Health & Hygiene How To's

How-To: DIY Canine First Aid Kit

Written by Melissa Keen

It’s a good idea for every dog owner to have one of these handy kits stashed somewhere safe in case of emergencies. Not only are they ideal for having at home, but they’re also perfect for keeping in the car – after all, you never know when an accident or emergency might occur, and it’s better to be well-prepared should the worst happen.

While ready-made kits can be quite pricey, they’re easy enough to make up yourself! Here’s how to make your very own dog first-aid kit.

Buy a Container

Be that a bag, box or other sort of container, you need somewhere to keep all these essentials. Make sure it’s big enough to keep copies of paperwork in.

A box like this is ideal for keeping all your dog first aid equipment in

Paperwork

Speaking of paperwork, ensure you include copies of your dog’s medical records, along with any emergency numbers. (We also recommend putting your vet’s phone number and the number of an emergency vet into your phone). A vet, particularly an emergency one, is going to be able to provide quicker and safer care if they know the medical history of your dog.

Medication

Keep a back-up supply of any medications your dog takes. This will come in useful particularly if you are travelling and lose the main box of medicine. It’s also worth keeping some de-worming and de-flea tablets in your first aid kit. Make sure they’re all in date regularly.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is excellent for cleaning minor wounds. It’s also a useful tool to induce vomiting in dogs. If your dog ingests something toxic, it’s imperative you get it out immediately. Make sure you know EXACTLY what you are doing with this technique; speak to your vet for the best advice, as you don’t want to get it wrong as you could cause even more damage.

Antibiotic Ointment

If your dog gets a cut while out and about, this is useful to keep bacteria and germs out of the cut to reduce infection while also reducing pain and swelling.

Gloves

It’s worth having some surgical gloves handy, just to keep things hygienic should an accident occur. This will help stop infections. It’s also to keep any fluids (like blood) off yourself.

Gauze & Tape

Gauze is useful for stemming any bleeding, supporting suspected bone fractures, and can even act as a muzzle when in an emergency. Tape is used to hold the gauze in place.

Scissors

You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut the gauze and tape.

Wet Wipes

Perhaps not considered an emergency item, but useful to have nonetheless. Ideal for use on dirty feet, to clean around wounds, or if your pup has a bathroom accident. Antibacterial wipes are ideal for cleaning faecal matter, dirt and outdoor water off your dog (these are high in bacteria and parasites that could be harmful). You should also have wipes at the ready in case you need to wipe your dog’s ears or eyes.

Fleece Blanket

A blanket will be very useful should your dog have an accident. It will help to keep them calm, warm and protected – whilst also protecting you from being scratched or bitten while you look at the injury. Fleece is great because it dries quickly and is soft and comfortable. Microfiber is also ideal.

Collapsible Food/Water Bowl

Providing your dog with water is vital to keep them hydrated. If you get caught out on a hot day, it’s imperative you are able to provide them with a drink to keep them cool. It’s also useful in case you break down with the dog in the car. Having a collapsible bowl in your first aid kit will prove to be extremely useful – trust us.

Bottled Water and Dog Food/Treats

See above – if you get caught out, you don’t want your dog to go hungry or thirsty for prolonged periods of time.

Extra Poop Bags

If you get caught without these, you could be fined up to £1000. Not only that but leaving dog poo around is really bad for the environment as dog poo contains lots of nasty bugs that can cause illness (and even death for some wildlife). Pick it up!

Torch

Useful for if you get stuck somewhere dark, if your dog gets a splinter in it’s paw, or if you need to find something you dropped and can’t find (like your house key).

First Aid Book

If you’re in a pinch and need some advice, having a dog first aid book to hand will be invaluable.

About the author

Melissa Keen

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