What's in my Hunting Dog Care Kits

Scott Linden • April 06, 2023

Your dog depends on you for food, shelter, access to birds … and emergency care in the field. If you don’t carry the stuff that will keep him safe and ready for another day in the field, who will? For us, it’s a two-step process: I carry a small kit in my vest every time I leave the truck for use on in-field emergencies. It’ll get us both back to the truck, where there’s a bigger bag full of more stuff. Between the two of them, we should be able to stop bleeding, prevent infection, make minor repairs, stabilize most situations and get my dog to the veterinarian if necessary. Here’s what’s in each:

In the vest: This little kit won’t take up much weight or space, but it could possibly save your dog’s life. Do your best hunting buddy a favor and carry it every time you get far enough from your truck you wouldn’t want to carry him all the way back. And remember to keep it compact or you may hesitate slipping it into your hunting vest. The goal of this kit is much like a NASCAR pit stop: get him back into the hunt. Or if needed, to the truck for rest, more care or a trip to town.

  • Cotton swabs: clean wounds, remove seeds from eyes
  • Benadryl or other antihistamine: reduces windpipe swelling from snakebite or insect sting
  • Duct tape: all-around bandage, emergency boot
  • Roll of gauze bandage
  • Blood-clotting “hemostatic” gauze
  • Distilled water in a squirt bottle to wash gunk from eyes and dirt from wounds
  • Vet wrap adhesive bandaging tape
  • Triple antibiotic ointment: prevent infection in wound
  • EMT Gel: stops most bleeding, speeds healing
  • Hemostats: pull porcupine quills, foreign objects from wounds and nostrils
  • A list of phone numbers, open hours and locations of nearest veterinarians
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Back at the truck are replacements for all of the above, plus a few more things. The goal is to stabilize things so you can get to the veterinarian. This bigger bag includes:

  • Instant-cold and hot pads for hypothermia and hyperthermia
  • Surgical super glue
  • Comb to remove burrs and seeds in coat
  • A selection of antibiotics and pain relievers
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution (induces vomiting)
  • Pam cooking spray (keeps ice balls from sticking to feet)
  • Nail clipper
  • Profoot (human) heel cream for pads (post-hunt)
  • Happy Jack Pad Kote (pre-hunt)
  • Ophthalmic ointment
  • Flea & tick spray

Additionally, and without hesitation, there are things in my personal survival kit and heavy-duty first-aid kit that are more often used on my – or someone else’s – dog.

You well know, everything out there can cut, irritate, bite, poison, scratch or otherwise damage man's best friend. (I remember the first porcupine encounter like it was yesterday!) Carry the right gear and you’ll keep minor problems minor and minimize major problems.

--Scott Linden