When an injury occurs on the field, the number one goal is to stabilize the dog until you can get professional treatment. Your canine first aid kit should be stocked so that you are confident you can achieve this goal. A first aid kit for a dog is similar to a first aid kit for a person but it’s a good idea to have one dedicated for your pup and to take it along on all your hunts. While most of the supplies will have a dual purpose and will work on people just as well, the only thing you really don’t want to share is a thermometer, because we take a dog’s temperature rectally! Having a dog thermometer in your first aid kit is important because many canine health emergencies are related to hyperthermia (too hot) or hypothermia (too cold).
The best way to get started is to purchase a dog specific first aid kit. At LCS we carry a variety of options from an small, essentials pack you can carry in your vest, all the way up to a trauma kit. Once you have your kit, open it up and familiarize yourself with it’s contents. The last thing you want to do is open it for the first time during an emergency.
You can also add to any first aid kit that you purchase, here are a few simple items you might consider:
• Duct tape and super glue are kit essentials for things like closing up a wound.
• Hydrogen peroxide is another good crossover item. It’s typically used for cleaning wounds, but if your dog ingests something that it shouldn’t, it also induces vomiting. Use caution, though, because once you induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, the dog will continue to vomit until there is nothing left. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about the proper use of hydrogen peroxide in emergency situations.
• Rubbing alcohol is another item that has duel purpose. It can also clean wounds, or you can use it to help cool your dog down because it evaporates faster than water. This is useful in humid environments.
• Many human medication can also be used on dogs. Dogs are the equivalent of a 7-year-old with a fast metabolism. The medicine is absorbed and goes through their system faster than adults. Check with your vet so you understand the effects of various medicines and proper dosages. Children’s Benadryl works well for mild allergic reactions. The common dose for dogs is 1 mg per pound, with a maximum of 50 mg. Buffered aspirin can be used for short term pain management on the way to the hospital. It has to be buffered for dogs and it can only be used for short-term treatment (long-term use can create stomach ulcers).
If you have any questions about any of the first aid kits we carry, click here or give us a call at 800-662-5202.