If your canine companion is an active dog, a fully stocked, quality dog first aid kit could be the difference between life and death, health and permanent disability, or a pain-free life and ongoing suffering.
A first aid kit for a dog or other pet has many of the same supplies and tools as a kit for humans, such as scissors, gauze and an antiseptic for cleansing wounds.
There are some important differences, however, particularly pain medications.
Many medications developed for human use are dangerous, even fatal, to pets. You need to ensure that your first aid kit has pain medications developed for your pet.
The best way to do that is to create your own canine first aid kit, or purchase one of the many available in stores and online.
If you're someone who likes to customize, I've included a list of essential and recommended items: dog first aid supplies for your kit.
If you'd prefer to purchase a kit, there are many packaged dog first aid kits available at very reasonable prices.
If you purchase one off the shelf, consider adding some items to your dog first aid kit to make it even more effective at treating your dog's injuries and lessening his pain should an accident occur.
A tool or supply is of no value in an emergency if you don't know how to use it. If you're like me, you find it very difficult, if not impossible, to learn a new skill when you're panicked.
Invest the time now to learn when and how to use each first aid kit item. Ask your vet or clinic staff for help using any tool or supply you're not familiar with.
Taking the time now to learn how to treat your dog means more time doing what needs to be done when every second counts, and more effective actions to stabilize your dog before transporting him to the vet.
While a dog first aid kit can help save your pet's life right after an accident, it cannot replace the expert care of a veterinarian.
Your injured pet needs to be examined by a vet as soon as possible. She's trained and prepared to handle life-threatening situations. You aren't. Do only what you need to stabilize your pet so that you can transport him to the vet clinic.
If, after reading the information here, you still have questions about first aid kits and how to use them, do not feel shy about speaking to your vet.
A hands-on explanation may be all that's necessary to answer your questions.