Dog Care
First Aid Tips For Dogs Every Pet Owner Should Know

First Aid Tips For Dogs Every Pet Owner Should Know

First Aid Tips For Dogs? I know – how weird, right? The first rule in taking care of your dog is:  When your dog is sick, take him to a veterinarian!  Use with caution the advice of friends or people who are supposed to be “old, experienced dog breeders.”  Only a veterinarian is qualified to diagnose the trouble and prescribe treatment.

Knowing first aid can save the life of your dog. Just like people, dogs have accidents and need medical attention sometimes. And the thing is that sometimes there is just not time to get to the vet, that is when doggie first aid is so handy to know.

Basic First Aid Tips For Dogs Every Pet Owner Should Know

Knowing what should go into your animal first aid kit is the key to keeping your dog alive and well no matter what happens. If you do a lot of hiking and walking in places like parks or on trails then you should also have a kit in your car for emergencies out of the home.

Dog First Aid Kit

Most of the items in your doggie first aid kit are similar to those you have in your regular one for the family. There are however some things that need to be specialized for the animal of your life.

Here are some of the basics that your dog first aid kit cannot do without:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Sterile eyewash solution made specifically for pets
  • Roll of absorbent cotton
  • Some cotton balls
  • Clean, white cotton sock (to cover wounded paws)
  • Gauze pads
  • Tape
  • Small scissors with rounded tips
  • Tweezers
  • Instant ice pack
  • Bulb syringe for suctioning mucous from mouth or nose
  • Injection syringe without the needle (to give liquid medication)
  • Small flashlight

All of these things should fit neatly into a container that has a nice tight lid. This will help to keep everything clean and sterile no matter how long it is sitting on the shelf or in the car. It is also a good idea to have the name of the vet and his or her phone number right there on the lid so that even in a panic you will know what to do. You may even want to put the number of the local emergency animal hospital as well in case something happens early in the morning or late at night when the regular vets are all closed.

Just so you can easily remember these, I have created a FREE Printable First Aid Kit Checklist for you!

First Aid Tips For Dogs first aid kit checklist

Common Dog Ailments

Your pet is a member of your family. This is why it’s so important for all pet owners to have an idea of what to do in an emergency situation. We hope that this simple list of basic pet first aid tips helps you be proactive. 

Here are some basic dog first aid tips:


If your pet has a seizure, clear the area to make sure it’s safe. However, avoid touching your pet. They might bite if they are frightened.

First Aid Tips For Dogs: Poison

Be aware of the signs of poisoning. Some of these include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, breathlessness, tremors, and collapsing.


If your pet gets bitten by another animal, get them to the vet ASAP. They needed to be treated to prevent infection.

Bee Sting

Bee stings are one of the most common of all dog injuries. It is important that you get the stinger out right away before an infection has time to set in. This will also help to minimize any pain that your dog may be in.

If you have to, restrain your dog and then use the tweezers in the first aid kit to pull out the stinger. You can then wash the area with some lukewarm water and baking soda. This can help to take some of the nasty stinging away and ease the pain suffered by your dog. 

Ice and Benadryl will also help to keep the pain and swelling to a minimum, just make sure that you ask the vet just how much Benadryl is enough for your dog. Just like kids, it is important that dogs get the right dosage when they take medications.

See a vet if your pet experiences symptoms besides mild swelling or discomfort.

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If your pet has a bleeding wound, apply pressure using gauze until you get to the animal hospital.

First Aid Tips For Dogs: CPR

Anyone who has been to a CPR class is familiar with the basics of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. First you’ll check to be sure the patient has a clear airway, then check to see if the patient is breathing, check whether the patient has a heartbeat and, if the patient awakens during the process, be careful that you don’t get bitten by the patient.

Take a second to watch this video of Dog CPR – it could save a life!

The American Red Cross has been instructing people in CPR for pets for quite some time now and has classes that include all manner of first aid, including mouth-to-snout resuscitation. You read that correctly; mouth-to-snout.

The procedure is similar to traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation between humans, the chief difference being that the person performing the procedure will close the dogs mouth and instead provide breaths into the dogs nose. The process sounds humorous in theory, but it works and knowing how to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation on your pet could literally save its life.

In addition to the mouth-to-snout procedure, dogs can have chest compressions performed in an emergency where the heart stops. Learning and knowing these techniques can save the life of a dog in distress and let him live to chase rabbits or play fetch another day.

The concept of pet CPR is gaining much notoriety and is starting to be taught by organizations all over the country that formerly provided traditional CPR training and certification. If you’re interested in taking these classes yourself, contact your local Red Cross. The life you save may be your dogs.

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Give them space

Never rush an injured animal. While it may be your instinct to run over and start taking care of the injury, this may spook your dog and scared animals can get a little upset. You do not want to end up with an injury as well, do you? Of course not, so take your time and let the animal know that you want to help not harm.

These are just some basic pet first aid tips to keep in mind! When in doubt, call your veterinarian’s office or local animal hospital.

Check out these other great tips for dogs:

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