid guide – you can download a free copy of one here, or purchase any number of pocket guides like this one.
  • Rubber gloves – these are multi-use items that can protect your hands, become makeshift booties for your dog’s feet, or to put over bandaged wounds to keep them clean and dry.
  • Emergency blanket or space blanket – these block wind, rain, hold in body heat and roll up to the size of your palm
  • Tweezers
  • Betadine or alcohol wipes
  • Sterile saline – for flushing out eyes, wounds
  • Bandage material – gauze, self-adhesive bandage wrap (Vet wrap)
  • Antihistamines – can reduce irritation from insect bites and contact with poisonous plants (make sure there are no decongestants or acetaminophen)

A microchip is a must!!

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to prepare your pets for any emergency or disaster is to have him or her microchipped! To have your pets microchipped, get a copy of your pet’s records for your emergency kit, or for any other help preparing for emergencies as a pet owner, call us at (925) 230-9422.



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