April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, a perfect time for you to start or replenish your dog’s home first aid kit. For real emergencies, there is no substitute for veterinarians or pet clinics, but for day-to-day occurrences, a well-stocked first aid kit for your dog can work wonders. Here are five components every pet first aid kit should have in stock:
Items such as non-adhesive wound pads and self-adhesive wrap are perfect to have on hand to protect any wounds your dog may incur. The best part about the self-adhesive wrap is that it will stick to itself but not your dog’s hair making for easy removal.
A basic gauze should also be included as it has a multitude of uses including as a wound protector, an emergency muzzle or it can be bound together for a makeshift splint.
A blunt-ended pair of tweezers is an essential tool to help get rid of splinters, fox-tail grass heads, stingers from bees and wasps or even a freshly-attached tick. Before using tweezers on your pup, just be sure to sterilize the ends with rubbing alcohol.
After removing any of these foreign objects from your dog’s skin, clean the wound with a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment. Just be sure that your pup doesn’t attempt to lick off that ointment before it has a chance to soak in to their skin.
- Saline Solution
If your dog likes to dig around in the dirt or run around the beach, they may get sand or grit in their eyes causing a slight irritation. Your pup’s reaction will be to try and wipe their eyes with their paws which can actually be worse, especially if they already have that same dirt on their paws. The basic saline solution for humans that is bought over-the-counter can be used to help clear out your dog’s eyes.
When you don’t have any saline solution on hand, the homemade version is a mix of ¼ teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of lukewarm water.
- Ear Cleansing Solution
Make sure to have a non-irritating ear cleanser on hand to clean out your dogs ears after a bath, swim or anytime you notice a build up of wax.
The twisty nature of your dog’s ear and ear canal can make it ripe for bacteria and infection so keeping the area clean with a safe cleansing solution will go a long way to keeping your pup healthy.
- Puppy Paperwork
A first aid kit is the perfect place to keep all your dog’s important health information. Your file should include details of when they got their needles, their regular veterinarian’s contact info, a list of local emergency pet clinics, regular medicines, allergies and the phone number for the pet poison center.
Talk to your dog’s veterinarian to find out any other necessary items for your pup’s first aid kit based their age, breed and medical history. A properly-stocked first aid kit can never replace a canine medical professional but it can make a big difference for the health and welfare of your dog.