Do You Have Pet First Aid Kit For Your Dog?
Just like the old Boy Scout motto goes, it is best to “be prepared.” When it comes to the health and safety of your pet, this is no exception. Being prepared to handle any sudden illness or injury to your pet could mean the difference between life and death. When out and about, here are items you need in your pet first aid kit:
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Pet First Aid Kit Basics
- A waterproof container. In indelible ink, write the phone number for your vet, for the nearest animal emergency hospital, and poison control hotlines on the box. Be sure to include your own contact information.
- Dog first aid book in the kit, such as the Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. It’s a think volume, but contains information on dog illnesses in basic, easy to understand terms. There’s a cat version as well Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. I have both and refer to them both on a regular basis.
- CPR instructions
- Copy of your pet’s vaccination records.
- Photo of each pet for identification purposes
Other Items To Include In A Pet First Aid Kit
- Sterile Needle
- Bulb syringe
- Eye dropper
- 10cc syringe with no needle
- Tongue depressor
- Rubber exam gloves
- Nail clippers
- Rectal thermometer
- Forceps or needle nosed pliers (Can be used to remove debris such as porcupine quills from wound)
- Cloth towels
- Paper towels
- Strips of cloth
- Sterile gauze pads
- Cotton balls
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Hot/cold pack
- Ice pack
- Hydrogen peroxide (Use to clean wound. Can also be used to induce vomiting if needed. Usual dosage 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight)
- Activated charcoal tablets
- Antibiotic ointment
- Rubbing alcohol
- Betadine solution
- Petroleum jelly
- Baking soda
- Styptic powder (stops bleeding)
- Milk of Magnesia
- Bottled water
- Spare leash
- Old credit card (can be used to scrape off bee stingers)
- Honey or Karo Syrup (administer when pet is in shock)
- Rehydrate tablets (vital for dog suffering from heatstroke, or dog that is severely dehydrated)
- Sterile eye wash (to flush debris or materials like skunk spray from eyes)
- Sterile wound wash (put in a syringe to clean debris from wound)
- Tick remover (works better than tweezers to remove ticks)
Check Your Pet First Aid Kit Regularly
Check your first aid kit at least twice a year (spring and fall) for items such as Benadryl or hydrogen peroxide that have expiration dates. Replace them as needed.
Tape a checklist of items in the pet first aid kit to the inside of the box to help inventory and replace any items you’ve used since the last check. That way you’ll have a complete kit anytime you need it.
Ready Prepared Pet First Aid Kits
If you don’t have time to go out to buy all the items needed to stock a pet first aid kit, there are some ready-made ones available.
For dogs that are usually home and live close to their veterinarian, Whole Dog Journal (WDJ) recommends the Kurgo Pet First Aid Kit as a good basic starter kit. At the time of the WDJ review in 2015, a refill kit was available via the Kurgo.com site at a lower cost, but in checking the site while writing this post, I did not see a refill offered.
Active dogs that are outside often and may need more comprehensive first aid if injured, Whole Dog Journal recommended the Pro Model 1000 First Aid Kit from Outdoor Safety. The kit is pricier at $69.95, but contains a very good supply of first aid supplies.
Regardless of your dog’s health or normal activity, accidents do happen. Having a first aid kit on hand provides the tools needed to treat minor injuries until you get your dog to the vet for treatment.