Our first aid kit for dogs doubles as one for our dogs and us humans. We have found with our research, and taking both in-class and online dog and human first aid trainings, that the first aid kit items are the same, except with the addition of a couple of other items for our dogs.
Our first aid kit for dogs always stays in a 50 liter backpack and is easily accessible. That way, it is easy to grab, either if we need it to get to an injured dog somewhere on our property, or when we go on adventure trips with our dogs.
We also have a smaller kit inside the backpack that we can remove and take with us when going on hikes. No way we need to lug the big 50 liter first aid kit backpack, just a few essential items.
Take A First Aid Class!
But a kit is only as effective as your ability and know-how to administer first aid. As a result, we highly recommend you attend a pet first aid class.
There are many online that you can take and some which offer lifetime subscriptions and are updated. The course we use is here. You can probably find an in-person class-based one as well, which we have done.
We review our online course every year to stay up-to-date.
Where's Your Nearest Veterinary Hospital?
We also highly recommend you know where the closest veterinary hospital is to where you are at all times. And that includes 24-hour veterinary hospitals, as many are only open during normal business hours.
Separate Cheat Sheet File
We have a google doc that we maintain with a lot of extra notes about administering first aid. We add to it based on new things we learn.
We keep a digital copy of it handy in our mobile phones in case we need to access it.
But we also print a copy once per year and keep in the first aid kit for dogs so that we have a paper copy should the mobile phone not work
Maintaining Your First Aid Kit
We pull out every item in our first aid kit for dogs once per year and check to make sure everything is in working order. Some items have expiration dates so an annual inspection allows us to replace those expired items.
What Is In Our Dog First Aid Kit
Here's all the main items we keep in our kit
Basic First Aid Kit
Additional Items To Add
We recommend the following additional items for your kit.
Cleansers, Topical Pain Relievers and Ointments, External blood clotting and Ice Packs
We recommend pet hydration tablets that you may have to search around for to find. Or, just have some flavorless pedialyte which is made for children and may be OK for dogs.
Snake Bite Supplements
We highly recommend you do some research first about using these supplements for rattle snake bites.
Instruments and Other Small Equipment
For flashlights, we have a regular size one with C-batteries that has a powerful light to use when it is dark, a headlamp for hands-free work and a pin light.
These small manuals are good to have as quick reference books.
Smaller kit for hikes
Our smaller kit used for hikes is always placed at the top of our main 50 liter backpack so we can easily grab it and go. It consists of bandages, vet wraps, ointment, quik clots, styptic powder and our soft dog carrier.