Whether your dog is active and rambunctious, or just loves to be a couch potato, having a first aid kit is a great idea. Your dog can accidentally get a cut on his leg, break a toenail, or suffer from a minor burn.
In all of these cases, having a first aid kit on hand can help soothe the pain while also potentially avoiding a stressful trip to the veterinarian for basic treatment.
For a proper first aid kit, that covers a wide range of minor and medium injuries, here is a full list of the necessary items you should always keep on hand.
- Gauze pads. A non-stick fabric pad which is great for covering minor cuts, abrasions, and burns.
- Cotton balls. Useful for soaking in medications or cool water to help soothe wounds and minor bleeding areas.
- Adhesive tape. Useful for keeping gauze and cotton balls in place over wounds on legs, ears, or other areas of your dog’s body.
- Blunt-tipped scissors. Can be used to cut severe tangles out of fur without accidentally poking the dog with pointed tips.
- Necessary for pulling out thorns, quills, ticks, and other small items which are hard to grasp with your fingers.
- Examination gloves. A great way for keeping your hands clean in case of blood or other bodily fluids on your dog while dealing with an injury.
- Turkey baster. Can be a useful item for flushing out wounds, orally delivering liquid medications, and more.
- Dawn dishwashing soap. One of the best options for removing oil and tar that has gotten onto the fur or skin of your dog.
- Ice pack. Either soft or hard, this is useful for soothing injured areas on your dog such as burns, cuts, or scrapes.
- Styptic powder. Can also be substituted for cornstarch, both powders are an excellent way to instantly stop bleeding on minor wounds, toenails breaks, or cuts.
- Saline solution. Important for washing out eyes in case something painful got into it and is causing inflammation and pain.
- Antibiotic ointment. Any OTC antibiotic such as Neosporin can also be used on dogs to help heal minor cuts and abrasions.
- Alcohol wipes. Very important for removing dirt and bacteria from fresh wounds to help ensure proper healing.
- Hydrogen peroxide. Can be used to induce vomiting incase of emergencies, but always discuss its use with your veterinarian before using.
In addition to the above items, always be sure you keep an easy to find card with your veterinarian’s name, phone number, and address on it. You might also want to include the phone number for an emergency 24-hour vet, as well as an animal poison control center.
Once you have your entire first aid kit together, check the expiration dates on all of the supplies every 6 months or so to make sure everything is fresh. Always replace anything that has already expired or looks damaged.