Dog First Aid Kits
Knowing basic first aid can save the life of your dog. Helping your dog in case of injury or illness, until you can get to a veterinarian's office, requires that you have a doggie first aid kit on hand. You can purchase a pre-assembled dog first aid kit, or make one yourself.
All of the following first aid supplies should fit neatly into a rugged container with a tight lid. This will help to keep everything clean and sterile no matter how long it is sitting on the shelf or in the car. If you do not have a separate kit for your car, be sure to take your home kit when you travel with your pooch.
Dog Safety Topics:
TIP: It is a good idea to write the name, address and phone number of your vet and the local emergency animal hospital right on the lid of your kit. That way if you are in a panic, you will have those numbers handy and don't have to think about where to find them!
Recommended items for your dog first aid kit:
- Bandages such as gauze pads, cotton gauze, ace bandages, and adhesive tape. Nonstick Telfa pads are a good choice if your dog has an open would because they are sterile and come in convenient individually wrapped packages. Don't forget the adhesive tape. Pets will often try to remove bandages or gauze pads, so you will want to secure the bandages in place with tape. In a pinch, masking tape will work, too.
- Hydrogen peroxide and anti-bacterial ointment cream. A topical antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin will work for cuts, scrapes, and open wounds. Having a tube of anti-bacterial ointment can help prevent infection. Also, many anti-bacterial creams also contain mild pain relievers. The anti-bacterial ointment should be applied on clean open wounds. Anti-bacterial ointments prevent contamination, and help seal wounds so that they are not exposed to air or further abrasion.
- Eyewash or eye drops. Many pet emergencies involve eye injuries. Make sure to have a bottle of eyewash in order to spray away debris or dirt particles that may exacerbate eye injuries.
- Pain reliever. Dogs should not be administered ibuprofen, but they can be given very small (child's) dosages of aspirin.
- Activated charcoal. Giving your pet natural activated charcoal may help prevent poisoning. If your pet is suffering from stomach or intestinal discomfort, activated charcoal also helps control diarrhea and flatulence.
- Scissors and tweezers. Preferably, the scissors should have a blunt end since they are best for cutting bandages, fabric, or matted hair. Tweezers easily can remove bee stingers and splinters.
- Disposable vinyl gloves for you to wear while administering first aid to Fido.
- A list of important phone numbers, including your veterinarian, a poison control hotline, and the number of the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.
- A first aid book that describes how to administer CPR to your pet. These books also outline procedures for a number of different emergency scenarios so you can be prepared.
While it may be your first instinct to run over and start taking care of your injured canine, this may spook your dog so try to be as calm as possible so he knows you are there to help and not harm. Try not to rush an injured animal because being in pain and scared could cause them to bite even if they'd never normally snap at you.
By having a well-stocked pet first aid kit on hand, you will be prepared for emergencies. After all, your pet is counting on you!