Home Dog Health 17 Essential Items to Have in Your First Aid Kit for Dogs

17 Essential Items to Have in Your First Aid Kit for Dogs

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Chances are you have a first aid kit at home for yourself, in case of an emergency. If you share a home with a pet – dog or a cat – you must also have a first aid kit for them since you can't use most items from your “human” kit. Best first aid kit for dogs is especially needed when traveling.

Top Essential Items to Have in Your First Aid Kit for DogsIf you already have your own human-specific first aid kit, then you can simply add the missing items to make it a first aid kit for dogs as well. However, most vets recommend that you keep a separate dog first aid kit, because it's safer and more convenient.

There are two ways to go about ensuring that you have the best first aid kit for dogs at home: you can either purchase an already pre-made pet first aid kit, or buy all the dog-friendly first aid items separately and put together your own first aid kit for dogs.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either approach, and in this article, we'll discuss either option, what's essential to have in your first aid kit for dogs, and review the the below seven best dog first aid kits that you can purchase already pre-made:

(Pre-organized) Dog First Aid Kits Price Quality Rating
AKC First Aid Kit Deluxe Plus (100 Pieces) $$$ A+ 4.5/5
Adventure Medical Kits Dog Series (64 Pieces) $$$$ A+ 4.6/5
Canine Friendly First Aid Kit (32 Pieces) $$ A 4.8/5
JoJo Modern Pets Essential First Aid Kit (16 Pieces) $$ B 4.4/5
AKC Small First Aid Kit (46 Piece) $ C 4.3/5
Canine Friendly Pocket First Aid Kit (13 Pieces) $ C- 4.1/5
AKC Pet Safety Kit (20 Pieces) $ C+ 4.4/5

* Click on the best dog first aid kit for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details.

The above seven pre-organized best first aid kits for dogs have all the essential items you'll ever need during most pet emergencies. The more expensive ones, such as the AKC first aid kit for pets has 100+ items in it, most of which you won't need but it's good to have in case that one time does happen.Why have a first aid kit for dogs

Why have a first aid kit for dogs?

Just like small children, dogs get into all sorts of trouble all the time. Being prepared for your pet's emergency is always a good idea, and having a dog first aid kit on hand or close by is just smart, according to veterinarians and AVMA experts.

When there's a dog health related emergency, pet owners should not spend time looking for things that may or may not work, or quickly trying to find information online. This is the time to act fast, and all vets strongly advise everybody to have a pet first aid kit:

“The preparation of a pet emergency kit will allow you to mentally prepare for a problem. A waterproof plastic bin is the perfect container as it will keep the items in it from being ruined so that they will be available in an emergency,” says Dr. James Barr, DVM (source)

The more extensive your best first aid kit for dogs is, the better, because it will include some items that may be difficult to find not only at home but even in your local pharmacies or pet stores. Running around town isn't the best time during emergency.

On top having best first aid kit for dogs at home, you should also familiarize yourself with some of the basic dog first aid kit procedures and things to do in case of certain accidents, and AVMA has put together a great booklet that will walk you through this:

Take a look at this pet first aid checklist and print it out, if possible. Fill out the necessary fields, such as vet's and hospital's phone numbers, pet poison contacts and whatever else can be helpful. Keep it somewhere close to your dog first aid kit.

VIDEO: How To Take A Dog’s Temperature With a Thermometer

17 Essential Items in First Aid Kits for Dogs

Essential Items to Have in Your First Aid Kit for Dogs

Dog owners who don't want to get a pre-organized first aid kits for dogs can put one together themselves. Below I've listed 16 essential things that every first aid kit for dogs must have, and a few optional items that may be useful but are not as necessary.

1. Dog eye wash: Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs

Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for DogsIt will help to reduce irritation in the eyes and gently cleanse your dog's eyes and surrounding tissues to help relieve discomfort.

Dog eye washes also remove tear stains and slow down their formation in your pet's eyes. It's very beneficial in fighting eye infections in dogs.

2. Aspirin for dogs: Excel Aspirin for Dogs

Excel Aspirin for DogsThis small cheap bottle is more than enough for emergencies and will last for a very long it. Aspirin for dogs provides temporary pain relief and enteric coated tablets are gentle on your pet's stomach (compared to human ones).

Aspirin is ideal for dogs with arthritis, joint problems, or after surgery, but cannot be used with cats.

3. Sterile stretch gauze bandage: Sterile Stretch Gauze Bandage

Sterile Stretch Gauze BandageIn addition to the above, your first aid kit for dogs should also have a stretch bandage that has been sterilized.

