Part III will help you prepare for some common canine injuries seen on the on the trail. If you venture far or into rough terrain you definitely want a first aid kit. I keep ours in the truck on short hikes and with us on longer hikes. We always have the following items, which all fit in a soft sided 6 inch square pouch. In addition to carrying this kit we have familiarized ourselves with basic canine first aid and CPR, which you can find handy infographics for online.
- Plastic gloves
- Ace wrap/ vet tape: bandages can be used to stabilize sprains, cover wounds and muzzle a dog if needed. Even the kindest of souls can get snappy when scared and in pain.
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Sterile gauze pads
- Benadryl & Pepto: be sure to talk to your vet about proper dosing for your dog.
- Hemostats for pulling thorns or (hopefully never) porcupine quills
- Tweezers or a tick key
- Ice pack
- Hydrogen peroxide: for cleaning and inducing vomiting. Again, be sure to speak with your vet for dosing.
- Styptic powder
- You will want to carry any medications your dog uses regularly.
Also in our kit is a laminated piece of paper with our contact info, Cheeseburgers microchip ID, rabies tag number, and the phone numbers of her regular vet and her emergency vet. She often carries her own kit, so this would be on her if she ever got lost.
The last thing we do before CB jumps into the truck for a nap on the way home is a wound and tick check. A quick once over and she’s on her way to dream land.
I have climbed mountains and swam in pristine lakes with my rescue dog, Cheeseburger. There aren't many things more rewarding than seeing her happy and tired at the end of a long day outdoors. I cherish the time I get to spend exploring with her and challenging her. I hope this series will help you to share some of the same experiences and joy with your trail dog!
Written by Maria Watrous: Maria is a fanatical hiker and general outdoors enthusiast who has literally lived all over (if you can think of a place, she has probably lived there). She is also a fan of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and her favorite food item is a cheeseburger (which is also the name of her dog). She claims she would never eat her though.