Doggy DIY: How to make the best first aid kit for your pup

by Kira Garrett | June 20, 2013

Dogs love nothing more than to get out and play – and sometimes they play rough. That can mean bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes, so every dog owner should be prepared to treat their dog in case of a minor boo-boo or a more major injury. Pre-made first aid kits can come in handy, but they often don’t contain enough of the key essentials to fixing up your pet when he needs it most. Taking a DIY approach and building your own first aid kit will ensure that you have everything you need – and enough of it.

Here are some of the key building blocks of a great canine first aid kit:

·       Sterile gauze and non-adhesive pads: To help keep wounds safely covered, these items are indispensable.

·       Bandaging tape: This flexible bandaging material adheres to itself, but is gentle on skin and fur. Wrap it over the top of gauze pads, or use it to secure splints. Vetrap, made by 3M, is a reliable brand.

·       Flexible adhesive tape: Widely used by runners for support that stays put, adhesive tape – slightly stronger than bandaging tape – is helpful for keeping wound dressings in place. Elastikon is one top option.

·       Scissors: Keep two kinds in your first aid kit – regular scissors and bandage scissors. Regular scissors are helpful in a variety of situations, but bandage scissors are a much safer option for when you have to cut close to your dog’s skin – there’s much less risk of a puncture or cut if your dog moves suddenly.

·       Antiseptic wash or wipes – Helpful for cleaning out any cuts or puncture wounds your dog might get. Iodine is also an effective, gentle choice.

·       Thermometer – Monitoring your dog’s body temperature can be critical in emergency situations, so keeping a thermometer on hand is essential.

·       Syringe – A helpful tool for administering fluids orally, or for flushing out wounds (using only sterile solutions).  

·       Antibiotic ointment – Place on a non-stick wound pad covering punctures or cuts to prevent infection.

·       Saline solution – Useful for flushing out eyes.

·       Rescue Remedy for Pets: This homeopathic solution made of flower essences can help calm a dog down.

·       Wooden splints – In case you need to secure a limb that you believe might be broken.

Keeping a supply of water and food (like a container or two of dry Sojos Complete, ready to be soaked) is also a good idea. Bring your emergency kit with you wherever you take your dog, whether it’s the dog park or out on a camping trip – you might even consider keeping an extra kit in your car.

Make sure you talk with your holistic vet, who can advise you on the treatment measures you should perform at home, but knowing you have the tools in a kit will help keep your pet safe and keep your peace of mind!