Every home should have first aid supplies for humans and pets, because they are part of the household too! Readiness begins with a first aid kit for dogs, and we’ve got your checklist below. Tuck away your supplies in an easily accessible place so everyone in your household (including dog sitters) can find it.
First item on the list for your first-aid kit for dogs: a duffel bag, backpack, or even a tackle box to store your supplies. Add a reminder to your calendar to annually check expiration dates for your people-friendly and dog-friendly first-aid kits.
First Aid Kit for Pets Tools
Like human first aid kits, those for dogs should consist of several tools so you can effectively treat your pet. Most of these items can be found at a discount store, pharmacy, or online.
Dog cone or an Elizabethan collar
If your dog has a wound, you will want to prevent your dog from licking it. With a cone or Elizabethan collar, you can prevent your dog from removing topical medications and also protect the wound from infection and help it heal faster. What’s nice about the cone collar is it is easy to clean and it stores flat when you’re not using it.
Collar and leash
If your dog loses his collar and leash, or they are damaged during an accident, having a spare on hand can help you keep your pet near.
Collapsible water bowl
You can use a collapsible dog bowl any time on the road to feed or water your dog. You can also use it for mixing or preparing disinfectant solution or for holding clean water when cleaning a wound. Thoroughly clean the bowl afterward if used for anything other than your dog’s food and water (ours is dishwasher safe!).
Tweezers are a must in any first aid kit, human or pet. They are handy for pulling splinters, ticks and other foreign bodies out of skin or fur. Always clean the area when possible before you remove the foreign body.
If your smartphone doesn’t have a built-in flashlight, add a reliable flashlight that is water-resistant or water-proof so you can see, even if it’s raining or snowing. Keep an extra set of batteries in your first aid kit just in case (test and replace batteries yearly). By the way, your BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device can be used as a flashlight. Simply slide the switch to “Light” setting, and that deactivates the ultrasonic alarm and lights the flashlight.
A flexible digital thermometer is ideal when you need to determine whether your dog has a fever. According to VCAHospitals.org, dog temperatures tend to run higher than humans. Most dogs’ normal range is 102.5 to 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any well-working scissors that can cut bandages, gauze, or fabric will suffice for your first aid kit.
A magnifying glass can help you see cuts or splinters easier.
Oral syringes or eye droppers
Use an oral syringe or eye dropper to administer oral medications to your pet or clean out wounds. Be sure to keep them clean and wrapped in your first aid kit to prevent dust, dirt, or bacteria from them.
Soft muzzle, soft cloth, or small towel
Dogs in distress or pain can lash out and bite at their wound or the person trying to help them. To prevent the situation from becoming worse, you can place a soft muzzle around your dog’s snout. If you don’t have a muzzle, at minimum, have a soft cloth, tie, or small towel you can wrap around his snout to keep your dog from harming you or himself.
While a blanket may not fit in your first aid kit container, having one can help you keep your pet warm if he sustains an injury outside in the cold or rain.
Wound Care Essentials
Treating a wound requires cleaning and protection from bacteria. The following tools can prove helpful in the case of an emergency when your dog is wounded.
Cotton balls and cotton swabs
Use cotton balls or cotton swabs to clean debris away from a wound or around sensitive areas like the eyes, or apply antibiotic ointment.
Gauze pads can be used to clean out wounds or used as a protective layer under bandage wraps.
Non-stick pads and bandage wrap
Non-stick pads can absorb fluids like blood without disturbing a clot or scab. The best type of bandages for dogs is the self-adhering non-stick type. They protect the wounded area without sticking to their fur.
People often ask is it ok to use peroxide on dogs? Yes, applying 3% hydrogen peroxide to a wound can help prevent infection.
Whether you opt for antibiotic ointment or wound spray for dogs, either can be used on a number of skin conditions, such as cuts, rashes, sores, and dry skin.
Medications for Dogs
Having medicines as part of your dog’s first aid kit ensures that you can immediately administer necessary treatments in the case of an emergency.
Any regular medications
If your pet takes any regular medications, you need to include them in your first aid kit, so they are available when away from home.
Milk of Magnesia
When swallowed, Milk of Magnesia and activated charcoal can counteract ingested poisons. While they may help save your pet’s life, never give your dog either of these without consulting your vet or medical expert first.
Like in humans, Benadryl or Diphenhydramine (generic name) is used to relieve allergic reactions. Consult with your vet or a medical professional to determine the proper dose for your dog.
Eye wash for dogs
A saline eye wash can be used to flush your dog’s eye(s) in case dirt, pollen, or other object gets stuck in his eye. This solution can also double for flushing out a wound if needed.
Ear wash for dogs
Like the eyes, pollution or other contaminants can get in your pet’s ears and cause irritation and pain. A dog-safe ear wash can help flush out any materials.
In addition to the supplies above, it’s crucial that you have a list of emergency contacts, including your vet, local emergency animal clinic/hospital, and ASPCA poison control center (800) 426-4435. Keep these numbers handy in your pet’s first aid kit, your phone, and someplace visible like your refrigerator or cabinet door. A copy of your pet’s medical records, including his rabies vaccine, should be kept with the emergency kit if you need to provide someone other than your regular vet with your pet’s medical history. Last, but certainly not least, household members should know how to perform animal CPR.