DIY Make your own Canine First Aid Kit
Gearing up for a road trip down the coast or just heading to the beach for the day? Take your cue from the Girl Scouts and always be prepared with a custom First Aid Kit for your furry friend. We packed ours in an old Snoopy lunch box, but any durable, preferably waterproof, case will do. If your dog is into extreme water sports, consider using a dry bag, available at most outdoor sports stores such as Mountain Equipment Co-op.
The following are the basics for a standard doggie kit. Keep in mind not everything that works on humans is suitable for Rover and never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without first checking with your vet.
Furry Friend First Aid Kit
1. A dog first aid book. We like The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats (Amy D. Shojai, Rodale, 2001). It’s a little hefty but it covers everything from allergic reactions to removing wax from fur.
2. Latex gloves
3. Emergency contact numbers. The digits for your vet, the closest animal emergency hospital, and the poison control hotline.
4. Tweezers (flat slant tip) and Scissors (dull ended). Avoid pointed ends lest you do more damage than good.
5. Special tweezers for tick removal. These are designed to remove the imbedded head, which, if left in, can lead to infection. We like the Tick Key
6. Cotton balls
7. Gauze Pads, Squares and Roll. For wounds—sticky bandages don’t work so well on fur. Try PawFlex bandages, they’re especially made for dogs and won’t stick to fur.
8. Disinfectant, such as Hibitane.
9. Wound spray: Try Vetericyn - simply spray it on to help clean and heal hot spots, bites, scratches, cuts, burns, ulcerated skin and more. Steroid and antibiotic-free. (vetericyn.com)
10. Saline solution. Can be used to clean wounds or flush sand out of eyes. Contact solution will work in a pinch.
11. Antihistamine. May be used to calm itchiness, swelling, and hives caused by bee stings or insect bites but, as with any medication, please consult a vet first as dosage will vary depending on your pup’s size.
12. Hydrogen Peroxide. While this is not recommended to clean wounds, it can be used to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion. Check with your vet before administering; in some circumstances vomiting may not be encouraged.
13. Bulb Syringe or Small Turkey Baster. Use to flush wounds or eyes or for administering medicine.
14. Antibacterial Wipes or skin soap. We like Pet E Pure Sanitizing Wipes
16. Rectal Thermometer. A dog’s average temperature is 38°C or 101°F.
17. Petroleum Jelly. For use with the above. Just trying to be considerate.
18. A muzzle fitted for your own dog, and a triangular bandage to use as a spare. Check out ProGuard Pets' muzzles they come in an assortment of sizes and colours.
19. A couple of packets of sugar, for diabetic emergencies
20. A little container of flour or corn starch, to stop bleeding of nails that have been broken or cut to the quick
21. Bach’s Rescue Remedy, provides natural stress relief and works wonders for dogs that have been through a traumatic situation.
It’s also useful to have an old blanket and some towels with you when traveling, as well as a second leash, some extra dog food (and of course, water), a flashlight, and matches. I’m the kind of girl who knows where all the exits are, as well as the lifejacket-to-passenger ratio, so this list could go on, but the above basics should have you covered until you can seek professional medical assistance. Safe travels!