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The weather is beginning to be nice here in Vermont, and that means that our dogs are out and about more often. Swims, hikes, runs, and play dates with other pups are among some of the favorite activities our dogs simply LOVE.  Unfortunately, along with hard play come some common injuries such as scrapes, cuts, torn nails and ingestion of toxic substances, to name a few.  It’s always great to be prepared to provide minor first aid in the event of one of these occurrences.  Here’s a list of a few items to keep on hand in case of an injury.

First Aid Kits for Dogs—10 Key Items to Pack


1)      Saline

This is used to flush out wounds when dirt or debris is present. You may use the bottle alone, or carry a syringe without a needle to apply the saline.  Saline is sold over the counter.


2)      Triple Antibiotic Ointment

This may be used for minor scrapes and cuts that your pet may encounter. A common one used is over the counter Bacitracin.  Do not allow your pet to lick the ointment off of the cut or scrape.


3)      Gauze and Wrap

If your pet gets a cut that is bleeding, it is important to be able to control it until you are able to get to a veterinarian. Gauze is a soft material that you may place over the bleeding wound to help control the bleeding. A soft wrap (such as vet wrap) is then applied to keep the gauze in place. The vet wrap sticks to itself so that it stays on, but not to your pet’s fur. They will love you extra when it’s time to remove the wrap. When wrapping, make sure to place a thumb or finger underneath the wrap to ensure that you are not wrapping too tight.


4)      Fresh Hydrogen Peroxide

This is not to be used for cleaning , but rather to induce vomiting if your pet ingests something toxic. ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian or poison control center before giving your dog Peroxide. In some cases, vomiting should NOT be induced (such as ingestion of Kerosene, sharp objects or many other chemicals)


5)      Styptic Powder

This product can be bought at most pet stores.  It is a product that is used to make blood clot when a toenail is bleeding.  Many dogs can tear a nail when running or playing with another dog. If the nail tears into the kwik (blood supply of the nail) bleeding will occur. Styptic powder helps to stop the bleeding.

6)  Disposable latex gloves

These are used to reduce the risk of infection when treating wounds, as well as keeping yourself clean from blood.  When cleaning wounds we want to limit the amount of dirt that is in and around the wound. It is better to clean and apply ointment with fresh, clean gloves.


6)      Tick Removal Tool

In Vermont there are many ticks that want to feed on our furry friends. There are tick borne diseases, such as Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma that can be transmitted to our dogs.  These diseases at times can be life threatening. There are tools such as tick spoons that help you to easily remove a tick from your pet if you see one attached. The tick should then be killed, so that he/she is unable to re-attach to a pet or human.

7)      Muzzle

When dogs injure themselves, they are painful and this may cause them to want to bite. It doesn’t mean that you have a mean dog, just that he/she is telling you that they hurt. A muzzle will help to prevent bites to you and/or helpers.


8)      Water Based Lubricant

This is helpful to apply around a wound to keep the fur out of the wound, and prevent more contamination.  Also, if you need to use a thermometer to take your pets temperature, this can be used to lubricate the thermometer.


9)      Phone Numbers

The phone numbers of your regular veterinarian, the emergency veterinarian, and poison control should be located inside of your first aid kit. Providing minor first aid is great, but your veterinarian should always be called for advice and/or for further treatment. Poison Control is very helpful with aiding you with toxic substances.


Now go grab your dog, and have a blast this summer!


Written By: Cait Tobin

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