“Over the hill and through the woods…”

Keeping your pet safe while out and about in Halifax/Dartmouth and beyond is important to many owners. We know what goes in a human first aid kit, but what about for Fido?

The kit contents will vary depending on what type of activities you and your buddy are engaging in. Downtown Dartmouth sidewalks will have indy and sunnie ponddifferent hazards then the deep woods of Kejimkujik National Park. For the purpose of this blog, I will list off the items I would recommend carrying with you into the woods, on the beach, or other areas of outdoor adventure.  If you carry a backpack for your own supplies this little bit extra should fit in nicely, or will also all fit in a small pack, such as a hip pack. (Yes, I mean a fanny pack. They are a useful way of carrying things into the woods and some of the outdoor or running supply companies make pretty nice ones.)

Muzzle- This is about keeping you safe while you help your pet. Many owners are surprised when I suggest this, but an animal in pain has no other way of protecting itself. It also will be helpful if you need to get assistance from a stranger during an emergency. I like the Quick Muzzle ( https://www.fourflags.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.3765/.f ) made by Four Flags over Aspen.

Scissors- To cut things out of your pet’s coat, to cut bandage material, etc. For those going a little more off the beaten track I would ALWAYS carry wire cutters. Barbed wire or other abandoned fence line can be dangerous and hard to remove without them. I have a set with a clip for a belt loop, and they are always with me if I am using an unmaintained trail or going somewhere new.

Bandage Materials- these included telfa pads, gauze roll, vetwrap (a stretchy wrap that only sticks to itself  https://www.3m.com/product/information/Vetrap-Bandaging-Tape.html ) and tape. I like the 1” white cloth medical tape, but select a size that is appropriate for your dog.

Antibacterial Wash- an antibacterial soap like chlorhexidine, which doesn’t sting, is good to have for minor scrapes and abrasions.  Carry a small amount with you; leave the big bottle at home.

Septic powder- Products like Kwik Stop ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002H3RBU ) , or even just a small amount of cornstarch, can get that broken toenail to stop bleeding quickly.

Eye Flush- Oculoheel or some other variety of gentle artificial tear (not contact lens solution) can be helpful if pollen or debris gets in your pet’s eyes (or yours!)

Tweezers- For removing splinters or other small imbedded objects. Ticks should NOT be removed with tweezers, for these have your handy dandy Tick Twister ( https://www.ticktwister.com/ ) along with you.

Latex Gloves- a few pairs take no space.

In the trunk or your vehicle- A Large blanket- It would be ideal to have this with you, but is not feasible for most of us. A large blanket can act as a stretcher, a car seat protector, keep your pet warm in cases of shock, and even as absorptive compression in cases of heavier bleeding. Places like Frenchy’s or the army surplus are excellent sources of heavy duty blankets for a good price.

By: Melissa, RVT


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