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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dogs Deep in the Woods:
A Pet Solutions Post

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

© Vicky TGAW via
Preparedness Assures Enjoyment

Dear Carrie:

I’m going to take my 2 Labs camping and need to know what I need in their first aid kit.


Dear Brenda:

Camping with 2 Labs sounds like my kind of fun. Tanner, my Golden Retriever, would be so jealous! 

You've asked a very good question. While pet first aid kits are quite commonly available (, there are some things that they lack.

For example, an injured dog is prone to lashing out at its owner, if in pain, even as you try to help it. A soft muzzle that can be collapsed and carried in a small space is well worth the trouble if your dog is seriously injured.

Include a spare leash just in case of a broken one. An old towel or rug serves as a clean bedding during First Aid and can be used as a stretcher if you and a partner need to carry your dog.

A cross shoulder leash/harness or hip harness for you is unbelievably useful for keeping a dog with you if one of the dogs is injured. You'll need both hands.

Most first aid kits do not include enough stretch gauze or stretchy, self-stick bandage. Take triple the amount they include. You can pick this up at any drug store. This is useful in creating a splint as well as covering a gauzed injury, and can be used on yourself as well. Additionally, I always include extra Peroxide for cleaning a larger wound. You just can't have enough if a serious wound is incurred.

Add Benedryl tablets and a dosing mechanism (small can of dog food, cheese, ham wrap, etc) for allergic reactions or bites. Treat your dog with pest repellent that is non-toxic before entering the woods, and reapply twice a day while there. These products may include natural oils such as peppermint, cedar, and clove. Vets Best sells a complete line.

Make sure your dogs are well-identified with tags and microchips just in case you lose one. I believe PetHub now has a tag with a GPS tracker embedded--worth the cost.

Of extreme importance is taking care of yourself, as you cannot care for your dogs if you are seriously injured. Carry some sort of weapon to protect yourself from dangerous animals, both human and non-human.

Check with your vet for instructions on first aid if your dog is bitten by a snake. Have the poison control number and a cell phone with you at all times. These are your best allies.

Have fun and be safe!


Sam said...

I would take along some Humane Healing dog wound ointment! I keep it in my first aid kit at home, and for camping it would be perfect. It even works on snake bites if your in the woods.

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