What's in Your Pet's First Aid Kit?

Dog wearing muzzle

Active Outdoor Dog Kit

Then there’s the kit for the really active dog. After putting together a basic kit, consider the following items to help treat the wider range of issues your dog may encounter out of doors.

  • Hydrogen peroxide: Though it’s often overused, every trauma-focused first aid kit could benefit from a small bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to get blood and bacteria off superficial wounds (after a simple cleansing). This one can sting and cause tissue damage in large amounts but may help when used sparingly.
  • Stretchy, self-adhesive bandaging: This stuff is great for covering up wounds so they don’t get dirtier while you’re on your way to the vet’s. Not only does it not stick to pet fur, but it’s also strong enough to double as a tourniquet, if you happen to need one. Combined with gauze sponges, it’ll help stop simple bleeding, too.
  • Antihistamines: These are good to carry around in case your pet is stung by an insect or begins to react adversely to an unknown allergen. Swelling around the face is typically the first sign. Ask your veterinarian for a correct dose recommendation for your individual dog.
  • Prescription meds: In the event your mildly arthritic dog starts limping badly while you’re still miles away from a vet, you might want to keep his prescription pain meds on hand. So, too, might you want to hike or boat with your Addisonian dog’s corticosteroids. In general, however, this is one you really have to ask your vet about.
  • Eye/mouth flush: There’s nothing worse than getting something stuck in your eye or mouth and not being able to get it out. (You’d be surprised at the stuff dogs get their faces into.) That’s why a small bottle of eye flush or a water bottle with a spigot (so you can easily rinse out eyes and mouths) is a great idea for serious activities like long hikes.

But even these three first aid kit iterations may not suit your individual needs. Consider these your foundation supplies and ask your veterinarian to recommend items more specific to your geography, your activities and your pet’s unique medical needs.
OK, so now it’s your turn: What’s in your first aid kit?

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