All good dog parents want to keep their pups safe, and that means being prepared for potential doggie disasters. One of the best ways to be ready is to create a first aid kit for your four-legged friend.
But what exactly do dogs need in a first aid kit? Some of the items are probably obvious, but others may be a bit more surprising. That’s why we decided to put together this comprehensive list of what you should include, as well as why.
There are all kinds of ways that your dog can get cut, scratched, or otherwise suffer injury to their skin, both around the house and outdoors.
If your dog suffers a serious laceration or other injury, you’re probably going to want to cover it with a bandage after using the wound spray. Look for self-cling bandages that won’t stick to your dog’s fur to avoid painful removal later.
Unless you want Fido looking like a mummy when you bandage him, include a pair of bandage scissors in your kit that are designed to cut through gauze, clothing, and (yes) bandages.
Eye wash and ear wash
If your dog gets some kind of pollutant or other contaminant in her eyes or ears, it can cause itching, stinging, burning, or worse. Dog-safe eye wash and ear wash can help you flush out the problem materials with a dropper nozzle and can even be used on any dressing needed.
The problem with eye and other head-related issues is that your pup is going to do whatever he can to scratch and rub at the area with his paw. Prevent this from happening by using a dog cone, which will also prevent your dog from being able to chew at stitches from surgery or lick at a hot spot during treatment. Your vet may also refer to this as an Elizabeth Collar, or e-collar for short.
Even a normally calm and balanced dog may lash out when injured, and he may also bite at a wound, making it worse. Muzzles, like the Funny Muzzle, serve the dual purpose of keeping a nervous or aggressive dog from harming others or bringing harm to himself.
The leash is an important tool to have on-hand because it’s a way to gain control of your dog at a time that she might be panicking and try to run away. You want to be able to focus on the injury, not just keeping your dog from fleeing.
If your dog consumes poison, you might not have time to get them to the vet. Depending on the poison, making your dog vomit can be an important tactic until you can get them to treatment. One safe and effective way to induce vomiting and get the poison out of their system is to force them to drink hydrogen peroxide. Always keep a fresh bottle on hand.
But don’t assume that hydrogen peroxide is the answer in every situation. Your best bet is to call the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 to get their recommendation on how to handle the situation right.
Important phone numbers
You want to be able to reach help fast in an emergency situation. Include the phone number for your veterinarian, your emergency vet clinic, and the ASPCA poison control center: (800) 426‑4435.
If you have to take your dog to seek help from someone other than his regular veterinarian, it can be valuable to provide them with his medical background as well as proof of his rabies vaccine.
With these items, you’ll be prepared to help your dog through most dangerous situations that they’re likely to come across, but remember, it’s always best to seek veterinary care. A first aid kit should just be used to remediate an emergency until you can get to the vet or to address very minor injuries like a superficial wound.