by: John Rivers
Knowing first aid can save the life of your dog. Just like people, dogs have accidents and need medical attention sometimes. And the thing is that sometimes there is just not time to get to the vet, that is when doggie first aid is so handy to know. Knowing what should go into your animal first aid kit is the key to keeping your dog alive and well no matter what happens. If you do a lot of hiking and walking in places like parks or on trails then you should also have a kit in your car for emergencies out of the home.
Most of the items in your doggie first aid kit are similar to those you have in your regular one for the family. There are however some things that need to be specialized for the animal of your life.
Here are some of the basics that your first aid kit cannot do without:
Sterile eyewash solution made specifically for pets
Roll of absorbent cotton
Some cotton balls
Clean, white cotton sock (to cover wounded paws)
Small scissors with rounded tips
Instant ice pack
Bulb syringe for suctioning mucous from mouth or nose
Injection syringe without the needle (to give liquid medication)
All of these things should fit neatly into a container that has a nice tight lid. This will help to keep everything clean and sterile no matter how long it is sitting on the shelf or in the car. It is also a good idea to have the name of the vet and his or her phone number right there on the lid so that even in a panic you will know what to do. You may even want to put the number of the local emergency animal hospital as well in case something happens early in the morning or late at night when the regular vets are all closed.
Bee stings are one of the most common of all dog injuries. It is important that you get the stinger out right away before an infection has time to set in. This will also help to minimize any pain that your dog may be in. If you have to, restrain your dog and then use the tweezers in the first aid kit to pull out the stinger. You can then wash the area with some luke warm water and baking soda. This can help to take some of the nasty stinging away and easy the pain suffered by your dog. Ice and Benadryl will also help to keep the pain and swelling to a minimum, just make sure that you ask the vet just how much Benadryl is enough for your dog. Just like kids it is important that dogs get the right dosage when they take medications.
Never rush an injured animal. While it may be your instinct to run over and start taking care of the injury, this may spook your dog and scared animals can get a little upset. You do not want to end up with an injury as well, do you? Of course not, so take your time and let the animal know that you want to help not harm.