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HomeFarming NewsVet nurse: Do you have a first aid kit for your pet?
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Vet nurse: Do you have a first aid kit for your pet?

In this news article, veterinary nurse, Shauna Walsh from PDSA, outlines the importance of having a first aid kit for your pet and what it should contain.

Just like we have our own first aid kits, pet owners should have one with the items needed to treat smaller injuries.

This is especially important if you plan on taking your furry family member out and about with you this summer. If you are taking any road trips with your pet, it can be helpful to keep a second one in the car too.  

Research conducted by leading vet charity, PDSA, found that 80% of owners do not own a pet first aid kit, and nine out of ten owners have no pet first aid training.

Every first aid kit should include bandages, cotton wool, self-adhesive tape, and dressings which will come in handy for cuts and scrapes and allow you to treat them effectively.

If your pet’s wound is small, carrying a wound wash to help you flush the area can be helpful, as clean water might not be available when you are out and about.

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However, if the cut is bigger, having these items with you in an emergency can help to stem any bleeding while you seek further treatment from a vet.  

In the summer, we see a rise in ticks in the UK, so including a pair of tick tweezers in your first-aid kit could be useful.

To ensure you remove the whole tick, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible, then pull up with a steady, even pressure.

If you twist or jerk the tick, it is possible for parts to break off under your pet’s skin. If you think this has happened, it is best to seek advice from a vet.  

Stings and bites

Stings and bites from insects, such as bees and wasps, are commonplace over the warmer months.

Most bites and stings can be treated at home, providing they are not severe or have not triggered an allergic reaction.

In the case of bee stings, you may also try to pull the sting out with tweezers – but never try to squeeze it, as it could make things worse. You can apply a cold compress to soothe the area.  

If your pet does show signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling or a rash, I would recommend calling your vet for advice.

Your furry friend may need medication to make sure their reaction does not get worse and to keep them comfortable.  

Of course, make sure to assess every situation and do take your pet to see a vet even after doing first aid at home. Having these items available can help mitigate many emergencies and bridge the gap of time before you can get to a vet.


A pet first aid kit should include: 

  • Bandages;
  • Blunt-ended scissors;
  • Wound wash;
  • Cotton wool;
  • Tweezers;
  • Tick tweezers;
  • Wound dressing;
  • Self-adhesive tape;
  • Dressings;
  • Vinyl gloves;
  • Foil blanket;
  • Antiseptic wipes;
  • A blanket or towel to use as a stretcher.

Free first aid guide 

To help pet owners unfamiliar with pet first aid, PDSA has created a free first aid guide, packed with advice on how to treat the most common injuries and illnesses, from heatstroke and burns to cuts and scrapes. To download, visit the website.

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