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Tips for Making a First Aid Kit for Dogs

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Dog with medical kit

If you have kids, you’ve probably assembled a first aid kit to handle the bumps, scrapes and bruises that are an inevitable part of the childhood experience. But are you prepared if something happens to your beloved dog? 

Dogs are just as prone to accidents and injuries as kids, especially during their rambunctious puppy phase. You’ll want to have the right supplies on hand so you can react quickly to any unexpected canine medical emergency.

Purchasing a Pre-Made Kit vs. Building Your Own

You can purchase a pre-made first aid kit for dogs at your local pet supply store or online. While these pre-assembled kits typically contain basic first aid items for handling common emergency situations, they may not have specific products that pertain to your dog’s needs and lifestyle. For instance, if your dog is diabetic, a pre-made kit is not likely to include appropriate food products for dealing with a sudden low blood sugar issue. Your dog may also be taking certain medications that obviously wouldn’t be found in a store-bought kit.

Another option is to build a customized first aid kit. Simply take a “people” first aid kit or sturdy metal box and fill it with the essential supplies that make the most sense for your dog. While this may be more time-consuming and expensive, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be fully prepared to administer potentially lifesaving care to your dog. 

What to Include in Your Dog’s First Aid Kit

Whether you decide to buy a first aid kit or build your own, your kit should have essential items including:

  • Gauze pads and gauze rolls
  • Self-cling bandages
  • Cotton swabs
  • Eyewash
  • Blunt-end scissors
  • Foil emergency blanket or towels
  • Icepack
  • Tweezers
  • Antiseptic (spray, wipes or lotion)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting if your dog consumes a toxic substance)
  • Muzzle (protects you against biting by your frightened dog)

Other Useful Pet Emergency Tips

Medical kit

You should also talk to your vet about any medications or other specific items you should have on hand for your dog. Additionally, you should have a pet carrier for transporting your sick or injured dog to the vet’s office or animal hospital. Keep the number for your vet and/or nearest pet emergency clinic by your home phone and stored in your mobile device. If you frequently take your dog with you when you leave home, it’s a good idea to keep a second first aid kit in your vehicle.

Get an Emergency Pet Care Education

Having access to a first aid kit will be of little value if you don’t know what to do when an emergency arises. Many communities offer pet first aid classes where you can learn basic emergency treatment techniques. Ask your vet about any available books or literature regarding the topic of pet first aid. By being fully prepared for a medical emergency, you’ll be more likely to keep a clear head and react calmly – and that can mean the difference between life and death for your dog!

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