You are out at the park and your greyhound has an encounter with a thorny bush and scrapes his leg. It is bleeding profusely and needs to be addressed immediately. What do you do? In addition to the water bowl, water, treats and doggie disposal bags you probably always have on hand, are you equipped to aid your dog in an urgent situation? The time to think about being prepared is not when it is needed, but rather before it happens.
You most likely have a first aid kit at home for your family so why not one for your pets?
Greyhounds are known for their thin skin. What would be a small cut or wound to another dog could be a little more serious for your greyhound.
A basic kit of 20 or so main items would be good to have on hand in an emergency. This list is by no means inclusive, but intended as a “starter” kit. In perusing the list, there are probably a few things you can think of adding to personalize the kit for your situation, or must-haves you couldn’t do without.
In addition, depending on your circumstances, trip duration and number of dogs in the household, there are many items that could be added in to adapt the kit to suit your personal needs.
I purposely have not added items requiring a prescription as these tend to expire and their use should really be monitored or administered by a Veterinarian. If your greyhounds require prescription medication, and you want to include it in your kit, be sure to rotate the supply to ensure efficacy.
The bulk of the items listed can be obtained inexpensively through a discount store or from an online pet company:
Ace-type elastic bandages
Self-stick athletic bandages like Vet Wrap
Gauze, non-stick rolls and pads
Sanitary napkins/unscented diapers for excessive bleeding
Towels, washcloths and/or paper towels
Foil rescue blanket
Instant ice pack
Sterile saline solution
Ear cleaning solution
Sterile eye solution or box of one-time-use bottles
Triple antibiotic ointment
Tongue depressors for splinting items
Ziploc bags for disposing of used items or for specimens
Extra cotton leash that can be used for splinting or restraining limbs
Once you have assembled your kit, you don’t need to get fancy with what you put it in. A backpack, duffle bag, zippered bag or sealing clear clothing storage bag will work. It is recommended you use something with handles as it might be unwieldy to try to grab and run with a box should you need to access the kit quickly.
If you do not want to assemble a kit yourself, you can purchase a pre-made pet first aid kit and tailor it to your needs.
Having a good kit is a necessity with the majority of people who take their greyhounds everywhere. You can keep it in the house until you travel or make a duplicate and keep it in the car you travel with your pets in. The key is to keep it manageable and handy or it defeats the purpose if it is too cumbersome and you don’t end up taking it.
A few additional items that might be added for longer trips or if you have additional room are suggested:
Canine First Aid Book – would be good to review before putting into kit
Baby socks for cushioning your dog’s paws, keeping them warm or to cover bandages
Dog’s health care record, copy of dog license, Vet and emergency Vet contact information, especially for longer or out-of-area trips
Snake bite kit
The basic kit should allow you to treat minor accidents until you can get home or, if more severe, to the Vet or emergency clinic.
And who knows, the pet you end up treating may not be your own and the people involved will be very grateful for your foresight and planning.
Note: No greyhounds were harmed for this article. Photo was staged – this time.
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