Setup a First Aid Kit

Ready-made first-aid kits are available at pet stores or through catalogs. You can also put one together yourself, using items from around the house. Put the kit where it can be easily found and include your veterinarian’s business card, along with the phone number for and directions to the nearest emergency clinic. Check the kit every once in a while to make sure you aren’t running low on any supplies and everything is still usable.

The following items make up a basic first-aid kit:

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Activated charcoal (available at drugstores) for absorbing poisons
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Adhesive tape to secure bandages
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Antibacterial ointment or powder for cleaning wounds
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Antidiarrheal agent such as Kaopectate (Ask your vet what amount is appropriate for controlling your dog’s diarrhea.)
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Blunt-tipped scissors to trim away hair from wounds and cut bandaging material
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Cotton balls and cotton swabs
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Gauze pads and rolls to make bandages
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Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) to clean wounds
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Laxative or antacid such as milk of magnesia
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Lubricating jelly or petroleum jelly to lubricate a thermometer
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Needleless syringe for giving liquid medications
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Plaster splint for broken limbs
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Plastic eyedropper to administer liquid medications or eyedrops
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Rectal thermometer
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Rubbing alcohol
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Syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting
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Tweezers

Other helpful items for your kit might be needle-nose pliers to remove porcupine quills or other items stuck in the mouth or throat, sanitary napkins to help stop heavy blood flow, and towels.

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