First Aid Basics for Pet Owners

As a dog owner, you may find yourself needing to give your dog first aid. Dogs are curious creatures and sometimes get into dangerous situations. When they get into trouble, it will be your job to help.  Many of the problems a dog faces are similar to those of our own. Until you can get your dog to a vet, he will depend on you. Having the supplies you need on hand will really help you to be effective.

Rolls of gauze and tape are handy to slow or stop bleeding and are necessary in your doggie first aid kit. You can also find some great blood-clotting topical products too. Hydrogen peroxide is important for cleaning wounds. An old clean blanket is essential for wrapping a dog in shock. A first aid kit should also include an antihistamine for bee or wasp stings, an antibiotic gel and an eye wash. Also, absorbent cotton, gauze rolls or pads, scissors (preferably with rounded tips), tweezers, a rectal thermometer; syringes (without the needle) for giving oral medications, elastic bandages.

Take time to learn the basics of first aid. Keep your vet’s phone number handy in case you need him. If you think your dog may need professional care in the middle of the night or on a weekend, consider calling your vet and advising him. He may have some good advice or instructions to help you reach him.  Many cities now have pet emergency centers.  It is advisable to keep their number in your first aid kit as well.

Keep in mind that an injured dog is scared and may bite.  If you feel this is possible, a muzzle is another addition to your kit.  Avoid giving your dog Tylenol.  Ask your vet before it is necessary what kind of pain medication is okay and keep some of that with the rest.

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