Today’s article is by Labrador enthusiast and writer, Lucy Easton.
But accidents happen, even to the most careful of us.
These days most of us carry a family first aid kit in the car.
Why not sit another kit for your dog by it’s side?
A Basic Guideline
There are a few products which should go into any dog’s emergency first aid kit. To help you deal with bumps, scrapes and accidents that can occur in day to day life.
These items could include the following:
Blunt ended scissors
Blunt ended scissors are a multi-purpose tool in your first aid kit. Not only do they enable you to easily cut up bandage and tape when necessary, but they can also be used to remove burrs and other items caught in your dog’s coat. The blunt ends mean there is no risk of you catching his skin as you do so.
If you walk your dog on common land or through woods, or even at the local park, the likelihood is at some point he will tread on something sharp or pointed. Thorns or even broken glass in your dog’s paw can be nasty, and a good pair of tweezers will help you to remove the offending object without delay.
It’s really important with any wound, big or small, to make sure it’s clean. When you’re out and about, anti-septic wipes can be used to remove any superficial dirt and mess, giving your dog a better chance of missing out on an infection.
Gauze is a fabric with a very loose, open weave. It’s used to absorb blood and other fluids from wounds. A gauze pad is just a cut piece of this fabric, which you can put straight over the area of injury, to be bandaged in place.
Any bandage will do to wrap an injury and keep it safe until you can get your dog to the vet, but we think some are better than others. Ideally have some thin and some thick width bandage, to save time and messing about with scissors when you are tending to your canine patient. Vet-wrap is ideal. It’s basically a roll of bandage designed to stick to itself, not the dog’s fur.
Microporous adhesive tape
At a push, any tape will do if you are simply trying to keep a non-adhesive bandage in place. However, special medical tape is ideal as it is easy to use and has a breathable surface.
A towel or thermal blanket
Labradors are not small animals, and sadly sometimes they will be hurt to the extent that they need to be carefully moved to the vets under your own stream rather than theirs. Whilst a big towel can be comforting to keep an injured dog warm and feeling safe, it can also be used as a make-shift stretcher in times of need.
Make Your Own
You can buy a fully formed pet first aid kit for your dog. They are available from Amazon, as well as most local pet shops. However, I always try and make my own. This is because every dog, and every owner, is different.
Labradors vary between individuals. There are those who are laid back when out and about, those which try to eat anything, and others which bomb it around at 100mph every which way.
They all have different risk factors, which should be addressed by your emergency kit.
If your Lab tears happily over streams, through woods and enjoys off-road jaunts with you, then it will be sensible to include a few additional items
– Sterile saline eye wash
– Ear wash
These extra items will help you deal with potential injury when out walking. But what if your dog has a bit of an eating issue?
The Munching Labrador
We all know a dog who will eat anything, no matter how hard his owner tries. If this sounds like your Labrador, then it’s a good idea to add a few things into your kit to deal with potential problems arising from this habit.
The first is an antihistamine, for allergic reactions. If this is something you think would benefit your Labrador’s first aid kit, then talk to your vet for advice. Make sure she lets you know the right dosage for your dog, and in what circumstances it is okay to give it to him.
If your dog is a known eater of odd items, you might also want to discuss with your vet adding something to induce vomitting. In case they ingest something poisonous. Always talk to your vet about this first, and they will let you know how to administer it. They will normally advise that you call them before doing so as well.
Don’t Go It Alone
The main thing to remember if your dog is hurt, is not to try and deal with it alone.
Make sure you have your local vet’s number, and out of hours number if it’s different, plugged into your mobile phone. They won’t ever mind being called if you are concerned about your dog’s safety.
If you have anything else in your first aid kit, that you think should be added to the list, why not let us know in the comments section below!