Dog First Aid Tips During an Emergency

Dog emergency centers are everywhere and fortunately, the vast majority of emergency care clinics work around the clock to provide exceptional emergency care for dogs but you should always have a dog first aid kit available. Unfortunately, a split second is all it takes for something as simple as a small cut to start bleeding out of control. When an emergency situation arises, don't panic. You should take your dog to the vet as quickly as possible, but if your dog needs immediate help until you can get there, it's best to be prepared with your dog first aid kit. Your dog first aid kit should contain everything from activated charcoal and a muzzle to instructions on how to administer the Heimlich maneuver for dogs and emergency numbers.

Dog First Aid Supplies

The following list represents a well-rounded dog first aid kit.

  • Activated charcoal (to absorb poison, contact your vet first before using)
  • Digital Thermometer (temperature must be taken rectally)
  • Eye dropper
  • Gauze
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Instruction sheets for basic procedures for common emergency situations
  • Leash
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Muzzle (never attempt to muzzle a pet that is vomiting)
  • Non-stick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth (do not use Band-Aids, use bandages made specifically for pets)
  • Stretcher (if necessary)

Dog First Aid Emergency Situations

It is important to be well versed in dog first aid and to have a variety of first aid treatments on hand to have the tools needed to act fast in any number of emergency situations. There are so many dog emergency situations that it would be tough to list them all here. Some of the most common dog emergency care situations include: poisoning, broken bones, seizures, burns, shock, heatstroke, choking, and allergic reactions.

Dog first aid techniques such as the Heimlich maneuver for dogs can relieve choking and for heatstroke, cool water, wet towels, and a fan will buy some time until you can make it to the vet. It is important to keep in mind that dog first aid is never a substitute for treatment. Take your dog to a vet immediately after his condition is stable enough for transport.

Your dog first aid kit should also contain your vet's phone number, your pet's medical record which should include medications and vaccination history, and the numbers to an emergency vet clinic and the Animal Poison Control Center (888-4ANI-HELP/888-426-4435).