Dogs are very playful animals, which sometimes can get them into trouble. While a dog running around and not thinking too much about dangers might be fine 99% of the time, sometimes it can get them hurt. In these cases, most owners will rush their pet to the vet to ensure their dog is happy and healthy. Even the healthiest dog breeds can have a problem every now and again. While a vet trip is always good to be safe, there is more you can do yourself. Dog first aid can treat a variety of smaller problems. Having a properly stocked first aid kit for your pet, and the knowledge of how to use it can save you a lot of time.

Dog first aid is a great thing to know about in case you ever need it. While most owners hope that they won’t need to keep a well-stocked first aid kit around, it is still a good idea. These kits can be bought as a whole package which saves quite a bit of time. However, if you’re looking to break things down a bit more, you can easily just grab the ingredients. This would allow you to put together a dog first aid kit by yourself!

On top of knowing what goes into your first aid kit, you’ve got to know how to actually use it. Once you have a first aid kit for your dog and you know how to use it, you can be secure that you can solve any problems your dog gets themselves into. However, some times you will still need to go to a professional! This is all you need to know:

What Can a First Aid Kit Treat for a Dog?

Dog’s have a variety of health problems, and no one is going to suggest you go for your first aid kit in every situation! However, there are some occasions where proper treatment with a first aid kit is more than sufficient to treat your dog. These are the problems and situations that you can treat with a dog first aid kit rather than a trip to the vet:

  • Burns – You can treat less serious burns quite easily at home. However, in some cases, your pet’s burn might need to be looked at. Like with humans, it comes down to how severe it is.
  • Cuts and Bleeding – Dogs are quite prone to small cuts, especially if they’re very active. In most cases, these cuts will close and heal up on their own. Like with people, the majority of small cuts don’t bleed for more than minute or so. If the bleeding is worse than this, then first aid can definitely be an appropriate treatment.
  • Bite Wounds – Bite wounds are a little different from general cuts and bleeding. These require a different type of attention, but they can usually be treated with first aid.
  • Allergic Reactions – A lot of allergies can be treated at home if they’re not too severe.
  • Choking – In these cases, you need to act quick so it is best to know what to do to stop a pet from choking.
  • Insect Stings – An unfortunate part of summer walks is often insect stings or bites; these can be treated at home though.
  • Pain – While this is usually the symptom of something larger, you can use first aid to manage your dog’s symptoms.

What Should be in a Dog’s First Aid Kit?

A good first aid kit can help you solve all of those problems. However, you need to assemble a kit first. You can get these pre-made, or you can make your own dog first aid kit by getting each item individually. This is what you should look to include in a dog first aid kit:

Bandages 

Bandages are a pretty basic part of any dog first aid kit! Their uses are pretty self-explanatory. They can be used to cover wounds, burns, or protect an area. Since they tend to lick themselves a bandage helps to cover it up and stop a dog from irritating their own wound. Bandages like these work great.

Absorbent Dressings

Absorbent dressings are different from bandages and should be specifically for pets to stop them from irritating your dog’s skin. These can be used to cover open wounds. A bandage can get caught in an open wound, so it is best to use dressing and then maybe some bandage to keep it attached. These types of dressings can work really well.

Surgical Sticky Tape

Sticky tape can be used to secure both bandages and dressings to your dog. This is important for keeping your dog’s treatment attached. You should be careful to get some that aren’t going to irritate your dog’s hair or pull too much off when it gets removed. Regular tape like this can work, or you can use bandages that stick by themselves.

Cotton Wool

If your dog has a serious wound then treating it requires quite a few layers. You should place the absorbent dressing on the wound, then some cotton wool balls over the top of it to give it an extra layer of cushioning. This is followed by bandages to keep these things secure and in place. The cotton wool helps to avoid your dog knocking their wound against things and hurting themselves further.

Scissors

These are going to be necessary for actually applying those other items! These should be kept sterile to make sure no infection creeps its way in. Scissors like these work great.

Collar

A large collar can be put on your dog to stop them from getting to their wounds. Vets normally give one when a dog has a procedure that requires one, but you can get your own like these. Having one to hand at home can help you be prepared for all eventualities.

Safety Pins

These can be used to secure bandages. However, you should be careful to only use these when you’re sure your dog can’t access them!

Waste Bag

If you’re dressing a dog’s wounds, then a small bag for waste is necessary to keep things sanitary. This is especially important in a first aid kit that you’re carrying with you.

Gloves

The purpose of this item should really go without saying! You’re going to need gloves to clean your dog up after an injury when you’re outside the home.

Thermometer

When your dog isn’t acting like they normally are, taking their temperature should be one of the first things you do. Checking if they have a high temperature can help you figure out if they’re unwell, or just a bit tired. A pet thermometer would work great.

Petroleum Jelly

This kind or Vaseline works as a lubricant when you’re applying first aid.

Tick Remover

A tick remover can help you get rid of a tick on your dog very quickly, even if you’re outside of the home!

Antiseptic Wipes

Antiseptic wipes are really useful for cleaning your dog’s wounds before you dress them. Wipes make it a lot easier to get this done than trying to use fluid. As this can sting your dog a little, getting it done quickly and cleanly is important.

Pre-Assembled Dog First Aid Kits

While you could go all parts of your dog first aid kit separately, this is quite a bit of hassle. Pre-assembled dog first aid kits cost around the same price as purchasing each individual bit of a first aid kit separately. However, there is considerably less hassle and fuss. These are some of the best ones out there at the moment:

The Most Comprehensive Dog First Aid Kit – Pawly

This is probably the biggest dog first aid kit around. It is more expensive than others, but you are getting a lot of stuff. If there is a dog problem that this kit can’t address, they are better off being taken to a vet!

A kit this size isn’t essential for a dog though. There is a lot of equipment which isn’t going to be needed very often. It is also a bit big to be portable since it includes so much stuff. If you’re looking for a full dog first aid kit that will last a while though, this is your best choice.

The Best Portable Dog First Aid Kit

This first aid kit is a bit smaller and more conveniently designed. This one is great for taking around with you on longer walks. It still has pretty much everything you’ll need. One special part of this set is the small thermometer you can use to check your dog’s temperature, even when out walking. This is another great choice, particularly when you’re on a walk.

The Best Budget Dog First Aid Kit

You don’t always need the largest and fanciest first aid kit. This particular set is a much better price than the other two, but you don’t get as much. You can still treat the vast majority of problems with your dog if you use this first aid kit, but you might have to replenish some things more often.

When Should You Use a Dog First Aid?

Those are all great choices for a dog first kit, as is building your own just from buying the various components. Dog first aid should be administered when their injury is too small to warrant a trip to the vet, like a small cut or bite. It can also be done to keep your dog in a better state while you get them to the vet. In the case of serious injuries, this can be really important. A dog first aid kit helps you to keep your dog healthy and happy, no matter what happens.