You’re out on the trails with your dog for a fun afternoon of walking, hiking, enjoying the outdoors bonding with your dog. All of a sudden, you hear a yelp from your dog and notice he is holding his paw up. When you examine his paw you notice he has a gash on his front foot pad.
How about the afternoon you are at a get together with friends or family and both your dog and your friend’s dog are playing in the back yard. You call your dog over and notice the side of her mouth is swollen and she’s pawing at it. After examining her mouth for a foreign object you realize that she was likely stung by a bee.
In each of these common scenarios, do you have the necessary first aid items to care for your dog and then determine if a call or visit to the vet is necessary?
Many of us have been in that situation at one time or another where our dog cut their pads, nicked their ear, got bit by a bug or stung by a bee and didn’t have the items needed to care for the cut or bite.
Are you prepared with the first aid items needed to help your dog?
Here are the basic must haves you want to have in a K9 First Aid Kit so you are not left scrambling trying to help your dog when they are hurt.
Gauze (roll and various square sizes) – this is necessary for cuts, abrasions, gashes that you want to keep clean until you can have your dog looked at by a vet.
Vet Wrap – great for keeping gauze or bandages in place. It sticks to itself and keeps your dog from licking or biting a wound.
Hydrogen Peroxide – great for cleaning a wound or inducing vomiting – ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR VET OR POISON CONTROL BEFORE INDUCING VOMITING! SOME THINGS SHOULD NOT VOMITED BACK UP!
Gallon Jug of Water – this is a must for re-hydration, cleaning wounds, soothing burns or scrapes or aiding in cooling off a dog that is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke while getting them to the vet.
Scissors – necessary to cut gauze or vet wrap. Be careful when using to remove bandages as sharp pointed scissors can cause injury to your dog!
Sterile Saline Eye Wash – great for flushing the eyes if they get debris in their eyes
Instant Cold Press – a must for helping reduce inflammation in the event of a sting, bug bite, sprain or strain
Benadryl – great for reactions to but bites or bee stings – generally the recommended dose is 1 mg per pound of body weight, however, Benadryl can be contraindicated with certain conditions, such as pets with glaucoma, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Always check with your vet before administering any medication to your dog.
Digital Rectal Thermometer/Vaseline – the average body temperature for a dog is 101-102.5. If your dog is not feeling well, knowing his temperature can help provide useful information. Knowing your dog’s normal body temperature is important to know if it is off when she’s not feeling well.
Space Blanket – great for if your dog is going into shock (bee sting/bug bite, dog confrontation, ate something toxic or from an injury) while you are getting your dog to the vet.
Tweezers – a must for getting splinters, small pieces of a foreign object out of pads, skin, teeth, etc.
Contact Card with all pertinent information about you and your dog including age, allergies, medications, name of Vet & number, emergency contact name & number. This is really important as many times we are not always thinking clearly if our dog gets seriously injured or, in the event of an accident and you are not able to provide this information to first responders.
Poison Control # (888-426-4435) – absolute must in the event your dog ingests something toxic – or you’re not sure if it’s toxic.
Muzzle – every dog should be muzzle trained – even the most loving and loyal dog may bite when in pain and you’re trying to assist them.
Sterile Gloves – important so dirt, bacteria or germs from your hands don’t get in a wound or to apply medications or ointment.