Golden Retriever holding a red dog first aid kit in it's mouth

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DIY Dog First Aid Kit

If you are anything like me, you might not think about getting or creating a first aid kit for dogs until you need one. Luckily, my EMT husband is always better prepared for medical emergencies than I am! With his help, we will go over everything you will need for your own DIY dog first aid kit so you can be prepared for most situations at home or when you are out on the road.

The most cost-effective way to build your own canine-friendly emergency kit is to purchase a ready-made kit first and add to it. You can choose to add -on to either a human OR a dog first aid kit. They even make kits for dogs and humans combined since a lot of the supplies can be used for both. This guide will split the supply lists into 3 sections so you will easily know which products can be used for dogs and humans, only dogs, and ones just for humans.

Golden Retriever holding a red dog first aid kit in it's mouth

If you’d like an easy-to-read First Aid supply checklist so you can quickly see what you may need to stock up on (as well as all the other templates in our Freebie Library and 15% off of our Etsy store), you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Why Do You Need a First Aid Kit for Dogs?

You may wonder why and where you would even need a first-aid kit for your dog. The supplies in your emergency kit will come in handy if your dog gets stung by a bee, swallows a toxin, or gets injured in any way. With a fully stocked kit, you will be prepared to treat your pup and any human that needs a little extra help so you can continue your journey or get them to a vet or doctor for further help.

Boxer sitting behind a red first aid kit with a thermometer in its mouth

I suggest keeping a First Aid Kit both at home and bringing it when you travel because you never know when and what you will need. Two of our dogs (Emma a 70lb husky and Charlie our 14lb Chihuahua) took on a squirrel in our backyard and the squirrel won. Both dogs ended up with puncture wounds and Emma’s nose was sliced at the nostril. Luckily, we had our first aid kit on hand so we could properly clean and disinfect their wounds until they could be looked at by a vet.

Remington, our oldest dog has been stung by a bee and needed Benadryl to get the swelling on his face to go down (we called our vet, and this is what they recommended). We have also dealt with minor sprains and pulled muscles on hiking trips and have used our emergency harnesses to carry our pups back to the car.

Dog First Aid Kit List:

If you would like to create your own dog first aid kit, here is a list of items that you should include and the reasons why. It may also be helpful to obtain some first aid training so you can be prepared to help the members of your group in case anything goes wrong.  To get started on your emergency kit, you will want to purchase one or both of the following items:

Ready-Made First Aid Kit– You can purchase a ready-made kit and simply add the items that are missing to it. We found this to be the most cost-effective. Here are two kits that have a lot of the supplies that you will need. We purchased the Adventure Kit.

Bag- To carry the emergency supplies. You will need this if you create your own first aid kit from scratch, or if your original first aid kit won’t hold the additional items that you will need

Dog First Aid Kit Contents (Humans & Dogs)

Your kit will come with many of the following items, but most kits will not have everything on this list. Here are the first aid supplies that you will want to make sure are included that will be helpful when treating both the humans and canines in your family:

  • Tourniquet– For humans and animals. Use to stop heavy bleeding. Look for one that can be used with only one hand.
  • Adhesive Tape– For humans and animals. Use this to hold gauze or splints in place.
  • BenadrylFor humans and animals. Use to combat allergic reactions. Dogs generally get 1mg per pound. Check with your vet to make sure your dog can get Benadryl.
  • Self-adhering Bandage For humans and animals. Use this to help support areas that have strains or sprains. Can also use to help keep other gauze and bandages in stay place.
  • Liquid bandage– For humans and animals. Use this to close gashes or larger lacerations.
  • Non-stick Pad– For humans and animals. Use this to protect wounds from infections.
  • Swabs/cotton balls– For humans and animals. Use this to clean wound areas and apply hydrogen peroxide or other ointments.
  • Saline eye solution– For humans and animals. Use this to flush out eyes.
  • Digital thermometer– For humans and animals. Use to check temperatures. Normal human is 98.6 degrees. Dogs are 101-102.5 degrees. We recommend one for humans and a separate one for dogs.
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide– For humans and animals. Use this to clean wounds or to assist with vomiting with dogs. Keep in mind some items are recommended to be allowed to pass through their system or surgically be removed to avoid additional injuries especially if the item is sharp. Recommended amounts differ according to weight.
  • Ice pack– For humans and animals. Use this to help reduce swelling.
  • Gloves– Use this to stay safe and clean when helping the injured individual.
  • Shears (blunt end)– Use this to cut fabric or other material if needed.
  • Tweezers– For humans and animals. Use these to remove splinters, ticks, and other small objects that may be embedded in a place where it needs to be removed.
  • Alcohol wipes– For humans and animals. Use these to disinfect an area and/or tools that you will have to use.
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment– For humans and animals. Use this to help prevent infections.
  • Splint– For humans and animals. Use this to immobilize a limb.

Dog First Aid Supplies (Dogs Only):

This next section of supplies can only be used for your dogs. These items will ensure that you can safely assist them until you can get them into a vet.

  • K-9 First Aid manual– Always good to have basic knowledge available to show you what you need to do.
  • Oral syringe– For dogs. Use this to administer hydrogen peroxide or other liquids orally.
  • Styptic Powder– For dogs. Use this for bleeding nails.
  • Soft muzzle– For dogs. Use this for your safety before starting to treat a dog that is in pain.
  • Lubricant– For dogs. Use this to assist with taking temperature.
  • Shaving Razor– For dogs. Use to remove hair around a wound so you can see, clean, and treat properly if needed.
  • Extra leash/collar– For dogs. Have a backup in case they break or you have to cut them in an emergency.
  • Stretcher/harness– For dogs. Use to carry them if they can no longer walk. We have the Fido Pro Emergency dog carrying harness which works for medium to large-sized dogs or you can look at the styles below.

Human First Aid Supplies (Humans Only):

Last but not least, here are the items that should only be used on the humans in your group.

  • Band-Aids– For humans. Use these on small cuts and abrasions.
  • Triangular bandage– For humans. Use this to create a sling or apply pressure to a limb.

Don’t Forget to Check Your Dog First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit ready to treat the dogs and humans in your group is so important and can even save a life. Once you have put your kit together, it is equally important to check the supplies and keep them updated. Use this guide to make sure your dog’s first aid kit is always fully stocked and available in case of emergency. Don’t forget to subscribe to get a free printable DIY Dog First Aid Checklist that you can use over and over again.

Basset hound sitting next to a red first aid kit

If you would like to learn more about how to safely vacation with your dog, take a look at our Tips for Taking Your Dog on Vacation post.

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About Author

Animal and wildlife enthusiast that currently owns four dogs, loves to travel, and try new things while saving as much money as possible!

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