Sharing your home and life with a pet is a joyous thing. Your dog is part of your family and as such, you want to take care of him. Having a basic pet first aid kit on hand is necessary, at home and when you travel. You can easily buy a pet first aid kit from a pet supply store. Or you could buy a first aid kit designed for people and put specific things for your pet in it. If you want to customize a first aid kit for your pet from scratch, we have put together a list for you.
Paperwork For Your Pet
This is your pet's vaccination and medical records, emergency phone numbers for the vet, and the nearest emergency vet clinic, and a poison control hotline. Make sure the paperwork is in a waterproof container or bag. You want to keep all this information in one place in case of a critical emergency. Of course, it's good to have copies of everything on the cloud, but if you don't have access to the internet or electricity, then you still have all the information at your fingertips. A pet first aid book is also a good addition to this kit.
This is useful in the event that your dog swallows something toxic, and you need to induce vomiting. Be sure you're familiar with the proper procedure to do this. It's also a good idea to print out the instructions for the procedure, just in case you're somewhere you can't access the internet.
Basic First Aid Supplies
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Gauze rolls
- Ice pack
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
- Rectal thermometer (your pet's temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Self cling bandage
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
A towel or a blanket creates a soft surface for you to rest your dog on, if they are injured and you need to examine them. If your pet is panicking, wrapping them up in a soft blanket can help calm them down, and allow you to access their injury. Towels and blankets can also help if the ground is too hot or cold or covered in sharp rocks, making it safe place to lay your pet down.
Collapsible Travel Food and Water Bowls
Hydrating your dog when you're out and about is necessary. A collapsible food/water bowl is great in an emergency, and even in non-emergencies. Just one bowl is enough if you've got your dog with you when you're out running errands, or going for a jog.
Bottled Water and Food/Treats
A collapsible water bowl is no good without water. It's obvious, but these are the things we tend to forget. Be sure to keep a bottle of water for your dog in case you don't have access to your normal water supply. An emergency stash of food in case of shortage, or if you're stranded somewhere for a few hours is also a good idea. Treats can be used to distract your dog if he's getting restless, or reward him after he's allowed you to treat an injury.
If your dog needs regular medication, of course you should have that in your first aid kit. Consult with your vet about keeping backup supplies, so you have them at hand when traveling. Things like benadryl, tick medication, diarrhea pills are all useful to have in the kit, apart from prescription medication.
Extra Leash, Collar and Poop Bags
It's never a bad idea to have an extra collar and leash on hand. Your dog could snap his leash in an accident, and you'd risk him running farther than you like without an extra one. It doesn't have to be an expensive leash, even the free ones that vets give out would be good to keep in your kit and even in your car. Poop bags are always useful, especially if you're traveling and your dog gets sick.
Once you've bought or created your pet first aid kit, have a talk with your vet. Ask them if there are any items they specifically recommend keeping on hand for your pet. Make sure to check the supplies periodically and replace any items that are used up or expired. A first aid kit will not take long to put together and even quicker to buy, but it will be invaluable for your pet's safety and comfort.