No matter how careful you may be with your dog, accidents and emergencies can always happen. This is why it is always best to be prepared with a well-stocked dog first aid kit.
Don't have one yet?
Here is everything you will need to put one together.
A Sturdy Box or Bag
Before you begin to put your dog first aid kit together, you will need a container to hold all of the items. A plastic or metal box should be strong enough, and will be easy to pack.
Alternatively, go for a bag, especially if you and your dog frequently travel. You could also purchase a pre-made human first aid kit. Then, simply add your dog first aid kit items to this.
Bandages, Tape, Scissors and Rubber Gloves
If your pet is ever injured and starts to bleed, bandages are a must. These may be enough to stop the bleeding completely. If not, it will still slow the bleeding down enough to buy you some time to take your pooch to the vet.
Many different items can be used as a bandage, whether this may be a roll of gauze, a strip of cloth, or even some socks. Whichever you choose to include in your dog first aid kit, make sure that the bandage material is clean.
The tape is necessary to enable you to hold the bandage in place, while the scissors mean that you can cut the bandage and tape down to the perfect size.
Why do you need rubber gloves?
Because it is always best, for both you and your dog, for you to be wearing rubber gloves when handling blood. It will help to keep the wound cleaner, preventing an infection from setting in.
If your pet is already taking medication for an illness, make sure that you have some spares in your dog first aid kit.
Even if your pet is currently medication-free, there are a few over-the-counter drugs that may be worth including. Here are a few ideas:
Antihistamines for an allergic reactions
Antacids for stomach irritations
Approved sedatives for travel
Approved pain relief medications
Sugar tablets for low blood sugar
A Gallon of Water
Water is always so important in a medical emergency. You can use water to clean a wound, flush out the eyes, calm a burn, wash off allergens, and so much more.
A gallon of water should be more than enough for a dog first aid kit, but make sure that you also include a collapsible dish that you can pour the water into.
A Tick Remover
While ticks aren't necessarily an emergency, these pests are easy enough to remove on your own, saving you from having to make a trip to the vet.
Many of the home remedies you read about online when it comes to tick removal can actually be quite dangerous. For example, smothering a tick in Vaseline to suffocate it can sometimes cause the tick to regurgitate its contents back into your dog. This can lead to even more problems. Similarly, pulling a tick straight out can result in the head being left in your dog.
This is where a tick remover tool comes in...
These are so easy to use. You simply place the small tool over the tick and twist the tick out. Try to get a small and a large size to ensure that you are covered for all tick types.
A Dog First Aid Book
Do you know how to administer CPR on your dog? Or how about stopping a strong bleed?
Even if you already know all of this, a serious emergency can cause you to panic, resulting in your mind going blank.
This is why it is always handy to keep a dog first aid book in your dog first aid kit. This way, if there is ever an emergency that you aren't quite sure how to deal with, you will always have something reliable to refer to. It also wouldn't hurt to read this book in advance, just to brush up on your general dog first aid knowledge.
A Muzzle, Leash and Blanket
Your dog may be the tamest and friendliest pooch you know, but an injured animal can be so unpredictable.
For this reason, it is always advisable to make sure that your dog first aid kit contains a few restraints. A muzzle and a lead will give you some extra control over your dog if he becomes aggressive from pain. A blanket is also useful. You can use this to wrap your dog up, making transportation so much easier.
Treats and Home Comforts
While you will always want to tend to a medical emergency as quickly as possible, it is also important to take the steps necessary to ensure that your dog is feeling as comfortable as possible throughout all of this.
Treats are a good way to relax a food-motivated dog, and to encourage them to focus on you. They can also be used as an intermittent reward while you are performing first aid on your dog.
Other home comforts, such as a toy or your dog's favorite blanket, will also help to keep your dog calm and happy.
There are a few different pieces of paperwork that you should include in your dog first aid kit.
The first is your dog's medical history and vaccination records. These may not seem important right now, but if your dog has a serious medical emergency, it always helps to have these easily to hand.
A list of emergency phone numbers can also be useful.
Whose phone numbers should you write on the list?
Your vet's number is crucial, along with the number of an emergency vet if your regular vet doesn't provide this service. Animal poison control numbers, along with animal control, should also be listed.
When a dog is hurt or injured, this can be frightening, not only for your dog but also for yourself. In order to prevent more damage, it always helps to deal with the problem as quickly as possible, which is why a dog first aid kit is essential for every dog owner out there.