We all dread the thought of something happening to our dogs while we are away from home but as the saying goes, luck favors the prepared. A well stocked first aid kit can help you treat basic injuries while you transport your dog to a veterinarian. There are companies that have ready-made kits but if you would like to create your own, here are a few items that every well-stocked kit should carry;
- Slip Lead – They are easy to put on in a hurry
- Muzzle – Injured dogs can snap or bite because they are in pain.
- Pair of Disposable Latex Gloves
- Tweezers – Ideal for removing ticks
- Splint Material
- Cotton Swabs
- Adhesive Tape
- Gauze Pads; 2×2, 4×4 and a Stretch Gauze Roll
- Cold Packs and Heat Packs
- Towels – You can never have enough towels
- Thermometer, Thermometer Covers and Lubricant (ie KY Jelly) – Normal body temperature for a dog is 101 – 102.5 °F (38.3 – 39.2 °C)
- Stock an extra 5 days of your dogs medication (so you don’t run out if your trip is extended)
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Saline Eye Wash
- Ear Cleaner
- GI Medications – For dogs that don’t travel well, talk to your vet about getting medications for upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea. Your veterinarian will help determine which medications you should stock and the proper dosage.
- Antihistamines – For treating allergic reactions, a general canine dose of Benadryl 1-2 mg/lb, however, always check with your veterinarian to determine the proper medication and dose for your dog
Other important items include
- A copy of your dogs health (vaccinations and dates, rabies certificate number or tag, microchip number)
- A recent picture of your dog/s. A current photo showing any unique features of your dog are helpful at narrowing the search locating missing or lost dogs faster. They can also be used for posters or faxing to shelters and vet clinics.
- Contact Information – Check ahead and find the closest 24 hour emergency veterinarian hospital and local veterinary clinic. Keep their numbers and if possible directions to the clinic in your kit.
- Poison Control Hotline. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 888-4-ANI-HELP.