You can go into almost any pet store in the UK, especially the big chains, and see first aid kits for your dog.
Is there anything specifically required for a dog first aid kit, or will a human first aid kit cover what is needed for a dog as well?
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They are often basically the same but there are often three additional items listed:
Especially the tick tweezers seems to be pretty useful of course.
Other pet-specific supplies to assume
- Pet first-aid book
- Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!) and a poison-control center or hotline
- Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
- Nylon leash
- Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs)
- Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don't use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or otherwise having difficulty breathing)
I just looked at a typical UK "Pet First Aid Kit" here.
Each pack contains 24 pieces all designed with the care of your pet in mind, including:
- 2 x 20ml Pods of Saline - to wash away dirt and debris from your pet's eyes and other areas;
- 2 x Medium Dressing Bandages with Ties - to cover an injury;
- 1 x Foil Blanket - to retain body warmth and help combat shock;
- 5 x Gauze Swabs - for cleaning up fluid or after saline use;
- 1 x Microporous Tape - to help hold dressings in place;
- 1 x Conforming Bandage - for use with suspected sprained joints;
- 2 x Pairs of Latex Gloves;
- 4 x Plastic Pouches - to cover foot injuries and help keep them clean;
- 4 x Alcohol Free Cleansing Wipes - to clean wounds;
- 1 x Scissors;
- 1 x Tweezers.
All in all, remarkably similar to a standard human kit. The pouches for foot injuries are the only interesting addition - Your dog doesn't wear boots, so a foot injury is going to get filthy without something like this - although you could reasonably improvise something.
I'd just double check my 'human' kit, and make sure I have enough to cope with both a dog and a human injury.
Side note: LATEX gloves? No, get nitrile ones instead. I don't think dogs can be allergic to latex, but who knows who you're going to treat...?
Depending on the size of your dog you should also consider getting some larger bandages - A Labrador is very large around compared to a human leg. Also I would suggest some plastic bags - They can be used in conjunction with the self cling bandages over a leg, foot or tail wound. Also, as in a human, for penetrating or sucking wounds.
Something for stings as well such as piriton liquid (Dogs are great at biting wasps) and the liquid is easier to get down them if the sting is in the mouth or throat. Make sure you know the dose for your particular dog though (your vet should be able to advise) - This is only for an emergency where you cannot get to a vet in time.
For ticks and other such nasties I keep tea-tree oil which I put on before removal as well as after - ticks are not keen on it and some will withdraw into themselves which helps with removal.
If you have scissors in your pack - make sure they are of the rounded end type = not just the tops rounded but both parts. A dog will not always hold still and it is so easy to jab by accident.
I really hope you never have to try any of these items out!