First aid kits for hunting dogs

Hunting season will be here before you know it, and now is a good time to check out your dog’s first aid kit and make sure anything you used last year has been restocked (or get one together if you don’t have one).

There are several pre-packaged first aid kits for sporting dogs, but you can also make your own kit. A good hunting dog first aid kit should at least include the following:

  • Gauze
  • First Aid Tape
  • Sports Wrap or Ace Bandage
  • Tweezers and needle nose pliers
  • Toenail clippers – sized appropriately for your dog
  • Small scissors
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iodine
  • EMT Gel
  • Styptic powder or flour
  • Muzzle
  • Pet First Aid Book/Guide
  • Eye Wash/Saline

Common field injuries include cuts, sores, foreign objects in the eyes, nose or ears, embedded thorns, raw/cracked pads, insect bites, broken nails, falling traumas (breaks, sprains) and allergic reactions. It’s imperative that you read your pet first aid book BEFORE heading into the field, then use it as a reference while in the field.

We also include several over the counter (OTC) medicines in our kits. Talk with your vet before giving your dog any medicine that they haven’t been prescribed, to ensure the correct dosage and that there’s not a specific reason your dog shouldn’t take a medication.

The following meds are generally considered safe for healthy dogs to take:

  • Tagament HB (cimetidine) – upset stomachs
  • Pepcid AC (famotidine) – upset stomachs
  • Aspirin – short term use for pain
  • Artificial Tears
  • Benadryl – for allergic reactions
  • Glucosamine
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic gels
  • Corticosteroid sprays, gels and creams
  • Antifungal sprays, gels and creams

Again, it’s important to talk with your vet about your dog taking these medications. Be sure to monitor your dog closely for signs that the illness or injury is getting worse.

If your dog is prone to specific injuries or illnesses, talk to your vet before you head out on your next hunting trip, especially if you will be traveling to hunt. If your dog commonly gets yeast ear infections, ask your vet for an anti-fungal medication. If you’re going to be hunting in a remote area, you might ask your vet for antibiotics and some pain medication.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more in depth about treating common hunting injuries.

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