By Janice Jones Last Updated 11-25-2023
Do you need a dog first aid kit? If you own a dog, then the answer is a resounding Yes. Things happen, often through no fault of your own and you want to be prepared for any emergency.
A fully stocked first aid kit will help put your mind at ease knowing that you can handle minor as well as major emergencies.
Adding a few basic medications also helps keep you prepared for minor medical issues that are sure to arise from time to time.
Luckily, stocking a canine first aid kit for your canine child is much the same as stocking a first aid kit for yourself with a few exceptions. It does not need to be fancy or costly and can be something you can put together from items that you may already have in your home.
The key to a well-stocked canine first aid kit is that it will be easily available and well organized so you will not spend valuable time searching for the needed item. Having a complete first aid kit at home is the first step, but you may want to consider where and how the dog travels.
If you take your dog on car rides, a smaller version of the kit should be kept in your car. Do you walk your dog? Chances are that you might appreciate having a portable kit that fits into a backpack or purse even if the walk is short.
There are two options for first aid kits for dogs.
The first and easiest is to purchase a kit from the store or internet and then add items if needed. This is the easiest and possibly less costly than assembling your own. There are definite pros and cons to this method for acquiring a standard ready-made first aid kit.
The second option is to start from scratch, purchasing items from a store. To make your own, you will need a suitable container to keep all your supplies organized and neat.
A small toolbox works well as well as a fishing tackle box. You can
also use a cardboard box or a plastic tote. If you decide to use a
cardboard box, you might want to line it or cover it in contact paper to
help it last longer. Since you will be adding liquid items such as
hydrogen peroxide that can spill, you will want to make sure that your
container can be easily cleaned.
The key is to find something that is easy to grab and move. If you keep all your supplies in a kitchen drawer, for example, they will not be as portable and you will be finding yourself grabbing items, one at a time. To keep the canine first aid kit organized.
I like to place like items in small sandwich or snack bags. An entire travel first aid kit for walks or car rides fit nicely in a gallon size bags that you can reseal. Keep one of these in your car for emergencies, canine or human and another one by the door for your daily walks.
The contents of your kit should include traditional first aid supplies as well as items that you will use for medical problems such as the occasional bout of diarrhea.
The following items should be a part of any first aid kit, both travel as well as home.
What emergency people might call triage, you can learn to prioritize your dog's injuries in the order from most severe to least. But before you try to do anything, be sure you and your dog are in a safe place. This may mean moving your dog from the middle of the road or applying a muzzle for your own protection. Remember you won't be able to help your dog if you are injured.
According to Amy D. Shojai, in the First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats,
Priorities from most severe to least
Many people think of an emergency as something obvious such as bleeding, non responsiveness, labored breathing, but your dog may need immediate care. Always call your vet first before attempting to do any first aid if at all possible. First aid should be thought of as a one time reaction on your part before professional help can be obtained.
Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.
Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.
She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.
When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and smart knit crocheting.