What Should Be In A First Aid Kit: Canine Version

Assembling a canine first aid kit for home or travel use is fairly simple

An emergency can take you by surprise at any time so it’s really important to have a well-stocked box or bag for you and one for your pets in case someone gets hurt or sick while far from a hospital or veterinary clinic.

Today we will help you decide what should be in a first aid kit.

Assembling an emergency kit for home or travel use is fairly simple. In fact, it’s pretty easy to assemble a kit that will serve both human and canine members of your family!

The first thing you need for a good kit is a suitable durable container. On the outside, with a permanent marker, label the box “Canine First Aid” on all sides — in an emergency, someone else might have to locate and use this kit.

Tape to the inside of the box lid, a card with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Phone number.
  • The name and phone number of someone to contact in a medical emergency.
  • Your dog’s names, and any information about any medications they take, any allergies or significant medical conditions they have

You should also include the name and phone number of your vet. Also tape to the inside of the box lid, a card with a list of common medications, their general dosages, and the specific dose for the weights of your dogs.

For example:

  • Benadryl 1-2mg per lb, every 8 hrs
  • Aspirin 5 mg per lb every 12 hrs
  • Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting: 1-3 tsp every 10 min until pup vomits
  • Pepto Bismol 1 tsp per 5lb per 6 hours
  • Kaopectate 1 ml per 1 lb per 2 hours
  • Immodium 1 mg per 15 lbs 1-2 times daily
  • Mineral oil (as a laxative) 5-30 ml per day.

Note: NEVER EVER give Tylenol to your dog. This medicine is extremely toxic to the liver. Ibuprofen, Nuprin, Motrin, and Advil, aren’t recommended for pets either. Ibuprofen is very poisonous and fatal to dogs even at low doses. Only aspirin is safe for dogs, ascriptin is preferred to minimize stomach upset.

Check with your vet to confirm dosages before using any medicine. If symptoms persist, consult your vet as soon as possible. Do not continue to try to treat at home, the problem might be more serious than you think!

Give liquid medications using an oral syringe tucked into the side of the dog’s mouth, holding jaws closed. Try not to poke the syringe straight down the throat, this can cause the liquid to get into your pet’s lungs. Its also a good idea to keep copies of your dog’s vaccination records, including a copy of the Rabies Certificate, in the kit, or in a packet in your car. You never know when you may be incapacitated in an accident, and your dogs may be in the hands of a complete stranger who will need this information.

Things to put in your kit:

  • Cotton gauze bandage wrap – 1.5-inch width, 3-inch width
  • Vet Wrap — 2-inch width, and 4-inch width (4 inch. is sold for horses)
  • Ace bandage
  • First aid tape
  • Cotton gauze pads
  • Regular band-aids
  • Cotton swabs or Q-tips
  • Benadryl
  • Ascriptin
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • New Skin liquid bandage (useful for patching abrasions on pads)
  • Iodine tablets (if you hike and camp in areas where the stream water may not be safe for consumption without first treating with iodine or boiling)
  • Oral syringes (for administering liquid oral medicines, getting ear drying solution into ears, etc…very useful!)
  • Needle & thread
  • Safety pins in several sizes
  • Razorblades (paper wrapped for protection)
  • Matches
  • Tweezers
  • Hemostat (useful for pulling ticks, thorns, large splinters, etc.)
  • Small blunt end scissors
  • Canine rectal thermometer (get one made specifically for dogs)
  • Antibiotic ointment (such as Bacitracin, Betadine, or others)
  • Eye rinsing solution (simple mild eyewash)
  • Small bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Small bottle of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing)
  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes (in small individual packets)
  • Small jar of Vaseline
  • Specific medications YOUR dog may need (for allergies, seizures, etc.)

Also, have the following around the house, and consider packing to take on out-of-town trips:

  • *Ottomax (ointment for ear infections)
  • *Chlorasone eye ointment
  • *Gentocin topical sprayHydrocortisone topical spray (such as Cortaid brand)
  • Ear cleaning solution (Nolvasan Otic, Epi-Otic, or your favorite)
  • Homemade ear drying solution (1 part rubbing alcohol, one part white vinegar, two parts water)
  • Otoscope (for examining ears)
  • Epsom salts
  • Hotspot remedy ingredients — whatever your favorite hot spot remedy is, never leave home traveling with your Golden without everything you need to treat a hot spot.

The supplies preceded by a * must be obtained from a veterinarian. All other supplies can be purchased, over the counter, at any drug store.

If your dog has severe allergies to bee stings or other things that might be commonly encountered in places you take your canine friend, consider asking your vet about stocking your kit with medication that might be needed for that sort of special medical emergency. Likewise, trackers and field trainers may want to consult their vet about equipping their first aid kits with specific supplies to deal with snake bites.

Be sure to clearly LABEL all medications and supplies with their name and expiration date. Be sure to replace medications that may have exceeded their recommended expiration date. Go through your kit at least once a year, replacing expired medications, replenishing used supplies, etc.

Don’t forget to also include some treats in your box so giving medication to your pup goes smoothly. Also, include an extra leash and collar so you can walk with your fur baby in case of an accident or a problem with your car.

Bottom Line:

Your dog’s health is too precious to play gotta-save-money guessing games with! Remember first aid is just that — the “first” aid given as you get the patient to a doctor for proper medical attention.

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