Doggie First Aid Kit

Every puppy owner should have a Dog First Aid Kit

Below are some basic items that all Canine first aid kits should contain. It might sound like a lot of stuff, but when an accident occurs, these items can help you save the health or life of your puppy or even a human.

Better safe then sorry.

1. Contact lens solution - (Saline Solution) with no preservatives in it and thimerisol free, for rinsing out the eyes and to clean wounds. Pure, clean, sterilized water can be substituted, but it is not quite as comfortable for the animal when you're flushing out the eyes.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide - 10 ml every 15 minutes to induce vomiting in animals that have ingested a non-caustic poison. This can also be used to draw out the infection from wounds.

3. A small tube of antibiotic ointment - for wounds. (not for eyes) (ie. Polysporin, Neosporin, for non puncture type wounds).

4. Rectal Thermometer - the digital kind works best. These electronic ones will beep when they are finished registering a temperature. They are also slightly smaller than the glass kind. They can and should be covered with a thin disposable probe cover to prevent the spread of germs and infections each time you use it. Normal canine temperature is 100.5 to 102.5F.

5. A small tube of a water based lubricating jelly - like 'KY Jelly" to lubricate the thermometer for comfort.

6. Alcohol swabs - to sterilize small areas of skin. Rubbing alcohol - You can dip and soak your tweezers and scissors in the liquid isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them. You can apply it on skin as body cooling agent to aid heat stroke or fever. It can help to break down oils and act as a drying agent between the toes and skin folds, but do not use it on wounds as it can damage the skin and is not an appropriate antiseptic.

7. Hibitane (Chlorhexidine gluconate) - a mild antibacterial soap for cleaning and disinfecting skin and wounds. It is an antiseptic preparation effective against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts, some fungi and viruses. Avoid contact with the eyes, ears, mouth, and mucus membranes.


Betadine Solution (Povidone-iodine, 5% -  0.5% available iodine) - a topical, water-based antiseptic microbicide used to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is also used to help prevent bacterial infections and as an antiseptic for minor lacerations, abrasions, and burns.

Keep both of these out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away.

8. Sterile cotton or cotton balls and cotton swabs like Q-tips - can come in very handy.

9. Adhesive tape - to secure bandages. Have both the non-stick tape and the water proof tape.

10. Blunt tipped scissors - are necessary for cutting the hair away from wounds.

11. Forceps or tweezers - and bandage scissors.

12. Splints - They come in a wide variety of sizes. Some people make home made ones.

13. Self-adhesive bandages

14. Sterile Gauze Pads (the larger 4" size is more versatile since it can easily be folded or cut into smaller sizes if necessary). A few rolls of gauze or the cling gauze bandages for wrapping are nice to have to hold things in place. The 2" gauze pads are the most common size used. Many hospital pharmacies are reasonable on the pricing of many first aid kit items.

15. A single sharp sided razor blade and or a razor can also be used to shave away hair.

16. Sterile needle (to remove splinters and tick heads)

17. 10cc or 12cc Blunt tip Syringe (with no needle) - for administering medications. An eyedropper can work, if it's big enough.

18. Tongue depressor - to examine the mouth

19. Some stretchy cotton stockinette - to protect and keep a bandage on the leg or foot. It is sold by the yard and you cut it to the length you need. It is sometimes used on top of a splint also to hold it in place. Towel (at least 2)22.  A bandanna or a nylon stocking can be helpful in muzzling or securing a torn earflap temporarily.

21. A Blanket - A compact thermal blanket or fleece works well. This can help to keep an injured dog comfortable and possibly from going into shock.

20. Benadryl - in pill or capsule form can be quite effective when used properly. It can be used to stop itching, control vomiting, minimize motion sickness. It is used for bee stings, insect bites, snake bites and to help control hives and vaccination reactions. Benadryl is a brand name for an anti-histamine (diphenhydramine). It is possible for it to be fatal or interact adversely with other medications that your dog is taking, or if your dog has glaucoma, prostatic disease, cardiovascular disease, or hyperthyroidism, so definitely consult with your veterinarian and read the box instructions before using it. Liquid Benadryl is too high in alcohol content to be safely used for animals. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away.

21. A rubber bulb ear syringe - can be used for flushing the eyes, ears, and wounds.

22. A few gel packs - that can be used for hot and cold compresses. You can microwave them for heat therapy.

23. Matches - in case your dog gets a tick. You can light the match, let it burn for a few seconds, blow it out, quickly while the match tip is hot, place the hot match tip on the exterior bottom of the tick. This will cause the tick great discomfort and it will actually back out of your dog's skin. Try this a few times if the tick doesn't back out the first time. Usually it will be successful. If not, you will have to cut the head of the tick out of your dog's skin or take your dog to the vet and let the vet do it.

24. A few baggies, a few paper towels folded up and placed into a baggie, some baby wipes and some antibacterial hand sanitizer are all very handy with a myriad of uses. You can acquire these in miniature containers.

25. Nexaban or some type of surgical skin glue. - Some wounds should be closed temporarily with a surgical glue until the vet can examine it. Your veterinarian can order Nexaban or another surgical skin glue for you. You place a drop into the wound, pinch the skin back to its normal position and hold it there for five seconds. You can do this to keep the wound closed and clean and then decide weather it is necessary to take your dog to the vet. Your vet may decide a few stitches are necessary, but sometimes the glue is all that's required.

Place everything into a waterproof container and keep it on hand at home. Take it with you in the car when you are traveling with your canine buddies or better yet: have two kits. The blanket could be rolled up and placed under the seat.

Prepare a list with essential vet and contact information on it. Fold up your list, place it in an envelope, label it, and place it in your first aid kit.

Here is what should be on your list:

  • The phone number of your vet.
  • The phone number of the closest emergency animal hospital.
  • The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number listed below.
  • The name, age, breed, gender, microchip information, vaccination records, rabies tag number, license number, a picture of each dog, and any health problems that your dog has.
  • Your own name, address and phone numbers.
  • An emergency contact person's phone number, in case you are incapacitated.

It's a good idea to show your first aid kit to your vet and ask them if they have any more suggestions.

ASPCA - The Animal Poison Control Center - 888-426-4435. They charge you $60.00 on your credit card per incident. They have a team of Veterinarians on staff 24/7 to answer questions and help in case of an emergency.

24 Hour Poison Control Hotline for dog related Issues - Call - 1-800-222-1222. There is no charge for this service.

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Below is a link to a video that has pictures of several household plants that can be toxic to your dog.

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Always seek veterinary care following your first-aid attempts. All information on this web site is provided by No Free Lunch Dogs for general reference and informational purposes only. This information should not be construed to be formal professional advice or the formation of a consultant-client relationship. Your personal veterinarian is the best source of information for your dog’s specific needs. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published above. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with each product information, and read the label or package insert.