Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc.
PO BOX 4416
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 -0669
(732) 356-4370
Dogs: 28

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 Recommendations for a Canine First Aid Kit

Some years ago a local veterinarian gave a presentation on emergency first aid for dogs at a general membership meeting of my agility club, Haute Dawgs Agility Group. I attended that presentation and, not knowing nearly enough about the subject, listened with rapt attention.

In 1998, following a chemotherapy treatment, my English Shepherd, Katie had an allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock, with rapid swelling of her face and head. I ran to the phone and was immediately put in contact with her oncologist. Because of that presentation on emergency first aid and the first aid kit that resulted, when the vet asked if I had any Benadryl on hand, I was able to reply in the affirmative and immediately carry out his instructions for treatment. Katie recovered without any adverse effects. But I will forever be grateful to that veterinarian for convincing me to keep a doggy first aid kit on hand at all times, for giving me the information I needed to treat her immediately and for ultimately saving us a visit to the emergency room (if not saving her life).

A good canine first aid kit is an absolute must. I not only have one in my home, but I also carry one in my van. The following is a list of items that you might want to consider for your own first aid kit. Most can be found either in your neighborhood pharmacy or ordered from a number of different pet mail order catalogs. I have collected this information from various sources and provide it for your use under your own discretion. 


  • blanket
  • bristle brush (medium hardness) - for cleaning nail beds in sandy areas
  • custom splints
  • ear suction bulb
  • flashlight
  • small scissors
  • hemostat (curved)
  • hemostat (straight)
  • latex gloves
  • long nose pliers (for porcupine quills)
  • muzzle
  • nylon leash
  • nail clippers
  • oral dose syringe (eye dropper or baby dose syringe)
  • rectal thermometer (flexible if possible)
  • skin glue
  • snake bite kit
  • sterile blades, medium
  • sweat scraper (doubles as a splint)
  • suture kit
  • tweezers
  • wire rolled splint or newspaper for use as splint
  • expired credit card to scrape stingers
  • Ace Bandages 2 and 4 inch width
  • Ace self-adhering athletic bandage - 3 inch width
  • Vet Wrap - 2 and 4 inch width
  • self-adhering athletic bandage - 3 inch or 6 inch width
  • Dermicil hypoallergenic cloth tape - 1 inch by 10 yards
  • cloth bandage tape
  • sterile stretch gauze bandage - 3 inches by 4 yards
  • white porous tape
  • gauze rolls (2 inch width)
  • gauze sponges - 4 by 4 inch sponges
  • square gauze pads - 2 inch and 4 inch width
  • sterile, non-adherent (Tefla) pads
  • cotton balls (or roll)
  • water based sterile jelly
  • no stick wound dressings
  • topical antibiotic ointment
  • alcohol swabs
  • Betadine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - 1% solution (can also induce vomiting)
  • Nolvasan (chlorhexidine)
  • rubbing alcohol - for sterilizing objects only
  • artificial tears
  • sterile eye wash
  • sterile saline solution
  • sterile water
  • activated charcoal - for accidental poisonings
  • generic Benadryl capsules - 25mg, for allergies/insect bites-stings
  • generic Benadryl liquid - absorbed more quickly by the system than capsules
  • Immodium (check with your vet)
  • Kaopectate tablets (check with your vet)
  • low dose buffered aspirin
  • Pedialyte
  • Pepto Bismol tablets (check with your vet)
  • Rescue Remedy
  • salt (made into a paste, used to induce vomiting)
  • syrup of ipecac - to induce vomiting
  • drying agent for cleaning ears
  • eye lubricating ointment
  • Hydrocortisone acetate - 1% cream
  • iodine tincture 7% spray
  • Pad protection ointment
  • petroleum jelly (Vaseline or similar)
  • Terramycin for eyes
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • book on canine first aid
  • instant ice pack
  • Quick Stop for nails
  • silver nitrate stick for stop bleeding from cuts
  • Zip lock bags - for specimens
  • dog's health record, copy of dog license, local poison control numbers, regular and emergency vet clinic phone numbers and hours

A word of advice. A temperature of 106 degrees or over is considered dangerous for a dog. Should your pet run a high fever, call your vet immediately and if necessary begin cooling them down by immersing their feet in cool (not cold) water. (Although these were my veterinarian's instructions, you might want to check with your own BEFORE something like this happens.)