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signOne of the things that I have found so reassuring is keeping on hand a specially prepared First Aid Kit outfitted for the Bostons.

Just like our human kids, there is always seems like a greater chance for an unexpected event that needs first aid, after your vet closes for the weekend. Perhaps not life threatening, but something that needs tending to until the vet opens back up.  In rescue we are always coming across something.  This is where having a First Aid Kit stocked and ready can be such a wonderful thing.   Sometimes a little preventive interaction can keep a minor even from turning into a major injury.

Okay great idea, but what should you put into a pet First Aid kit?  First you can of course buy a first aid kit but i have found that there are some items not normal for these kits  that sure are helpful to have.  We asked  some of our friends and readers did they have one and what was in their kit.  Along with our personal experiences we took a look at what other sources suggested.


Boston Terrier First Aid Kit

firstaidkitboxFirst what should you put your first aid supplies in?

It’s best to put all your first aid supplies in a metal or plastic container labeled something like “Pet Emergency Kit” like all emergency kits make sure everyone in the household knows where it is kept. If you’re traveling with your dog, it’s a good idea to either bring the kit along, or prepare a second first aid kit for the car.  If you have a special needs dog you might want to keep a separate first aid kit just for this dog.


Another great idea is to on the inside lid of the container, add a label listing your vet’s phonefirstaidkitbox2 number, the number of the closest emergency animal clinic, and a poison control number like the ASPCA's Poison Control Center hot line at 1-888-426-4435. This is also a good place to record any other pertinent information you might need in a hurry, like your dog’s license tag number, microchip registration number, date of last rabies vaccination, and regular medications and the dosage etc.

firstaiditemsdogsSuggested items for Your Pet Emergency Kit
•Gauze to wrap wounds or for use as a muzzle if necessary
•Nonstick bandages or strips of clean cloth to cover a wound or control bleeding
•Adhesive tape to secure gauze, bandages or strips of cloth
•Clean towels (paper and cloth)
•Povidone iodine for wound disinfecting
•Activated charcoal to absorb an ingested poison (contact vet or poison control center before treating an animal for suspected poisoning)
•Hydrogen peroxide 3% to induce vomiting (after consulting with vet or poison control center)
•Digital rectal thermometer
•Eye dropper or large syringe without needle to give medicine or liquids or to flush wounds
•Muzzle (injured dogs can become aggressive out of fear or pain, however, if your dog is vomiting, do not muzzle him)
•Extra leash or harness
•Stretcher for large dogs (a blanket, throw rug, floor mat, board or other object can be used in a pinch)

Other items you might want to include:
for Tick removal tweezers, Ear cleanser, Scissors, Antiseptic wipes, nail clipper, Antibiotic glovesfirstaidointment,

Styptic powder/stick, Benadryl ,Cotton balls, Bottled water, Eye wash, Disposable gloves, Bach Rescue Remedy, Homeopathic Aconitum for shock¹







The below are common uses for some of the items are listed. However we suggest that you discuss their uses first with your vet since some of these items may not be safe for your dog due to several factors including other medications your dog may be taking or the dosage may not be safe. Your vet may suggest other items they would recommend to be in your first aid kit. 


While this has been something every veterinarian I have worked with has suggested would be safe to use at home... Please consult with your vet on its usages with your dogs...

Dosage:   0.5-2 mg per pound. (1 pill for the average Boston, up to two pills if Boston’s is >25 lbs).

Use: minor allergic reactions, skin rashes, sneezing, itching, swelling.

Note: If allergy appears severe (lips become swollen, dog shows any difficulty breathing, rash covers most of dog’s skin THIS IS AN EMERGENCY. Medication the dog the max benadryl dosage and find a vet immediately.

Pepto BismolpeptoBismol

Use: Diarrhea

Dosage: Up to 1 tsp per 5 lbs every 6 hours (2 tablespoons for a Boston)

Note: Consider before use: often diarrhea is a symptom of something the dog ate that does not agree with him/her which the body is trying to expel. Thus, often it is best to let the diarrhea run its course so the substance is eliminated. Diarrhea is often self-limiting (ie: when the substance is out of the body, the diarrhea goes away).

Consider before use: This medication turns feces black. It also may cause constipation.

mineraloilMineral Oil

Use: Constipation

Dosage: Be sure and ask your veterinarian about the dosage for your Boston.

Notes: Make sure the dog is well hydrated. The first culprit of constipation is dehydration.

Saline Solutionsalinesolution

Use: Clean wounds, clean eyes
Notes: Use saline solution without extra chemicals from the pharmacy. 
If you notice red eyes clean with saline solution and give benadryl if it seems to be allergy. If it gets worse, get to a vet.
If you notice anything that looks like an ulcer (often it looks like small white pigmentation on the surface of the eye, clean with saline solution and get to a vet. Boston’s are known for getting eye ulcers and they can go bad within 24-48 hours and can result in expensive eye surgeries or even eye loss.




Use: Clean wounds, induce vomiting

Dosage for inducing vomiting: Mix solution ½ peroxide and ½ water. Use syringe and give the dog 3-5 tablespoons (10 mls) to the back of the mouth. Stand back! ;)

Notes: Do not induce vomiting if animal consumed caustic substance (acids and bases). Call poison controlled for details on this.

The sooner vomiting is induced the better for poisonous substances.

Many ‘things’ that dogs eat (socks, tissue, etc) pass through their GI system easily somehow.  So vomiting is most likely not needed for things like this, in fact the bigger the’thing’ is the more dangerous it is for them to vomit it up.

When first treating a wound you can use hydrogen peroxide but after initial cleansing and treating it is best to clean with saline solution instead of peroxide. Continued exposure to peroxide breaks down new skin that is growing.



Buffered Aspirin

While this is not normally given by the vets I have gone to. Perhaps because there are many other medicines that our veterinarians prefer to use. This is something that is often in our homes

Use: Pain, inflammation

Dosage: 5 mg per lb. every 12 hours (1 low dose 81 mg pill for Boston terrier)

Notes: This may work well for pain relief, limps, etc.

If pain is a result of a wound try giving the aspirin a few hours after the wound has been treated and is starting to heal. Aspirin is a natural blood thinner and will  it make wounds bleed more.

Always use buffered low-dose (81 mg).

Neosporin/Bacitracin (triple antibiotic ointment)
Use generously for wounds. Generally it is ok for the dog to lick the Neosporin from the wound, just don’t let them eat gobs of it.



 Other articles that you might like to read:

 How to get dog to take medications

Ear Infections: They can be more complicated than you thought
First responder: CPR FOR DOGS: 
What should I do if my dog starts having a seizure?