General Dog Talk,  Wellness

Be Prepared: How to Make a Dog First Aid Kit

When my dog came running into the house as a puppy with bougainvillea thorn lodged in the roof of her mouth, I had to act fast. Luckily I had a dog first aid kit at home that had a small pair of forceps. I was able to grab the thorn and work it out of her mouth.

You can easily make a DIY Dog First Aid kit with materials from the local pharmacy. You should have one available as par of your hurricane preparedness and just as part of the everyday “what now” of owning a dog.

What Should I Include in a DIY Dog First Aid Kit?

Here are some of the items you should include in your diy dog first aid kit.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Gauze wrap
  • Self-adhering bandage wraps (won’t stick to hair!)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (always check with veterinarian or animal poison control expert before giving to your pet)
  • Ice pack
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with blunt end
  • Forceps or needle nosed pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying glass
  • Antibiotic ointment or antimicrobial hydrogel spray for animals
  • Benedryl in case of an allergic reaction
  • Dog-safe coated aspirin
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Soft muzzle; while your dog may never bite you, they could be unpredictable if in pain.
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder to stop bleeding
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel

As you can expect, these things add up quickly. You may want to consider purchasing one instead, then supplementing the kit with missing items.

injured puppy with broken leg wrapped in gauze and tape.
A basic first aid kit can help you protect an injury until you can get to a veterinarian’s office.

What’s the Best Dog First Aid Kit to Purchase

Rather than make a kit, you can also purchase a dog first aid kit from Amazon. I keep my kit in the cabinet with my dogs treats and poop bags, for easy access.

The one I have is no longer available, but here are some that I found online, with similar contents.

(We’re an Amazon Affiliate and may receive a commission if you purchase through these links. Your support helps support our dogs’ chicken jerky habit.)

You may also want to have a reference book for pet emergencies. Our favorite is this spiral bound pet emergency pocket guide. I mean, who doesn’t love laminated pages? Second choice is the more in-depth version.

Other Preparation for Dog Wellness Emergencies

Storm season on the Gulf-Coast runs from June 1 to November 30. In addition to having a first aid kit on hand, you should have a doggie “go-bag.”

Your doggie go-bag should include everything you need to make your pet comfortable during a 3-5 day shelter in place or evacuation order.

Learn more about hurricane preparation for your pets, and how to make a doggie go-bag in our article, Keeping Your Dog Safe in a Flood or Hurricane.

HoustonDogMom Rebecca G. is a Houston-based dog lover and shelter volunteer.