Spring and summer are the perfect times to get outside with your pup and explore the world! As you get ready for adventure, it’s a smart idea to pack yourself a first-aid kit. You never know what can happen when you’re out in unfamiliar territory. While you’re at it, pack one for your pup, too!
Whether you’ve got a beagle or a Bichon Frise, a whippet or a Weimaraner, they’ll love the opportunity to get outside and explore an area that’s new to them. From dog parks to open fields, beaches to mountain trails—wherever you go, your dog is sure to follow. But make sure you play safe and be prepared for anything!
The importance of a dog first-aid kit
A lot can happen while you’re out on an adventure. You can slip and scrape your knee or get a nasty bee sting. When these things happen, first-aid is important. Disinfectant and a Band-Aid go a long way toward preventing infection in your scraped knee, and an epi-pen can save your life if you’re allergic to bees! We rely on these things to stay safe, and your pup needs them for the same reasons.
What happens if your dog slices his paw pad on a sharp rock? Gets sand in her eye? Eats something poisonous? When you need to act fast to keep them safe, you’ll want to rely on a doggy emergency kit. An emergency kit packed for your pooch will contain the things you need in the event of injury or life-threatening situation. You never know what’s going to happen out on an adventure, so it’s best to prepare for anything.
What should a doggy first-aid kit contain?
While some of the items in a doggy emergency kit will look familiar, there are a few things you might not think to pack. While the essentials like gauze pads and disinfectant are easy to remember, things like artificial tear gel and liquid soap are especially important for your pup. Here’s a look at the recommended items in a doggy first-aid kid (per the ASPCA):
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Artificial tear gel (or saline eye solution)
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Disinfectant wipes
- Disposable gloves
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting)
- Ice pack
- Oral syringe
- Pet-safe liquid soap
- Scissors (with blunt end)
- Styptic powder (to stop bleeding)
This list is fairly comprehensive and should include just about anything necessary to handle common troubles out on the trail. As you pack, think about the different parts of your pet and what it takes to keep them safe: eyes, nose, mouth, paws and fur. For example, if they run into the brush and get painful burrs stuck in their fur, scissors or soap can help get them out. Likewise, if they get a cut on their nose, disinfectant swabs and antibiotic ointment are essential.
In addition to all this, pack some of their dry food just in case they need to eat, as well as a couple of treats. It’s also smart to have your vet’s phone number on-hand, as well as the numbers for a few local clinics in the area.
Most importantly, check and recheck your first-aid kit every time you head out for adventure (or every few months). Many antibacterial products have a shelf life, which means they need to be replaced periodically. You should also replenish whatever you use after each outing.
Where to keep it?
The best place to keep your pup’s first-aid kit is wherever you keep yours! Assuming they’re exploring alongside you, it’s smart to have it nearby and accessible in case the situation demands it.
Stow it in your travel backpack when you’re hiking or trekking the trails. Put it in your beachcomber bag when you’re enjoying the sun and surf with your furry friend. Or, keep it in your car nearby wherever you’re enjoying the day, so it’s never far from where you might need it. As a rule of thumb, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to administer first-aid—for either you or your dog!
A kit you hope you never need to use
No pet owner wants to see their pet injured. Being able to open your doggy first-aid kit and administer care will make you (and them!) feel much better about the situation.
From simple cuts and scrapes to more serious situations, a first-aid kit made specially for your pup can be lifesaving. It’s something you never want to have to use, but something you’ll appreciate having if the time does come to use it.