Dog First Aid Kit
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A fully-stocked dog first aid kit is a "must-have" for all dog parents. If you have ready access to a first aid kit that is well-stocked and well-organized, you will have that peace of mind that even in cases of emergency, you will be ready to give your dog first aid and care.
It is not too difficult to put together a basic first aid kit for your dog. All you have to do is make a list and then gather all the things on the list, put them in a water-proof container and store it in an easy-to-reach place. You should have one kit in your house and one in your car.
In addition to the "basics", also add some natural first aid remedies to your dog's first aid kit. They are invaluable for use in various emergency situations, and will greatly reduce stress and pain suffered by the dog in an emergency.
Here is a first aid kit list that may be of help to you in putting together a kit for your dog.
A Holistic Dog First Aid Kit
First, make sure you have these basic items in your dog's first aid kit:
- Blankets: Blankets are essential in an emergency. A blanket can help maintain the dog's body temperature, and can also be used as a make-shift stretcher to transport your dog.
- Muzzle: A dog in pain can be snappy. Put a muzzle on your dog to prevent biting while you are treating him.
- Tweezers: These are handy to have to remove small objects on a dog's skin (e.g. thorns, stings, or debris from wounds).
- Scissors: A clean pair of scissors is necessary in case you need to trim your dog's hair around the wounds.
- Bandage Scissors: Another clean pair of scissors with blunt tips is necessary to cut the bandage close to the skin without cutting the skin.
- Bandages, vetwrap, and gauze: These are essential to bind wounds and stop bleeding.
- Cotton Swabs: These are handy to remove debris from cuts, and to apply antiseptic application.
- Disposable Gloves: To protect your dog and yourself!
- Styptic Pencil: To stop bleeding from a minor wound and seal minor cuts, or if your dog has a broken nail and is bleeding, a styptic pencil can do the task.
- Medical Stapler: A medical stapler can be used to quickly close a larger wound that is bleeding profusely.
- Flashlight: Having a flashlight helps you see more clearly in ears, down the throat etc.
- Digital Thermometer: When your dog is injured or suddenly gets sick, it's important to monitor his body temperature. Normal body temperature in dogs is 101-102.5°F (38.3-39.2°C).
- Eyedropper: Use this to administer medication.
- Tick Remover: This is important if you live in a place where ticks are plentiful. Ticks can cause diseases such as Lyme Disease so be sure to check your dog for ticks after hiking, long walks in the woods, etc.
You also need some basic medication in the dog's first aid kit for various situations:
- Hydrogen Peroxide: A food-grade hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in certain cases of poisonings. (Be sure to check with an emergency vet before inducing vomiting.)
- Activated Charcoal Powder: This is used to help absorb poisons that has been ingested by the dog.
- Disinfectant: Disinfectant such as Povidone iodine (Betadine) is good as it doesn't sting.
- Saline Solution: This is used to wash out wounds or minor burns.
- Eye Wash: An eye wash can be used to flush out dust, dirt, and small objects that have got into the dog's eye. It can also be used if the dog is sprayed by a skunk directly in the eye.
- Benadryl: Sometimes a dog may have an allergic reaction to bug bites or bee stings. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be given at 2mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours until the reaction subsides.
- Pain Relief: This is essential if your dog is in great pain. Remember not to use any OTC painkiller for humans. A safer choice is buffered aspirin, but do check with your vet first before administering aspirin to your dog.
- Syrup: High sugar source such as Karo syrup can be used to treat hypoglycemia.
Herbal and Homeopathic Items
Some natural products can effectively be used to treat minor wounds or health symptoms. The following items are good to have in your dog's first aid kit.
- Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy
This flower essence product is excellent for shock and trauma. If your dog is agitated, scared, nervous, or in shock, give this remedy to him.
- Vetri-Science Fast Balance G.I.
This is a fast acting supplement that provides immediate care for dogs (and cats) with diarrhea and loose stools and other gastrointestinal dysfunction.
- HomeoPet Digestive Upsets
This homeopathic remedy provides fast relief to your dog with digestive problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas, etc.
- Newton Homeopathics Fever and Infection for Dogs and Cats
This homeopathic remedy is effective in helping reduce fever and relieve symptoms associated with infection such as lethargy, loss of appetite and inflammation.
- Dr. Harvey's Organic Healing Cream
This topical healing cream contains calendula, aloe, rosemary, thyme, chamomile, comfrey, etc. - all known to promote healing. It can be used to help not only with cuts, but also rashes, hot spots and itching.
Information in the First Aid Kit
Last but not least, be sure to have this useful information in your dog's first aid kit:
- A list of all items in the first aid kit, their uses, and expiry dates.
- Your veterinarian's phone number
- Emergency animal hospital's phone number
- Your local animal poision control center's phone number