Creating a First Aid Kit for Your Dog
We all try to keep safety as a top priority, but sometimes accidents happen – 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 pets? 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. April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so we’ve gathered some key items to keep stocked in your pet first aid kit.
Always check with your vet for their input on any supplies you may want to add to your kit. They can help ensure that the items you stock are appropriate for your pet and help you think of things specific to your furbaby’s needs. 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 pet 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, 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 receive care quickly and efficiently.
Keep It Stocked
Keep a supply list and make sure the kit is properly stocked and easy to find in the event of an emergency. 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 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. 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
- Dosing syringes (for administering meds or flushing wounds)
- 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 pet during allergic reactions, and discuss dosages)
- Ear wash
- Skin and paw balm
- Pet-safe pain relief, per veterinary instruction.
- Collapsible bowl
- Means of replenishing electrolytes or addressing glucose levels.
- Nail clippers and file