When you are gearing up for a hiking adventure with your pup, injuries might be the last thing on your mind, but a smart dog owner is always prepared. Pack these emergency medical supplies to prevent a minor mishap from turning into a major disaster.

1. Pet First Aid Guide

This is the single most important thing to have with you out in the field. Accidents can happen at any time, and an emergency situation may cause panic, so it’s best not to rely solely on your memory. A first aid reference specifically for pets will give you clear guidance to treat many common injuries or illnesses.

2. Muzzle

Although you are his best friend, your dog may panic and lash out at you if he is in serious pain. It is a good idea to use a well-fitting muzzle before attempting to move him or treat his injury. Remember, an injured animal is extremely unpredictable.

3. Rubber gloves

Gloves are multi-use items when performing first aid.  You can use them in the traditional way to protect your hands, or you can use it as a makeshift bootie to give temporary waterproof protection to paw injuries. A glove can also be fit over a bandage to keep it clean and dry until you reach your car or home.

4. Thermometer

A thermometer is vital to monitor body temperature to determine if your dog is overheating in the summer or experiencing hypothermia in winter. Don’t leave it up to guessing. Know your dog’s actual, measured temperature so you can be sure you are reacting accordingly.

5. Emergency blanket or space blanket

Staying warm is vital, especially during the winter months.  An emergency blanket should be used if your dog’s temperature is decreasing due to shock or exposure. These thin blankets retain about 80% of the emitted body heat and also serve to block the wind and rain. Best of all, they can be stuffed into bags tiny enough to fit in your pocket.

6. Tweezers

These little guys are a great tool to remove small painful objects like thorns, spines, or stingers. Don’t trust your fingers or a knife; tweezers are much more likely to remove the entire object and avoid breakage under the skin. They are also useful for on-the-spot tick removal.

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