Monday, April 12, 2010

Travelling Safely, Part 1: First Aid Kits

This is the first of several blog posts about travelling with your service dog.

Wherever my dog goes, I always bring along a bag packed with supplies: water and a collapsible travel bowl, some treats, and a first aid kit made specifically for dogs. You never know when a first aid kit will come in handy, for you or your dog. A dog first aid kit will contain common supplies like gauze, tweezers, and a cold pack, as well as an emergency guide to treating common canine injuries. Some of the supplies may also serve double-duty; gauze can be wrapped around a dog’s snout to act as muzzle if necessary. A canine first aid kit is available at

I have added some extras to my first aid kit: a calming product like Rescue Remedy Pet, hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, and a children’s antihistamine in case of allergic reaction. Check with your vet about proper treatment and dosing for your dog’s weight. Keep in mind that medicines and some of the supplies in the kit may expire, so check the kit every year and replace contents as needed.

The most important extra is my dog info sheet. I update this once a year and put a new copy in the first aid kit. I include the following information:

• Dog’s name, breed, weight, color, date of birth, and microchip number
• Emergency contact info: cell phone, work phone, home phone for myself and an alternate contact
• My vet’s name, address, phone number, and beeper number
• A nearby emergency vet’s name, address, phone number, and driving directions (I have never been to the emergency vet and in a state of panic I would need directions)
• The phone number for animal poison control (a credit card is required)
• Any medical information for your dog
• Any additional relevant information, i.e. I co-own my dog with his breeder so I include her contact info as well

Be safe and prepared out there!