Anyone who has spent significant time outdoors with a dog knows that domestic canines don’t have to look for trouble, trouble knows where they are at all times. Mushers, bird-hunters, even search and rescue personal will attest that the health and well being of their dogs is one of their major causes for concern.
While it’s most likely true that your trail running biddy, or hiking hound isn’t going to encounter the same hazards as a bomb sniffer, or Yukon Quest runner, that doesn’t mean that accidents and injuries won’t happen. The best way to deal with common and frequent injuries is a well-stocked and portable first-aid kit. Many pre-packaged kits are available from outdoor retailers, however these may have unnecessary items, and some can be quite expensive. A good pet patent should be able to piece together a good, dog specific kit for fewer than 50 bucks.
What You Need to Get
While many items in a dog first-aid kit are exactly the same as those in human specific versions, there are some subtle and important variations. The first item in the pooch pouch should be the phone numbers of your pet’s vet, and emergency vet clinic. The second item should be any medications that your dog is currently taking. Quantity will depend on the duration and type of adventure you and your canine are planning on. Other items that are a must are: tweezers, fine pointed hemostats, small medical shears, Coflex, or other type of non-adhesive self-sticking tape, small to medium sized gauze pads, two pair surgical gloves, anti-septic ointment, hypodermic syringe without a needle, veterinary wound spray, and emergency or space blanket.
Where to Get The Goods
Most of these items can be purchased at any corner pharmacy, while some others may require a trip to the vet hospital or veterinary supply company. Depending on the dog and type of activity Quick-clot, Derma-bond, and mild sedatives could be necessary. Before using any of these items a consultation with your veterinarian is advised. Your vet may also be able to recommend other items that treat wounds, bites or stings, even toxins your pooch buddy may encounter on specific outings.
Depending on the adventure most of these items will fit in a small pouch, or tactical style med kit. These can be easily carried in a pack or on a belt, if your journey takes you to a destination of a watery nature, a dog specific kit can easily be placed in a heavy-duty zip-lock bag or other type of dry storage.
A Little Something Extra
Don’t forget a hand-full of small treats; most dogs will usually tolerate wound treatment with some positive reinforcement. Aside from treats a couple of other handy items include a light weight spare leash and strip of soft cloth, which can act as an emergency muzzle.
While most injuries and ailments can be avoided with simple precautions, for example proper hydration and nutrition, as well as situational awareness of where your dog is and what they are doing. However accidents do happen, and when they do it is best to be prepared.