Dog First Aid Kit: What Should You Include?

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Dog first aid kitYou 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
  • Poisoning
  • 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?

AKC Pet First Aid KitThere 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 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)
  • Tape
  • 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)
  • Leash
  • 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)
  • Tweezers
  • 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.

Dog First Aid Kit Tips

Dog First Aid Kit Tips

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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.

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Craig Bickford
June 30, 2019 9:28 am

Those large AKC certified 1st aid kits on Amazon are complete garbags. Read some of the one star reviews, trash and cheaply made inexpensive materials and items.

March 15, 2019 2:05 am

is it ok too use aspercream to my four pd twenty year old YorkI?