This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM.
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You’re hiking along with your dog when suddenly she trips over a rock and starts limping. What do you do? When hiking and camping, you probably bring a first aid kit for humans, but don’t forget to be equally prepared for your furry friend. Learn some of the most common injuries for dogs and what to include in your dog emergency kit, so you are prepared to help.
Most Common Dog Injuries
Below is a list of some of the most common injuries that dogs sustain. You’ll want to be prepared for as many of these as possible.
Some injuries are impossible to foresee and will require a veterinarian’s expertise immediately. However, the supplies in a dog first aid kit can help comfort your pup until help arrives and might even save your dog’s life.
- Sprained joints
- Ingesting foreign objects
- Getting hit by vehicles
- Bites from other animals
- Poisoning (see which plants are toxic for dogs)
- Torn or broken nails
- Heat stroke or dehydration
- Eye injuries
Best Dog First Aid Kit
If you don’t want the hassle of assembling a kit on your own, there are a few top-rated pet first aid kits to choose from. These typically include many of the items you’ll want. They make great sporting dog first aid kits for adventurous pups, hunting dogs, bird dogs, and more.
- Rayco International Pet First Aid Kit with 45 essential items, including an LED safety collar
- ARCA PET Dog & Cat First Aid Kit with 100 items
- Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Dog Series Me & My Dog, a 2-in-1 kit that includes first aid essentials for both you and your dog
DIY: What Items Should I Include In A Pet First Aid Kit?
Another option is to create your own canine first aid kit from scratch or add items to your human first aid kit. Below is a list of items you’ll want to include in a dog first aid kit for hiking or other activities.
- Emergency Phone Numbers (vet, emergency vet clinic, poison control, etc.)
- Copies Of Medical Records
- Current Photos Of Your Pup (in case she gets lost)
- Self Cling Bandage (sticks to itself but not fur)
- Gauze (sponges and roll)
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Foil Emergency Blanket
- Cotton Balls
- Eye Lubricant (canine eyes become dry when they are unconscious, so you may need to moisten them)
- Eye Wash (to clean dirt out of your dog’s eyes)
- Hydrogen Peroxide (used to induce vomiting but only when authorized by your vet or poison control)
- Ice Pack
- Muzzle (so your dog doesn’t lick/bite any wounds)
- Disposable Gloves (non-latex)
- Rectal Thermometer (your dog’s temperature should be between 100°F and 102.5°F)
- Petroleum Jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Sterile Saline Solution
- Syringe (to flush any wounds with saline solution)
- Rehydrate Electrolyte Tablets
If your dog has any health issues (like allergies) or takes medications regularly, you will also want to include the supplies necessary to help your furry friend in the case of an injury.
Here’s a video that provides a more detailed explanation of the ideal contents for a canine first aid kit.
When Pet Insurance Can Help
If you’re worried about the many accidents and injuries that can happen to your pup when you’re exploring the world, you may want to consider getting pet insurance to help cover those vet expenses before they happen. Keep in mind that pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, so it’s wise to get your dog covered before anything happens.
With a pet insurance policy in place, you’ll never have to worry about choosing between an expensive treatment vs your pet’s suffering or even his life. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind, so you can make better and less emotional decisions in the face of a crisis. Read our reviews of the top pet insurance providers to learn more.
Dog First Aid Kit Tips
Check out this infographic for easy reference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions our readers ask most often about dog medical kits.
When Should I Carry A Dog First Aid Kit?
It’s important to take your dog’s first aid kit any time you are traveling with your pup. This includes hikes, long walks, trips to the park, vacations, etc. If your dog is away from home, she should travel with her kit and food.
How Do I Make A Homeopathic First Aid Kit For Dogs?
A homeopathic first aid kit should include many of the items we list above, but you may also want to add this Helio Homeopathic Pet Kit. It contains 24 homeopathic remedies to treat everything from stings and bites to wounds and sunburn. And it’s compact enough to fit in a larger first aid kit.
First Aid Training And Basic Treatment
Caring for your dog in a time of need can be scary. It’s important to know as much as possible before an emergency arises. We suggest purchasing a first aid book, like Prevention Pets First Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats, so you’re as prepared as possible in case your pet is in need.
We know you want to be as ready as possible, but it’s important to know your limits. Many pet parents want to know CPR, but you should never practice on a healthy dog because it could cause serious injury. To learn how to do CPR on your dog, check out this article. But, CPR success rates are low even in a hospital with trained professionals. So, owners shouldn’t waste too much time trying to do it themselves. Instead, contact and begin transport to the nearest vet clinic asap.Tagged With: Emergency, Reviewed By Dr. Racine, DVM