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Dog First Aid: How to make a First Aid Kit

April 23, 2018 5 min read 0 Comments

Dog First Aid: How to make a First Aid Kit

Most of us have at least a basic first aid kit in our car, at home or at work. Because we all know accidents can happen anywhere and for any reason. So why would we treat our dog any differently? An injury or situation that needs medical attention could occur at any time so being prepared is a clever way to help your dog out, so here is our guide to how to make a first aid kit and what to do in both non-emergency and emergency situations.


What to put inside the first aid kit?


-       Bandages (self-adhesive or crepe)

-       Non-adhesive absorbent dressings

-       Towel/Blanket Gloves

-       Space Blanket

-       Surgical tape

-       Dog Cone

-       Cotton wool

-       Space Blanket

-       Sterile absorbent gauze

-       Tweezers

-       Rounded edged scissors

-       Tick Remover


How to tell whether it is an Emergency or not?

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a situation requires emergency care or not.  However, in general, if you notice the following things, we would recommend phoning the vet if:

  • Breathing is difficult/noisy/rapid or is constantly interrupted by coughing
  • Your dog is vomiting a lot and/or has severe or bloody diarrhea
  • Your dog seems weak, lame, or depressed
  • They look or act in severe pain and/or discomfort
  • They are suddenly unable to walk, or their balance becomes impaired in some way
  • They are unable to go to the toilet when they try
  • A new mother who is agitated, shaking, shivering and will not settle.


What do in specific situations?

You need to respond differently and use different tools depending on the situation at hand, so it is a good idea to know what to do when different accidents occur.


There may come a time in your dog’s life in which you may need to resuscitate them for whatever reason that may be, so it is wise to learn how to do perform it properly:

cpr for dogs

Car Accidents:

If you see a dog has been involved in a road accident, approach it slowly, speaking softly as to inform the dog that you mean no harm. Firstly, and most importantly, since the accident has occurred on the road, you need to move the dog from the road and into a safer place such as the pavement. If the dog can walk, leash it to prevent further accidents, and walk it off the road. Take the dog to the vets at once as internal injury may have occurred, whether the dog appears in distress or not.

If the dog cannot walk:

For small dogs, pick them up by holding them by their chest in one hand, and supporting their behind with the other. Be careful and try to prevent moving them too much, in case they have a spinal injury.

For large dogs, use a coat, blanket, or whatever sturdy large piece of fabric you have and create a makeshift stretcher and get some help to life the dog to a safe place.

Take the dog to the vets at once, carefully placing them in a vehicle and laying them in a safe position.

Cuts and Wounds:

If your dog is bleeding, the first thing you need to do is keep them calm and quiet. Wrap the affected area in a tight bandage, if blood shows through add another layer of bandages if you need to bandage their legs include the paws or their leg may swell. If the area is not able to be bandaged, then press a gauze/dressing onto the wound and keep it in place. Proceed to the vet as soon as possible.

What to Do if….


Broken bones

See to any heavy bleeding, do not use a split as this could cause the broken bone to break through the skin. Suitably restrain your dog and take them to the vets at once.


Run cold water over the affected area for around 5 minutes, then contact the vets.


Never put yourself in danger to save your dog, your dog’s life is incredibly important but so is yours. If you successfully rescue your dog, firstly wipe away any material away from their mouth, then hold their back legs in the air so that they are upside down until the water drains out. If they are not breathing, perform resuscitation. If your pet recovers take them to the Vets at once, as even if they do recover complications afterwards can occur.

Electric shock

For Domestic cases (low voltage e.g. mains socket, exposed wire) use a long, dry, non-metallic item to push your dog away from the source. If they are not breathing, perform resuscitation and call the vet immediately.


If your dog appears to be shocked, vacant or distressed after a fight or if there are bite wounds to the body or head, call the vet at once. Leg or tail wounds can be less serious, however, can lead to infection so be sure to visit a vet within 24 hours in case your dog needs antibiotics.


In the event of a fit, do not try to restrain or comfort your dog as this will only elevate the situation further, and will most likely extend the duration of the fit. All you can do is remove all surrounding objects, darken the room, and remove any noise, making sure they can’t cause any injury to themselves.


Heatstroke can occur when its too warm and your dog cannot cool down, especially if they suffer from obesity or have been playing a lot. If your dog has heatstroke, they will pant heavily and become distressed. If this occurs, place your dog in a cool, preferably draughty place and wet their coat with tepid water (cold water can slow down heat loss). Then call your vet and offer your dog a small amount of water.


Firstly, identify what your dog has eaten to be poisoned, have the label up close, if you suspect they have eaten a plant, try and find out which plant it was and immediately call the vet.

Swollen stomach

If this occurs suddenly, call the vets at once. This could be GDV (Gastric Dilation and Volvulus) which can be fatal.

Stung by an insect

Firstly, remove the sting from your dog then soak the area in water (or a bicarbonate soda solution) and then apply ice to help soothe it. If your dog was stung in the mouth or throat, call the vet as if it swells it will obstruct their airway.


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