Spring is really finally here! I think it’s been around for a while in other parts of the country, but here in Minnesota it finally just really arrived this past week. For many people, springtime means wanting to spend a ton more time outside hiking and camping. It’s time to shake off those winter doldrums and get out to enjoy the sunshine, blue skies, and warm breezes.
If you have a dog, springtime also means spending a lot more time with them outside hiking, camping, playing ball, playing Frisbee, and just having some good dog and family fun!
During all this fun it’s really easy not to think about the fact that dogs can get hurt too. With all of the fun, dogs also seem to find mischief and get into almost everything they shouldn’t or things you don’t want them to. This increases the chance they might eat something that will make them sick; get bitten, or hurt themselves on something during one of their adventures.
For this reason, it is always a great idea to have a kit put together of dog first aid supplies in the event of an injury or emergency.
You can find quite an array of different dog first aid kits out there. I’m an avid Amazon shopper and you can find the smallest of little first-aid packs containing minimal supplies that can fit right in your pocket and you can find backpacks packed full of first-aid and emergency supplies, some of which are more likely intended for trained medical personnel.
An alternative to purchasing an already assembled first-aid kit is going to your local store or pharmacy; getting supplies on your own; and putting together your own DYI dog first-aid kit. This way you can get the items and brands that you prefer.
The size of the first-aid kit that you purchase or put together is really on dependent your intended activities.
What Size Kit Should You Get?
So how do you decide what you need in a dog first aid kit? It depends on what you’re going to be doing.
If you’re heading out on a hike or camping trip that will take you away for a full day or more or away from veterinary care, it’s good to plan for the unexpected and pack supplies necessary for a more serious condition or injury. If you are just going on walks around the neighborhood or traveling around town a sparser first-aid kit can suffice.
Packing the Basics
No matter what size kit you decide to purchase or put together it should contain some basic necessities (check out that list below). If you decide to put your own kit together you can copy and save the list below to bring it with you to the store.
If most of the time you are just hanging around town; going for a walk, or heading to the dog park you could pack a more minimal dog first-aid kit to include bandages, gloves, gauze, etc. If you’re packing up for a longer trip or heading out where veterinary care will not be close by, a more complete dog first-aid kit should be assembled.
Important Phone Numbers
Be sure to take emergency phone numbers along with you. You can print the image below and keep it in the dog emergency first aid kit. It is also a good idea to program these numbers into your phone along with your dog’s veterinary clinic number and emergency veterinary care phone number.
Keep in mind that some medications, ointments, fluids, etc. in first aid kits do expire so you will want to check out the expiration dates of everything in your kit at least once a year. The best time would be right before the season when you expect to use the kit the most.
If you use the first-aid kit on a regular basis check it frequently to make sure it is still well-stocked.
Asking the Professionals
I’m sure viewpoints on what I am about to say may vary, but I highly suggest contacting a veterinarian or a pet poison control line before inducing vomiting in your dog. There are some things that can also cause damage on the way up so you want to be sure vomiting is the right course of action.
If you don’t feel like sifting through the many dogs’ first aid kits available online or putting together a DYI kit, you can always check with your veterinarian to see what dog first aid supplies and/or dog first aid kits they recommend.
The American Red Cross offers an online dog and cat first aid training course. Currently, the cost is $25 for a 35-minute training class. I personally have not taken this course so I cannot vouch if the information is worth it or not. At this time there are only three reviews of the course averaging out to 3 out of 5 stars. You can click HERE to be directed to the link so you can check it out.
In addition, the American Red Cross has a Pet First Aid app you can download from iTunes or the Google play store. This app is basically a reference guide you can have all ready to go in the event you need to understand how to deal with a first aid situation. You can also download it online by going HERE.
It is better to be prepared and not need the supplies then to need the supplies and not be prepared. If you are ever faced with your dog being injured or in an emergency situation, what you do for your dog before you’re able to get to the clinic can help save his life. The price of a dog first aid kit or dog first-aid supplies is minimal compared to the potential of losing your best friend.
Enjoy your springtime adventures!