other By: Dr. Hank Clemmons | October, 21
An easily accessed, well-equipped first-aid kit should accompany every dog owning hunter on every trip. Knowing you are prepared helps you to control the natural panic response I described in an earlier column. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation takes training and preparation. Reading a canine first-aid book and searching the Internet for tips on handling emergencies are also helpful steps you can take before heading into the field.
A Google search of “dog first-aid kits” revealed numerous commercial kits ranging from the basic at $20 to the professional at $800. For the do-it-yourselfer, though, assembling your own kit is easy.
Deciding on a container for all your items depends on the amount of “stuff” you want to carry, the amount and location of available storage space in your vehicle and personal preference. Zippered canvas duffel bags and backpacks work well, but finding specific items usually requires unloading or lots of digging around.
I prefer hard containers over soft because they keep liquid containers from getting crushed and leaking, and I like opening them up and seeing things without having to rummage through them to find what I’m looking for. Such plastic tool/tackle boxes have trays and dividers for organization. You also might consider flat “Tupperware”-style containers with latching lids. They come in many sizes, provide easy access to items and are easy to store. Whatever works best for you is fine as long as you can store everything in one spot and can get to it quickly.
Below is a list of items I think should be in every dog handler’s first-aid kit. Brand names are used for the purpose of familiarity, not because I am recommending them. Of course, you’ll also want to include any specific medications or items your specific dog requires.
In my next column, I’ll discuss how and when to use items on the list.