What to Put in a Dog First Aid Kit

A woman kneeling in a field with her arms around her two black labs
Dr. Madeline Fellin
A dog first aid kit sitting on the ground next to a black lab

Dr. Madeline Fellin is a small-animal veterinarian in Butte, Montana.

Gearing up for a hunting trip or adventure on the trail? It’s important to be prepared for anything that might come your way. Buying or building your own dog first aid kit will help you prepare for the unexpected.

The following items are recommended for your dog first aid kit:

A woman holding up a blue travel water bowl from a first aid kit

1. Emergency Food & Water Supply

If you forget or otherwise lose a main source of food and water, it’s important to have an emergency supply, preferably stored in airtight containers, plus bowls for use.

A woman standing out in a field near her black dog wearing a day pack with first aid items

2. Day Pack

Fill a small day pack with emergency items you might need in the field while you are away from your vehicle and/or home, including wraps for an eye injury, needle nose drivers to take out porcupine quills, pliers to cut snares, etc.

A woman holding up a small camo medicine bag at the back of her truck

3. Medication Bag

Talk to your veterinarian and see if there are some medications—like anti-inflammatories and different pain meds —that you could keep with you and use in case of emergency prior to getting your dog to a vet.

A woman holding up a first aid pouch that contains bandages

4. Bandaging Kit

Keep all necessary bandaging components in one kit, so you don’t have to search for them when the time comes. This video walks you through the bandaging process and the items needed.

A green shaver being pulled from a white first aid kit

5. Additional Items

Additional items that are useful to have on hand:

  • Toenail trimmers: to keep your dog’s toenails short so they don’t break them out in the field
  • Thermometer & hair clippers: useful if there is a laceration that needs to be cleaned up
  • Buff: can be used to make a tourniquet
  • Syringes, needles, and stapler: useful for wound clean-up
  • Slip leash: useful if you need to control your dog in a certain area or situation, if there are other dogs around, or if your dog is injured and you need to craft a makeshift muzzle

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