A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten

A Trupanion blog

Pet First Aid Kit: What to Pack

By: Kelli Rascoe

A dog looks out at the lake standing near a tent

Whether you’re venturing out on a spring getaway or gearing up for camping this weekend, we know your pet’s safety is a top priority. By keeping a pet first aid kit handy, it can help if any unforeseen situations occur while you are vacationing, traveling, or on a road trip with pets.

Naturally, you want your best friend to experience the next big adventure by your side in optimum health. Certainly, the unexpected happens, especially with pets. Also, there’s no way to predict all the circumstances that you might encounter on the campground or hiking trail.

Fortunately, we sat down with our Trupanion veterinary technician, Aubrey Halvorsen, to learn more about the essential items to include in your pet first aid kit.

Pet first aid kit: essential emergency items to include in your pack

Brown and black dog stands near a lakeshore

Paw protection

Firstly, keeping your pup’s paws in great condition on the trails is essential for their health, happiness, and well-being. Consider paw protection, like a weather-resistant boot, to avoid any injuries to the paw pad from rocks, sticks, dirt, or various debris.

Bandages and gauze squares

If your pup does encounter an injury to their paw pads, items such as gauze squares and bandages can come in handy to contain the injury and keep an infection from occurring. “Bandaging material with telfa pads (or some kind of non-stick pad) would be ideal for wounds, they do not stick to wounds,” states on-site Halvorsen. Also, an extra box of bandages could be beneficial for humans and pets alike.


Insects are a common sighting with a rise in warmer temperatures and humans and pets are prone to bites. Similarly, pet owners should be beware of a pet’s reaction to insect bites. Consider keeping a medication like Benadryl, in your pet first aid kit in case they have an adverse reaction and need relief. Also, “Knowing your pet’s dosage prior to an emergency is helpful, ask your veterinarian the proper dosage of Benadryl, and keep that information written down in the first aid kit for easy reference,” points out Halvorsen.

Pet care accessories

When providing first aid to your pets, additional tools might be needed to help patch your furry friend’s wounds. Consider including the following pet care first aid accessories to include in your pet first aid kit:

  • Over the counter antibiotic ointment
  • Bandage scissors
  • Saline Flush
  • Chlorhexidine solution for animals

Protection from fleas and ticks

To begin with, you always want to make sure your pets are up to date on their flea and tick preventative. Certainly, the rise in temperature and seasonal changes indicate the start of flea and tick season on hiking trails and campgrounds. Consider talking with your veterinarian about the best flea and tick preventative options available for your pets.

Additional tips to consider for pet first aid

Halvorsen weights in on some additional pet first aid tips to consider when traveling:

  • Make sure your pet’s microchip is up-to-date.
  • Keep the location of the nearest veterinary clinic or pet emergency hospital in your phone, in case it’s needed.
  • Be mindful of your pet’s activity on hiking trails and seek veterinary care if needed.
  • Consider keeping pet emergency apps on your phone.

Girl takes a selfie with her Bernese Mountain Dog while out hiking

Pet first aid kit: necessary for the safety of pets

By keeping a pet first aid kit handy, in your car or with your belongings, ensures you will be prepared for the unexpected for your furry friends. Additionally, a pet first aid will provide immediate resources if your pet is injured, while you are seeking veterinary care. Certainly, with proper preparation and your kit all packed, you’re ready for adventures with your furry friends for years to come.

For more on pet care, read this Pet Safety Guide.

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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