Pet Parents Not Prepared to Administer First Aid in an Emergency

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Petplan survey reveals nearly 70% of pet parents don’t even have a supply kit

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Though more than half of pet parents say they’ve done research about how to help a pet in distress, most don’t have the supplies on hand to do so. A Petplan survey of nearly 10,000 people revealed that a staggering 68.99% of respondents have no pet first aid kit in their home.

“A first aid kit specifically for your pet is the first line of defense in an emergency, and I always recommend that my clients have one,” says Petplan Veterinary Editorial Contributor Dr. Andy Roark. “Whether a pet is poisoned, bleeding or seizing, just a few simple supplies—and the know-how to use them—can help keep them stable and comfortable while en route to the emergency vet.”

Dr. Roark may be an anomaly in discussing pet first aid with his clients; only 12.38% of survey respondents report that their veterinarian has discussed first aid with them, which could help explain why nearly half—40.92%—weren’t even aware there are first aid procedures that can be performed on pets.

What should every pet parent pack in their pet first aid kit? Dr. Roark suggests the following:

  •     Vaseline®
  •     gauze
  •     non-stick pet bandages
  •     clean cloth or towel
  •     medical tape
  •     antibiotic wash, wipes or ointment
  •     scissors
  •     tweezers
  •     chemical ice pack
  •     blanket

For the full list of what to include in a pet first aid kit, download Petplan’s Safety Fur-st Survival Kit checklist at

“Pet parents need to familiarize themselves with basic pet first aid and should keep a pet-specific kit handy in their home and in the car,” says Dr. Roark. “It’s also a good idea to download a pet first aid app, like the one available from the American Red Cross. An app can help pet parents do things like take vital signs, treat wounds or control bleeding until they’re able to get to the vet.”

Downloading a pet first aid app is a good idea; just 12.37% of survey respondents have taken a class about pet first aid, and more than half (64.23%) admit to not knowing how to take their pet’s vital signs!

“You never know when a little preparedness, knowledge and training can make all the difference in an emergency,” says Dr. Roark. “Just recently a fetch! reader wrote in to thank us for a piece we published about how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a pet. Because of the article, she was able to act quickly when her French Bulldog, Churro, began choking—and wound up saving her dog’s life.”

For more pet health tips, news and information, point your paws to


Petplan is more than a pet insurance provider. We’re dedicated to giving pet parents the support, resources and tools they need to keep their pets not just surviving—but thriving—into old age. Simply put, we aim to be the kind of company that will make our pets proud. For the third consecutive year, Petplan was listed among the top 50 of Forbes' annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan is the only pet insurance provider to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America.

Petplan’s fully customizable cat and dog insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage for all hereditary and chronic conditions for the life of the pet as standard. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group was rated A+ by A.M. Best in 2015. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Jessica Kinney
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