How to Pack a First Aid Kit

By Kate Nelson  •   3 minute read

How to Pack a First Aid Kit

If you plan on spending any time in the backcountry or just outside adventuring with your pup, you will soon realize it is a good idea to have a first aid kit. This can range from very basic to very stocked depending on what types of activities you are doing.

I find that having a first aid kit that includes items for both my dog and me is an easy way to consolidate and have everything in one place when you need it!

Our main activities with our dog Peanut include hiking, camping, climbing, and trail running. I keep a full first aid kit in my pack whenever we will be away from the car and might need immediate attention, except when we are running in which case I only bring a few choice items like Benadryl and some Band-Aids.

While you will probably want to tailor your kit based on the activities you and your dog do, here is a list of my favorite items that I put in my bag no matter where we are going.

  • Alcohol Wipes
    These versatile bad-boys are one of my most used items. I love them for cleaning cuts, wiping dirty or sticky hands, or disinfecting eating utensils or bowls
  • Allergy Medicine
    I use Loratidine, the active ingredient in Claritin. Always check with your vet, but this medication is usually safe for dogs. A rule of thumb is .1-.5 mg per pound of body weight.
  • Bacitracin Zinc Ointment
    A good antibacterial cream is perfect for those skin breaking wounds that could use a bit of love but aren’t so serious that you need to go to the doctor. In a pinch it can also be used for your dog if they get a cut, but if I have the space I prefer to pack the next item on the list.
  • Band-Aids
    These are one of our most used items as climbers. The come in handy when we get flappers, gobies, or just abrasions from the rock.
  • Benadryl
    An important medicine for anyone planning to be outside where poisonous animals are. I always keep these on hand when we are climbing in Rattlesnake territory. If your dog gets bit this pill could be the difference between life and death as it can reduce swelling that could otherwise block your dog’s airway. But always consult a vet beforehand to ensure it is safe for your dog and find out the proper dosage.
  • Elastic Bandage
    Great for quickly binding a sprain or keeping a bandage in place. Works great for dogs in place of tape as it won’t stick to their skin.
  • Gauze Pads
    Perfect to use as large bandages under tape or to clean up a wound.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
    I like to keep this on hand in the event Peanut eats something poisonous and we are away from the our car. Always check with your vet beforehand, as certain substances like corrosives and hydrocarbons should not be thrown up. Also, check with your vet for dosage. I give Peanut 1 tsp. every 15 minutes until vomiting begins.
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