Monday, December 17, 2012

Canine First Aid Pack Essentials

As regular readers of the blog know, me and my dogs are not afraid of an adventure. With flyball, dock diving, lure coursing, hiking, skijoring, and just plain going out and having fun, risk of injury runs pretty high. Koira has tender feet and often manages to "burn" the pads on her feet. She has also gotten cut on glass at the river, gotten sores from a backpack on an over night trip, and broken out in hives for no reason I could determine.

Because of all these things, and all the things yet to happen to us, I like to have a fully stocked first aid kit available. Most of the time, the kit stays in the car. At events like lure coursing and dock diving, if I need something out of it, the car is just a short walk away. For hikes, I try to take along at least the basic supplies.

Here is what I carry in my first aid kit. This kit is geared mostly toward dogs, but has essentials for humans as well, and could easily be altered to fit you specific needs.

  • Vet Wrap- for all sorts of things from large wounds to foot pad burns to use as rope
  • Alcohol prep wipes
  • Gauze (either in rolls or packets)
  • Waterproof adhesive tape/ Fabric tape (or both)
  • Cotton balls
  • Thermometer and petroleum jelly (make sure you label the dog thermometer clearly)
  • Antibacterial ointment (mine includes benzocaine for pain relief)
  • Pads (as in feminine hygiene pads)- useful for women needing one in an emergency, but also as large bandages
  • Dog booties- for cuts or burns on the foot to keep them clean, or to protect feet when on sharp snow, ice, or rock, or on hot pavement or rock.
  • Ace bandages- great for both people and dogs
  • Multi-tool- Mine is a basic Leatherman that includes a knife and other basic options like scissors. Great for cutting bandages or digging out splinters.
  • Band-aids- for the people in the group
  • Muzzle- dogs can bite when scared or injured. Also good for if you find a dog running loose 
  • Spare leashes- I have the basic slip kind from vets' offices. They are great as an emergency leash, or as a quick muzzle as well. 
  • Poop bags- because you can never have too many
  • Shampoo- because you never know when your dog will roll in something foul smelling
  • Medications- this will depend on you and your dogs (make sure you include clear instructions on indications and dosing with each medication). A list of what I carry is:
    • Benadryl- for allergic reactions, or to take just in case, such as when stung by a bee.
    • Acepromazine- as an emergency sedative
    • Deramaxx - canine pain killer
    • Ibuprofen- human pain killer
Basically, that is my kit. I do add some things in there for different events (ask me about how make up sponges save a dog's carpal pads in flyball sometime). I would like to find and be able to add single dose saline capsules for flushing eyes, ears, and wounds. I need to restock my vet wrap, which is running low. I would like to add a small manual on emergency first aid for dogs. 

Is anything essential missing from my first aid kit?  (I do have my backcountry emergency kit as well, which is a separate kit included when we go on overnight trips or into the wilderness areas.) Anything you didn't think of but now plan on adding? What do you take along in your first aid kit?


  1. Woof! Woof! Carrying Benadryl spray at all times helps me and my mom too. Good List. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. Great list! We carry Polysporin but you have to watch the expiry date on that. Also we usually have some coconut oil for paws.

    Kosha at PawprintsAndBooties

  3. Yes, thanks for the list! I've always wanted to put one together, but I never knew where to start. I think this covers everything!

  4. Your list is very similar to my equine first aid kit that is in my barn - and one in the trailer at all times too. I can't tell you how many times I have used that kit on myself!

    One thing I could add to your very great list is tweezers - maybe it's on there and I just missed it.

  5. lidocaine for sunburn or other burn ointment?

  6. Great list of stuff! Hubby carries Super Glue in case of a bad injury for Kuster, and we also like to have EMT Gel handy. On top of that, we carry cards for us and the dogs that has emergency contact info in case we would be incapacitated for some reason. We do a lot of hiking, and you just can't be too careful with stuff like that.

  7. Nail trimmers! We also carry an assortment of drugs but the one I end up using the most is metronidazole. No one wants diarrhea at an agility trial!

  8. Great list for a first aid kit for man and dog. Already going to add and update mine. Thanks for sharing.