Category Archives: first aid supplies

Organizing an Emergency Preparedness Bag for your Dog

By Langley Cornwell

An Emergency Preparedness Bag, also known as a Bug-Out Bag, is a type of designated container that you have filled with whatever you’ll need to be able to survive for a 48 to72 hour period; what you’ll need if you have to “bug out” in a moment’s notice. It’s important to have a kit ready for each human member of your household, but if you find yourself facing a disaster like a flood, fire or tornado and you need to make a run for it, you’ll want to have a bag ready so your dog can escape with you as well.

Even if you don’t live an area that’s known for hurricanes or earthquakes, having an Emergency Preparedness Bag is a sensible idea in case evacuation becomes necessary for any reason. Here is a list of the most critical items to include in your dog’s Bug-Out Bag.

Water: In all cases, it’s a good idea to be well stocked with water. The amount of necessary water to carry for your dog varies according to his age, size, weight, breed and health. You also have to take the weather and terrain into consideration when calculating how much water to bring. To complicate things further, you have to figure how you’re going to tote your water. If you and your dog are evacuating on foot, consider the fact that water is heavy and takes up a lot of space. On average, you should have a half gallon of water per dog, per day. Include a collapsible bowl for your dog to eat and drink from.

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When Should You Rush Your Pet to the Vet?

By Linda Cole

It’s not always easy trying to determine if a pet’s injury or condition needs a vet’s attention. If it’s after hours, you don’t want to waste your vet’s time with a minor problem that can wait until the office is open, but you also don’t want to not call just in case your pet needs professional help now. Emergencies happen and most vet clinics have numbers where they can be reached after hours and on holidays. Every pet owner should have that number written down and kept in a convenient place. Not all injuries or conditions require rushing your pet to the vet; however, there are warning signs and symptoms that can help you decide if it’s a true emergency.

Minor injuries and some medical conditions can be taken care at home, but many pet owners haven’t the foggiest idea what to do. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s why we have a trusted vet. Nevertheless, as responsible pet owners we should have a general idea of how to care for minor problems at home. An emergency trip to the vet is more expensive than an office call. One of the best ways to know if you need to call your vet is to know your cat or dog well. If your pet isn’t acting like themselves, that’s cause for concern and warrants a watchful eye from you.

Understanding how the weather can affect a pet is important because when it’s hot outside, pets may not have their normal appetite. As long as they are drinking plenty of fresh water, skipping a meal now and then or not eating as much isn’t a problem. But if they refuse to eat after missing one or two meals, that is a reason to be concerned. Hyperthermia (too hot) and hypothermia (too cold) are weather related conditions that can turn into an emergency.

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Summer Safety for Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

Just like humans, dogs enjoy the summertime. Warm balmy days, playing outdoors, going on vacation – what’s not to love? However, there are certain summertime safety measures that responsible pet owners should take. There are several different aspects of the season that can cause problems for your dog. We all want our dogs to enjoy the great outdoors in the summertime, but it is always wise to take some precautions against these potential dangers.


If your dog is spending time outdoors, it is important that he has a cool shaded area with plenty of fresh water to drink. Even a few hours outside without any shelter or water can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke and general overheating. While dogs love to be outside and enjoy the warm weather, as dog owners we have to remember to take care and not expose them to too much of the heat.

Fleas and Ticks

While these are year round problems in some areas, during the summer it is extremely dangerous for dogs to be unprotected. There are several ways to protect your dog from fleas and ticks in the summertime. Whether you use a topical treatment, pills, collars, powders, or natural methods, treat your dog and his bedding to help prevent flea and tick infestations. Also, check your dog regularly after he spends time outdoors, to remove pesky ticks before they get attached. As a dog moves around outside, even if he is treated, more than likely you will still find a tick or two occasionally. For more information on how to fight these nasty pests, read Natural Flea Control for Dogs and Cats, by Linda Cole.


Your dog may be more active outdoors in warm weather, which could lead to exploring new areas, and traveling with you. This can expose your dogs to the dangerous Parvovirus and other infectious diseases. Make sure your dog has had all of his inoculations, and try to keep a sharp eye on what he may eat, sniff or roll in as he checks out the summertime world around him.

