We all try to keep safety as a top priority, but sometimes accidents happen and being prepared is important. You probably have a first aid kit for the humans in your family, but what should you have in the first aid kit for your dog? Most of the items are very similar to the items you’d keep in a human first aid kit. Just like for people, you can select a premade kit with an array of response supplies or you can build your own. Here are some key items to keep stocked in your canine first aid kit.
Always check with your vet to confirm their input on any supplies you may want to add to your kit. They can help you insure that the items you stock are appropriate for your pet, and help you think of things to add that might be specific to your dog’s individual first aid needs or risks. It’s also a good idea to discuss with your vet what your options are in the event of an emergency. Do they have emergency hours? Do they have an off hour care facility they recommend? We all hope we never need to act on it, but consult with your vet so that you are prepared and knowledgeable if something does come up.
Keep a canine first aid book with the kit, or an app on your phone, and familiarize yourself with it before it is necessary to use it. At least try to figure out how to find information quickly in your resource. Will you be looking up the first aid procedure in an index or alphabetically or through a search feature during an urgent emergency? Setting yourself up to succeed in a moment you might be prone to panic can help you stay calm so that you can get your dog cared for quickly and efficiently.
3. Keep it stocked
You don’t want to be scrambling or discovering your kit is out of something or find it expired at the moment when you need it most. Keep a supply list and make sure the kit is properly stocked and easy to find in the event of an emergency.
4. Contact List
Keep an up to date list of phone numbers and addresses for your vet, nearest emergency-vet clinic, and notes from your consult with your vet as well as a poison-control center or hotline (such as the ASPCA poison-control center, which can be reached at 1-800-426-4435).
Include a water safe folder with your pet’s important paperwork and status information, such as proof of vaccines, medical records, etc. You don’t want to have to hunt any of this stuff down in a frenzy so having it available and current can make a world of difference.
Suggested Supply List:
- Nylon leash or slip lead
- Muzzle or means of preventing biting during stressful situations when it is safe to do so
- Digital Thermometer
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Self-cling bandage
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with veterinarian or animal poison control expert before giving to your pet)
- Cold and heat packs
- Disposable gloves
- Scissors with blunt end
- Neosporin (original formula, NOT the antibiotic type)
- Towels and cloths
- Small flashlight
- Styptic powder or baking soda (to stop bleeding from a torn nail or pad)
- Saline eye solution (tears only)
- Antihistamine such as Benadryl for bug bites, etc (confirm with your vet what is safe for your dog during allergic reactions, and discuss dosages)
- Ear wash
- Skin and paw balm
- Canine Safe pain reliever, per veterinary instruction.
- Collapsible bowl
- Means of replenishing electrolytes or addressing glucose levels.
- Nail Clippers and file