How To Make Your Own First Aid Kit For Dogs - Recommended Contents for Your Dog Emergency Kit
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
Checklist for a Very Basic First Aid Kit For Dogs
This is a list of some basic contents for a doggie first aid kit:
- Scissors - choose the blunt edge type
- Wound wash
- Cotton wool
- Tick Tweezers
- Wound Dressings
- Self Adhesive Tape
- Vinyl Gloves
- Foil Blanket
- Antiseptic Wipes
Make a First Aid Kit that Works for the Whole Family
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.
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
- 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.
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.