Building a dog first aid kit may seem like a frightening chore, but it can actually be a lot of fun. No one wants to think about their dog being sick or injured, but having a prepared pet first aid kit specifically for your dog will help keep you calm and confident in the face of an emergency situation.
When building a dog first aid kit; having the right tools for the job is an important place to begin. Below are some of the most common items to include in a dog first aid kit and their purpose in a pet emergency:
Most commonly associated with nail trimming, this medicated powder helps to stop bleeding partnered with gauze pads. Nail related injuries are one of the most common minor injuries for dogs, and nail incidents often come as the result of grooming. Styptic powder is a quick and easy way to put a stop to the bleeding followed with a bandage or gauze while you figure out your next move as a pet owner, and is a staple in any dog first aid kit.
A Nylon Leash
In the face of a medical emergency situation, the last thing you want to be doing is looking for a leash. Having a backup leash in your dog first aid kit may seem like a silly item to include, but an extra leash can be a lifesaver for you as a pet owner. Whenever your dog is in physical pain, he gets anxious, and having a way to restrain him should you need to is an absolute essential. Animals tend to associate pain with the area they are in, even a well-trained obedient dog may panic and try to run when in pain-putting themselves in even more danger.
An eye wash is a staple of any canine first aid kit as it is the most effective way to clean and flush your pet’s eyes. Be careful, not all eye wash solutions are created equal. Some solutions are not as safe for the eye as one would expect. Be sure to read labels and indications prior to using. Vetericyn Plus(r) Eye Wash is versatile and can be used as a cleaner and treatment.
Flushing your dog’s eyes is essential if he ever gets sprayed by a skunk, or gets a piece of debris in his eyes. When stocking your pet first aid kit, having both is never a bad idea, but if you have to choose one, eyewash can double as an impromptu solution for washing out the cuts of your injured pet.
Having a reliable medical-grade multi-tool will help you save space in your dog first aid kit. The most important items that your multi-tool should include are tweezers for precise pulling and scissors for cutting.
Medical grade multi-tools for dogs often include combs, tick pullers, and other dog-related items that can all be helpful in a pinch. While you may opt to have several specific tools in your first aid kit, most multi-tools suffice so long as they contain the basics of tweezers and scissors.
You never know when your dog may need medication, so it is always a good idea to keep some on hand in your dog first aid kit. More specifically, every dog owner should carry an antihistamine in their dog first aid to administer in the case of allergic reactions and an anti-inflammatory/pain killer to administer in the case of swelling and pain. Ask your vet what the correct dosage is for your dog, and make sure you keep your dog first aid kit stocked with sufficient medication. Make sure to check expiration dates on medications and rotate them so they are used prior to expiring.
In your dog first aid kit, you should have some sort of antimicrobial and antiseptic as they rely on each other to accomplish the goal of sterilization. First, an antiseptic helps clean and disinfect any tools you are using or any area on your dog that may have been exposed to unwanted bacteria.
Antiseptic should be used before treatment, whereas an antimicrobial should be used post-treatment. An antimicrobial should be applied after an injury has been cleaned to keep the wound free from microorganisms as a way to prevent infection in the wound.
Building The Kit
Many dog first aid kits come pre-packaged and ready for purchase. However, if you are assembling a first aid kit from scratch, then pick a high-grade waterproof container and organize it with the essentials listed above.
When it comes to building a dog first aid kit, there is no such thing as too cautious! Whatever you think you may need in a pinch should be added to the kit. Some dog owners include a collapsible water bowl and electrolyte tablets to stave off dehydration. Other dog owners include treats to give as a reward after a small operation. It may also be a good idea to include a copy of the dogs vaccination records, microchips, etc. and a picture of the animal for identification in the case the pet is lost.
You don’t need to limit yourself to just one dog first aid kit. If your dog tends to travel with you or likes to go for car rides, by all means, keep one in the car as well as one in the home! You must take precautions and get your dog veterinary help whenever he needs it. While having a dog first aid kit is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner, there is simply no substitute for professional veterinary care.