5 Must have items in any dog’s first aid kit

Building a complete dog first aid kit and having it always at reach is vital! Dogs explore, run, swim and eventually, dogs injure themselves.

Sometimes, as the owner, you just know there’s something wrong with your pooch. Often, you are worried enough to try to figure out what exactly is wrong but not enough to go to the vet. A dog first aid kit will help you out with these little troubles that we, dog owners, know oh too well!

Now, it goes without saying that if you don’t know what you are doing or feel overwhelmed, calling and visiting your vet is what you should always do. The vet is always the best option but you can definitely assist your dog with the below items in your first aid kit.

Dog Antiseptic Gel, Spray or Wipes

First things first, if your dog has a little injury, you have to clean the area as best as you can using an antiseptic. This is to stop a potential infection or irritation and kill bad germs in order to prevent further trouble. Yes, just like us humans!

Now, make sure you use a dog-friendly or dog-only antiseptic as dogs don’t have to same tolerance to alcohol and chemicals as people.

For your convenience, manufacturers have come up with four main types of antiseptic products:

  • Gel — stays on the applies zone better
  • Spray — spreads evenly and stores easily
  • Liquid — less convenient packaging maybe
  • Wipes — super convenient but usually milder strength

Have your pick and make sure it is usable a year or two from now because this is not the type of products we use daily. Buy more if you hike or trek with your dog as risks of injuries increase.

Strong Painkillers for Dogs

A feverish dog or one that’s failing his own eating and sleeping habits is usually a dog in pain. Once you assess the situation and realize it isn’t just a brief tiredness, you have to relieve the pain and discomfort using a dog painkiller.

Let me be clear: never offer human painkillers to a dog. Dosage and active compounds are not compatible to our very different bodies.

As explained by Breeding Business, painkillers for dogs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are available over-the-counter but you also need a vet-prescribed pain relief, in case the pain becomes too strong and you cannot get your companion to the vet just yet.

These include codeine for dogs as well as rimadyl, deramaxx and previcox. Each having their own specialty so make sure your bring that up at your next visit at the veterinary practice.

Dressings and Bandages

Dog owners face a huge offer of self-adhesive bandages, dressing rolls, gauze dressings, and more. Always have several different dressings and some surgical tape in order to be ready for a wide range of injuries. If need be, you can always buy more of a particular type.

A dressing is a sterile compress that is applied directly onto the wound in order to protect it from external threats and potentially harmful bacterias, viruses, germs and the environment. For dogs, dressings and bandages also help avoid the dog licking off the products applied.

When applied correctly and changed when required, dressings will also help sealing the wound to accelerate the clotting process. To reduce the risk of infection, dressings and bandages are breathable while still offering a moist environment.


Splinters in the dog’s paws or even porcupine quills are amongst the top ten most common dog ailments, especially for active dogs. This is why having ready-to-use disinfected tweezers is a must-have in any first aid kit for dogs.

Additionally, dog owners should also own a tick removal tool in case their pet fall victim of a few ticks during their doggy life. The most common choice that’s also recommended by most vets is the O’Tom Tick Remover.


Early onsets of a fatigue, illness or viral disease often include a higher or lower temperature causing a feverish physical state. According to the American Kennel Club, a temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius) is typical for dogs.

Ear thermometers make strong claims but because of the different shapes of canine ear canals, the ear temperature is not as relevant as the anus.

Although they are not the most convenient to use, rectal thermometers are the best and most reliable way to take a dog’s temperature. Lubricate heavily the anus and insert the thermometer following the instructions given by the manufacturer.

That’s a Wrap!

A dog first aid kit can include hundreds of items but the quantity matters very little. Indeed, the most important here to have versatile items in order to cope with a wide range of first aid needs. If more is required, it’s your vet’s job to provide you with more guidance.

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