These go well together with sponges, and are perfect for standalone dog first aid kits or even as a refills for the pre-made ones. It's very cheap too, usually goes for around $1-2.

4. Rubbing alcohol: Swan Isopropyl Alcohol

Swan Isopropyl AlcoholYou probably already have this in your home or car, but double check if it's still good to use. Rubbing alcohol is great for fighting infection in dogs.

Isopropyl is highly recommended for those things, and it can only be used externally. Active ingredient: isopropyl alcohol 99% by volume.

5. Custom splints: Pet Splint for Dogs

 Pet Splint for DogsThis is something on the more expensive side, and you really would need to research before purchasing.

That thing provides heavy support to complete immobilization when needed. If you can afford custom splints for your dog, then it would be a great addition to your kit, but the prices usually range from $40 to $150.

6. Vet rap bandage: 3M Vetrap Bandaging Tape Purple

3M Vetrap Bandaging Tape PurpleTry to also include a few vet rap bandages into your first aid kit. These can be also pretty cheap and an elastic bandage that adheres to itself but not to hair or skin will serve your dog well.

The product above is porous, soft, lightweight and comfortable and needs no clips or pins.

7. Hydrocortisone acetateExcel Hydrocortisone Spray

Excel Hydrocortisone SprayWhat vets often recommend to have in your dog first aid kit is the hydrocortisone acetate for dogs. You can either use the hydrocortisone spray, or in some specific cases, antiseptic dog shampoos may work.

The liquid contains 4% Chlorhexidine Gluconate and is the perfect solution when you need a reliable cleansing formulation with emollients for dogs or cats.

8. Benadryl for dogs: Vet's Best Seasonal Allergy Support

Vet's Best Seasonal Allergy SupportBenadryl isn't as expensive for dogs as it is for people, so you should be able to include it as well into your first aid kit for dogs. A small single bottle will be enough, unless your pooch is seriously in need of this.

It helps support the immune system of your canine, and great for dogs plagued with seasonal allergies. Manufacturer claims to use only quality natural ingredients.

9. Sterile non-adherent pads: Curad Non-Stick Pads

Curad Non-Stick PadsThese will usually be shared with people, too. Get the cheapest ones and don't go overboard as it can quickly become very expensive.

Non-adherent pads for dogs are perfect for wound dressings when experiencing light bleeding, large surface cuts, scrapes, burns or post-surgical wounds. The ouchless non-stick pads are made of a soft, perforated Mylar film bonded to a cotton/polyester pad that is absorbent and breathable.

10. Pepto-bismol: Pepto-Bismol Caplets

Pepto-Bismol CapletsVets agree that pepto-bismol is safe to give to dogs, but you still should talk to your own vet to get a more specific recommendation.

If there's no problem with using the product, then you should definitely have some pepto-bismol for dogs (in tablets) for when your pooch has an upset stomach or diarrhea. It works the same way it does with people.

11. Ear syringe: Innovet Silicone Pet Feeding Syringe

Innovet Silicone Pet Feeding SyringeThis dog ear syringe's soft silicone tip won't harm teeth, gums or cheeks or your dog. Its life-like feel encourages pets to feed, and the ear syringe itself is very durable and reusable.

Manufacturer claims that this one in particular is superior to all other hand feeding syringes on the market, and other dog owners seem to agree.

12. Antibiotic ointment: Zymox Topical Cream with Hydrocortisone

Zymox Topical Cream with HydrocortisoneHere's another very important item for your first aid kit for dogs – topical antibiotic cream that provides a powerful natural enzyme formula to aid in the treatment of skin infections in pets.

You can get it even at triple strength (research a little before purchasing that one tho). You can lightly cover the cream with a sterile bandage mentioned above, and remember to apply twice daily for one to two weeks or as directed by a veterinarian.

You can also try some alternative remedies for dogs that have less chemicals in them.

13. White petroleum jelly: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline Petroleum JellyGet some white petroleum jelly for dogs too (usually Vaseline works best, or something similar). It helps to protect wounds in canines from infection and is most useful for treating scaly leg.

It can relieve the itching from the irritation, it softens the scales and it smothers the mite that causes the disease. For paw protection, there are specific dog paw waxes that work better.

14. Hypoallergenic cloth tape: Soft Cloth Surgical Tape

Soft Cloth Surgical TapeAnother very useful item to have in your first aid kit for dogs when you have specific cases to treat. These products are usually truly hypoallergenic and Latex-free.

They are very soft, gentle, breathable, conformable for dogs to wear. You can get them in several widths, and with easy-tear perforated rolls.

