How To Make A First Aid Kit For Your Dog

There are a lot of first aid kits for dogs on the market but many of these have only the bare minimum when it comes to supplies. Plus, these are not customized to your particular circumstances or breed.

Many dog owners agree that they need to have a first aid kit for their dog, but are at a loss as to what to put in it. Here are is a list of items to consider:

A-List – this is a list of important phone numbers such as the phone number of your regular vet, emergency vet services, animal poison control and animal control. Go ahead right now and put these into your phone’s contact system so you won’t have to look them up.

Box or Bag – a metal or plastic box that you can organize and carry your supplies in so you have them when you need them. Or you may want to get a multi-compartment well made nylon bag that can serve the same purpose.

Antibiotic ointment – such as over the counter triple antibiotic ointment to use on wounds before you wrap with a bandage.

Antiseptic wash or pads – used to clean wounds of dirt and debris and are non-stinging. Don’t pour alcohol on wounds, as this can be very painful for your dog.

Bandage Scissors – these are special scissors that have one of the blades with a blunted end to slip between the bandage and your dog’s skin without cutting it.

Dipenhydramine (Benadryl) – for allergic reactions and for bites and stings. Ask your vet how to properly use this so you will be prepared.

Eyewash – Make sure the container says “sterile eyewash” and not contact lens solution.

Gloves – Latex or vinyl to use if there is bleeding and you need to protect your hands.

Gauze Rolls – Can be used, not only for making a bandage, but to apply pressure to a wound to stop bleeding and if necessary, to make padding for a splint.

Muzzle – If your dog is wounded and in pain, he may try to bite, even if he is well trained.

Pain Relief – Do NOT give your dog over the counter pain medicines made for humans. Talk to your vet about what you are doing and ask what would be suitable to put in your first aid kit.

Styptic Pencil – To stop bleeding from a torn nail.

Tape – One inch medical tape that is easy to tear.

Telfa Pads – These are non-stick sterile pads to place over wounds before bandaging and come in various sizes.

Tweezers – To remove splinters, foreign bodies and ticks.

Vet Wrap – This comes in rolls (of various colors) and you use it over a Telfa pad or roll guage. The most useful thing about vet wrap is that it clings to itself but you have to make sure you don’t wrap it too tight and cut off your dog’s circulation.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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