By Dr. Becker
Many dogs – especially active, athletic types – wind up with a sudden illness or injury at some point in their lives.
It can be very unsettling and confusing for pet parents when a crisis with a beloved dog arises, which is why having an emergency first aid kit on hand is a great idea. That way, you have supplies available and right at your fingertips to care for your dog until you can get him either to your vet's office or an emergency animal clinic.
Keeping It All Together
It's best to put all your first aid supplies in a metal or plastic container labeled something like "Pet Emergency Kit" or "Buddy's First Aid Kit."
On the inside lid of the container, add a label listing your vet's phone number, the number of the closest emergency animal clinic, and a poison control number like the ASPCA's Poison Control Center hotline at 1-888-426-4435. This is also a good place to record any other pertinent information you might need in a hurry, like your dog's license tag number, microchip registration number, date of last rabies vaccination, etc.
Keep your kit in an easily accessible location and let everyone in the family know where it is. If you're traveling with your dog, it's a good idea to either bring the kit along, or prepare a second first aid kit for the car.
Items for Your Pet Emergency Kit
- Gauze to wrap wounds or for use as a muzzle if necessary
- Nonstick bandages or strips of clean cloth to cover a wound or control bleeding
- Adhesive tape to secure gauze, bandages or strips of cloth
- Clean towels (paper and cloth)
- Povidone iodine for wound disinfecting
- Activated charcoal to absorb an ingested poison (contact vet or poison control center before treating an animal for suspected poisoning)
- Hydrogen peroxide 3% to induce vomiting (after consulting with vet or poison control center)
- Digital rectal thermometer
- Eye dropper or large syringe without needle to give medicine or liquids or to flush wounds
- Muzzle (injured dogs can become aggressive out of fear or pain, however, if your dog is vomiting, do not muzzle him)
- Extra leash or harness
- Stretcher for large dogs (a blanket, throw rug, floor mat, board or other object can be used in a pinch)
Other items you might want to include:
✓ Tick removal tool, tweezers
✓ Ear cleanser
✓ Antiseptic wipes
✓ Nail clipper
✓ Antibiotic ointment
✓ Styptic powder/stick
✓ Cotton balls
✓ Bottled water
✓ Eye wash
✓ Disposable gloves
✓ Bach Rescue Remedy
✓ Homeopathic Aconitum for shock
You can also buy ready-made pet first aid kits.