Pet First Aid Kit: The Fundamental 14 to Bring for Fido

June 30, 2015

By Larry Fosnick-Davis

Photo at right: Dog Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Soph enjoys the snowy approach to some Cascadia rock climbing. Soph and her human, Patrick Betts, are from Kent, Washington.


A good first-aid kit is a crucial piece of equipment when out on the trail with your dog. What is included in the kit will depend on how far from veterinary treatment you are and what your level of proficiency is in administering first aid. Take note, the list you see here is similar to the basics of a first-aid kit for people, so make sure to bring enough supplies to aid human and canine.

We recommend that at a minimum you include the following:

  1. Sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
  2. Gauze bandages in assorted sizes
  3. Tensor bandages and/or vet wrap
  4. Triangular bandages
  5. Latex gloves
  6. Medical tape
  7. Antiseptic Towelettes
  8. Good quality scissors
  9. Instant cold pack
  10. Shock blanket
  11. Tweezers
  12. Saline solution (for eye injuries)
  13. Benadryl (check with your veterinarian for appropriate dosage size for your dog)
  14. Pet First Aid Reference Guide

First aid is often about improvising with what you available. A tree branch can be used as a splint, feminine hygiene pads can be put over cut paw pads, a jacket can become a stretcher and a clean plastic bag can double as latex gloves.

To ensure you know how to use these supplies properly take a pet first aid class and learn how to treat basic injuries and how to stabilize more serious ones until you can get to a veterinarian. The American Association of

Veterinary Hospitals believes that at least 25 percent of pets brought into the veterinary emergency room and died may have been saved if basic first aid had been applied.

One of the best perks to taking a pet first aid class is that many of the techniques can also be applied to people.

Larry Fosnick-Davis and his wife Jenn are the original owners of Metro Dog, founded in 2001 as an extension of their pet sitting and dog walking service.  Larry is also Vice President of the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART).

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