The canine first aid kit
CQ Health Flash
A follow-up with your Vet is always recommended after treating an urgent situation.
Animal Poison Control Center
Being prepared with a Canine First Aid Kit may help you to help your canine companion through minor bumps and bruises and more serious illness or injury, giving you the precious extra time you may need to reach adequate veterinary care. Canine First Aid Kits can be put together rather easily with items found in most pharmacies, drug, and pet stores. A carry-bag or briefcase with multiple pockets and compartments will ease the task of organizing and finding what you need - when you need it. They can also be purchased ready-made, with many supplies already included. A plastic bin with a snug fitting lid can store larger items. You may want to create two kits: one with essentials for short trips or walks and one, more complete kit to handle just about any emergency.
The following items are recommended for your Canine First Aid Kit:
: Buy a dog first aid book that is small enough to fit in your kit, but complete enough to include the
information you need.
• Activated Charcoal- for absorption of ingested poisons (consult your Vet & Animal Poison Control
• Aspirin- to reduce inflammation and discomfort. • Benadryl Strips, Liquigel Caps,or Tablets (Diphenhydramine)- helps relieve swelling & itching from
• Gas-X / Phazyme (Simethicone)- helps with unusual flatulence or gas discomfort. Treatment for
suspected Bloat before you get to the Emergency Vet.
• Hydrogen Peroxide- to induce vomiting for some suspected toxic ingestions. (consult your Vet & Animal
• Kaopectate / Imodium (Loperamide)- can be given to some dogs for diarrhea. • Karo Syrup or Honey (even maple syrup or clear jelly packets)- helps with suspected low blood sugar.
• Pepto-Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)- helps with upset stomach or vomiting. Tablets may be better
• Antibiotic Ointment- for skin cuts and scrapes. • Antibiotic Opthalmic Ointment- for eyes • Antibacterial soap or wipes- for cleaning cuts and scrapes.
• Hydrocortisone Cream- to relieve irritated skin and reduce itching from hives, hot spots, insect bites and
• Styptic, Kwik Stop or Cornstarch- helps stop bleeding of small cuts. • Sterile Saline or Water - for rinsing out eye debris or dirty cuts. Can be used to dissolve medications in
• Include a small supply of your pet’s current medications
: You must learn about each of the medications you choose to include in your first aid kit; the uses, dosage, side effects, and contraindications. Be sure to check expiration dates, replace as needed, and consider purchasing small sizes for ease of fit and less waste if they do expire. Always consult with your veterinarian when collecting supplies for the correct dosage of any “human” medications you want to use.
• Gauze Pads - regular or non-stick ( 2x2 & 4x4)
• Vet Wrap (aka. Coban) • Tape- Cloth or Vinyl (1 and / or 2 inch rolls) • Liquid Stitches / Dermabond or Steri-strips- used to hold skin edges together in place of stitches.
• Mole Skin - quick repair for splits in pads • Clean Bootie(s)- to cover affected paws
• Blunt or Bandage Scissors • Clean water- at least a gal on (4 liters) to keep handy in the car • Cotton balls and / or Qtips • Non sterile gloves
• Stubby (Rectal) Thermometer- fever or digital to handle dog’s higher body • temperature • Safety razor blade
• Surgical Lubricant - for thermometer lubrication • Syringe(s)- 3 ml & 10 m l- for giving dissolved, oral medications or flushing out wounds
• Tongue Depressors- can be used as splints • Tourniquet • Tweezers
• Blankets or Towels - (2) to use as stretcher or warmth during transport • Wash
• Pet’s Medical Record: include medications and vaccination history • Veterinarian’s contact information • Local Emergency Veterinary Clinic - phone number & location
These lists are meant to give you basic information when putting together your own first aid kit. Based on
experiences and situations, you may choose items you want to add to make your kit a “custom fit.” “Ready made” Kits
are available on-line (just a small selection)
• • Tick Key, a tick removal device. Block of Alum, to stop bleeding of small
American Veterinary Medical Association,
Walker Valley Veterinary Hospital website,
The Dog Health Guide, Drs. Foster and Smith, Dog Owners Guide, Online Magazine,
Dog First-Aid 101,
Nature’s Farmacy Inc.
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