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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.

Have a cat? Check out this first aid shopping list for cats.

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

How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Other Pets


Introductions Are a Process, Not a One-Time Encounter

When you get a new dog, you may be eager and excited to welcome this new member of your family into your home. But your dogs or cats already at home—your "resident pets"—may not exactly share in your immediate joy and excitement. Taking the time to set up a structured, deliberate process for introducing your new dog to your current pets will increase the chances of safer, more rewarding meet-and-greets and long term relationships. 

All introductions with your new dog—whether you’re introducing them to your resident dogs or cats, or even your human kids—should occur in a structured, safe environment at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. Introductions should be thought of as a process, not a one-time, high-stakes encounter.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Pheromones, Introductions, New Dog

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

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

Mosquito Repellent – Keep Insects Off Your Dog Safely


Keeping Mosquitoes Away From Your Dog

With the outdoor activities you're partaking in and the recent talk of Zika and the ever-present West Nile Virus, you might be starting to think of ways to keep mosquitoes, flies, and other insects off of yourself and your dogs.

Dogs aren't (currently) known to get Zika, but they certainly can get West Nile and they (sadly) often get Heartworms... all from mosquitoes! While there are plenty of products out there to help keep insects off of you, when it comes to your dogs, there are only a handful that are both safe and effective. And many of the mosquito and bug repellent products for people are just downright unsafe for your pets!

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Heartworm, Heartworm Preventatives, Mosquitoes

Your Pet's Microchip... Is It Registered? Up-To-Date? Here's How To Do Both.


Microchips Reunite Families... But They Need Your Help

You've taken the important step of having your pets microchipped, or they came already "chipped" from your local shelter... awesome!

But did you ever register their microchip? And do you know if your registration contact information is up-to-date in the registry?

Having your pets (including indoor-only cats) microchipped is a super important first step in increasing your chances that you'll be reunited with them should they run away, get lost, be stolen, or otherwise disappear in the blink of an eye from your life. Ever mistakenly leave a door open? 

While having the microchip implanted is a super important step, it's not the only one. It's equally as important that you (1) register your contact information in one (or multiple) of the pet microchip registries listed below, and (2) check regularly to ensure that your contact information is always up-to-date in case the worst happens.

So, if you never registered your pet's microchip or if you're unsure if you did or whether or not your contact information is up-to-date, please read on. Your pet's safety, as well as your peace-of-mind depends on it. As do your local shelters and animal control! After all, properly registered and microchipped pets make their lives SOOOOOO much easier and help to keep the shelters less full.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips

Why Hydrogen Peroxide Is NOT For Cleaning Pet Wounds


We vets see a lot of wounds (cat bite abscesses, skin cuts, abrasions, etc.) where well-intentioned pet owners have inadvertently slowed healing with the at-home care they’ve tried before bringing their pet in.

How have they done this? By using something you likely have in your medicine cabinet, and something that many people sadly reach for as a first line of defense when cleaning and treating a wound on their cat or dog (or even on themselves).

I’m talking about good ol' Hydrogen Peroxide.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, Pet First Aid, Wounds

The Truth About Avocado For Dogs & Cats


Like many others who have emailed us, you may be thinking that you should avoid avocados around your cats and dogs at all costs. There does appear to be conflicting information out there, doesn’t there?

Avocados seem to routinely show up on “Top 10 Pet Hazard” lists, yet there’s avocado in (at least) one brand of pet food. You’d be right for wondering “what gives?”

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Food, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Myth Busters

Homemade Playdough - salty and dangerous for pets


When looking for something fun and easy to do with kids at home many people turn to homemade playdough.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity in cats, Dog Emergency, Dog, Cat Emergency, Toxicity in dogs, Poison control, Digestive obstruction, Seizures, Digestive irritation, Neurological problems, Coma, Salt toxicity, Heart Problems, Homemade playdough

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.

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