How to build a First Aid Kit for camping with dogs

Rosie and the pups ran through the trees, barking madly, chasing a rabbit. Harold yelped from the left, Rosie to the right and Ollie ran full pelt right past the quivering rabbit. I walked around Morphy lake and took in the morning damp air, breathing deeply. The dense woodland hid the mountains around this State Park, deserted at this time of year. I sat on a rock and woke up slowly.

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The dogs found me, all three panting wildly, lapping at the fresh water, and finally settling down at my feet. We wandered back to camp and I made coffee over a fire. Rosie sat near me, my white dog with a red chest. Red chest…shit…

Rosie had a three inch gash across her chest and armpit. She licked herself but couldn’t reach the bleeding hole. Oh shit, Rosie has a three inch gash! We’re in the middle of the mountains. She pants and licks and pants some more. My coffee is ignored as I search the truck for a first aid kit. I’ve forgotten the bloody thing. Rosie and Oliver sit in the back of the truck as I scramble to find a clean cloth to clean her up. She did pretty well considering…white as usual within a reasonable time. It’s the least I could do.

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Yes, pack a first aid kit. I just did. I don’t want to go through that again, having to worry about keeping her wounds clean. It’s not the first time she’s come back bleeding. Harold and Oliver, not so much, but Rosie once came back with an inch deep puncture wound in her chest from spiking herself on a branch. Oh, and she got bit on the head by a foster dog, that wasn’t pretty.

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Well, moving along, this Sunday morning, I pulled together a first aid kit for us, part human and part canine focused. I thought you might like to use this as a beginning for your own kit. First off, I found a clear plastic tub with a sealable lid to keep the dust out. And the mice, mice get into everything.

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Then I emptied out the old metal container that I’d been using which was full of all those odds and ends collected over the years, good but not necessarily still within date. The trash pile grew on the floor and luckily enough a usable collection of goodies built up on the lid, ready to be checked off my lists.

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I almost forgot to pack the spare reading glasses but then I grabbed the splinter removal kit. I’d need to see what I was doing, wouldn’t I?

What else?

  • anti-biotic cream
  • gauzes of different sizes
  • bandaids
  • adhesive tape
  • allergy pills
  • ibuprofen
  • children’s aspirin (for the dogs)
  • eyewash
  • blunt nosed scissors
  • a cold pack
  • and oral anesthetic gel

Dog specific meds for

  • pain
  • anti-biotics
  • eye ointment
  • and Rosie’s knock-out pills (anti-anxiety for if she had to go to a vet.)

That day at Morphy State Park in New Mexico we ended up dressing her in a tee shirt from a friend to stop her licking the wound and simply hoping for the best. Little bugger that Rosie is, she seemed indifferent to be honest but it was a bit of a mess for a while there. Oh well, this summer, I have a first aid kit ready for her shenanigans and now nothing will happen, right? Right. Right, Harold?

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The park was beautiful by the way, I’ll go back.

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