How to Make a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

April is not just the start of another exciting spring season, it is also National Pet First Aid Awareness Month! Everyone knows that emergency preparedness is critical in the event of an unforeseen accident or natural disaster. If you share your dwelling with one or more adorable fur babies, it is essential that you also have a pet first aid kit.

Below, we’ve listed some of the basic items you should have on hand in case of an emergency. As always, you should consult your veterinarian before administering any first aid on your pet.

Pet First Aid Kit Items:

  • Water
  • Activated charcoal (for poison absorption)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Anti-itch spray
  • Assorted bandages and gauze
  • Bandage scissors and/or battery powered beard trimmer
  • Bitter Apple Spray (to stop wound licking)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Digital thermometer
  • Emergency (warming) blankets
  • Emergency numbers – your vet, local pet emergency hospital, the National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435 – *note a fee may apply)
  • Flashlight or penlight with batteries
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Latex (or hypoallergenic material) gloves
  • Magnifying glass
  • Pet First Aid Manual
  • Saline solution (to flush eyes)
  • Soap
  • Styptic powder (to stop bleeding on nails)
  • Supply of your pet’s chronic medications (if any)
  • Tic release ointment
  • Tweezers

Additional ltems You May Want To Include:

Muzzle – In the event your dog goes into shock after a traumatic injury, the pain may cause your pup to bite. You can apply a muzzle to prevent this as well as use it when transferring your pup from home to emergency care.

*Make sure the muzzle does not interfere with breathing.

Extra leash – In an emergency you may not have the time or the option to search for a leash. Keep an extra one inside your kit to expedite transporting your dog.

Extra food & treats – If you have to leave in a hurry, having a small amount of your pet’s food and treats ready to go could save time and stress in an emergency.

*Tip: If you are pressed for time, or DIY is not for you, you can often purchase a ready-made pet first aid kit at your local vet or pet-supply store and then customize it for your dog’s specific needs.

Remember, when disasters happen you must try to keep your pets and yourself calm. Do not administer any medications without first contacting your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency hospital. The veterinarian may need to examine your pet before recommending medications. To cover all bases, talk with your veterinarian about what specific items to include for your dog’s first aid kit.

Travel often? Take the extra step and have a similar kit to ready to travel with in the car for those fun road trips.

Have you assembled your pet’s first aid kit? What did you include? Share your comments, tips and feedback below.

For more information on pet safety and first aid, check out these websites:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/pet-safety

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=20