Taking your dog camping? Bringing your furry friend on vacation with you? Is there a chance that you and your dog could ever have to evacuate quickly because of fire, flood, or other disaster? While you may have a quality first aid kit for the humans in your family, what about for your dog? Do you have the correct supplies to treat your dog if the need arises? If not, you’re in luck because the following list will give you a good idea of the items you should gather into a kit that can help keep your dog as safe as the rest of your family.
A List of Phone Numbers
Your vet, a veterinary emergency hospital, and pet poison hotline
Copies of Your Dog’s Vaccination Records
If you’re out of town and have to visit a vet, they may require proof of vaccination.
Your Dog’s Medications
Make sure you have an appropriate amount of your dog’s regular medications, just in case you get stuck somewhere for a few days without access to their meds.
Non-Latex Disposable Gloves
For safety’s sake, you’ll want to wear gloves when tending to your dog just as you would would a human.
You may be directed over the phone to take your dog’s temperature. You’ll need a thermometer for this. Remember, since a dog’s temperature most always be taken rectally, you won’t want to share this thermometer with your dog.
Gauze and Bandages (adhesive and non-adhesive)
You many need these to stop bleeding, wrap a wound to keep it clean, or even to wrap around a dog’s snout to make a temporary muzzle (leaving the nose uncovered) to keep the dog from biting while you attend to his injury.
You’ll need these for cutting bandages, tape, gauze, etc. Get blunt-tipped scissor so neither you nor your dog gets stabbed as you administer first aid.
This is necessary for taping bandages and gauze.
Cotton Balls, Cotton Swabs
Cotton can be very versatile in a first aid situation. You can use it to apply ointments and you can use it to soak up and clean up bloody or dirty areas.
You might have used this from time to time on burst blisters when hiking or running. It can come in handy for dogs as well in the event of a cut or scrape. After you clean the area, this spray dries and seals the wound to keep blood in and dirt out.
This can be useful for lubricating a thermometer and as a skin/wound protectant.
You may need to flush your dog’s eyes.
These are very useful for pulling out splinters, glass shards, and other small, sharp objects.
Diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl)
Check with your vet first on this one, but it can be helpful in the event that your dog has a dangerous allergic reaction.
This can be used to clean wounds. Also, however, when you call a poison hotline, for those poisons that must be expelled quickly they will say to you, “Induce vomiting immediately.” Usually the best way to do that is by forcing your dog to swallow hydrogen peroxide. You can’t follow the hotline’s advice if you don’t have this with you.
Milk of Magnesia
Check with your vet first, but dogs can usually take milk of magnesia for the same reasons you can – upset stomach and gastrointestinal upset.
Glucose Paste or Corn Syrup
If your dog is diabetic, you need to have this with you in case her blood sugar plummets. If your dog is able to eat, you can feed it to her. If your dog is unresponsive, you can rub it on her gums to try to raise the blood sugar.
You need to be able to see what you’re doing, especially when your dog’s health and wellbeing are at stake.
This can help stop infection before it begins.
This is the same stuff you would use on a cut or scrape. It can help your dog as well, helping to fight off infection until your dog can get to a vet. They also make some dog-specific versions of this.
You may be able to collect many of these items from around your house already. Also, you may be the do-it-yourself kind and want to go out and purchase each of these items individually. It is also an option to purchase a ready-made dog first aid kit at most pet stores or online. However you do it, it is extremely important to be prepared to tend to your dog in the event of an injury or illness when time is of the essence and you won’t be able to get to a vet quickly. Even careful people get hurt while camping, hiking, at the beach, or on a road trip. You never know when you’ll step in a hole, get bit, fall, or eat something you didn’t know you were allergic to. The same goes for your furry friend. You love your dog, perhaps even more than you’re willing to admit to some people, so don’t forget to show that love to your canine companion by being prepared to help him out when the unexpected happens.