Shake Paws

— the home of dogs —

Be prepared: dog first aid kits

by Shake Paws

A good first aid kit is essential for any household that has a dog. Create your own, as we did, or buy a ready-made first aid kit. From experience, the latter makes more sense.

You never know when your dog is going to injure itself – all that charging around not looking where he’s going, a dog is just an accident waiting to happen. Our dog, Roma, a thin-skinned, thin-coated lurcher, is always picking up minor cuts, nicks and grazes and, occasionally, the kind of injury that warrants a trip to the vet.

So, like all good scouts, we always aim to ‘be prepared’. We have separate kits for home and car, so Roma is never too far away from the means to treat her cuts and nicks. Wherever Roma goes, the kit goes too, whether it’s a day out at the beach or a week in a holiday rental cottage.

Just remember that a first aid kit is not a substitute for a visit to the vet. It is only intended for use on minor cuts, nicks and insect stings. If you are at all concerned that the injury might be worse than it appears to be at first sight, take him to a vet.

Make your own first aid kit

Creating your own dog first aid kit sounds like a lot of effort, and it is probably not the cheapest solution. But if that is the way you want to go, here is a handy list of items you should include in your first aid kit.

  • Styptic powder, such as Remedy & Recovery’s styptic powder for dogs or Four Paws antiseptic quick blood stopper
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers or forceps
  • Latex gloves
  • Syringe
  • Digital thermometer
  • Solution containing 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Antiseptic hand wipes
  • Cold pack
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton buds
  • Sterile, non-adherent gauze pads
  • Roll gauze to keep padding in place
  • Self-adhesive wrap
  • Tape for securing bandages
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Antiseptic
  • Muzzle
  • Eye wash.

Bear in mind that you are buying a first aid kit, not a field hospital. Should you have call to use your first aid kit, more often than not it will be to administer treatments for minor injuries – small cuts, grazes, nicks – or to make your dog more comfortable before taking him to a vet. We built up the first aid kit in the Shake Paws’ household as we went along, buying items as and when we needed them. But we can’t help thinking we would have saved a lot of time and money if we had picked up a ready-made first aid kit. In our defence, we started building up our kit long before Amazon came on the scene. The kits we have selected below cover most situations and are available from a number of different suppliers.

Warwick pet first aid kit

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The Warwick pet first aid kit contains most of the items you are likely to need in an emergency, including saline wash, tick tweezers, a foil blanket, scissors, dressings and hygiene wipes.

  • Available from: Amazon.co.uk
  • Price: £12.99
  • Kit contains: vinyl gloves, tick tweezers, plastic forceps, nickle-plated scissors, foil blanket, hygiene cleansing wipes, eye and wound wash, cotton wool, zinc oxide tape, white open weave bandage, low-adherent pad, conforming bandage, self-adhesive paw print bandage, CPR and toxic food guides, storage case.

VSI sport dog first aid kit

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The VSI sport dog kit is described as a heavy-duty kit and comes in a distinctive and practical denier bag, in hunter orange, brown, red or camouflage.

  • Available from: Amazon.com
  • Price: $39.99
  • Kit contains: stretch gauze, trauma pads, sterile pads, vet wrap, eye and skin wash, scissors, cotton swabs, styptic powder, insect sting wipes, hydrocortisone cream, triple antibiotic ointment, green soap towelette, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, PVP iodine, hand wipe, plastic forceps, latex gloves, care card, gunshot wound card.

Petnap pet first aid camping kit

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Petnap’s pet first aid kit comes in a sturdy case with a carry handle.

  • Available from: Amazon.co.uk
  • Price: £9.52
  • Kit contains: saline, medium dressing bandage, foil blanket, gauze swabs, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, microporous tape, conforming bandage, scissors, vinyl powder gloves, plastic pouches, tweezers.

Outdoor Safety canine first aid kit, field model #777

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Outdoor Safety’s kit sounds like it is only a bed short of being a field hospital, and this is the company’s base model! Outdoor Safety also has the Pro Model #900 ($74.95 ) and the Pro Model #2000 ($99.95), neither of which contains a bed, by the way.

