Much like the first-aid kit Mom tucked under the backseat of her mini-van, it’s always a good idea to keep a first-aid kit readily available for those active days with Sparky. Dogs are prone to many of the same incidents we encounter as humans: bee stings, thorn bushes, and minor burns. And while emergency situations should be treated as such, it’s good to have a properly stocked first-aid kit around to care for the typical cuts and scrapes your dog may experience.
If you’re off to the beach for one last summer splash or you’re gearing up for a fall filled with camping and hiking, your friends at The Dog Stop want to share their list of ten essentials they think you should pack in your dog’s first-aid kit.
- Non-adhesive bandages. Non-adhesive wound pads or self-adhesive wraps are great for dressing wounds. Better yet, because they’re non-adhesive, they don’t stick to fur.
- Gauze. Gauze is like the Jack-of-all-trades of first-aid items. It can be used to dress a wound, secure a splint and even as a muzzle. It’s important to remember that while muzzling a dog may be upsetting to their owners, dogs may bite when under serious distress. Muzzling a dog will keep them and else everyone around them safe from harm. Don’t worry, they can breathe through their noses. However, you should never muzzle a dog who is already having a hard time breathing or vomiting.
- Tweezers. A pair of tweezers is your go-to tool when removing stingers, splinters, or the dreaded tick. Sterilize each end with rubbing alcohol before using.
- Antibiotic ointments. Use this on a wound to avoid infection, but be sure your dog doesn’t lick it off before it has a chance to absorb into the skin.
- Ice-packs. Use these for swelling or to relieve minor burns
- A piece of an old bedsheet. If your dog is burned, never use any fabrics that have loose fibers as they can stick to the wound. Instead dress the area with a torn piece of an old, clean sheet.
- Saline solution. Every once and awhile your dog might kick up sand or dirt in their eyes. On top of that, they’ll wipe their eyes with their dirty paws causing even more eye irritation. Saline solution sold over-the-counter is a convenient way to rinse out your dog’s eyes. Don’t have any on-hand? Just mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of lukewarm water and rinse.
- Ear cleansing solution. If your dog is going swimming in a pond, river, lake or ocean, you should always carry some sort of ear cleansing solution. Bacteria love to grow in your dog’s ear canals, so be sure to rinse their ears after swimming. Use anytime you notice build-up of wax in the ear.
- Flashlight. When checking for ticks or searching for any other skin irritants, it can be very hard to scour through a dog’s fur without a penlight or flashlight. Carry one on your keychain or in your first-aid kit. It’ll come in handy!
- Sparky’s health information. Always keep a record of vaccinations, any health issues they have or medications they take, and always keep their vet’s phone number on-hand. If you have dog-insurance, keep that close by too.
Dogs are like family! Carry a first-aid kit in your car, in your backpack, or in your beach bag, and be ready for any accidents that may happen. If your dog is badly injured, treat them until you can reach the nearest emergency veterinarian. Do you love convenience? Check your nearest The Dog Stop’s retail section for pre-packaged first aid kits.
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