Packaged dog first aid kits come in a wide range of prices, supplies and uses. All of them come with a set of basic supplies.
Some add more, and others add much more. Let's take a look at the various factors you'll need to consider when choosing a kit.
Where You'll Be Using It
Knowing where you'll use it most is a very important factor to consider when looking at packaged dog first aid kits. Every other factor flows from how you'll use the kit, so it's important to be clear on this.
The standard kit has pretty much everything you could possibly need to deal with illnesses and injuries on a daily basis.
I recommend you have, at the very least, one of these around the house.
If you travel a lot with your dog, consider having another one in the car.
If you like to hike, bike or walk a lot with your dog, you may want, in addition to the standard kit at home, a smaller and more portable kit.
Some companies have kits in fanny packs. These kits have fewer tools and supplies, and are designed to treat minor wounds, bug bites, and the like.
With these kits, you give up the wide range of treatment options for the portability of a few basic options.
At the other end of the scale, there are specialized kits designed to treat the injuries of very active dogs.
There are kits available for dogs involved in agility training and competitions. There are other kits for hunting dogs, where the risk of a gunshot wound is higher.
If your dog's activities are restricted to walks in the park and the odd trip, stick to the standard kit. If you're more athletic and take her for hikes and other outdoor adventures, buy a fanny pack kit — and keep it with you.
Also keep one in the car and/or one at home. If you plan to enter her in competitions or take her hunting, get the specialized kit.
The case is something you'll have to consider. Some kits come in zip-open nylon bags, similar to a nylon briefcase. Others come in plastic cases.
Whichever type you choose, check that it opens completely for full access to everything. The nylon type should have two zippers for the main compartment, and unzipped it should lay flat with the supplies all visible and within reach.
The nylon (or other soft-sided material) ones are more easily packed in small spaces, as they can change shape slightly to fit the space available for them.
The plastic cases offer more protection to the first aid supplies, particularly tubes of ointment and glass or plastic bottles.
Look for a container that is highly visible. Red or other light colors are best for this, and they allow you to label the case or bag with a permanent marker.
If you're leaning towards a soft-sided case, ensure that the handle is sown on securely. The plastic ones need a secure locking device that will keep both sides together.
The last thing you want in an emergency is a first aid kit with broken supplies.
A First Aid Guide
Just about every kit comes with some type of printed first aid guide or manual. The larger the kit, usually the larger and more thorough the manual. If you like to have a lot of information at your fingertips, you may have to pack along a dog or pet first aid book to supplement the manual or guide.
Online or In Person?
While most packaged dog first aid kits have pretty much the same items, some have tools of better quality than others.
Many online stores offer dog first aid kits at reduced prices, particularly if you buy three or more. Don't restrict yourself to online pet stores.
Some of the best packaged dog first aid kits come from companies that specialize in first aid kits of all kinds.
Of course, if you don't find the one you want, you have the option of buying one and customizing it, or building one yourself, from the container up.
See Dog First Aid Supplies for more on customizing a kit or creating your own.
Big or small, wearable or lugagable, soft case or hard, a packaged dog first aid kit may be essential to your dog's health and safety, especially if she's a very active dog.
Don't leave home without one!
Even a bare bones packaged dog first aid kits is better than none at all.
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