What to Pack in your dog’s first aid kit?
You might be asking yourself, why does my dog need a first aid kit? I don’t even carry one for myself. The answer is simple, you always need to be prepared to protect your baby or take care of your pooch. In an emergency I do not want to see my dog hurt with a splinter or bleeding from scraping themselves. My dogs are clumsy so this could easily happen at any given time. We run into trees, fall off curbs, trip over dirt, and get stuck in shrubs at least once when we are out walking or hiking. If something happens, I have the knowledge that I can treat them quickly for minor scrapes and injuries.
The Following are our recommendations for your kit:
Clean gloves – Disposable gloves can protect you and your fur baby when dealing with injuries. If you are outdoors, you might not have a chance to wash your hands before treating a wound. Gloves keep bacteria and dirt from your hands out of the wound. In addition, they also can protect you from getting bacteria, dirt, and blood on your hands. Having gloves keeps the environment as sterile as possible as your clean and bandage wounds.
Soft Muzzle – This may seem cruel, and you may not want to do it but hear me out. You know your dog; they are sweet and gentle and would never hurt a soul. Many dogs tend to become frantic and even aggressive when they are in pain and suffered an injury. You never know how your dog will react in this situation. It is always better to be prepared than having an aggressive snarly dog whom you can’t help.
Water Bottle – This can help in multiple situations. If you think your dog is overheated, you can offer them little sips of water to cool down. As they cool you can also wipe down their ears and paws to help as well. Water is also useful in cleaning wounds before you bandage them. Pour over wound to remove dirt, debris, and blood away from wound before applying wound cleaning and bandage supplies.
Wound Cleaning Kit - Sometimes alcohol pads are needed to clean minor scrapes to keep everything sterile before you put a bandage on them. Remember though that alcohol does sting.
Antibiotic Ointment - There are pet friendly antibiotic ointments out there. You can use them to treat minor injuries, including scrapes, rash, cuts, and sores. You want to avoid your pet ingesting them at all costs but in case they do these are not toxic to your pet.
Bandaging Material - This includes nonstick pads, tape, and gauze. In the event your dog has an open, bleeding wound applying pressure and a bandage is important to slow or stop the bleeding. First you need to apply the nonstick pad on the wound to avoid other bandaging material to become stuck to the wound causing more damage when removing it. Then you can put the gauze roll over the pad to have it stay in place. Lastly, you need the tape to hold the pad and the gauze in place and against the wound.
Bandages can cause harm if they are too tight or left on too long. If your dog has an open wound, you need to get them to your vet immediately.
Scissors - You need scissors to cut the bandaging materials. They can also be used in removing an object that is stuck in their fur. Another way they are useful is for cutting them out of something they have become tangled in. I know I have had to cut my dogs out of vines from plants because we can’t go back the way we came. We are like bulls in a china shop.
Tweezers - Tweezers are a must in your first aid kit. They can be used in a multitude of ways. They can be used to remove a splinter or any other foreign materials in a wound. They can also be used for tick removal if you spend time outdoors.
Blood Clotting Powder - If your dog is bleeding this can be applied to stop or slow down the bleeding. This will stop the bandages from getting soaked in blood and also keep blood from getting all over your car on the way to the vet.
Contact Info - You want to have a list of phone numbers handy. This includes your vet’s name and phone number, an emergency vet clinic, and also poison control.
Flashlight - In case it is dark this is so you can see your pet, your supplies, and the surrounding area. You may think I can use my cell phone but if you use your phone to call the vet or your battery dies you will not have a light. You can also use it to illuminate your path out of a dark area or at night.
Keep these things in a compact bag when you take your dog with you anywhere. You never know when an accident will happen, and you need these things. It may seem unnecessary, but these items could make life saving difference.