HOW TO MAKE A DOG FIRST AID KIT
As pet owners, it’s a wise decision to take time and effort to craft a well rounded first aid kit for our dogs. After all, we all know the various ways that dogs help us heal, so we must do the same for them in their time of need. With that said, here are some tips and ideas on how to create your own dog first aid kit so you can be prepared for injuries.
What Is a Dog First Aid Kit?
Essentially, a dog first aid kit is a cohesive collection of emergency items for your dog, so that you can combat any injury or illness that may come their way. Similar to how humans incur common injuries, dogs encounter their fair share. Developing an emergency dog first aid kit will allow you to be ready for scrapes and cuts, potential infections, splinters, sprains, bruises, and care for other minor injuries to your dog. You can also keep helpful medications for issues like allergies or an upset stomach.
What Should Be Included in a Dog First Aid Kit?
Many different injuries can occur to your four legged friend, so it’s important to make sure you have the right items in your dog first aid kit.
The first and arguably the most important item is veterinary information. If a major injury does occur and your dog needs to go to the vet, you want to have your vet’s contact information, your dog’s important medical records, vaccination records, etc. in your first aid kit. This way you will always know where your dog’s necessary information is during an emergency.
In addition, gauze, bandages, scissors, and wound cleaner are other items that should be in the first aid kit. These are helpful in case your dog gets cut. When a cut happens, you want to pour water on it and disinfect the small wound with an antiseptic rinse or saline solution. You may wish to have an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin. This can be applied to any cuts your dog may receive to prevent infections. The gauze and bandages in the kit can be used to stop bleeding and to help keep the wound covered.
You want to have hot and cold packs on hand for bruises or inflammation. Cold packs are great for reducing swelling and bruises, while hot packs are effective at increasing circulation and providing comfort.
No dog first aid kit would be complete without including other basic pet first aid supplies like additional food, water, treats, and wet wipes. These are items essential to your dog’s care and are some of the first things you may need in an emergency. Considering the trip or excursion you are taking means planning for the amount of supplies you might need. In the event you are going on a more intense trip like hiking, you should have on hand a few days’ worth of food and water. Whereas a simple day trip to the park can suffice with only a day’s worth of supplies.
For dogs that love to go on outdoor adventures, or even for senior dogs that tend to be more prone to injury, additional safety precautions can be taken to ensure safety. Pet insurance is a great tool to have in your aid kit. As a dog owner you’ll want to step back and ask yourself, “is it a good idea to get pet insurance?” Would you be able to help your dog get the best care they need if an emergency happened tomorrow? While it may be intangible, insurance can make a huge difference in the care you can give your pet, especially in an emergency situation. It can help eliminate some of the financial hardship associated with certain injuries that cause your dog to go to the vet, and will allow you to be one step ahead should anything unexpected pop up on your adventures or at home.
Where Should The Dog First Aid Kit Be Kept?
Ideally, you’ll want to have your dog first aid kit everywhere your dog goes. While you and your dog are at home you should keep your dog first aid kit in a safe location, like a medicine cabinet, bathroom, or any other place medical supplies are kept. When you leave the house to go to the vet, dog park, etc. you can keep it in your car. If you and your dog are going on long distance adventures like hiking, swimming, or camping, then you want to make sure you keep it with you. A travel backpack is a great solution so you can carry all of the essentials.
Dogs are just like any other member of the family. When they are hurt, they should be taken care of like any loved one. Having and maintaining a dog first aid kit is a great way to make sure your dog remains healthy and happy for the years to come no matter the circumstance.
(Thanks to Michael R. for the base article. Edited by Beverly Ulbrich, The Pooch Coach.)