How To Make Your Own First Aid Kit For Dogs - Recommended Contents for Your Dog Emergency Kit

An Elizabethan Collar can stop your dog from licking a wound - just don't expect him to like wearing it!
An Elizabethan Collar can stop your dog from licking a wound - just don't expect him to like wearing it! | Source

If your Dog Has an Accident Today - Would You Be Prepared?

What would you do if your dog suddenly shrieked out in pain during a walk and you saw a red puddle of blood forming underneath his paw? Or what if your dog got into a fight with another dog and in the heat of the moment a piece of his ear was torn off?

Both scenarios are more common than you might think - and there are thousands of more accidents waiting to happen out there. I had never thought about getting a First Aid Kit for my Entlebucher Mountain Dog until I found myself stranded with the dog, who was bleeding heavily from his paw, ten minutes away from home.

Luckily, that was just a minor cut and my dog managed to limp home but the first thing I did when I came home was to research how to make my own First Aid Kit for Dogs, and what contents should be included.

© Linda Bliss 2012

Vet wrap doesn't stick to your dog's fur
Vet wrap doesn't stick to your dog's fur | Source

Checklist for a Very Basic First Aid Kit For Dogs

This is a list of some basic contents for a doggie first aid kit:

  • Bandages
  • Scissors - choose the blunt edge type
  • Wound wash
  • Cotton wool
  • Tweezers
  • Tick Tweezers
  • Wound Dressings
  • Self Adhesive Tape
  • Dressings
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Foil Blanket
  • Antiseptic Wipes

Make a First Aid Kit that Works for the Whole Family

This is a standard first aid kit for humans - all the contents can be used for dogs too.
This is a standard first aid kit for humans - all the contents can be used for dogs too. | Source
I added a couple of pieces to the 'human' first aid kit and voila - we have a first aid kit for the whole family!
I added a couple of pieces to the 'human' first aid kit and voila - we have a first aid kit for the whole family! | Source

What To Do if Your Dog has an Accident

The very first thing to remember if your dog has an accident is: don't panic. A dog in pain can make terrible noise and hearing it will break your heart, but if you panic your dog will sense your fear immediately and it will make him even more worried and scared.

1. Call your dog's vet immediately and explain what has happened. They might be able to give you some advice on actions you can take there and then, but if nothing else you can let them know you're on your way and when you're likely to get there.

2. Don't try to deal with serious injuries yourself as it might put yourself in danger, or your dog at further risk. A dog in pain (no matter how sweet and well behaved) may bite or lash out if he is in pain.

However, if your dog's life is in danger and if you are far away from the nearest vet - start by checking your dog's breathing and clear his nose and throat from any obstacles, then stop any bleeding before heading off to the vets.

3. If it is a minor injury, make use of your dog first aid kit.


Match Your First Aid Kit to Your Location and Activities

All dogs are likely to have one or two accidents in their lives, but a dog in the city is probably more likely to step on broken glass than falling off a cliff like a dog hiking in the mountains might do.

The point is, you'll need to think about where you live, or where you might be going so you can prepare a tailor made first aid kit for your dog's needs and any possible accident scenarios you might think of.

  • If your dog is a boisterous youngster he might land himself in trouble with other dogs resulting in bite woulds or torn ears.
  • If you live near a tick infested area you might need to consider tick tweezers and tick repellent sprays, shampoos and other treatments.
  • If you are hiking somewhere cold or really remote, a first aid kit should probably include snacks and warm blankets in case you get lost. Never give treats if surgery is looking likely.
  • What if your dog gets caught in barbed wire? Bring some pliers or wire cutters
  • Leave an extensive First Aid Kit for yourself and your dog in the car, and bring along the basics if you're going for a long walk.

A bowl of salty water can make an excellent wound rinse for an injured paw.

Paw cuts are really common and can be painful too...
Paw cuts are really common and can be painful too... | Source
This is what a bandaged paw should look like. It is not as easy as it might seem!
This is what a bandaged paw should look like. It is not as easy as it might seem! | Source
A Dog Boot can help protect the bandages on your dog's paw.
A Dog Boot can help protect the bandages on your dog's paw. | Source

