Sick puppy

Making a Service Dog First Aid Kit

Life is unpredictable. You never know when accidents can happen. So being prepared with a Service Dog first aid kit is important. While most will consider a first aid kit for hiking and camping, having one ready in your home is essential in case of accidents and natural disasters. Not just to treat your dog for injuries, but to have immediate access to necessary information and equipment in case of an immediate need for evacuation. In other words, your canine first aid kit can also act as your canine go-bag.

First Steps

So where do you start in being prepared to keep your dog safe? First, is by programming useful contacts into your phone to ensure emergency numbers are immediately accessible and valuable time isn’t wasted. This includes:

  • Poison Control such as the ASPCA Poison control hotline: 1-800-426-4435
  • The closest 24-hour emergency hospital in your area, or the area you are visiting if you are on vacation (don’t wait until last minute, know who and where this is prior to departing on your trip).
  • The name and number of your personal veterinarian.

Creating Your Kit

Never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without checking with your vet first.

Next you want to have a dog first aid kit. You can purchase a pre-made kit or create your own. But even a pre-made kit will not have all the necessary pieces to it, and you will need to customize it to your dog. Keep in mind that not everything that works on humans is suitable for your dog. Never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without checking with your vet first. You can check with your veterinarian during annual health visits to make sure you have appropriate dosages in case of emergency.

Where to Store Your Supplies:

The container, bag, bin, backpack, or whatever you will be storing supplies in should be durable and WATERPROOF, not water resistant (make sure to check as there is a difference between the two). This must be easy to grab and take with you. So, if you are using a bin make sure to pack it into a backpack.

Information:

  • Like your phone, you will want to have a written copy of emergency phone numbers.
  • You will also want vaccination and medical records on hand.
  • Add a recent photo of your dog in case you are separated from him/her.
  • Folding these papers and placing them inside a ziplock bag is a good way to keep them safe from water and keep them organized
  • A dog/pet first-aid book for reference.

Equipment:

  • Slip lead
  • Muzzle (even if you are against muzzles please have one. You never know when it will be needed, especially during emergency evacuations. Some emergency modes of transport such as helicopters will require your dog to be muzzled)
  • Flashlight or head lamp
  • Collapsible food/water bowl
  • A bottle of water
  • A ziplock bag of your dog’s food
First-Aid Supplies:

Other Considerations

Once your first aid kit is complete, make sure to check your pack every few months to check nothing has expired or needs to be replaced. Keep your kit out of the reach of children and pets. Finally, always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your dog’s life until they receive veterinary treatment.

Service Dog Society
The Service Dog Society is dedicated to the education, training and support of service dog handlers, their friends and family, service dog trainers and programs, puppy raisers, businesses, the general public, and anybody else who has questions about these marvelous helpers.Our goal is to provide as much information as possible, in a centralized location and in an easy-to-follow format. We know first hand how overwhelming the process of getting and/or training a service dog can be, for everyone involved! Our hope is to alleviate some of the confusion and difficulty that is a part of the process.