First Aid Kit Checklist for the Dog Owner
Having a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand for your beloved pet will help ensure that you’re prepared for minor illness and injuries. Although there are many commercial kits available, you can easily assemble your own kit with items commonly found at a pharmacy or local store. Having the right supplies means you’ll be ready to help your best friend safely and quickly in an emergency. Below is a list of products that may be helpful in a pinch.
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First Aid Kit Checklist
- Thermometer - A clean, rubber-tipped digital thermometer can come in handy if your pet is ill. You’ll use this to determine whether they are over-heated/febrile or too cold (hypothermic). The most accurate way to take a pet’s temperature is rectally, so be sure to set aside one just for your pet instead of sharing with humans!
- Lubricant for thermometer (petroleum jelly or Vaseline)
- Eye flush - Normal saline eyewash can be extremely helpful if your pet has gotten something in their eye, like dirt or a grass awn. Rinse the eyes to help flush any debris out before seeing your veterinarian for further care. Be sure to use eyewash, and not contact solution!
- Syringes for flushing wounds or administering medication
- Antiseptic solution - Common antiseptic solutions such as povidone-iodine (Betadine) or chlorhexidine products can be purchased over the counter and used to clean wounds in a pinch. Avoid alcohol-based products for cleaning - these can sting and cause pain.
- Gauze squares, gauze roll, self-adhesive bandage material
- Toenail trimmers
- Gloves - latex or nonlatex gloves to use for any messy emergency
- Bandage tape - white 1-inch tape
- Bandage scissors - These are blunt-tipped scissors that are designed to minimize the risk of accidental injury when trying to remove anything bound around an animal, such as a bandage.
- Cold pack
- Tick-remover tool - The faster a tick is removed, the less likely it will transmit diseases like Lyme disease!
- Muzzle - Pets who are scared or in pain can be unpredictable and reactive, even if they’re normally very kind and well-behaved. Having a muzzle, or materials on hand to fashion one safely can prevent injury to handlers when assisting during an emergency.
- Extra collar/leash
- Absorbent potty pads
- Water bottle with clean water
- Pet first aid book
- Vaccine records and microchip information - Be prepared for emergencies by having a copy of your pets’ vital medical information and identification on hand.
- Contact information - Include your primary veterinarian, emergency veterinarians, poison control center, and teletriage provider (such as FirstVet) for quick access.
Although you’ll be well-prepared for most minor injuries or accidents with a first aid kit, don’t stop there! Seek out additional training and resources to learn how to provide medical first aid for common problems like broken nails, bite wounds, and other ailments that may need attention until your pet can see a veterinarian.
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