An inexpensive plastic toolbox or overnight/cosmetic case from a discount department store (like Target or WalMart) makes a good container for your first aid kit.
Here are some items you may want to include:
*The Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook: by James M Griffin, MD & Lisa D. Carlson, DVM Covers many dog health related topics including info about vaccinations. Easy to follow directions & an alphabetized emergency section explains how & when to treat a dog & when to call a veterinarian. If you wish, you can purchase a smaller booklet or pamphlet that is easier to store in your kit, but we still highly recommend this book to anyone with a dog. We have found it to be *extremely* useful and reliable. When attempting to treat your dog at home, we highly recommend referring to a book or guide such as this for safest results, but home treatment is not a substitute for treatment by a trained and experienced veterinarian.
*Nutrical, Vitacal, or Nutristat: High calorie, vitamin enhanced dietary supplement provides extra energy and stimulates appetite during periods of stress or illness.
*Electrolyte solution: Use to prevent dehydration and replace essential minerals and electrolytes lost in diarrhea and vomiting. Pedialyte is the brand most people are familiar with, but I recommend that you buy the generic Pediatric Electrolyte instead - it's less expensive and comes in a pair of 8 ounce bottles. Get the unflavored version.
*Hills Science Diet A/D: For the Nutritional Management of Pets Recovering From Serious Illness, Accidents and Surgery. Dogs can undergo significant changes when faced with a serious illness, injury or surgery. They may have trouble maintaining natural defenses and sparing lean body mass (in other words, they may be losing body weight from muscle or organ tissue), which can affect recovery. Prescription Diet? Canine/Feline a/d? has been specifically formulated by veterinarians to be fed to dogs with certain debilitating conditions. These conditions can be affected by the lack of key nutrients and digestible energy. A less nutritious but more inexpensive and easily located option would be to keep a jar or two of strained lamb baby food in your kit, but I recommend the A/D.
*Ipecac Syrup: Use to induce vomiting in case of ingestion poisoning such as chocolate. It is a medicine that can be purchased in any pharmacy without a prescription that, when given to a dog, will cause vomiting. Syrup of Ipecac should NOT be given at home if: your dog:
1.Swallowed a corrosive (lye, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergent, or other strong acids or bases) or burns are seen around or in the mouth or
2.Swallowed a petroleum distillate-containing product (kerosene, gasoline, paint thinner, furniture polish, etc.) or
3.Swallowed tranquilizers (which prevent vomiting or
4.Swallowed a sharp object (which could lodge in the esophagus or perforate the stomach or
5.Is lethargic (sluggish), asleep, or comatose (unconscious) or
6.Is convulsing or
7.You are unsure of the type of poison ingested or
8.Or if more than two hours have passed since the poison was swallowed.
1.Give on teasthingyful (5 ml) of Syrup of Ipecac per 10 pounds of body weight.
2.Immediately give fluids (except milk).
3.Vomiting should occur in approximately 15-20 minutes.
4.IF vomiting has not occurred in 20 minutes, see your vet.
*Oral Syringe: Use to administer medications.
Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol: Use to treat diarrhea and intestinal upset. In my experience, Kaopectate is indicated in cases where the diarrhea is more watery and needs to be controlled quickly (such as in cases of sudden food changes), Pepto Bismol is indicated more when gassiness or stomach pain are part of the symptoms, but the diarrhea is less severe (usually a case where the dog has ingested something non-toxic, but is feeling discomfort as a result - grass, twigs, etc.). Severe diarrhea, diarrhea for more than a day, or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting and/or fever should always be treated by a veterinarian. Dosage: 1 teasthingy per 5 pounds every 4 hours.
*Children's liquid Benedryl - dye and alcohol free: Use to reduce symptoms of hay fever. Also use to reduce severity of mild anaphylactic shock reaction (usually to vaccination, medication, or insect bites or stings). In cases of a serious reaction, the medication may buy you more time to get your dog to the vet for proper treatment, but a more serious treatment will be required to save your dogs life.
*Baby Aspirin: Buffered children's aspirin. Use to treat pain for a short duration or to treat fever until the affected dog can be gotten to a veterinarian. Do not use for a prolonged period.
*Hydrogen Peroxide: Use for general wound cleaning and can be used to induce vomiting if Ipecac syrup is not available. To induce vomiting, give 1 teasthingy per 15 pounds of body weight every 10 minutes until vomiting occurs.
*Betadine: Topical Antiseptic Microbicide. Helps prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and minor burns...Forms Protective Film...Virtually Non-Irritating, Nonstaining to Skin. Recommended by Doctors & Nurses.
*Neosporin or other Triple Antibiotic Ointment: For topical treatment of minor cuts, scrapes or burns. Serious wounds or bite wounds should always be treated by a veterinarian.
*Sterile Eye Wash: Use to flush foreign objects out of the eye.
*Terramycin or other Antibiotic Eye Ointment: Antibiotic ointment used to prevent or treat primary & secondary infections of the eye in small & large animals. Any suspected eye injury or infection should be checked by a veterinarian.
*Thermometer: Recommend getting a digital thermometer. The temperatures of dogs range more than with humans so it is a good idea to take your dog's temperature several times while he is healthy and keep a note of what his normal body temperature is. A temperature of 103 or above indicates fever.