Grooming Problems

As the weather heats up, many dogs will shed their winter coats. This means that you will have to spend a little extra time brushing and grooming your dog. Another cause of extra grooming is that dogs love to run and roll, which leaves them with grass, burrs and other hitchhikers attached to their coat. Dogs’ nails tend to get naturally worn when they spend time outdoors, but it is important to check your dogs’ paws for pad tears, broken nails and other problems that may cause them pain. It’s always a good idea to have a doggie first aid kit on hand to treat these little problems and keep your dog running smoothly on all four padded paws.

Getting outdoors in the summertime is a lot of fun for both you and your pet. Taking a few precautions and extra steps to prepare your dog for the season can help insure that summer remains a pleasure and not a cause of distress for you or your dog.

Photo courtesy of Tero Miettinen.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Basic First Aid Supplies For Your Dog

By Linda Cole

If you have dogs, there are some basic first aid supplies you should keep on hand for minor accidents. Just like humans, our pets sometimes need a “band aid” for a minor wound. By keeping supplies on hand to treat your pet, you can save yourself an expensive trip to the vet. Products already sitting in your medicine chest or kitchen cupboard can be used to treat the majority of minor ailments your pet may encounter.

Most medicine cabinets contain over the counter creams and salves we use for minor wounds. Some of these products can also be used on your pets. Always monitor your pet after using any kind of medication for adverse effects, whether you use human medication or medicine made especially for animals.

Triple antibiotic is fine to use on minor cuts and scrapes your dog may get. As with any topical ointment, follow package instructions for use. Follow the same precautions you would if you were treating your child or yourself. If swelling, tenderness or redness occurs, discontinue use and seek medical attention with your vet.

A cream especially for cats and dogs that I keep on hand is a product called Biocaine. It’s an antiseptic first aid lotion for cats and dogs that helps prevent infection, reduce pain, swelling and licking. It’s also non-staining, so if your little buddy jumps up on the couch, it won’t leave a greasy smudge.

Liquid vitamin E does wonders for calming hot spots. Simply pour a small amount over the affected area and rub into the skin. A little dab is all you need. Vitamin E in liquid form is oily, however, so you will want to confine your pet when using this product. It’s worth the effort because if your pet suffers from mild hot spots, you know most over the counter products contain a certain amount of alcohol. Your pet will appreciate the cooling sensation of a vitamin E rub with no alcohol. The oil will also smother any fleas that haplessly wander into the area.

Boric acid works great for minor eye infections. I mix up a weak solution in a small covered plastic container to treat dog and cat eyes. Mix 1/4 teaspoon or less in 1/3 cup warm water and stir until the water is clear and the boric acid is completely dissolved. You can store it at room temperature and is good for up to a week. If your pet prefers a warm wash, simply place the container in a bowl of hot water until the solution is lukewarm. Dab a cotton ball in the solution and gently wipe around and over the infected eye. Squeeze the cotton ball as you wipe the eye so some of the solution runs into it. No double dipping. Re-soaking a contaminated cotton ball will compromise your boric acid solution.

Aspirin: a huge red flag concerning aspirin for cat owners. Never under any circumstances give aspirin to your cat. It is toxic for them. Dogs, on the other hand, can have aspirin. For minor aches and pains, a regular dose of aspirin can help them get through their day. If using aspirin manufactured especially for dogs, follow dosage recommendations on the bottle. You can also use baby and regular aspirin you already have in your cupboard. Ask your vet for advice on dosage.

Vaseline or Bag Balm: use this to treat dry, cracked pads on your dog’s feet. Bag Balm is also good for cuts, scratches and minor skin irritations and burns.

Other first aid supplies include gauze rolls, gauze pads, sports tape, ace bandage, Q-tips, tweezers, Pepto Bismol, any over the counter antihistamine and white tape.

If in doubt about how much medication to administer to your pet, consult your vet. The rule of thumb is to treat your pet like a small baby as far as dosage goes. As with any medication for people or pets, watch for any adverse or allergic reactions. Discontinue use if any occur and consult with your vet.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.