Updated: Jul 7
Expect the unexpected...
I’ll always remember the day I looked behind my extremely stoic dog Maggie and noticed a trail of blood in every other foot print in the snow for as long as I could see. I was not prepared for our hike that day so I ended up carrying my 60 pound friend all the way back home. Had I been prepared with a first aid kit for my dog I could have saved her and my back some suffering.
We can never predict when our dogs are going to get hurt. That day Maggie had stepped on
a stump in the perfectly wrong way and ripped most of her nail off. You cannot predict when something is going to go wrong and no matter how careful you are, our dogs have minds of their own! From split paw pads on sharp rocks, to scrapes through thorn bushes, or broken toenails while jumping through a skidder trail or even stepping on a ground wasp nest, there are things that are just beyond our control. We can try to be prepared though.
A well stocked and well planned canine First Aid Kit can save both of you plenty of pain and stress. Here is out list to get you started.
Build a First Aid Kit for Your Dog
Booties. If your dog scrapes, burns or splits a pad, a good bootie can help stave of infection and protect the pad from further damage. PawZ makes a great, affordable and light bootie.
Antihistamines. You never know when you or your dog could step on a ground wasp nest! Be prepared with plenty of antihistamines and knowledge of what an appropriate dose for you dog is. Discuss this with your veterinarian before you need it so you can have the right medication and dosage on hand.
Tweezers. From splinters to stingers, a good, strong pair of tweezers is an essential part of any med kit.
Vet Wrap, Rolled Gauze and Non Stick Bandage. With this combo you can dress most wounds safely and securely. You start with the Non-Stick Bandage, then wrap the area with Rolled Gauze, then secure everything with Vet Wrap, taking care not to wrap anything too tightly.
Hydrogen Peroxide. A small bottle of this could save your dogs life. If they ingest something toxic swallowing the right amount of this will induce vomiting. Make sure it is fresh so it will be effective. We like to carry a small bottle with us.
Antibiotic Ointment. Any open cut or wound should be treated with antibiotic ointment to stave off infection.
Thermal Blanket. A space blanket is a very lightweight blanket that can be used to keep your dog warm while you help them with whatever needs to be taken care of.
Headlamp or Small Flashlight. Getting a good view of what you are working on can be invaluable. We like the Petzl Headlamps, just don't forget extra batteries.
Treats. Keeping your dog distracted while you do what is needed is extremely important! Try a squeeze tube filled with peanut butter for a lightweight snack.
Rescue Harness. We never want to think about it but there might be a time where you have to carry your dog out. Pack-A-Paw, a local NH company makes a great rescue harness for that occasion.