Disclaimer: Meeting with your veterinarian prior to any outdoor activities is always the best way to ensure your dog’s safety and health. This list is meant as a supplement to professional care, not a replacement for it.
Dog first aid kits are essential for every dog mom and dad to have on hand to be prepared for anything that might come up.
Finding yourself and your dog in the middle of a hike or camping excursion can be scary when emergencies happen.
A dog bitten by a snake, sick, or even just an injury from playing too hard can all ruin a day in the fun outdoors.
Items for your Dog First Aid Kit for Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking
A good thing to mention here is that your human first aid kit and dog first aid kit might overlap, but some key items are also different.
For simplicity, we broke down our list into a few different categories:
- Antiseptic wipes or spray
- Gauze pads
- Adhesive bandages
- Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
- Aspirin (never give ibuprofen to a dog!)
- Emergency contact information for your veterinarian
- A pet first aid book
- A list of poison control centers
- A muzzle (to prevent bites when you’re trying to help an injured dog)
- A clean towel
- A blanket
- A bottle of water and a bowl
Now that you have a well-rounded idea of what types of content to put in your canine first aid kit. Let’s discuss how to use them in the unfortunate event that your dog is injured or becomes sick while out on a hike or camping trip.
Wounds are one of the most common injuries owners camping, hiking, or backpacking with their dog will encounter.
If your dog has a minor wound, cleaning it with an antiseptic wipe or spay will be the first course of action.
Cleaning the wound, whether minor or more severe, with hydrogen peroxide can help prevent infection.
If the wound is bleeding heavily, apply pressure to it with a clean towel or gauze pad and then seek professional medical help.
In the event of a snake bite, it is important to get professional medical help immediately and not try to remove the venom yourself.
Getting your veterinarian on the phone should be your first step when you think your dog is in pain and you’re not sure why.
They will be able to give you the best course of action based on what they know about your dog’s health history and current condition.
In the event you are unable to contact your veterinarian there are some OTC medications you can give your dog for pain relief.
Aspirin can be given to dogs for pain relief but should never be given to puppies or dogs under 20 pounds.
The recommended dosage for aspirin is 10 mg per pound of body weight given every 12 hours.
Benadryl used to fight allergies caused by either environmental or insect bites can also be given to dogs for pain relief.
The recommended dosage for Benadryl is 1 mg per pound of body weight given every 8 hours.
Talking with your local veterinarian before hiking, backpacking, or a camping trip about proper pain management in the event you cannot contact them while away from home is always a good idea.
Finding yourself and your pooch in an emergency can be scary, but it is important to remain calm.
If your furry friend is having a seizure, experiencing a loss of consciousness, or having trouble breathing, these are all signs that you need to seek professional medical help immediately and cannot be helped with a first aid kit.
In the event of a less serious emergency, such as heat stroke or gastrointestinal upset, you will still want to seek professional medical help, but having a plan and knowing what to do in the meantime can be helpful.
For example, if your dog is having a mild seizure, placing them in a quiet and dim area can help to calm them down.
Suppose your dog shows signs of heat stroke, such as excessive panting or drooling. In that case, it is important to immediately get them out of the heat and into a cool area.
Applying cool, not cold, water to their body and giving them small amounts of water to drink can help to lower their body temperature.
Dog first aid kits containing essentials such as emergency blankets, gauze bandages, and antibiotic ointment can go a long way in helping you provide care for your furry friend in the event of an emergency.
The market is now full of adventure medical kits that aim to make it easy for you to pick up and go.
When selecting a kit, make sure it contains items specific for dog care and that the items will work well together.
Now that you know what goes into a dog’s first aid kit and how to use it, you and your four-legged friend can confidently hit the trails!
Owner & PetCareAdvice.com
PetCareAdvice.com was founded by Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your dog.