Life with dogs can be very rewarding, filling up days with much joy and happiness, but sometimes unexpected mishaps that are out of our control can happen. Whatever life throws your way, the most important factor is keeping calm and being prepared. Whether you own a rambunctious puppy or a couch potato dog, a day can come where you will need to provide first-aid and no first-aid can be administered without a well-provisioned, first-aid kit.
Standard Items for Your Dog’s First-Aid Kit
What’s found inside a first-aid kit for dogs? In most cases, you’ll find products meant to help your dog in case of major emergencies such as bug bites, wounds, heatstroke and exposure to toxins, but if your dog has a medical condition, you vet may suggest to add additional products based on his medical history. While it’s true that you can purchase a ready-made kit, you can also put one together yourself by gathering the following items:
- Important telephone numbers such as your vet’s address and phone, contact information to the closest 24 hour emergency center and the ASPCA Poison Control number.
- Picture of your pet should he get lost.
- A copy of your dog’s vaccination and health records.
- Gauze in different forms. Non-stick gauze, gauze rolls, absorbent gauze for the purpose of wrapping wounds. A strip of gauze can also be used as an emergency muzzle to prevent your dog from biting when in pain.
- Animal-approved non-stick bandages, pieces of clean cloth and towels to protect wounds and control bleeding.
- Scissors used for cutting gauze.
- Disposable gloves.
- Betadine to disinfect wounds. Make sure you have water to dilute it!
- Hydrogen peroxide 3 percent. This is used to induce vomiting but do so only strictly under your vet’s guidance. Certain toxins that are corrosive may cause more damage if brought up. Consider that hydrogen peroxide applied to wounds can delay healing, warns veterinarian John Anderson.
- Digital thermometer. Only to be used rectally. According to Merck Veterinary Manual, the normal temperature in dogs is between 100.2 and 103.8.
- Petroleum jelly to lubricate the thermometer before inserting.
- Rubbing alcohol to disinfect the thermometer after use.
- Plain Benadryl should your dog develop an allergic reaction to something. Make sure it only contains diphenhydramine.
- Activated charcoal to prevent absorption of certain toxins. Always consult with your vet first before using.
- Oral syringe or eye dropper so you can administer liquid medications by mouth. Can also be used to flush wounds.
- Plain Neosporin antibiotic ointment without any added pain relievers.
- Styptic powder to stop bleeding from a toenail.
- An old credit card to scrape away stingers
- Sterile saline solution that is buffered, basically, ordinary eye wash, which can be useful to clean eyes, suggests veterinarian T. J. Dunn Jr.
- Flash light for night-time emergencies.
The Bottom Line
Assembling a first aid kit for your dog can really make a difference on the outcome of an accident. It can save you valuable time as you gather essential supplies meant to aid your dog in case of an emergency. This kit should go with you everywhere your dog goes, so if you are at home it must be stored in a secure area that all your family members are aware of and if you are traveling with your dog, it should go in the car with you. Best to be always prepared as accidents do happen!