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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like we are on track to get our puppy in early May. We'd like to put together a first aid kit. If we put everything that has been suggested in books/online/etc it would weigh 100 lbs. :)
Any suggestions on what is essential?

Thanks in advance.

575 Posts
You should start with a nice sized tool/tackle box with a removable tray. I like the removable one because it's easier to get to the bottom contents in a TRUE emergency. As a matter of fact, I have two, a small one for car/truck and a larger one that I keep at home.

The one for your car:

(not in any particular order of importance)

Quick read digital thermometer (you want to know very quickly)
a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting)
Roll of gauze or vet wrap (for wrapping wounds, injuries, tourniquet, muzzling, or imobilizing body or limbs) Having the gauze will save you from having to have several different items.
Paint stir sticks (3 or 4 for splinting) a rolled up newspaper would do
instant hot and cold packs (you should have a couple of each)
sterile saline solution (for flushing wounds, eyes, ears)
gauze squares (for packing wounds and to aid in stopping bleeding)
book on emergency first aid (this is a MUST)
emergency vet hospital numbers (you'd want to have the contact numbers for a couple in your area)
a warming blanket (they make these that are very small when folded up and are vital for an animal that is "shocky")
packet of powdered electrolytes and a bottle of water.

This is a great start for a travel type kit. Remember, you don't need EVERYTHING conceivable in a emergency first aid kit. Just enough to buy some time. Also, you dont' want to do anything that could make an injury worse, so doing less is better until you can get to the hospital

For home:

all of the above :)
Also, you may want to consider the following which covers situations that are less of an immediate emergency.

buffered aspirin 81mg (for pain)
10 - 60ml syringe for forcing fluids (orally unless you are familiar with doing Sub Q)
If doing sub Q, you'll need 22 gauge sharps (25 gauge for smaller dogs) You would also need lactated ringers if doing sub Q or sodium chloride (or similar) and a IV set up kit.
nail clippers
a small battery operated clipper/trimmer that cuts very close to the skin (for exposing injuries for dressing/treating) You could also get a corded one, but I've found the battery ones are quicker, just remember to test it regulary or keep extra batteries on hand.
antibiotic CREAM (ointments seal in bacteria)
betadine soap

I know I'm forgetting some stuff, but again, if you are NOT familiar with emergency first aid, you want to err on the side of less is better. Some times in our rush to FIX things, we can make it harder on the animal and the vet to treat or diagnose a problem by procedures we've done in an emergency. You are only trying to stabilize, not treat. I think the most important thing you can have in your "kit" is the knowledge of how to do CPR! Take a class on pet first aid and emergency care. They are given thru the American Red Cross and other organizations and can make a difference between life and death of your pet. Always keep emergency numbers on hand and a copy of a first aid/CPR book. Even if we are trained, we can get nervous and forget something, so being able to refer to it can refocus our brain and allow us to do what is necessary to save a life!

2,537 Posts
Thats a pretty good list. I would add off the top of my head to always carry some benadryl. Youd be amazed at how many bug bite reactions or just plain ol' reactions dogs tend to get. 1mg/pound is the standard dose.
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