Canine First Aid Essentials

If you hike or sail or camp with your pet, you may be familiar with common pet injuries that require first aid. A broken toenail, an allergic reaction, or random scrape of the eye from a bramble can all lead to one unhappy pup.  Having the right first aid items on hand will help you handle these common situations to keep your dog comfortable and get him back to exploring.  When building your first aid kit, remember, these are general recommendations.  Your kit should be specific to your area, activities and any medical conditions your dog may currently have.

    1. Nail clippers and a styptic powder to stop any bleeding.
    2. Bandages like rolled gauze, non-stick absorbent pads, and a stretchy self-adhesive wrap. Choose a wrap that sticks only to itself to avoid painful removal for your pet later. You may secure it with an adhesive tape that will not come into contact with the skin or coat.
    3. Nitrile gloves are handy to protect you and your dog from spreading germs to each other.
    4. A large clean towel can act as a sling to help an injured large dog move, be used to apply pressure to bleeding or to help keep your dog warm, if necessary.
    5. Benadryl for dogs is helpful to relieve symptoms of an allergic reaction to things like bee stings. Ask your veterinarian about dosing for your specific dog and always check the label for xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.
    6. Tweezers are helpful to remove ticks, thorns or splinters.
    7. Eye wash is great for flushing out a dog’s eye if it gets poked or irritated by sand or dirt or some other object.

This list is by no means exhaustive.  It is a general guide to the things that will be useful in the most common first aid situations with your dog.  Remember, situations that cause your dog pain or fear may also cause him to act aggressively toward anyone trying to help him.  Always proceed with caution when attempting to help a pup in distress.  Have fun building a first aid kit unique to your dog’s needs.  You will never regret taking this extra level of preparedness when you need it most.

This content is presented solely for informational purposes and may not be relied upon to replace in-person medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a professional pet healthcare provider.


Article Source:

Dr. Julie Buzby. Dog First Aid Kit: 15 Must-Have Items - Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips for Dogs. Dr. Buzby’s Blog. 2023

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