10 Things to Keep in Your Dog's First Aid Kit

Owner applying sterile dressing to Jack Russell paw

It's always a good idea to make sure you have a few necessities for your dog, just like it's not a good idea to leave home without basic first aid supplies for your family. Whether it's a splinter or a fractured bone, with the necessary materials (and a pet first aid course is always a good idea).

While there are numerous pre-made first aid kits for dogs on the market, it's usually preferable to build your own depending on your dog's specific lifestyle and needs. Even better, many of the goods you should have in your pet's first-aid kit are also useful for people. Remember that your pet's first-aid requirements are mostly determined by their breed, age, and lifestyle. So, while you're out and about, visit your veterinarian to assist you create a first aid bag to fit your pet's medical needs.

If your dog is for example, their pet first aid box should have honey to treat a low blood sugar episode, while energetic and outdoorsy canines may require splints in the event of an injury. Medications for dogs who already take them should always be available (at least for a few days), and you should rotate them out so they don't expire.

Be Prepared

Getting or making a first aid kit for your dog is a good start, but it won't help much if you don't know how to utilize the supplies in an emergency.

That's why taking a pet first aid course is usually a good idea—you should be able to locate one via your veterinarian, community college, or the Red Cross. You may also look for pet first aid or animal health books at your local library or bookstore (they even make handy pocket-sized ones that can fit in your first aid kit).

Always be sure to familiarize yourself with pet emergency clinics in your area (and anywhere you frequently travel), and identify apps or websites you can consult in case of an emergency.

Ready to get started? Here are 10 items you might want to start with when assembling a first aid kit for your four-legged friend.

Tweezers

Tweezers are a must-have for anyone who spends a lot of time outside. Splinters and other foreign materials may be removed from wounds using them, and they're also an effective initial line of protection against ticks.

A tick removal tool can also be beneficial, particularly for families that spend a lot of time or camping, or if you live near the woods.

Scissors

Both human and canine first-aid kits benefit from scissors. They may be used for everything from cutting out an object stuck in your dog's fur to liberating them from anything knotted in their fur to cutting gauze or making a splint.

Ice/Hot Packs

The ability to administer cold and/or heat therapy to your dog in the case of an injury is critical. You can start with ice and then move to heat if your dog appears to have had an acute injury or is sore after hard activity. Always place a towel between the pack and your dog's skin, and check for redness or irritation often.

Cold therapy can help reduce swelling and inflammation in your dog while relieving pain (as it helps reduce the damage to muscles). It can also decrease muscle spasms and promote faster healing.

If your dog is suffering from a condition like arthritis, your hot pack can help, since heat treatment can speed up healing time owing to the increased blood flow induced by the heat.

Contact Info

You'll want to maintain a list of phone numbers on hand at all times, and your first aid box is a wonderful location to store them. Make a list that contains the phone numbers for your normal veterinarian, an emergency veterinarian, animal control, and animal poison control. It's also a good idea to save these phone numbers in your phone.

Splints

Splint rolls that are moldable and foam-covered are ideal for dogs. A splint can assist reduce movement and make your dog as comfortable as possible while you seek emergency treatment if you fear your dog has fractured a bone in his or her lower limb (or torn a ligament).

Blood Clotting Powder

It's all too tempting to panic if your dog is bleeding from an injury. Whether it's a bite from a dog, a cut from outside play, or a ripped toenail, the good news is that there's something that can help halt the blood flow until the wound can be treated.

Blood clotting powder for dogs can help prevent bandages from being saturated with blood (and of course protect the interior of your car on the way to the vet or animal hospital). However, if your dog has suffered major blood vessel damage, it can also assist avoid serious and even life-threatening blood loss.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Because it may be used to induce vomiting in some instances, hydrogen peroxide might be a useful item in your dog's first aid kit (provided you have the OK from your veterinarian). Even better, if your dog has a run-in with one of the nasty animals while wandering in the woods, it may be utilized as part of a (or playing in the backyard). If you're going to use it to disinfect wounds, don't be too cautious—it'll have to be diluted (your vet can help).

Gauze (or Vet Wrap)

A roll of gauze can be used as bandages, a tool to stop bleeding, and padding for splints in both human and canine first aid kits. Because it sticks to itself and is water resistant, Vet Wrap is an excellent choice for your four-legged pet.

Antibiotic Ointment

Minor wounds in your dog can be treated with antibiotic ointment. Most over-the-counter medications are safe for pets, but you should avoid allowing your dog to lick it (and be sure to keep it away from their eyes).

Even better, there are pet-friendly fast-acting ointments that may be used to treat minor ailments such as rashes and wounds, sores, dry skin, and even allergies—and they won't hurt your pet if consumed unintentionally.

Muzzle

Nobody likes the notion of having to their dog, yet many dogs become anxious and even violent after an injury. A breathable mesh that can be adjusted to any size is a useful item to have on hand in case your dog needs emergency medical treatment and isn't cooperating with the vet.

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