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You are hiking along with your dog when suddenly she trips over a rock and starts limping. What do you do? After all, when you go hiking or camping you probably bring a first aid kit because you never know when someone will trip on a rock and scrape their knee or twist an ankle. The same could – and did! – happen to your furry friend. So it’s just as important to have a first aid kit for dogs too. 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 wrist and knee joints
- Ingesting foreign objects
- Getting hit by vehicles
- Bites from other animals
- Torn or broken nails
- Heat strokes or dehydration
- Eye injuries
Keep in Mind: These aren’t the only injuries to be cautious of, but are some of the most common.
What Items Should I Include In A Dog First Aid Kit?
There are a few options to consider when compiling your own kit. The first is to purchase a human first aid kit and add canine specific items to the pack. The second is to purchase a kit at a pet supply store. These typically include many of the items you’ll want.
- The American Kennel Club offers Small and Large kits
- Canine Friendly offers a smaller kit that has a carabiner attached to it so you can clip it onto a backpack or leash
The last option is more DIY: create your own emergency kit from scratch. Below is a list of items you’ll want to include in a first aid kit for dogs.
- Emergency Phone Numbers (vet, emergency vet clinic, poison control, etc.)
- Copies Of Medical Records
- Current Photos Of Your Pup (in case he/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)
- Petroleum Jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
- Rectal Thermometer (your dog’s temperature should be between 100°F and 103°F)
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Sterile Saline Solution
- Syringe (to flush any wounds with saline solution)
- Rehydrate Electrolyte Tablet
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 episode.
Here is a video that provides a more detailed explanation of the ideal contents for a canine first aid kit.
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, vacation, etc. If your dog is away from home, she should travel with her kit and food.
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 this one so you are as prepared as possible in case your dog is in need.
Other First Aid Tips
We know you want to be as ready as possible, but it’s important to know your limits. CPR is something many pet parents want to know but should never practice on a healthy dog. To learn how to do CPR on your dog check out this article. It’s important to know that you should NEVER practice CPR on a healthy animal because it could cause serious injury.
What do you carry in your dog first aid kit?
The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.