Tag Archives: first aid kit

Preparing for Hurricane Season with Your Dog

In the United States, June 1 is flagged as the official start of hurricane season. If you live on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, you likely already know this, but knowing and preparing for the season are two very different things.

Unfortunately, many people wait for the first storm to hit before they begin to prepare their things, as well as their pets. Avoid scrambling at the last minute when supplies in your local stores could be low, or transportation might be difficult. By following these tips, you’ll be adequately prepared and ease some of your fears ahead of the storm.

1. Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit and store it in a safe place that can be easily accessed and carried with you. Your dog’s kit should include at a minimum:

  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container
  • First Aid Kit
  • Leash/harness or carrier to transport your dog safely
  • Current photo of your dog in case he gets lost
  •  Non-perishable food and drinkable water (enough for 5-7 days)
  • Information on feeding schedule, medical conditions, behavioral problems in case you have to foster or board your dog
  •  Contact information for veterinarian
  • Toys or bed (if easily transportable)

2. Tag and microchip your dog, so he can be easily found if lost in an emergency situation. His collar with tag should include his name as well as your name, home address and contact information. With microchip placement, any local veterinarian or shelter should be able to scan your dog’s information, which will make him easier to recover.

3. Locate a Safe Place to Take Your Dog if you have to leave your home. For example, health and safety regulations do not permit Red Cross shelters to allow pets (with the exception of service dogs). Whether it’s a pet-friendly hotel, a relative or friend who is able to take your dog in, or a local boarding facility or animal rescue, plan to arrange a safe shelter option so you know where to bring your dog in a disaster situation.

4. Consider using a rescue sticker in order to alert emergency workers that there is a dog inside your home that needs attention. The sticker should be placed in a window or area that’s highly visible to rescue workers and that it includes the number and type of pets in your household, as well as your vet’s contact information. If you must evacuate your home with your dog, be sure to either remove the sticker or write EVACUATED on it before you leave.

5. Stick to your plan once you have one. Chaos erupts when panic ensues. And panic typically arises out of confusion. To avoid confusion, once there is a plan in place, follow it and stay focused on your course of action.

A Guide to Fido’s First Aid Kit: What’s in Your Doggy Bag?

In celebration of First Aid Kit Awareness, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of items to include in your dog’s emergency medical kit. Whether you buy one ready-made, or put it together yourself, it’s imperative to have this equipment in an airtight container that’s easily accessible in a place you won’t forget.

Important Contact Information and Paperwork

Be sure to include phone numbers and directions for your local veterinary clinic, animal hospital (if it’s not the same place) and poison control center. Remember, in a disaster situation, strangers or emergency workers may find your kit, so make sure this information is bold and legible, so your dog can be brought to safety in a rush. Necessary paperwork to include would be proof of vaccinations (e.g., rabies status), copies of important medical records such as allergies, a current photo of your dog in case he gets lost and ideally a replacement ID tag with his info that could attach to his collar in a pinch.


  • Gauze rolls for creating a muzzle for an injured animal or wrapping wounds (note: never create a muzzle if your dog is vomiting, choking, coughing or having difficulty breathing)
  •  Sterile non-stick bandages, towels or strips of clean cloth, to control bleeding or protect wounds
  • Adhesive tape for bandages, to secure gauze or bandages (do not use adhesive bandages meant for humans!)
  • Digital “Fever” Thermometer and Petroleum Jelly to check your dog’s temperature. Note: temperature must be taken rectally for an accurate read and a dog’s normal temperature should be between 100-103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle) to administer oral medications, force-feed or to flush wounds
  •  Leash and harness to transport your pet if capable of walking without injury
  •  Blanket, mat or piece of board to be used as a stretcher in the event your dog becomes injured and must be carried
  • Thermal blanket to keep your dog warm during transport
  • Antibacterial wipes to cleanse wounds and sanitize
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  •  Ice pack
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Scissors with blunt ends
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Tweezers with a flat slant tip instead of the rounded variety to remove splinters or tick heads
  •  Tongue depressor to examine the mouth
  • Disposable safety razor in case you need to shave hair around a wound
  •  Flashlight and matches
  • Rubbing alcohol, which can be used as a cooling agent to aid heat stroke or fever
  • Bag balm to treat injured paw pads
  • Ear cleaning solution

