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What Should You Pack In A Dog First Aid Kit?

Written by FOTP Team

Updated

dog having first aid

Dog First Aid kits… you can buy them online, but why not make a customised kit for the dog(s) in your household? 

Do You Need A Canine First Aid Kit?

Yes! Consider assembling a First Aid Kit for your dog if…

  • You’re taking your dog on holiday
  • You live in a hot climate
  • Your veterinarian doesn’t offer 24-hour service
  • You live far from the nearest vet
  • You’re confident in administering basic first aid to your dog.

What Should Be In It? 

First you’ll need a bag – but it doesn’t have to be a bag. You can have a First Aid Box or cupboard if you’re not travelling!

You are the best person to choose the healthcare items that are necessary, since every dog is different and susceptible to certain things more than others. Here are some items you could put into yours - 

  • Bandages and dressings: Abdominal pad, adhesive dressings in different sizes, Microporous tape, Bandages in different sizes, Tourniquet. 
  • Medical Equipment: Tongue Compress, First Aid Scissors, Syringe, Gloves, Lancet, Pill Box, Eye Drop Bottle.
  • Everyday veterinary care: Flea comb, Tick Remover, Nail Clippers, Cotton Buds, Alcohol Wipes, Eye Wash. 
  • Accessories: Safety pins.

First Aid For Wounds

Keeping a stash of bandages in the household is a sensible precaution. You can use the same bandages for people or dogs. 

  • Bleeding Wounds: You will need an absorbent bandage or an absorbent dressing pad. Either apply a dressing and then wrap bandage securely around the wound or press the dressing pad in place: pressure is required to stem the bleeding, but don’t wrap your bandage too tightly.
  • Broken Limbs: Don’t attempt to use a splint for the limb. Dress the injury if bleeding and keep the dog calm while you take them to the vet. 

Other First Aid Situations

Lots of dogs get into mischief – eating toxic plants or foods, escaping your yard, or running around on a very hot day. Here are some tips for providing first aid to care for your dogs:

  • Poisoning. Dogs can become sick or even have seizures after eating toxic foods, and certain common plants are on this list – we’ve written about those in our blog. If you think your dog’s eaten something poisonous, try to identify it and call your vet.
  • Burns. If your dog has been burned, run cold water over the skin or apply a soaked dressing for temporary relief. 
  • Heatstroke. In hot weather, encourage your dog to stay in shade and walk them early in the morning or later in the evening. If they appear distressed or they’re panting heavily, take them to a cool place and dampen their coat and paw pads with room-temperature water. 
  • Eye injury: Rinse the eye with an eye drop bottle and if necessary, apply a wet dressing afterwards. 
  • Insect stings: Locate and remove the sting, then bathe with baking soda dissolved in water. 

Note that in all of these situations, First Aid is your first but not main resort – you should call your vet immediately.