Having a dog means having a lot of unplanned situations. Some of them may be happy and full of joy, like bringing you funny items during the walk, while others moments can be stressful and carry a negative emotion.
Accidents happen all the time, even indoor.
Emergencies can strike at any time, which is why it’s so important to be prepared with a dog first-aid kit, next to your supplies.
It would help if you didn’t go hiking with your dog without a proper dog first-aid kit, nor your home should be without this small package.
How to Make a Pet First Aid Kit
You know that having a pet is a huge responsibility. Once you welcome a furry animal into your life, you need to think about the dog’s health, nutrition, and overall happiness.
It would help if you also thought about bad things and bad moments of uncertainty. Accidents happen, and sometimes your dog will need your help. So, when it comes to preparing a dog kit, you should prepare for the worst.
Humans tend to worry about things that in 90% of cases won’t happen, but still – it can’t hurt to be prepared, just in case.
A first-aid kit is great when an accident occurs when your dog follows you on a hike or camping, and of course – in the event of a natural disaster.
If you don’t have a pet emergency kit and disaster plan already, you need one.
It’s never easy to think about the worst possible scenarios, about being a responsible pet owner asks for it. Here’s how to prepare you and your pet for an emergency.
Know Your Region’s Native Disasters
Before you start packing gazes and disposable gloves, it’s mandatory to know your region.
- Is your region known for its high temperatures?
- Is your region prone to hurricanes?
- Is your place heavily affected by rain?
- Are there frequent wildfire, blizzards, or tornadoes?
- Are there any disasters that are characteristic for your region?
For example, earthquakes and wildfires and common in California, while hurricanes are common on the Gulf Coast.
So, identifying the most most common natural disasters is a good place to start. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, being informed with local evacuation routes is smart.
Make a Pet Evacuation Plan
When a natural disaster kicks in, every minute counts. Always include your pets in your evacuation plan.
Identify pet-friendly evacuation shelters in advance so that you can stay together. If there aren’t any shelters, think about the following options:
- Pet-friendly hostels
- Boarding facilities
- A trusted friend or relative’s home
- Local animal shelter
- Your veterinarian’s office
It’s important to have several options, to save you time and lower your stress after disaster strikes.
Plus, keeping your pet’s medical records in one place can be handy, especially if you take your dog to a facility where proof of vaccination is mandatory.
As you may know already, evacuation with pets isn’t always possible. This is why you should talk with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian should help you prepare so your pet stays as safe as possible in your absence.
For example, a simple and helpful hack is having a waterproof “Pets Inside” stickers from your veterinarian. Place it on your home’s front and back doors.
This way you will alert rescuers to look for pets. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.
You Should Have a Buddy System
Having an evacuation plan is great, but you should also think about the moments when you aren’t home or in the city.
You know how challenging it can be to have a good dog sitter, which is why you should have a buddy system.
Buddy system includes a close caregiver who can help your dog when you aren’t around. It can be a close friend, a family member, or a trusting next-door-neighbor.
Make sure that your dog is microchipped. This way, if a disaster occurs when you are not around, a veterinarian or rescuers could easily and fast access to your data.
Also, if your pet has a place where he goes to hide when scared or injured, share it with your buddy.
Pet Emergency Kit Checklist
Your pet emergency kit may vary depending on the season, size of your dog, dog’s age, and your living area.
Overall, your dog emergency kit should contain:
- Gauze. Gauze sponges are useful for cleaning wounds and as the primary layer in a bandage. Always include 5-10 pads.
- Non-Stick Bandages. Bandages are mandatory for any longer hike or challenging walking area. Your dog might step on something sharp or torn toenails, which is why bandages are so handy. It will help keep the blood-stain in order until you reach the veterinarian office. Plus, bandages will help keep your first-aid bandages from becoming blood-soaked and prevent serious and dangerous blood loss.
- Adhesive Tape. Used for keeping the bandage in place. Once you apply it, no tape is needed. You can also use some alternatives, such as duct tape and electrical tape, make sure that you don’t apply too tightly.
- Cotton Balls. Great for cleaning wounds, and more precise cleaning. You can use cotton balls to clean around the dog’s eyes, ears, mouth, and other sensitive areas. Pack a handful.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. Can induce vomiting if needed. Use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, but never induce vomiting without talking to your veterinarian first, or even animal poison control. Do not use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean or disinfect wounds, as it can slow healing.
- Antibiotic Spray/Ointment. Easy to apply on a wound. These sprays may kill germs and bacteria to prevent skin infection.
- Milk of Magnesia. This is mostly used for the relief of gastric reflux, sour stomach, and even constipation. Talk with your veterinarian about proper usage.
- Digital Thermometer. Normal body temperature for dogs is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If it goes above 104 degrees F or falls below 99 degrees F, take him to a veterinarian.
- Medicine Pillbox. If your dog is on a certain therapy, or you have a senior dog, packing dog medicine is a right move.
- Scissors. Have them cut and remove bandages safely. You can have scissors with a leading blade as well, to get the scissor under the bandage.
- Tweezers. Often ysed to remove ticks. Always include them when you are heading to explore nature.
- Magnifying Glass. A handy tools to check dog’s skin and coat, especially if your dog has a long or curly coat.
- Syringes. It is used to administer hydrogen peroxide to get your dog to vomit after eating something he shouldn’t have. Often used to clean wounds.
- Flashlight. A reliable light source is a must. Injuries tend to happen at night, and it will help you have a better look at a dog’s toes and paws.
- Towel. Towel can help additional skin damage and can provide a clean surface for your dog to lie down.
- Soft Muzzle. Use only in case of an accident, and when you want to keep your dog from licking an area.
- Ice Pack. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms. It should be used for around 15 minutes and wrapped in a cloth.
- Disposable Gloves. Gloves will keep your hands from getting blood on them and keep your dog’s wound safe from bacteria. Always include at least two pairs.
- Emergency Warming Blanket. Use them to keep your dog warm if an injury occurs outside in the cold and/or rain.
It can be useful also to include:
- Phone number, clinic name, and the address of your veterinarian as well as local veterinary emergency clinics
- Photos of your pet in case of separation
- Extra leash & collar
- Travel bowls
Keep Your Dog Emergency Kit Up to Date
The chances are that you won’t have to use a dog emergency kit, not even once, but you should still have it and keep it up to date. Check the dates, and write the date when you prepared the food to know when to replace them.
Replace food and water every six months, at least. Always update emergency contacts and vaccination records.
The Bottom Line
If your dog has special needs, make sure to address them when creating the ultimate dog emergency-kit.
Also, know what to do with each tool and how to use them safely. Check for dates once a month and, once in six months, replace outdated items.
If you already have a dog first-aid kit, do you know when the last time you checked and updated it was? Double-check if the medications are expired, and does it truly has everything you might need.