Last updated on August 27, 2013
Right now there is probably a dog first aid kit of some sort in your apartment, dog supply closet, storage area, or glove box, right? At the very least, there are items in it that generally include gauze pads, swabs, thermometer, tweezers, and some sort of wound care ointment. Those are all fine and dandy and essential to a first aid kit, but do you know about these 7 staples that every dog first aid kit should have in it?
Some of these items are for emergencies and others are for routine maintenance and well-being:
1. Dip the Urine: Seriously, check your dog’s urine from home. I purchase the Siemens Multistix that test for 10 different levels of things in my dog’s urine. If your dog battles urinary tract infections (UTI’s), these strips can be a lifesaver for detecting levels such as pH and blood in the urine in between vet visits. Collect the dog’s urine with a free catch in the morning when it is most concentrated, dip the stick in, wait the time recommendations (2 minutes for most) and then compare against the colors on the bottle. (strips expire and are about $35 for 100 but so worth it – about the same cost as one urinalysis at the vet, so very cost effective).
2. Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Wanting a more natural option instead of applying harsh chemicals to Dexter during dastardly flea and tick season, this product has been a ray of light. Thanks to a tip from Carrie from the All Things Dog blog, I sprinkle this safe alternative to package chemicals on Dexter before trekking to the park, on walks or into woodsy areas. These fossilized remains of microscopic shells act as shards of glass to winged critters. I purchased a salt shaker from a local retailer and sprinkle this onto my hand and into his coat. I purchased Food Grade DE from Amazon.com. After using it for three months, I’ve yet to see one critter on my dog. Bonus: Word has it that this is a good bedbug deterrent, so I like traveling with it, too. (be sure to get the food grade). Alternatively, you can buy this product ready to roll from DERMagic with their “Flea Dust.”
With Cocker Spaniels having a higher-than average incidence of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), the less chemicals seeping into my dog’s bloodstream through his skin the better. Here are my favorite three buzz-off flea and tick preventatives from Dexter’s summer testing:
3. Liquid Net for Pets: Containing deterrents such as lemon grass, citronella oil and cedarwood, I use this when we are going to be any heavily wood areas in addition to the DE. I also use it on myself. As a mosquito magnet, I’ve found the season’s blood suckers keep away. The scent is a bit strong at first, but I’ve found it dissipates after a short time. Very effective and love the ability to spray upside down with their neat spritzer bottle. Liquid Net for Pets is something I carry thanks to the portable towelettes.
4. Vetericyn Universal Wound & Infection Treatment Spray is something I’ve been using on Dexter if he has any bug bites or boo boos. What I like about this dog product is that it is odorless, does not rinse off, is a one-step cleaner and dressing, and will not damage healthy tissue on your dog. We used it on an allergic spot on Dexter’s paw and within 2 days, it cleared up. Love.
5. PetClot: I hope I never have to use this, but I’m glad I have it with me (and have one for the human variety of family members, too). This single-use mesh pouch stops bleeding. Should an emergency occur, remove the PetClot from the package, apply pressure to the wound, and the bleeding stops. I’ve actually been on a walk with Dexter at the park where we gave this product to someone whose dog was bleeding profusely from the paw, having just stepped on something. She used it, stopped the bleeding, and was heading to the vet.
6. Tick Key: I have one on my key ring and one in the emergency bag. Using natural forward leverage to remove the entire tick, this is the kind of product that pays for itself the first time you use it.
7. Rescue Remedy for Pets: If you have a dog who fears lightning, fireworks, or loud noises and the anxiety wrap shirts have failed (as they have for me to date), this is a handy product to have in stock. A few droplets in your dog’s water (note: syringe with water), takes the edge off an otherwise panicky situation. Again, check with your veterinarian before administering anything new.
And my bonus item (and those who read us regularly know we are big time fans):
Musher’s Secret: A barrier, food-grade wax for dog paws/pads that acts as an invisible boot. Developed in Canada for sledding dogs, apply a thin coat on pads and between toes, weekly. It dries in seconds and does not stain, is nontoxic, non-allergenic and ranges from $12-$20 depending on size. Good on hot pavement, sand and sand burn, snow and ice, salt and chemicals. Mushers Secret is a fave of mine.
Do you have a special item that probably isn't in most dog first aid kits or something you'd recommend? Bark at us below in the comments…
(note: we received no compensation for these products – we are just fans, have had successes with them, and like sharing news that dog lovers of the highest order can use).