My husband and I are involved in canine search and rescue. As such, we will no doubt run into doggy bumps and bruises. Just like we carry human first aid kits, we would like to have a dog specific first aid kit on hand.
So, what’s the difference between a human first aid kit and a dog first-aid kit? Not a lot, actually. I know many people that have bought/made a human first aid kit, then just added the “specialty” items essential for pet first aid. Dual purpose!
In this situation, we already have a human backpacking first aid kit that we like, so we will be packing a different bag with basic first aid kit items as well as the dog specific ones. Since we’ll be using this for backpacking and search/rescue activities, ours is going to be a little more extensive than probably necessary.
1. Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Ointment: Vetericyn Hydrogel Spray – 1 count – $21.29
- Economical Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Ointment: Equisilver Antimicrobial Wound and Skin Care – 1 count – $18.28 or Blu Kote – 1 bottle – $10.69
Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Ointment is applied to a wound after it’s been cleaned to help promote healing. Many people choose to use Neosporin on their dogs, but I advise against it. Although Neosporin is great for humans, it isn’t a good choice for dogs; it’s nontoxic, but will give them an upset stomach and cause vomiting/diarrhea.
2. Antiseptic: Covidien Curity Alcohol Prep – 200 count – $5.65 ($0.03 per wipe)
Antiseptic is used to disinfect a wound before applying antibacterial/antimicrobial ointment. Many antibacterial/antimicrobial ointments and sprays include antiseptic properties, so this item may be unnecessary. Personal preference choice.
3. Pain Killer Medication: Medi-First Aspirin – 100 count – $5.16 ($0.10 per pack)
Absolutely DO NOT use Ibuprofen or Tylenol! Both can cause severe stomach and intestinal problems (ulcers, inflammation), and high doses can even cause renal failure. Dosage for aspirin is usually 5mg per lb of body weight every 12 hours.
4. Athletic Tape: Sensi- Wrap Bandage – Pack of 10 – $11.16 ($1.12 per roll)
Much preferred over an ace bandage, especially for animals!
5. Bag: Voodoo Tactial Universal Medical Bag – $27.25
- Economical Bag: Alazco First Aid Storage Bag ($5.45)
6. Bandage Scissors: Prestige Bandage Scissors – 1 pack – $4.86.
The reason I include bandage scissors in a first aid kit and don’t just use my knife is because 1) your knife is less precise, 2) your knife can have all sorts of gunk on it that you aren’t aware of, and 3) bandage scissors can be used to trim jagged wounds and fur, something that would be extremely difficult with a knife. If you still prefer to use your knife, just be sure to wipe it really well with an alcohol swab before you use it to cut any bandages.
7. Bandage Tape (Fabric): 3M Durapore Medical Tape – 1 roll – $4.18
8. Antihistamine: Generic Benadryl – 24 packs – $3.90 ($0.17 per pack)
Dosage is usually 1mg per lb of body weight.
9. Clotting Gel: Clotisol (can be used on both humans and animals) – 1 bottle – $13.50
- Economical Clotting Gel: Super Clot Gel (not sure if this can be used on humans as well) – 1 bottle – $6.58
For wounds that just won’t stop bleeding! I’ve found that ear and paw wounds are especially stubborn when it comes to clotting.
10. Emergency Blanket: Mylar Emergency Thermal Blankets – 10 blankets – $5.75 ($0.58 per blanket)
11. Gauze Pads: Curad Sterile Gauze Pads – 100 count – $9.25 ($0.09 per pad)
12. Gauze Wraps: Krinkle Kerlix – 9 pack – $9.14 ($1.02 per wrap)
- Economical Gauze Wraps: Omit
- Economical Hand Sanitizer: Purell Travel Size – 4 pack – $6.41 ($1.60 per bottle)
We chose wipes because they are easier to pack and because bottles tend to explode if smooshed.
15. Headlamp: Divine LEDs Hex Series – 1 count – $9.97.
16. Hydrogen Peroxide: 3% Hydrogen Peroxide – 1 count – $4.73 (probably cheaper at a local grocery store), Oral Medication Syringes – 10 count – $6.42 ($0.64 per syringe), and a Small Amber Glass Jar – 1 count – $4.99.
- Economical Hydrogen Peroxide, syringes, jar: Omit
Used to induce vomiting. The ASPCA recommends 1ml/lb, not to exceed 45ml in a single dose. Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide turns to water if exposed to too much light.
17. Inflatable Recovery Collar: Kong Cloud E-Collar – 1 count – $11.54
- Economical Kong Cloud E-Collar: Omit
This is always good to have, but I’m not sure if I want to add it to our dog first aid kit; we want our kit to be highly portable, so adding too much to it will cause some problems.
18. Instant Hot Pack: Dynarex Instant Hot Pack – 24 count – $18.17 ($0.76 per pack)
- Economical Instant Hot Pack: Omit
19. Instant Ice Pack: Dynarex Instant Cold Pack – 24 count – $13.18 ($0.55 per pack)
20. Pet First Aid Booklet: (I haven’t been happy with any of the ones I’ve found online, so I’ll probably just make a quick reference card myself).
21. Plastic Bags: For keeping injured paws dry. Ziploc will work just fine. You can also find this at your local grocery store for around $5.00 per box (roughly $0.13 per bag).
22. Q-Tips: Can be found at your local grocery store for about $1.50.
23. Saline: Carefusion Modudose Saline solution – 100 tubes – $16.79 ($0.17 per tube)
- Economical Saline: Omit (just use drinking water)
Even though it says this product is for inhalation, I’ve used it for wound care with no problems. Because it’s saline, it can even be used to flush eyes!
- Economical Superglue: Omit
- Economical Thermometer and Lube: Omit
My hubby and I argue about this item. He thinks it’s unnecessary for an emergency kit. I think it’s unnecessary for a human emergency kit, but absolutely essential for a dog emergency kit. Basically just boils down to personal preference!
27. Treats: The Real Meat Company – 1 package – $12.69.
- Economical Treats: Zuke’s Mini Naturals – 1 package – ($3.80)
We’ve got a vacuum sealer, so I think I’ll divide the package and seal several hand-size portions (refills!).
29. Tweezers: Pac-Kit Steel Forceps – 1 count – $0.88.
Forceps, in my opinion, are better than tweezers when it comes to a dog first aid kit.
EXTREME BAG TOTAL (All products – bulk pricing – and the Voodoo bag):
Keep in mind that this kit is meant for some pretty extreme outdoor activities. We need a kit this extensive, but many people don’t.
BASIC EXTREME BAG TOTAL (Singular pricing – and the Voodoo bag):
ECONOMICAL BAG TOTAL (Select products – bulk pricing – generic first aid bag):
BASIC ECONOMICAL BAG TOTAL (All products – singular pricing – basic first aid bag):
If you and your dog spend a lot of time in the outdoors like we do, it may also be a good idea to get your dog the rattlesnake vacc. Visit here if you would like to learn more (the woman that writes this blog is an accredited vet)!
I referred to some of these fabulous sites for ideas on what to put in our kit: