As we were gearing up for our Big Sur road trip back in February, I started doing a little research on first aid for dogs and gathering supplies to build our own kit. We were planning to do some light hiking and exploring in an area notorious for having little to no cell reception and for being wildly overgrown with poison oak. So we wanted to be prepared in case anything happened. (Thankfully, nothing did.) In any case, I realized that just having general pet first aid knowledge and owning basic supplies can go a long way when the situation calls for it, whether at home or away from home.
So here's what we have in our doggy first aid kit. It's usually kept in the house with our people first aid supplies, but when we travel with Hoku, we just take it with us and toss it in the trunk. For hiking, we have a smaller, more compact version that we carry in our packs.
- Sterile Contact Lens Solution + Syringe
Use together to clean wounds.
- Q-Tips and Cotton Rounds
Use to clean wounds or apply antibiotic ointment.
- Antibiotic Ointment
Use sparingly to disinfect simple scrapes and abrasions only. Do not use on deeper, more serious wounds. Cover right away and do not let your pup lick it. **Always consult with your vet first to make sure this is appropriate for your dog.
- Non-Stick Absorbent Pads
Use to cover wounds after cleaning and disinfecting.
- 3M VetRap Bandaging Tape
This is a self-stick bandaging tape created especially for animals that doesn't stick to fur, provides compression support and stretches to conform to areas like joints.
- Regular Bandaging Tape
Use it when the VetRap needs additional reinforcement (i.e. on a paw pad.)
Use to alleviate bee or wasp stings, insect bites, or other mild allergic reactions. **Always consult with your vet first before administering any kind of medication to your dog.
- Tweezers With Magnifying Glass
Use to remove splinters. Cannot stress how helpful the magnifying glass is!
- Pup's Photo
In the event that your pup gets lost.
- Waterproof Pouch for Health Documents
Use it to hold your pup's most up-to-date health records and proof of vaccinations. Be sure to include important phone numbers like your vet, the nearest emergency clinic, and ASPCA's Poison Control Center (1-800-426-4435).
- Extra Leash
For whatever reason, leashes break. It's happened to us before so we carry an extra one just in case.
- Small Towel
For cleaning up messes or to provide padding.
- Emergency Pocket Guide
Just good to have on hand for reference.
Check out the Humane Society for a more comprehensive list of supplies you could include in your kit. There are also pre-made kits you can buy from Amazon. And like anything, some items will have expiration dates so be sure to check your supplies regularly in case anything needs a refresh.
Cheers to happy and healthy pups!