When you’re bringing home your new pooch, a first aid kit for your dog may be the last thing you’re thinking about. Between finding the best food, getting a crate for crate training, finding a stylish yet functional leash and all the other must-haves for your new puppy, we’re not really thinking about what to do if Fido gets injured. Yet it’s one of the most important things to keep handy as a new dog parent.
This first aid kit should be left at home, unless you are traveling with the dog, then you want to take it along with you. While you can certainly purchase a first aid kit from your local pet store, you can just as easy make your own at home, for less money. Here is how to put together a first aid kit for your dog.
Putting Together a First Aid Kit for Your Dog
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The first thing to put in a first aid kit for your dog doesn’t cost a dime. Tape a list of these important numbers to the inside of your kit so they’re always handy.
- Your dog’s vet
- Closest vet clinic for those times you can’t get into your vet
- Emergency after-hours clinic for when that clinic is closed
- Animal poison control center- (888) 426-4435
- Dog cone– used in the event that the dog gets an eye or head injury. The dog cone will help to ensure that they won’t scratch or rub the injured area.
- Magnifying glass
- Bandage scissors– used to cut bandages when cutting gauze, etc. They’re safer than traditional scissors.
- Nail clippers
- Cornstarch- useful in helping stop bleeding in dogs
- Small flashlight
- Nylon leash– a leash is important to have in order to ensure the dog will not panic or try to flee the area.
- Eye dropper
- Cotton swabs/balls
- Paper towels
- Rectal thermometer- your dog’s temperature should not get over 103 degrees. If it does, they need immediate medical attention.
- Lubricant- for the thermometer!
- Disposable gloves
- Syringes (makes it easier to give liquid medications or apply medication to a specific area)
- Two blankets, one to use as a stretcher and one for keeping the dog warm.
- Cold packs/heat packs
- Chuck pads– these are the absorbent pads used in hospitals. They’re fantastic at keeping messes contained.
- Sterile gauzes
- Non-stick pads
- First aid adhesive and paper tape (go with the best possible kind that claims to be “ouch-free,” so it doesn’t rip your dog’s fur out)
- Bandage rolls
- Rehydrating solution (Rehydrate is designed specifically for dogs, but Gatorade will work in a pinch)
- Nutritional supplements
- Karo syrup or other dog-safe products high in sugar- useful when your diabetic dog’s sugar crashes.
- Wound spray– used in the event the dog gets a cut or scratch to clean and disinfect.
- Triple antibiotic skin ointment- the kind you use on your own skin is fine
- Antibiotic ophthalmic eye ointment- you’ll most likely need to talk to your vet about this one. I tried to find it once for my cat and was told it’s only sold by prescription.
- Eye wash solution- used in the event the dog gets a contaminant in their eyes.
- Sterile saline- can be used to clean wounds and eyes
- Diphenhydramine for allergic reactions (Benadryl)
- Cortisone cream/spray
- Ear cleaning solution- used in the event the dog gets a contaminant in their ears.
- Hydrogen peroxide- used to make a dog vomit in the event that he ingests poison
That seems like a lot of stuff to include in a first aid kit for your dog, but you’ll notice that quite a few items on the list are also found in your own kit. While I wouldn’t want to share a rectal thermometer with my dog, you can use some supplies from your kit for Fido. For example, I don’t see a need in keeping two sets of bandaging supplies or multiple bottles of Benedryl (unless you use it a lot!). Just keep your first aid kit for your dog close to your own (but marked clearly) so you can grab what you need from each one in an emergency.
For more articles on bringing your first pet home, visit a few of my favorite bloggers.
- Everything You Need to Bring Home Your First Hamster by Other People’s Pets
- Puppy Starter Kits for Your New Puppy by Calista’s Ramblings
- Introducing Your New Puppy to Your Older Dog by Dogurday
- 11 Things You’ll Need to Bring a New Puppy Home! by Lincoln the French
- Quick Start Guide To Bringing A New Pet Home by Time Out for Truffles
- How Pricilla Came to Live on the Farm by Broken Teepee
- Caring for a Feral Cat: What to Know Before Bringing Him Inside by Pretty Opinionated