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List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets

If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, Cat Emergency, Pet First Aid Supplies, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

How to Make a First-Aid Kit for Dogs

What to put in your pet first-aid kit and why

When your dog suffers an illness, injury, or poisoning, knowing what first aid to do (and not do) can have a big impact on their recovery, safety, and comfort. It can also help your emotional stress, because you'll have a plan of action to follow whenever a problem arises. For these, and many other reasons, I always recommend that dog owners take a pet first-aid class. But that's not the end of the story.

Regardless of whether you've taken (or are planning to take) a first-aid class, you still need to have the supplies and "gear" handy to be able to administer first aid to your dog. And that's where having a good pet first-aid kit (or two) comes in.

Do you have a pet first-aid kit? If not, you really should — and this article will show you what you need in your dog's first-aid kit and why. 

If you already have a first-aid kit, when was the last time you checked and updated it? Have your stocks run low? Are the medications expired? Does it truly have everything you might need? (Many pre-made pet first-aid kits don't!)

Read on to see what your dog's first-aid kit should have, and what each of the items is necessary for.

Make Your Own Pet First-Aid Kit

To make it easy for you to put together (or check) your pet first-aid kit, we have a shopping list (for mobile or printable) for you to take to your nearest pharmacy to grab your dog's first-aid supplies.

Want to make it even easier for yourself (and likely cheaper, too)? We've sourced and linked to good quality/value examples of each of the first-aid items below. Each item on this list has been vetted for you to ensure that you're getting the right products and brands that will be most effective, practical, and safe for inclusion in your dog's first-aid kit. [Full Transparency: Product links are Amazon Affiliate links. Learn more here.]

Hopefully you'll never need to use your dog's first-aid kit. But, you never know, and well... Murphy's Law. So here's how to prepare...

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, dog first aid supplies, dog first aid, Pet First Aid Supplies, Pet First Aid Kit

Fast Food for Pets!—For When You Run Out of Dog or Cat Food

Ever run out of pet food and not know what to do?

While this seems like an obvious thing NOT to do, we've all had a close encounter of some kind, right?

I often see dogs and cats, who come in for a visit, for this very reason—because they're not feeling too well!

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Cat Diet, Dog DIet, Dog Food, Cat food

Rodenticide Poisoning In Cats & Dogs — Why the Type Matters

Not all rat and mouse poisons kill the same way

Many cats and dogs are brought into veterinary hospitals in the fall and winter after having gotten into a rat/mouse poison (“rodenticides”). After all, this is a common time of year for rats and mice to try and seek shelter in people’s homes and businesses, so it’s a common time of year for people to be putting out rat and mouse poisons.

While most people know that rat and mouse poisons are dangerous for cats and dogs, what many people don’t realize is that not all rodenticides work (kill) the same way. Because of this, it’s vitally important that you pay attention to what you and your neighbors are putting in and around your homes, and that the veterinary staff or the people at animal poison control are told (or better still, shown) which rodenticide your pet got into if exposure happens.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, toxicity, Poison control, Blog, Outdoor cats, Dogs Outdoors

Safer Cleaning Products For Your Pets

Choosing cleaning products when you have pets

It has been said that cleaning a house with pets is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos — both are fruitless endeavors. That said, it’s still important to do (the first one, that is)—at least every now and again, especially because you do have pets. 

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety, Respiratory problems, Dog-friendly products, Cat-friendly products

Changing Your Pet's Food— It Should Be Done Gradually!

Out with the old (food)... in with the new!

There are several reasons to change your pet’s food – dietary recommendations, changing nutritional needs, product discontinuations, price changes, etc. But sometimes your furry little gobbler doesn’t appreciate the change of menu, or their intestines don’t! So here’s a great way to help ensure that the new food is accepted and that it doesn’t wind up “on your carpets.”

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Dog Food, Diarrhea, Pet Diet, Pet food, Cat food

Think Twice About Letting Your Dog or Cat Free-Feed

Grazing...Good or Bad?

Many dog and cat owners find it convenient to keep their pet’s food bowl filled and accessible so their little friend can eat whenever they want. Unfortunately, while this may be convenient (in the short term), it's actually a bad practice that deprives people of important opportunities to mentally stimulate their pets, monitor their health and comfort, and can even lead to the development of some significant, costly, and quite inconvenient medical or behavioral conditions. So while "free feeding" may seem like a good way to feed pets in today's hectic lifestyles, doing so can actually cost you more time (and money) than the preferable alternative of meal feeding. Read on to see why.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Obesity, Diabetes, Dog Food, Cat food

Skin Cancer Precautions – Even For Indoor-Only Pets

Sun-Induced Skin Cancer In Dogs & Cats

We’re all familiar with the role the sun plays in contributing to skin cancer in people, right? But are you aware that sun exposure can also lead to the development of skin cancer in cats and dogs? It’s true, and the most common type is called squamous cell carcinoma (which is also a common sun-induced skin cancer in people!).

While any cat or dog that spends any time outside (or lounging on a windowsill) on a sunny day is at risk, there are certain other factors that increase their risk. Some of these include:

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety tips, pet safety, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Dog, Sunscreen, Cat, Skin problems

Dogs & Batteries – More Dangerous Than You Might Think

Dogs and Batteries — Yes, Really!

You might already know by now that dogs are experimenters and their mouth is the laboratory. What you might not be aware of though is that one thing dogs often like to "test out" are batteries. (Don't forget, they also readily gobble up cat poop, fishing hooks, and rocks... so are batteries really that big of a surprise?!?!)

Another thing you might not yet know is that while all batteries can pose serious dangers to dogs when chewed or eaten, there's one type of battery that carries an even greater risk for dogs (and kids) – the disc or "button" type batteries.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Vomiting, Digestive obstruction, Pet safety and houseguests, Pet emergency, Batteries, Lithium Battery, Hydrogen Peroxide

When NOT To Clean Your Pet's Ears

This Guide Is For Both Cats & Dogs

Lots of cats and dogs get itchy, dirty ears. It's sometimes safe to clean their ears at home, but not always. Not every “itchy ear” episode is the same.

Diving right in with a medication or cleaner — even one that your vet previously prescribed — can cause problems.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Itchiness, Bacterial Infection, Yeast Infection, Ears, Ear Cleaning

Looking to keep your dog happy, healthy, and safe?

10 Tips eBook by Dr. Jason Nicholas

Take a look at these 10 Tips... your dog will thank you!

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.