By Kristy Fike
It is no secret that hunters take their gun dogs in the field with them while they are scouting, training, and hunting. With dove season beginning and regular hunting seasons not far behind, I thought it prudent to get this article done for readers.
And for that reason a dog first aid kit is a great thing to have with you when out in the field with your dog.
The kit will provide comfort in knowing that if a situation ever arises when away from immediate help, you can help your four-legged hunting companion.
There are many dog first aid kits out on the market, but you can easily assemble the first aid kit yourself. I assembled my first aid kit by finding items/products at my local pharmacy. There are other stores you can find first aid products as well.
One reason I like to put a kit together myself is I can customize the kit that suits my dog’s needs instead of having to search for a kit that meets most of my dog’s needs.
Here is a list of some essential items you can consider to include in your dog first aid kit.
*Skin Stapler (made for first aid)
*Staple Removal Tool
*Flashlight and Extra Batteries (for the flashlight)
*Alcohol Prep Pads
*Disposable Examination Gloves
*Thermometer and Thermometer Tip Covers
*Hydrogen Peroxide (for an antiseptic or inducing your dog to vomit)
*Low Dose Aspirin
*Saline Eye Solution
*Styptic powder (used to stop bleeding)
*Instant Cold Pack
*Hand or Toe Warmers
*Vet Contacts (I would have your primary vet’s contact information, and the vet’s contacts where you will be hunting)
*Pet First Aid Book
*Magnifying Glass or Inexpensive Readers (to see your dog’s injuries up close)
In your first aid kit I recommend adding a small bottle of peroxide instead of a full size one. That will save space.
My bottle of peroxide has leaked out from the lid all over the other items in my first aid kit. I solved this issue by removing the lid and taking a small piece of cling wrap and I put it over the opening of the peroxide. Then I took a rubber band to secure the cling wrap and screwed the lid back on.
An extra step you can take is to put all the liquids in a storage bag, so if they leak your other items will be protected.
For dogs that are afield all day burning calories and energy, high calorie supplements or bars are an option to help give them a boost while hunting.
To protect and ensure the life of medicine in your dog first aid kit, do not permanently leave the dog first aid kit in your vehicle. The heat in vehicles will shorten the life of the items greatly. The same goes for the extreme cold in the winter.
Medicines can be permanently damaged if exposed to extreme temperatures.
Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure if a medicine or supplement is safe for your dog before adding it to your first aid kit, or if you are unsure about how much medicine to give your dog.
Check for expiration dates on the items and replace them as needed.
The dog first aid kit may be just another necessity to put in your vehicle when going somewhere with your dog, but some day you may be glad you did.