13 Essential Items to Have in Your Dog’s First Aid Kit

Golden Retriever with first aid kit

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April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month and it’s a perfect time to discuss exactly what to include in your dog’s first aid kit. Even if you already have a first aid kit, now might be a good time to make sure the supplies haven’t expired or run out.

You never know what will happen when it comes to accidents and emergencies, so it’s good to be prepared. When you’re camping, driving across the country, or experiencing a natural disaster, you need to be prepared.

Just as you have a first aid kit for the people in your house, it’s important to have one on hand for the dogs in your life.

It’s best to put all your dog first aid supplies in a bag, tray, backpack, shoulder bag, or container. That way, he can travel with you and your dog when you’re on road trips, camping, or hiking. You want to make it easy to pick him up and take him to the yard or wherever your dog needs to be treated.

It is of course always best to seek professional veterinary treatment when your dog is injured. However, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot reach a vet, or you may need to care for your dog until you can get him to the emergency room.

In those moments, you’ll be glad to have a first aid kit close at hand.

Here are a few essential items that you should always keep in your dog’s first aid kit.

1. Paperwork: Vaccinations, Medical Records, and Emergency Phone Numbers

When you’re dealing with a critical emergency, you want all of your dog’s information in one place. This will help if your dog is injured and needs medical attention.

If you can go to the emergency vet, they can provide better, safer care if they know your dog’s medical history. You also want to have emergency numbers handy, even if you lose your phone where you usually have your contacts stored.

In the event of a calamity, you may not have electricity, internet or telephone. Keep a paper copy of all your dog’s paperwork with your emergency kit. A USB stick containing your dog’s data is a good thing to have as a backup.

If you’re going out of town and leaving your pup with a dog sitter or friend, make sure they know where the paperwork and emergency contacts are.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

First aid kit

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Hydrogen peroxide isn’t just for cleaning minor wounds. if your dog is doing ingested something poisonous, you may need to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.

Always consult a poison control expert or your veterinarian before inducing vomiting, and familiarize yourself with the proper instructions on how to do this. You don’t want to learn these things during a crisis.

You should also print out the instructions. In the event of a natural disaster, you might not have electricity or internet, so having a hard copy of something like that can be a life saver.

Again, do not try administering this to your dog without professional guidance.

3. Antibiotic Ointment

If you and your pup are the outdoor type, it is recommended that you have this type of item with you at all times.

If your pup gets a minor cut or scratch, antibiotic ointments will help prevent infection, relieve pain, and act as a barrier against bacteria and germs. It’s something every first aid kit should have.

Even minor cuts and scrapes can lead to many major health problems if they become infected.

4. Gauze, scissors, tape, rubber gloves

Apply bandage to Jack Russell leg with elastic gauze bandage

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These can be more than one item, but they are a package deal in my opinion. They all work together when you need them.

In an emergency, gauze can control bleeding, act as a temporary support for suspected fractures, and can even be a makeshift muzzle.

Tape can hold gauze or other first aid items in place, and scissors can cut an old shirt into strips to make a stronger bandage for larger wounds or to help when the gauze runs out.

Rubber gloves are essential for any medical emergency. Always wear protective gloves and hopefully goggles or goggles if you have them when dealing with blood or bodily fluids.

5. Wet or Nurturing Wipes

This may not seem like “emergency” material, but when your dog has a bathroom situation and decides to sort things out in the backseat of your car, these will help. These and some towels.

Wipes are great for getting rid of muddy paws before getting in the car, for messy accidents, or when your dog decides to roll around in an unfamiliar patch of grass. You can also use them to remove dirt or blood from a wound to look better, or to clean an eye or ear.

Feces, dirt and outdoor water sources can contain many dangerous bacteria and parasites, so keeping your dog and his immediate environment clean can help prevent infections and pests that can make your dog sick.

6. A towel or blanket

Sick Golden Retriever.

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If your dog is injured or panicked, you can gently wrap him in a soft blanket to calm him down and allow you access to his injury without being scratched or bitten.

Microfiber is ultra absorbent and can help in sticky situations. Literally.

A towel or blanket also provides a soft surface on which to rest your dog for an examination if the ground is too hot, too hard, or covered in sharp rocks and you need to get a closer look at what’s going on.

7. Foldable Food and Water Bowls for Travel

These are great in both emergency and non-emergency situations. On long walks, cross-country trips, or when you are away from home, you should carry at least one collapsible bowl or something to give your dog water.

Hydration is vital for all living things. Be sure to give your dog plenty of water, even if you only go grocery shopping in the afternoon.

Try to stick with silicone, not plastic, as plastic can easily break into sharp pieces or leach into your dog’s food and water.

8. Water and small packages of food or treats

A woman petting a golden retriever in the woods in winter.

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It seems like these things should go without saying, but sometimes the most obvious things are the ones we forget.

Have a bottle of water for your dog handy in case you don’t have access to your regular supply, and keep a supply of food in case of a shortage or to distract your dog in an emergency. Or you can simply reward them for their bravery after allowing you to remove a thorn or tick.

Again, avoid plastic when deciding which water bottles to pack.

9. Medicines

Talk to your vet about keeping a backup supply of prescription or beneficial medications in your first aid kit.

If you are traveling and lose or can’t find the medication, always have a backup supply so you don’t have to panic or spend a day with your prescription vet across the country.

It’s never a bad idea to have a few vet-approved, over-the-counter medications on hand, especially if you’re traveling. This includes flea and tick medicines, antacids or medicines for stomach problems, and any approved sedatives for travel.

Always check that these medications are not expired.

10. A comfort item

A young Shorkie Dog (Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu cross) is chewing a red toy at home

(Photo credit: Darren Lehane/Getty Images)

If you find yourself in a stressful situation with your dog, such as a nasty storm or a particularly traumatic event, it’s always nice to have a comforting creature to calm them down.

Save an old favorite toy or blanket that you thought you were giving up and put it in the first aid kit. The sight and smell of a beloved object can help to soothe, calm and comfort them in particularly difficult situations.

11. Extra leash, collar and poop bags

If your dog gets sick, they may go through more poop bags than you can imagine. Have an extra supply on hand.

It’s never a bad idea to have an extra collar and leash around. I’ve seen dogs pull on a leash in accidents, and they come in very handy if you come across a stray or stray animal on the highway or in the mountains and want to take them to the local vet or nearest town.

Those free leashes or collars that the vet sometimes sends you home are sometimes perfect for your emergency kit or just to keep in your car in case of an emergency.

Again, you can recycle supplies for your first aid kit. Old dog leashes or collars that you are going to replace are an easy addition to your equipment and you don’t have to spend more money.

12. Flashlight

Dog with flashlight at home

(Photo: Sinan Saglam / EyeEm/Getty Images)

You always want to have a flashlight nearby, not just for the night. You may just need more light to pick out a splinter or find a pill you’ve dropped.

Flashlights can also be useful for deterring wildlife, such as coyotes, if they endanger you or your dog.

Extra batteries are also important, and you may want to consider solar powered flashlights. They are perfect for emergencies and charging in the light for when you need them in the dark. Just make sure you store it in a place where it gets enough light to stay charged. I leave mine hanging in the kitchen window so they are always ready to go.

13. A Guide to Pet First Aid


Quick Answer: How do you resuscitate a small dog?

If you panicked at the idea of ​​even resuscitating a dog, you may need to brush up on your skills.

The Handbook for Safe Dogs would be a great place to start. You should also keep a manual handy for quick reference. If there’s an emergency and Google isn’t an option, you’ll be glad you have a hard copy.

What would you include in your dog first aid kit? Are there essential things we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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