What Should You Have in a First Aid Kit for Dogs?
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"First aid" means immediate attention to a situation that endangers someone's health. We all have heard of first aid kits for humans, but accidents can happen to our pets as well. No matter how ready you are, it is very important to understand that first aid care is intended to provide an initial response, and that under no circumstances should it replace veterinary care.
It is just as important to know how to give first aid for dogs as it is to have the necessary resources to carry it out. Otherwise, you might take the wrong steps in an emergency situation, which might not be good for your dog's health.
In this AnimalWised article we will explain what should you have in a first aid kit for dogs. By having all the materials at hand you'll be prepared to properly tackle any situation that requires an immediate response.
Saline is the best solution to clean a dog's wounds and eyes, and it is therefore essential to have in any first aid kit as it will be used for any injury or eye condition.
Saline has a certain shelf life, so pay attention to the expiry date and change it when required. For optimum saline preservation, we recommend purchasing single-dose containers, which contain about 5 ml of saline solution and are used for a single application.
Neutral or hypoallergenic soap
When dealing with a wound, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it cannot be disinfected without prior cleaning.
You can choose various products to clean a wound before disinfection. It is crucial to have at least of one these in the kit:
- Neutral and hypoallergenic soap suitable for pets
- Vaseline soap
- Coconut soap
This is an excellent disinfectant as an alternative to alcohol, iodine or hydrogen peroxide. Compared to these, digluconate chlorhexidine is a very soft product that disinfects without irritating the skin.
You can find it in various pharmaceutical forms, including gel and lotion. However, the most recommended form - it's the easiest one to apply - is a spray. You should apply digluconate chlorhexidine once you've cleaned the wound, and apply it again with every treatment.
Pure aloe vera gel
Unless you have aloe vera plants at home, pure aloe vera gel - of the kind you would use yourself - is essential in any first aid kit for dogs.
This is an ideal product for any skin irritation or dermatitis, but it also has an important restorative action for the skin. Therefore, it is an excellent treatment for healing wounds or burns such as the ones that tend to appear in dogs' paw pads.
Bandages, gauzes and medical tape
Bandages and cotton gauzes (preferably sterile) are necessary for healing wounds, and you should always have them in your dog's first aid kit. Not only do they allow to bandage the wounds up when necessary, but they are also essential to make a homemade dressing.
To make a homemade dressing for dogs you will also need surgical tape. It must be made from hypoallergenic fabric so that your pet's fur can deal with it without any problems.
Tools for treatment and medication
If you ever need to carry out first aid for a dog, you will probably need the following materials:
- Thermometer: It must be strong, suitable for veterinary use and unbreakable, since temperature should be measured rectally.
- Tweezers: Necessary to remove ticks, thorns or any other foreign objects.
- Blunt-ended scissors: These scissors have rounded tips, and they are necessary to cut bandages and gauze.
- Plastic syringe: Necessary for applying liquids or medications.
- Towels: A cotton towel is essential in applying cold compresses in case of inflammation or heat stroke.
Organizing a first aid kit for dogs
It's just as important to have all the necessary things available in the first aid kit for dogs as it is to have the items well organized in an orderly fashion so that you can always get them fast instead of wasting time looking for them.
If you need to respond immediately, it's essential to be able to find what you need easily and quickly. Despite how insignificant this may seem it will save you time, and acting quickly is critical in emergency situations.
If you notice we've missed an important item that you should have in a first aid kit for dogs, please tell us in the comments section.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What Should You Have in a First Aid Kit for Dogs?, we recommend you visit our First aid category.