Packing a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

The holidays are coming, and with that likely comes travel–for you and your faithful companion. You likely already have a basic first aid packed for people travel–bandages, Tylenol, and antibiotic ointment. But what about for your dog? Do you know what he might need in case of emergency?

A first aid kit for your pup isn’t much different than the one you already have packed for you, just add a few extra items and you, and your pup, will be good to go.

First consider any special needs that your dog has–is he on any prescription, have allergies, or have other health concerns? If so, consider adding a special ID tag to his collar explaining just that–if your dog gets lost, the extra tag will be able to give a stranger the heads up while they try to contact you. Be sure to pack any special necessities your dog has–as well as extras–you never know when a trip will get held up due to car trouble or bad weather.

Other things to add to your kit, if you don’t have them already:

  • Sterile gauze
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Sterile bandages
  • Blanket
  • Cold compress
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer (two might not be a bad idea–one for people, one for dogs)

Some things you might want to add just for your dog:

  • Your vet’s contact information
  • Any important information on your pup, like medications or allergies
  • A muzzle–even the best dogs can get nippy when stressed or in pain
  • Slip leash–which will work even without a collar. A slip leash can also be used as a muzzle, if needed, or can help tie bandages or towels over a wound

Extras, for people or pets:

  • Benadryl, which can be given for minor allergic reactions. But, always contact a vet first for dosage information since dogs process this drug differently than we do.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting–but that isn’t always the best course of action. It could be convenient to have it on hand, but always contact a vet before administering–inducing vomiting isn’t always the best idea depending on what and when your dog ate.

Hopefully, you’ll never need any of your carefully prepared first aid kit, for you or your dog, but just knowing that it’s there can be comforting. Also consider taking a pet’s first aid class, again hopefully you’ll never need it, but you’ll be grateful if you ever need to. Safe and happy travels!

By Rachel Leisemann Immel, London first aid training