22 Things to Include in Your Dog First Aid Kit

border collie puppy lying next to a first aid kit

Creating a dog first aid kit for your furry friend can help relieve stress and anxiety when your pooch gets hurt and needs some help. While you should always call your veterinarian if your pet is hurt, you can often help them by applying basic first aid.

While a bandage or a quick cleaning may not seem important at the time, keeping the wound clean and safe can mean a world of difference down the road. With some education and these tools, you’ll be able to help your furry friend and get them to the road to recovery.

Here are a few things to include in your dog first aid kit so you always stay a step ahead and feel secure:

1. Water

You should always have fresh water for your pup no matter if they are hurt or not. After being injured, it is good to keep them hydrated so they stay calm and healthy. Be sure to keep some water on hand in a bottle and have a water bowl* (Amazon Affiliate Link) close by.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be a wonderful solution to help clean wounds. It does not tend to be painful and is also inexpensive. You should keep a bottle in your first aid kit as well as your first aid kit for your dog.

3. Antibiotic Ointment

Antibiotic ointment is a great item to include your dog’s first aid kit. When applied to a cleaned wound, it can help prevent infection while also relieving some pain. At the very least, it can help stave off infection until you’re able to get your dog to the vet.

4. Rubber Gloves

In case you need to clean a wound or change a bandage on your pooch, it will help to have rubber gloves* (Amazon Affiliate Link) to keep the wound clean. Be sure to replace them regularly while working on your dog’s injury or bandage to keep the area clean and prevent cross-contamination.

5. Bandages & Medical Gauze

A staple of any first aid kit, including one for dogs, is a way to bandage a wound. Medical gauze* (Amazon Affiliate Link) and bandages can help give you the tools to help cover a wound or provide some compression to a hurt limb.

6. First Aid Tape

First aid tape* (Amazon Affiliate Link) helps keep bandaging in place while you head to the vet or while your dog’s wound is healing. You will want to change the tape and bandaging regularly to avoid contamination or deterioration of the skin. Your vet will be able to provide more specific instructions for wound care after your visit.

7. First Aid Scissors

First aid scissors* (Amazon Affiliate Link) are a fantastic tool to have on hand in any first aid kit. They are perfect for getting medical tape off or to remove any fabric, debris, or fur away from a wound. Before using these scissors, you should always sterilize them.

Having a cleaning solution on hand is a good idea. You can also sterilize them and then keep them in a sealed plastic bag in your kit to help them stay clean. You should still sterilize them before use, but storing them this way can help avoid contamination.

8. Styptic Powder

Cutting your dog’s nails regularly can help prevent your dog’s nails from growing too long and causing discomfort or issues with movement. However, you can hit the quick when you cut your dog’s nails.

Although this may be a slight pain for your dog and it bleeds, it looks much worse than it is. Having styptic powder* (Amazon Affiliate Link) on hand can stop the bleeding quickly and help your dog’s quick heal appropriately.

9. Benadryl & Other Medications

Benadryl is a great medication for animals and humans alike. This is great to calm allergy symptoms. Although Benadryl is one of the over-the-counter medications that are safe for dogs, be sure to double-check with your vet before putting Benadryl in your pup’s first aid kit so you can know proper dosages and possible side effects. If your dog needs to use any other medications, having them in your canine first aid kit is a good idea.

10. Hand Sanitizer

While you should wear rubber gloves while doing first aid on your dog, you should also sanitize your hands before working with your dog’s injury or bandage. If you’re not in a place where you can wash your hands with soap and water, hand sanitizer will work in a pinch and will help keep everything sterile and clean.

11. Alcohol Swabs

Along with the gloves, sanitizer, and hydrogen peroxide, you may also want to pack alcohol swabs* (Amazon Affiliate Link) to clean wounds. This form of sanitation will make your pup jump and maybe wince and try to pull away from you, but overall, they are a good idea to pack. You never know when you will run out of one form of sanitization.

12. Thermometer

A dog thermometer* (Amazon Affiliate Link) will give you a good idea of how your dog is feeling during a fever or cold. This will also help you gauge your pup’s health during their healing process if they have injuries.

13. Leash

A leash is a good idea to keep your puppy close by while they are healing or during bandaging. Be sure to use a comfortable slip leash* (Amazon Affiliate Link) so it won’t scare or harm your dog if they struggle or fight.

14. Tweezers

Although we use them mostly for our eyebrows, you should have a pair of tweezers* (Amazon Affiliate Link) handy to pick out splinters or other foreign objects from your pup’s paws, skin, or mouth. Be sure to use them gently so you do not hurt your pup or cause further damage.

15. Blanket

A blanket can be comforting while your dog is being treated or as they are healing. It can also be used for swaddling as a calming technique or as a gentle restraint to keep your dog still while you treat their wound.

16. Towel

A towel can be used similarly. And, it can also come in handy if you and your dog get caught in the rain, they go running through the mud, or jump in a pond, lake, pool, or another body of water. Giving them a quick wipedown can help dry or clean them off enough for the ride or walk home.

17. Flashlight

Although you might be able to get away with using the flashlight on your phone, it’s a good idea to have a separate flashlight on hand. If your phone battery is running low or you need to position the light, a regular flashlight can come in handy.

18. Eye Wash

If your dog has been skunked or sprayed with a chemical, it’s best to wash their eyes first. Having a dog-friendly eye wash* (Amazon Affiliate Link) or eye drops on hand will help clear out their eyes and ease the pain so they are able to see.

19. Hot and Cold Packs

Instant hot and cold packs are essential and can work wonders on pulled muscles, sore joints, or burns. If your pooch is having an issue, a hot or cold pack may be able to make them more comfortable while you get them to a vet.

20. A Cone of Shame

Your dog hates it and you hate putting it on them, but it’s really important to have a cone* (Amazon Affiliate Link) on hand. This helps promote healing by keeping your dog from tugging, biting, licking, or hurting their wound while it is healing.

This item can also be helpful if your dog has to have surgery and you need to care for your dog’s stitches after surgery. Your dog may not understand why they have to look like an inverted lampshade, but they will definitely be more than thrilled when the wound heals and they can run around again.

21. Copies of Paperwork

You should bring your dog first aid kit essentials with you when you travel with your dog, which is also one of the car safety tips for dogs. This makes your dog’s first aid kit the perfect place to keep extra copies of their paperwork. You want to include updated vaccination records, medical records, and emergency phone numbers.

22. Wet Wipes

Even if your dog loves the car, they can still get sick or have an accident. Even out and about, your dog could roll in something or have an accident. Having wet wipes on hand makes cleanup a lot easier. Plus, they come in handy if you need to wipe off muddy paws before letting your dog jump into the car or if you just need to clean some gunk off of an ear or an eye.

These are just a few things to include your dog first aid kit. A first aid kit is an essential part of pet disaster preparedness and preparing your dog for emergencies or anything else that may happen. Hopefully, you won’t need to use them. But, in case you do, you’ll be glad you had them on hand.

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