Recommended Items for a Big First Aid Kit For Dogs

  • Scissors - blunt edged scissors are best.
  • Tweezers - great for picking out glass splinters in paws.
  • Turkey baster or bulb syringe - great for for flushing wounds clear of mud and debris
  • Syringe without the needle - for administering medication and for flushing out smaller wounds
  • Water Bottle - for rinsing wounds and treat dehydration
  • Rubber gloves
  • Nail clippers, Comb and Disposable safety razor - for shaving fur from around a wound so you can see what the damage is.
  • Rectal thermometer - Choose the fastest model you can afford
  • Towels - a wet injured dog will cool down quickly
  • Paper towels
  • Blanket - can be used used for keeping an injured doggie from going into shock and can also be used as stretcher
  • Bandanna - you can make a muzzle or secure a torn ear flap with a bandanna or similar
  • Dog boots or little socks - Great for covering a wounded or cut paw after its been cleaned
  • Flashlight - not all accidents happen in day light
  • 3×3 sterile gauze pads
  • Rolled gauze - good for for bandaging, stabilising joints, or making a muzzle
  • Adhesive first aid tape - get some in narrow and wide widths
  • Cotton rolled
  • Cotton balls - great for cleaning wounds
  • Bandages
  • Vet wrap, bandages which sticks to itself but not the dog's coat
  • Anti-bacterial wipes or pads - great for cleaning smaller wounds
  • Cotton Buds
  • Ice Pack - to keep swellings down, or to help cool down a over heated dog
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% USP - can be used to induce vomiting and to clean infected wounds. Only use if recommended by your vet.
  • Activated charcoal tablets - can effective in absorbing many toxics. Only use if recommended by your vet.
  • Betadine solution - it's a type of antiseptic iodine medicine for wounds to deter infection
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Plastic bags - for protecting an injured paw
  • Muzzle - an injured or scared animal may try to bite
  • Petroleum jelly - for taking temperature
  • Sterile saline eye solution - to flush out eye contaminants and wounds
  • Gentle pet sedative Rescue Remedy - available as drops or spray at health food and some pet supply stores. Both humans and dogs can use them to help calm down in a stressful situation.
  • A bowl - fill it with salty water to rinse off an injured paw
  • Allergy Medicines such as antihistamines can help with everything from bug bites to nettle burns.
  • An Elizabethan Collar - to stop your dog from chewing or licking a wound
  • Contact Details for your vet - and a local vet if you're going on holiday.

Even big dogs need a first aid kit sometimes!
Even big dogs need a first aid kit sometimes! | Source

Buy a Ready Made First Aid Kit as a Base

When I started researching the contents for my Dog's First Aid Kit, I quickly realised it would be much cheaper to buy a ready made kit as a starting point and then adding extra items to it, than to buy each item separately.

Use a basic pet first aid kit starting point for your own kit. Alternatively you could buy a regular first aid kit for humans and add the relevant pieces so you end up with a first aid kit that caters for all members of the family.

Do You Have Any tips for Making Your Own Doggie First Aid Kit? Please share them in the comments section below.

Good Luck!

How To Make Your Own First Aid Kit for Dogs

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Comments 14 comments

Shellwick 3 years ago

I've found Bach's rescue remedy, just a drop in a little water or direct into dog's mouth excellent for calming an anxious or shocked patient. It seems to reassure them that we are doing something to alleviate their discomfort.


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

I never thought of a first aid kit for dogs, but of course, why ever not- they get into everything when they are out. I guess you could have a small one, pocket size if you are out on a walk and then a larger one for when you are at home

Great hub, voted up and interesting


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Robert and thanks for stopping by! Pleased to hear you enjoyed reading about my tips for emergency kits for doggies! :-)


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Wetnosedogs! Yes our Alfie did not enjoy his bandages but he was really brave and wore the bandages in style! :-)


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi Kyricus and thans for stopping by! With three dogs you're probably an expert on solving most accidents anyway, but yes, an organised first aid kit makes things a lot easier!


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi MarleneB and thanks for reading my hub! It does add up to quite a lot of items, but the good thing is that most of them can also be used by the humans in the family should we need to. I didn't know you have a pet blog, I'll have to go check that one out!


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for stopping by Allisaroberts! I had no idea either until I did all the research for both our own first aid kit as well as the dog's! Our Alfie was not pleased with his bandaged paw, but he soldiered on and never even once tried to chew the bandages off.


alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

A fantastic guide for dog owners! Gosh I thought getting a first aid kit ready for a family was a lot of work - I never knew dogs needed so much first aid supplies too! That picture of your dog with the bandage on the foot is priceless! Well done - voted up and useful!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

Great hub. Wow! That's a lot of stuff! But, as I read down the list I can see that every piece of the kit is necessary to cover every kind of emergency. All the time that I have owned a dog I never thought about having an emergency kit. Now, I don't think I will ever be without one again. It makes perfect sense to keep one handy.

Definitely voted up and sharing on my pet blog. The readers are going to love this.


Kyricus profile image

Kyricus 4 years ago from Ohio

Great hub! Lots of useful advice. Having 3 dogs myself, I've had to deal with more than my share of accidents and injuries. Had I some of the items mentioned in this hub at the ready, things would have been smoother.

It's funny how we don't think of things ahead of time. Especially important things like this.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

This is a great, beneficial hub. I love the picture of the dog with the bandaged paw. Puppy looks really irritated, but so cute!


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

Linda! This is such a novel idea for an article! I was very intrigued and entertained. I enjoyed how it is legitimately useful as well.

Voted up and shared!


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for stopping by Natashalh! They used superglue? That's kind of genius! Bet you've never paid that much for a couple of drops of glue before! :-)


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

I could have used a more prepared first aid kit the times my dogs got hurt! My female dog has had two paw injuries, one of which I ended up taking her to the vet for. They used super glue on her paw - why didn't I think to just do that home?

I love all the photos and how organized your hub is. Voted up and useful!

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