Medicinal Treatments

  • Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poisons and toxins (always call poison control before treating a poisoned animal) or for upset stomach
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3% to induce vomiting if your dog is poisoned (again, with permission from poison control). Make sure to check expiration dates and replace regularly.
  • Betadine solution, a type of antiseptic iodine for wounds to deter infection
  • Antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin
  • Eye ointment without cortisone
  • Epsom salts, which can be used with water to draw out infection and relieve itchy paws and skin
  • Styptic power to stop bleeding of torn toenails
  •  Benadryl for bug bites, stings and other allergic reactions (check dosage with your vet prior to administering)
  • Gentle pet sedative such as Rescue Remedy, which can help relieve stress, fright, fatigue and irritation due to injury and anxiety-producing events

Nutritional Supplies

  • A week’s supply (or more) of your dog’s food
  •  Can of soft pet food, which can reduce the effects of poisoning
  • Bottled water
  • Bowl or container to use for food and water
  •  Rehydrating solution such as Gatorade or Pedialyte for diarrhea or vomiting
  • Supplement such as Nutri-cal, NuVet Plus, Vitacal or Nutristat
  • High sugar source such as Karo syrup or sugared treats

If this seems like a long laundry list of somewhat unnecessary items, just remember that nobody ever regretted being “too prepared” in an emergency situation. You can never predict what will happen and it’s better to be safe when it comes to your furry child, than sorry.

Car Safety: The Right Way to Transport Your Puppy

Many puppy parents don’t think twice about shuttling their new furry baby around in a car. Most of the preparation for a new puppy surrounds training, purchasing the necessary “stuff” and puppy proofing your home. But, what most don’t realize is that there are strict laws around transporting your four-legged pal in a moving vehicle. Not to mention, dogs are in just as much danger (if not more due to their size and vulnerability) as humans when it comes to car safety. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Research your state laws
Read up on the legalities within your state immediately. For example, in Hawaii, you are not allowed to drive with a dog on your lap, no matter the dog’s size or breed. And at least 14 states have laws against leaving pets unattended in a vehicle. So, before you run into the grocery store for a quick shop while Fido waits in the car (even with the windows down), make sure you’re not breaking the law. If your pet causes an accident, it’s a violation under distracted driving laws.

2. Implement crash protection measures
Dogs should be secured during travel to prevent injury from not only impact, but also sharp turns or short stops. The Center for Pet Safety recommends the following products for securing your dog: Gunner Kennel G1 Intermediate with Strength Rated Anchor Straps, the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock, the PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection and the Sleepypod Clickit Utility.

Never allow your pet’s head to hang out of a car window. While the sight of a pup enjoying the breeze can be adorable, it’s not so cute if your dog suffers a traffic accident, road debris or worse. If your dog is on the smaller side and you use a pet carrier, it may seem counterintuitive, but do NOT buckle it to the seat unless the manufacturer manual clearly instructs you to do so. A carrier secured by a seat belt may actually crush the carrier in an accident. Instead, put the carrier on the floor of the vehicle behind the front passenger or driver seat.

3. Always leash upon entrance and exit
When putting your pup in the car or taking him out, always make sure he is leashed and you have a tight grip on that leash. Dogs will often take the opening of the door as an immediate cue to jump in or out. Whether you’re parked on the side of a street, or in a busy parking lot, the dog could risk getting hit by another car, running away or getting into a scuffle with another dog passing by.

4. When in doubt, be cautious
If it’s a hot day and you’re worried about leaving your dog in the car while you run an errand, don’t do it! Chances are, if it’s uncomfortably hot for you, it’s dangerous for them. On a cool day, when leaving your dog briefly unattended in the car, crack all of the windows a few inches open. And on long road trips, make sure to stop every couple of hours and take your dog out for a bathroom break and give him some water so he stays hydrated.

5. Keep a first aid kit in the car
You never know what may happen on the go with pets. To be safe, keep a box of basic medical supplies in the car. Some dogs, just like people, can get car sick. Some pets even experience stress and anxiety when riding in cars. Check with your veterinarian regarding remedies– depending on your dog’s condition, you may want to keep medications such as herbal curing pills, Dramamine and Benadryl in your kit. Other musts to include? Emergency contact numbers, tweezers and scissors for tick, insect or brush removal, cotton balls, gauze pads and bandages made specifically for dogs that won’t stick to fur, disinfectant, wound spray, saline solution to flush debris or sand out of eyes, antibacterial wipes, an old blanket or towel to dry off wet paws or mud, a second leash and extra food and treats!