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Keeping a first aid kit on hand for your dog and other pets is so important, y’all. If you know a dog or pet parent without one, now’s the perfect time to make them a custom DIY dog first aid kit for Christmas! Think about it– you never know what’s going to happen, and you never know how far you’re going to be from the nearest animal hospital when it does. We keep a portable kit at home and always bring it with us when we travel. Thankfully, we haven’t had to use more than a few tools so far, but we go camping and hiking often– and we take several large road trips every year, so better safe than sorry, right?
I’m also a huge proponent of curating your own DIY dog first aid kit over buying a premade one. I ordered one on Amazon right after we adopted Nala, and while it was great for basic injuries, it was missing a handful of the basic first aid essentials any dog mom would need in a legitimate emergency, like a pocket guide, styptic powder, and microbial treatments. Plus, I love my Cricut and enjoy being able to customize things and make them cute. FYI- I ordered this roomy hanging toiletry organizer and created this iron-on vinyl template in Cricut Design Space to make mine. Keep reading for my top twenty-one first aid essentials for creating a well-stocked DIY canine first aid kit! You can also check out my Pet First Aid Kit Must-Haves shopping list on Amazon to add items to your cart.
DIY Dog First Aid Kit Essentials
I realize you may be wondering why you would ever need to keep something like hydrogen peroxide or contact lens solution in your DIY dog first aid kit. I did a lot of Googling (and had to call my vet about a handful of times) for clarification, so you’re in good company. Here’s a little rundown of the practical purpose each item serves (from top to bottom, left to right)–
Basic Wound Care- I’m lumping adhesive tape, alcohol pads, vet tape, gauze sponges, and first aid gloves together because they’re essential for basic wound care. Here’s a cool bonus hack for you, though– use these materials to create a makeshift muzzle if your dog acts out from stress or pain.
Oversized Cotton Swabs– Include a handful of oversized cotton-tipped swabs or balls for gently cleaning wounds, particularly those in and around your dog’s sensitive areas (eyes, ears, etc). Be careful about sticking cotton swabs directly into your dog’s ear canal, though. You can seriously damage their eardrums if you’re not careful.
Silver Honey Hot Spot & Wound Care– Antimicrobial ointments and sprays are super important for protecting against bacterial infections. Some products can be tough on the skin, though– and we have two goldens with particularly sensitive skin, so I love Silver Honey Hot Spot & Wound Care. Their products are made with natural antimicrobials (medical-grade Manuka Honey and MicroSilver BG specifically) and are proven to stop 99.9% of bacteria immediately and prevent infections on hot spots, cuts, abrasions, sores, rashes, and burns. I use Silver Honey Antimicrobial Ointment on their paws and smaller hot spots (and, if I’m being honest, on my own chapped hands sometimes) and Silver Honey Antimicrobial Spray Gel on larger areas and when I want a contact-free application.
Probably my favorite thing about their products, though, is that they’re formulated with a bittering agent. Dogs love to lick ointment right off their skin, especially if it’s around their paws, and the bittering agent helps prevent that from happening. If you have any pet parents on your list, Silver Honey Hot Spot & Wound Care is safe for all animals and makes wonderful stocking stuffers!
They’re also compact enough to fit inside just about any DIY first aid kit for dogs, too!
Rapid Response Digital Thermometer– Keep a rapid response digital thermometer in your DIY dog first aid kit in case you ever suspect your dog may have heat stroke, exhaustion, or a fever. It’s unlikely you’ll get your dog to stand still the full minute required by a standard thermometer, so make sure yours is vet-approved and/or rapid response.
Oral Syringe– Oral syringes are handy for both flushing out wounds and administering medication.
Tweezers– In addition to their ability to remove larger debris from wounds, Tweezers are wonderful makeshift tick removers.
Mini Flashlight– Always keep a mini flashlight in any DIY pet first aid kit in the event that an injury occurs at night. Flashlights also come in handy when you need to look in-between paws or in your dog’s mouth, ears, or other crevices.
