In most situations, we can always take our dog to the veterinarian when something unexpected happens. But, what happens when it’s up to you to ensure your dog’s health? We don’t go to the doctor when we get a little scratch, so why would you take your dog to the vet? There are even times when a veterinarian isn’t available, so it’s up to you to be prepared.
There are plenty of emergency medical kits available on the market, and while these make for good starting points, you can create your own companion-specific medical kit for your dog as long as you know what you’re going to need when a situation comes up.
Know your stuff
Start by getting a book that covers how to deliver first aid to a dog. Some are available through ready-made med kits and are often specific on how to use the medical kit contents properly as well as deliver artificial respiration to a canine. Keep in mind that injuries aren’t the only thing to prepare for, so it’s crucial that you understand how to deal with heat-stroke and shock. It’s also important that you know what signs to look for especially since your dog can’t really tell you what they’re feeling.
There is a wide range of medical supplies that you might need. The question is always what is needed and what type of situations will a dog be presented with. Take into consideration the environment and your dog’s already present conditions. Do they have any medical conditions, such as seizures or diabetes? Certain situations call for specific medical attention, so it’s up to you to develop the right emergency medical kit for your dog. Even pregnancy is a medical condition, so be sure you’re ready for anything.
A basic kit:
A large roll of gauze is good for wrapping a wound or even a muzzle. Remember that a wounded animal can become hostile and bite out of fear and pain. Even though they love you, they may feel threatened when hurt badly enough.
As far as flesh wounds go, powdered antiseptics are the best solution to minor cuts. Don’t use alcohol on your dog because it’s bad for their skin and they’ll be inclined to lick their wound, which is bad because alcohol is extremely poisonous for dogs. Powdered antiseptics are your best choices and are easily applied, but hydrogen peroxide can be used as well.
To prevent infection, you’ll also want to invest in dog-approved antibiotic ointment. While triple antibiotics can be used in emergencies, it’s recommended that you locate ointment that is designed specifically for canines.
In addition to surface injuries, you’ll also want to have some cold packs available. These can help reduce swelling and are great for any hot situations. Any medical kit should also include some cotton swabs, latex gloves, scissors, and tweezers.
Certain medical conditions will require proper preparations as well. For situations in which diabetes and shock might pose a problem, honey or bee pollen make for convenient and very effective tools. They will help regulate sugar levels that can become a serious issue in shock situations that result from a range of causes.
Another addition to your medical kit is antihistamine capsules for allergic reactions. Be sure you consult with your vet on what brands can be used and what type and dosage are safe for your dog.
There are also the more extreme conditions, such as camping, hiking, and long-term outdoor experiences. Be sure that you consider your situation and what preparations will be appropriate in case of emergency.
Dogs are a very curious breed, and poison is always a constant threat. Charcoal and a laxative such as mineral oil can help reduce the threat of danger, but you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Socks or protective paw covers should be given to keep their paws safe in case of debris or broken glass. Just remember that if you wouldn’t walk on it with your bare feet, it probably isn’t going to be safe for your dog’s paws either.
Consider anti-venom for outdoor situations. Snake bites can be deadly to people and dogs. Understand the territory and wildlife you’ll be visiting and consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you have what you need to keep your dog safe.
With your medical kit contents organized, you’ll need to find a place to put them. A small waterproof satchel is ideal, but an old lunchbox can make for a great container as well.
As your dog’s owner and protector, it’s up to you to always ensure their well-being and safety. It’s crucial that both you and your dog are ready for anything, because it’s always better to be prepared for the worst than have to deal with the consequences of not knowing what to do when it matters most.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!