Summer is coming to an end, which means back-to-school time is around the corner! People are scrambling to get their kids ready with new clothes and supplies while also prepping their households for after-school safety with first aid kits!
But what about Fido?! How can you prepare a first aid kit suitable enough for your pooch? As co-owner of Fitdog Sports Club in Santa Monica, Calif., I have put together "Dog First Aid Kit" tips and advice that will leave you better prepared in case of a pet emergency.
Essential Items for Your Dog's Home First Aid Kit
In case of an emergency, it's important to call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian. However, for minor wounds or common medical care, there are a few items I like to have around the house just in case.
Antibiotic soap: A little soap and water is perfect for flushing out wounds. Don't apply soap directly, but instead rinse the area with some soapy water and then rinse again with clean water. This is perfect for minor scratches from all of that play at the dog park.
Hydrogen peroxide: This can be used to flush out bacteria. However it should not be used to treat wounds on an ongoing basis as it will re-open the wound. It should also not be used on deep cuts or wounds. If you notice that a wound has a pocket or is deep, bring your dog to the veterinarian.
Neosporin: Like for people, you can apply Neosporin to a wound as an anti-biotic after wound has been cleaned to prevent infection. If you notice a wound is red or has discharge, you should bring your dog to the veterinarian.
Styptic powder: This is helpful if you ventured to cut your dog's nails at home and you accidentally cut one of them too short. Styptic powder helps to stop bleeding quickly. However, it should not be used for wound care. If a wound will not stop bleeding, you should wrap it and bring your dog to the veterinarian.
Gauze and self-adhesive tape: Dogs can't do band aids, so it's important to have gauze and self adhesive tape handy in the event a wound is bleeding, and you need to transport your dog to the veterinarian. The self adhesive tape won't stick to your dog's fur and is easy to apply and remove. Gauze should be sanitary and kept in a clean container.
Benadryl: Dogs have allergic reactions to plants, pollens, chemicals and foods, just like people. Benadryl can help reduce the symptoms of minor allergies or prevent a major allergic reaction from escalating, like a bee sting, so you have enough time to rush your dog to the veterinarian. Make sure the Benadryl is only anti histamine, and there are no other active ingredients like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which are dangerous for your dog.
Cotton balls: These are good to have in order treat minor wounds, scratches, etc. or to clean your dog's ears or wipe down eyes. Make sure they are sanitary and kept in a clean location.
Wash your hands: As a reminder, you should always thoroughly wash your hands before treating any wounds -- on yourself, other people or dogs!
For a full list of pet aid supplies, check out the Humane Society website.