  • Available from: Outdoor Safety
  • Price: $29.95, normally $44.95
  • Kit contains: water-resistant portable case with velcro strap, scissors, haemostat forceps, digital thermometer with case, Ticked Off tick remover, non-latex gloves, styptic pencil with case, antiseptic wipes, alcohol wipes, PVP iodine wipes, hydrocortisone cream packets, antibiotic ointment packets, sterile non-adherent gauze pads, ABD/trauma pad, gauze bandage, tape, eye wash, cotton balls, cotton swabs, animal first aid guide.

Trixie first aid kit for dogs and cats

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Trixie’s compact dog first aid kit comes in a zipper bag with peel fastenings on the reverse so it can be easily fixed to a belt loop.

  • Available from: Amazon.co.uk
  • Price: £9.11
  • Kit contains: bag, wound compress, packet of bandages, fixing bandage, adhesive tape, alcohol swabs, disposable syringe, plastic tweezers, latex gloves, flea and lice comb, tick tweezers, dog muzzle loop, first aid booklet.

Canine Friendly pet first aid kit

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Canine Friendly’s pet first aid kit is nicely organised, with supplies stored in clear vinyl pockets for easy access.

  • Available from: Amazon.com
  • Price: $34.99
  • Kit contains: gauze rolls, square gauze pads, rectangular gauze pads, elastic bandage, patch adhesives, triangular bandage, examination gloves, tape, wooden tongue depressors, tweezers, scissors, cold pack, emergency blanket, saline solution, antiseptic wipes, first aid manual.

Vigilant Trails pet first aid kit

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Vigilant Trails’ pet first aid kit contains 70 items in a crush- and dust-proof container, which can double as a food or water dish. Includes a snake bite/venom kit.

  • Available from: Amazon.com
  • Price: $29.99
  • Kit contains: first aid guide, crush- and dust-proof plastic container, examination gloves, stainless steel tweezers, stainless steel wire scissors, stainless steel safety pins, aluminium whistle, cotton-tipped applicators, cotton balls, adhesive tape, elastic bandage with metal clips, latex-free roll gauze, self-adhering elastic wrap, paw tip adhesive knuckle bandages, large patch bandages, gauze pads, syringe, cleansing towelettes, isopropyl alcohol prep pads, antiseptic povidone–iodine prep pads, junior tongue depressors, diphen antihistamine, triple antibiotic cream, insect sting wipes, petroleum jelly, and a snake bite/venom kit with Certi-suction venom extraction pump, safety razor, antiseptic povidone-iodine pads, BZK cleansing towelette, diphen antihistamine, insect sting wipe, stainless steel surgical blade.

R7 first aid kit from Cherrybrook

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Cherrybrook’s R7 first aid kit is about as compact as they come. You might want to add a few of the other items in our suggestions at the top of this post to make this kit a bit more robust.

Rose Options travel first aid kit

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Rosewood’s Options travel first aid kit is designed with dogs in mind and includes 24 items.

  • Available from: Amazon.co.uk
  • Price: £10.85
  • Kit contains: saline pods, medium dressings, foil blanket, gauze swabs, microporous tape, conforming bandage, gloves, plastic pouches, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, scissors, tweezers, plastic case with clip-in wall bracket

First Voice PET01 basic pet first aid kit

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First Voice’s basic pet first aid kit comes in a durable, hard plastic case that is easy to store, carry or mount on a wall. It is also a lot less basic than its name implies.

  • Available from: Amazon.com
  • Price: $24.58
  • Kit contains: first aid guide, hard plastic case, paw adhesive strips, waterproof tape rolls, blood stopper trauma dressing, gauze pads, gauze roll, gloves (non-latex), instant cold pack, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, BZK wipes, alcohol wipes, tongue depressors/splints, cotton tip applicators, elastic bandage, sting relief pads.

Many of these kits contain basic first aid guides. For a more comprehensive solution, the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide has step-by-step instructions for daily care, first aid, illness and injury assessment.