Going on vacation last week filled with hiking adventures with my dogs, I immediately thought of “what will I do if Jack or Bernie get hurt?”
Luckily, we were all safe and returned home relaxed and refreshed.
Then a client reached out and asked what to put in a first aid kit besides tweezers?
I did some research and came up with must haves for your dog’s first aid kit that give you peace of mind before an emergency happens!
Before going into the list, make sure you are working with your dog on cooperative care, so they are used to things like muzzles, scissors or a razor, being in a crate so in the event of an emergency happening, they are not additionally exposed to potentially scary situations on top of being injured.
- Waterproof case: This will keep all of your first aid essentials dry and I would even set up a couple of them, so you have one for each of your cars and in your home! You may even find a doggie first aid kit and add/take away the things you find are most important.
- Scissors: These will be used to trip fur away from lacerations or abrasions. These can also be used to cut gauze.
- Gauze: In the even of an open or gaping wound, have various size gauze rolls that you can apply quickly to stop any active bleeding.
- Syringes: I would say get 2 for each and label. One will be used to apply rubbing alcohol to your scissors, tweezers and tick removal tool, so it will be a clean instrument so as to not contaminate any open wounds. The other syringe will be used to apply hydrogen peroxide to clean out a wound. Why a syringe, well you can use less to get the job done so you don’t waste any.
- Tick Removal Tool: These look somewhat like a key. This type of tool slides over the body of the tick and you can more easily pluck it out of your dog’s fur. With long coated or double coated dogs, using the scissors to cut away the extra fur to see the tick may be necessary.
- Blanket or towels: These can easily be wrapped around your dog in case of a large wound or even to be used to help with combating heatstroke. You can soak the blanket or towel in cool water and drape on your dog, resetting as necessary.
- Emergency Blanket: These look like aluminum foil and can be used if your dog is going into shock. They reflect light, so they can be used to signal for help.
- Styptic Pencil: This helps stop mild bleeding. If your dog breaks a nail, applying this pencil can stop the bleeding quickly.
- Rubbing Alcohol: This will be used to disinfect your scissors, tweezers and or tick removal tool.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: This can be applied to a wound or to gauze which is then placed on the wound to keep the area clean until you see your dog’s veterinarian.
- Crate and Muzzle: A good life skill for your dog to learn is comfortably being in a crate and wearing a muzzle, so in the event of an emergency, this experience doesn’t added to your already distressed dog.
- Veterinarian Phone Numbers: When you’re in an emergency, you don’t want to be google searching your vet’s name. Nor do you want a pet sitter trying to track you down for your local vet information. Instead, tape the numbers of trusted vets to the inside of your dog’s first aid kit and ensure anyone who is caring for your dog away from you knows where to find it and access it.