15. Kaopectate tabletsKaopectate Multi-Symptom Relief

Kaopectate Multi-Symptom ReliefThis product can be given to dogs and works similarly to Pepto-bismol, but you need to be cautious about its controversy. Giving any type of medicine to dogs, whether it's anti-diarrhea or something like Mobic may work for pets, but need to be done with extreme caution.

Please research more on how to give these tablets to dogs and what to avoid. As usual, it's best to discuss it with your veterinarian beforehand.

16. Bandage scissors: Nutri-Vet Bandage Scissors

Nutri-Vet Bandage ScissorsAlmost forgot to mention special scissors to include in your first aid kit for dogs, and Nutri-Vet has the best ones. These will save you time during an emergency and they work perfectly well to remove bandages.

Veterinarian approved, and made to prevent injury during use. Flat bottom slides easily beneath bandages.

17. Gauze sponges: Dermacea Gauze Sponges

Dermacea Gauze SpongesWhat every first aid kit for dogs needs are the gauze sponges. These ones are made from 100% cotton and are well suited for a variety of applications with your pet, including wound dressing, general cleaning, minor prepping, wound packing and debriding.

The manufacturer claims that Gauze Sponges meet USP Type VII requirements.

That's about it in terms of the most essential items for your first aid kit for dogs. But you can always get additional things if you can afford them – it never hurts to be prepared for any type of pet health emergency situation and avoid seeing your dog suffer for longer.

Other dog sites have the following items recommended, but I would say these are optional or most likely you already have them:

Finally, consider what injuries or health emergencies your dog is mostly prone to, and maybe start gathering items one by one to make your own first aid kit for dogs and not pay hundreds of dollars all at once. Don't try to first buy something that can be replaced with items used for people or what is least likely to occur.

Always remember to consult with your veterinarian for the best options too, and see if there are other, possibly better products than those listed on this site. It's all for the benefit of your pet! Be safe, and stay healthy.

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Remember that you have a dog first aid kit at home

If you experience a pet dog crisis, then you must ensure that your house has if not everything then at least the most important things to provide immediate medical intervention. Sometimes, waiting for too long to drive your dog to a vet can result in losing your friend.

First aid kit for dogs and cats is a vital component for pet owners, and in addition to having tools to save your dog in an emergency, most of these items can also be used for people's first aid needs, too.

What dog owners need to know about first aid for dogs

What dog owners need to know about first aid for dogsIf you can afford it, ensure that your dog first aid kit has a cellphone in it with a vet emergency line phone number programmed in there in case something happens.

This is a great addition for your first aid kit for dogs, but remember to check batteries periodically or have a procedure in place to put in battery that hasn't been discharged immediately.

So what do you do with these dog first aid kit supplies when there's an emergency?

The best way to go about this (aside from learning each item separately on your own) is to get certified in pet first aid. That way you will always know how to use any kind of first aid kit for dogs or cats, and a lot of the same knowledge can be applied to humans, in case you ever need it.

RedCross offers inexpensive classes to learn how to deal with emergencies in the most efficient ways, and they will also give you all the information on how to use your own first aid kit for dogs. if you get certified with them, your family, your pets and even your friends and neighbors will thank you, because they will always know there's someone who can save the life of a dog or cat.

Below, we've put together a guide on the most essential items for your first aid kit for dogs and the best ones available to purchase online. If you buy everything at once, you can get free shipping from Amazon.

After that, go through the instructions and learn about each one of these separately. These are the suggestions based on dog owner's experience and what are considered the best of the best in what they represent.

You can always purchase an already prepared first aid kit for dogs online, but we recommend putting together your own because:

a) you'll know exactly what you have and can choose certain items that you definitely need (as indicated below)

b) a really well put together dog first aid kit (and with better quality items) will be cheaper than a pre-made one that has the same amount of stuff.

Nonetheless, in case dog owners are on the lookout to purchase an already prepared dog first aid kit for their pets, here are 5 best examples that are available on Amazon for a reasonable price.

But if you spend the time to learn how to create the kit, analyzing instructions of every item in there and learning how to use them in case of an emergency, that can very well pay off and save the life of your furry pal. Usually, this doesn't take long, especially if you get the items for cheap online and have them delivered (instead of going from pet store to pet store to collect it all).

After that, you can also discuss them with your vet. In all, it will take you a day's work and the knowledge will last forever. You will also feel more confident about the fact that you can always provide your dog with the necessary aid.

Please remember that this site is not intended to provide any professional or other medical and veterinary advice and you must always consult with your vet to learn about the product and check if it's safe to give it to your pet.

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Diana Beth Miller

Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she’s been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.