Dog First Aid and Dog First Aid Kits: Emergency Treatment For Your Dog

First Aid For Your Dog – Being Prepared For an Emergency

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Most families are not prepared for an emergency with their dog, and preparedness can mean the difference between life and death. Learning how to treat minor injuries, and even control major health issues will give you more time to reach emergency services. Please take time to read this article completely and be prepared for an emergency, your dog might really appreciate it one day!


First Aid for Bites, Stings, and other Injuries From Other Animals

Spider bites -

When it comes to spider bites, you only need to be concerned about bites from two different types of spiders; these are the Black Widow, and the Brown Recluse.

Black Widow

The black widow is easily identified by its thick, round, body, black color, and a red, hourglass shaped spot on its underbelly. If you know for certain that your dog has been bitten by a black widow, immediately take them to an emergency veterinary clinic.

Signs of a black widow bite are as follows:

  1. extreme tenderness and pain at the bite location
  2. Rigidity of the abdomen, but without pain. Press on your dog’s belly and if it feels hard, but your dog doesn’t whelp, this is an indicator the bite is a black widow bite.
  3. You may also see difficulty in breathing, and increased heart rate.
  4. More severe signs of black widow bite would be drooling, paralysis, and eventually death

Brown Recluse

The brown recluse spider can be identified byt the violin shaped dark stop going from the head to the thorax. This is not conclusive however as other spiders have similar markings, and sometimes this spot does not show up on the brown recluse. the only way to absolutely identify the spider is to look at its eyes. the brown recluse only has 6 eyes, where as most spiders have 8. If you happen to see the spider, it would be best to carefully trap it and bring it in to the vet with you.

Brown recluse bites are identified by the round shaped necrosis (decay) of the skin around the bite. Left untreated, this necrosis can cause massive damage to the skin, and can possible become systemic and lead to severe health problems and even death.

First Aid for Bites:

You can treat the wound before getting your dog to treatment by icing the wound, and putting pure aloe vera to reduce the inflamation, and reduce the pain. There are no established treatments for necrosis, so your veterinarian may try several different approaches. It is important to have your dog monitored as other symptoms caused by necrosis can be treated in case of emergency.

 Insect Stings

Stings from bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets usually occur on bald spots on your dog such as feet, inside of the mouth, face and stomach. They are characterized by local swelling and redness. There may also be signs of swelling in the lips, eye lids, and ear flaps.

If your dog has been stung on the nose, in the mouth, or anywhere in the neck region, pay special attention to the swelling as it may cause difficulty in breathing.

Some animals may be allergic to these stings, and there is a possibility of anaphylactic shock, a condition characterized by wheezing, weakness, weak pulse, increased heart rate, fever, vomiting, coldness of the extremeties, and  in severe cases seizure. You should monitor your dog for 12 – 24 hours as mild symptoms can become severe suddenly. If any signs of anaphylactic reaction appear, give your dog 1 benadryl for every 25 lbs of body weight.

First Aid for stings:

You can treat stings by applying a 50/50 solution of water and baking soda to alleviate itching. If any symptoms of anaphylactic reaction occur, seek immediate emergency care for your dog.

Snake Bites:

Any snake bite should be considered an emergency medical condition.

First Aid for Snake bites

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do medically for your dog without medical care. If possible, identify the snake as the anti-venom varies from snake to snake. However, there are several things you should not do.

If the bite is on an extremity, immobilize it.

Do Not incise the bite and attempt to draw out the venom, and do not apply a tourniquet without assistance from a veterinarian. Also, do not apply ice to the wound.

My goal is to help you treat your dog and possibly save his life. Also, it’s important to know when you need to take your dog to the vet, and when you don’t. One product I truly recommend is The Ultimate Guide To Dog Health. It’s complete and detailed, covering all the common health problems (both serious and not) that dogs suffer from, and will help you determine when you need to take your dog to the vet, and when to just ride it out!

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Get Your Copy Today!

Emergency First Aid: CPR and Artificial Respiration

Performing CPR and giving artificial respiration for your dog can be a key element in helping your dog survive until emergency care can be given. Here is a great article on CPR and Artificial Respiration

Making a Dog First Aid Kits

Here is a list of items to have in a first aid kit for your dog. You can put together your own kit following these instructions, or if you’d like there are several available for purchase via the internet or at your local pet store.

Important Phone Numbers

  1. Keep the phone number of at least 3 local 24 hour emergency veterinary clinics in your area. Include directions to the clinics if you are not familiar with their locations
  2. Poison control

Band-aides, guaze, etc

  1. 1 roll of narrow gauze
  2. 1 roll of wide gauze (sterile)
  3. Small, medium, and large non-stick pads
  4. Paper first aid tape
  5. Adhesive first aid tape


  1. A muzzle or extra gauze for use as a muzzle
  2. Scissors
  3. Tweezers
  4. Needle nose pliers (or a hemostat)
  5. Styptic powder
  6. flash light
  7. leash
  8. cotton swabs
  9. sterile gloves
  10. Eye Dropper or syringe
  11. Paper and cloth towels
  12. A light thermal blanket (in case of hypothermia)


  1. Antisceptic such as bactine
  2. Antibiotic ointment such as neosporin
  3. Eye wash solution (saline will do)
  4. Benadryl for allergic reactions
  5. Activated charcoal in case of poison ingestion (call your emergency vet first)

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One Response to “Dog First Aid and Dog First Aid Kits: Emergency Treatment For Your Dog”

  1. Labrador Retriever Skin Problems - Dog Hair Loss (Alopecia) and Other Skin Problems | Top Internet Guides Says:

    [...] You never know when an emergency may occur, and knowing a bit of first aid and having a first aid kit ready for your dog might just save their life. Here’s a guide I wrote about dog first aid. [...]

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