If you have dogs, it’s helpful to keep a first aid kit so you can deal with any illnesses or injuries that may happen. It’s also important to have some basic medical care knowledge. A well-stocked first aid kit for dog owners is easy to put together with little money. Many first aid supplies made for humans are also dog-safe. Some over the counter medications are safe to be used with your dogs when dosed according to their weight. If you keep these supplies on hand you can be prepared for minor medical situations. These supplies can also be helpful in emergencies so you can treat wounds or other issues before heading to the vet.
Medical supplies and first aid skills
Many of the supplies in your family’s first aid kit can be used for your pets. Your pet first aid kit should include non-stick gauze pads in several sizes, rolls of gauze, and medical tape. These items, along with antibiotic ointment, are essential in treating minor wounds and preventing infection. Always clean any wound with an antiseptic before applying gauze. You can treat burns with an ice water compress before taking your dog to the vet. If you suspect your dog has a fracture, vet attention is needed. It’s important to reduce pain and stress on your dog when dealing with fractures. Small dogs can be gently wrapped in a blanket for transport. Larger dogs may require the use of a blanket-sling to help them walk to your vehicle with assistance. You may also consider taking a pet CPR class to help you prepare for serious emergencies.
Safe over-the-counter medications
Many medications you already have in your medicine cabinet can also be kept in your dog’s first aid kit. Keep an OTC allergy medicine with diphenhydramine HCL as the active ingredient. This can be used to treat allergic reactions associated with stings, bites, and contact allergies. You can use hydrogen peroxide for wound care or to induce vomiting if your dog eats something they shouldn’t. Just remember that inducing vomiting is not always the best treatment so you should check with your vet first. Pepto-Bismol is safe for dogs and can be used to remedy vomiting and diarrhea. A plastic medicine syringe with measurements on the side works well for accurate dosing based on your dog’s weight. Avoid giving your dog acetaminophen and ibuprofen as they aren’t safe. If you need a dog-safe anti-inflammatory, call your vet.
When possible you should check with your vet before treating your dog’s injuries. But some emergency situations may require you to administer first aid immediately. If you keep medical supplies and dog-safe OTC medications you can be prepared in case your dog gets ill or injured. With a little first aid knowledge, you can easily treat minor problems at home and mitigate injuries before seeking veterinary care. Be sure to include your vet’s phone number and the number of the nearest emergency vet clinic in your first aid kit. Stay prepared with supplies and knowledge so you feel confident that you can deal with any unexpected dog-related medical situations.