Pet Blanket– Make sure your kit includes a blanket for keeping your pet warm when they’ve sustained an injury outside in the cold or rain. Any cozy blanket will do, unless you regularly plan on being in extreme weather conditions. In that case, consider ordering some heavier duty emergency thermal blankets.
Emergency Pocket Guide– Even the most educated dog parents panic under stress. Keep an emergency pocket guide handy to make sure you’re prepared to properly administer first aid to your pet.
Blunt-Edged Scissors– The blunt-edged tip decreases the chances of cutting your dog’s skin while cutting bandages.
Styptic Powder– Styptic powder (or any blood clotting powder) quickly and safely controls bleeding from gashes, bites, and torn toenails.
3% Hydrogen Peroxide– In the event that your dog eats something toxic and needs to purge, food-grade hydrogen peroxide can safely induce vomiting. Always err on the side of caution and check with your veterinarian before giving to your pet, though. They can help guide you about proper use and dosage.
Benadryl and Existing Medication– Benadryl is a great emergency medication to have on-hand for dogs, since it’s known to treat seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and allergic reactions to snake and insect bites. I like to keep some in this little pill organizer along with Nala and Nellie’s existing medications.
Waterproof Pouch for Vet Records– This one’s super important, just in case anyone else needs to tend to your pet. Be sure to include your veterinarian’s contact number, as well as the number for Animal Poison Control and your local emergency animal hospital, a list of your pet’s medications and medication instructions, and current vaccination records.
Eye Rinse– Both vet-approved eye rinse and saline contact lens solution can be used to safely flush out a wound. Saline nasal spray is another solid alternative.
Instant Cold Pack– In the event of a bee or wasp sting, instant cold packs help decrease swelling and inflammation. They’re also handy for treating sprains, bruising, and other minor injuries.
Other Items to Consider
If you’re planning a cross-country trip or a month-long hunting expedition with your dog, you may want to include a few more items in your DIY canine first aid kit. Here are some additional suggestions–
- Splint– Splints are great to have if your dog has an injured leg and needs to minimize movement.
- Disposable Tourniquet– Tourniquets can be used as a last resort to stop bleeding from larger wounds, like gunshots.
- Tongue Depressors– Tongue depressors make it significantly easier to examine your dog’s mouth. They’re also handy for apply topical medications on wounds.
- Collapsible Water Bowl– Collapsible water bowls are great for giving your dog water and (in emergencies) mixing disinfectants for wound care.
- Extra Collar and Leash– Whether you need to control your dog or someone else’s, it’s always handy to have an extra collar and leash at your disposal.
- Liquid Dishwashing Detergent– Dishwashing detergent is handy for safely and gently bathing dogs.
- Dog Treats– Most dog parents will agree that, even in the midst of a serious injury, treats are the most effective form of distraction.
We live in Missouri, so our needs dogs’ first aid needs may be different than yours. Feel free to take out and put in any items or tools that make sense for your fur babies. That said, though, I’m a transplant who lived in Florida for twenty-five years, so please don’t hesitate to let me know if I’m forgetting anything important for the colder months!
I’m honestly so happy with how my cute little DIY dog first aid kit came out, and I can’t wait to make more for friends. I know this post is long, so I wanted to link this pink hanging toiletry organizer (it’s roomy and takes iron-on vinyl surprisingly well) and this Cricut Design Space iron-on vinyl template again for y’all. Let me know if you have any questions about how I created mine!
Also, you can check out my DIY Dog First Aid Kit shopping list on Amazon to add canine first aid items directly to your cart. Don’t forget to let me know if I’m forgetting anything important. We’re going on a big road trip for the holidays, and we all (Nala and Nellie included) appreciate your suggestions. Thanks so much for reading, y’all!
Today’s post is sponsored by Silver Honey. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Debutante possible!