Hunting Hunting Dogs

First Aid Kit for Bird Dogs: Don’t Let Him Leave Home Without It

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Remember when your kids were young and you dragged a bag crammed with stuff everywhere? Bottles, diapers, blankets… The list was only limited by the size of the bag. If you’d do that for rug rats who never found or retrieved a single bird for you, why not pack a little bag for your dog, too? This one should be smaller, but just as helpful—for both of you.

Duct tape makes a great boot for torn pads, or bandage for a barbed-wire cut. You can even double it over and make an emergency leash.

A cotton swab gets most gunk out of eyes. Tease fibers part way out of the tightly-spun head and gently touch to seeds and other baddies. A small squeeze bottle of distilled water washes away any dirt or other crud your cotton swab won’t remove from eyes, or cleans cuts and scrapes. A hemostat is useful for pulling porcupine quills.

The bag also holds that newfangled hemostatic gauze that will stop bleeding, and EMT Gel for the same reason (on dogs and humans). I bring antihistamine capsules to minimize throat tissue swelling from rattlesnake bites or insect stings: open and pour the powder under your dog’s tongue for faster absorption.

Combine these gadgets with your multi-tool and a low-volume, fat-rich snack to keep his metabolism firing on all cylinders, and your dog is good to go all day.

Of course, none of it will do any good if you don’t take it with you. Just like the “survival kit” I carry for me and my buddies, I’ve kept my dog’s kit small. It fits in a vest or pants pocket and while diminutive, it can solve a lot of big problems.

Now, if only he’d learn to carry it himself.