Monday, September 22, 2014

Tips & Tricks: Building a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

It is always helpful to familiarize yourself with what a first aid kit would look like for your mutts because accidents can happen at anytime. If you are prepared, you can help significantly reduce the severity of an injury and maybe even avoid death. It may also be wise to have multiple kits for emergency use, like a larger kit at home and a smaller kit in the car.

Below are some of the essentials of building your first aid kit for your dogs:
  • A clean blanket
  • Nail clipper
  • Rectal therometer
  • Vaseline or KY jelly
  • A muzzle
  • Tweezers
  • Hemostats
  • Styptic powder
  • Bandaging materials: roll of gauze, first aid tape, non-stick pads at minimum
  • Medication: your dogs' regular meds (if any - be sure to follow instructions regarding storing the meds in certain room temperatures), multi-purpose wound care gels/sprays that can help clean/treat/heal wounds, and any other easy & quick products like eye solution to flush out unwanted bodies or cortisol cream for itchy bug bites
  • Other items that may come in handy depending on the type of first aid kit you are putting together (i.e. first aid kit for hiking, camping, search & rescue...etc.)
Keep in mind that the purpose of a first aid kit is to try to temporarily stabilize the situation in an event of an injury. Depending on the injury, your best option may still be to visit a vet as soon as possible. For more information on which products and other items to add to your canine first aid kit, consult with your trusted vet.

Keeping your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!

Friday, September 5, 2014

3 Steps to Follow When You Find a Stray Dog

One of the worst nightmares for pet owners is realizing that our beloved mutt has gone missing. So if you were to ever encounter a stray, here are three steps that will help you help the dog get back to his/her owner quickly and safely.
  1. Observe the dog and its surroundings for safety - The first thing to be aware of when you see a stray dog is to observe the dog's behavior and its surroundings. Do not make sudden movements, whether that's slamming on the brake when you're driving or run excitedly to the mutt. Observe calmly and see if the mutt is in a dangerous situation (like in the middle of traffic) or if the mutt is showing any signs of aggression, nervousness, or rabidness towards you or others. If you don't feel like the stray is approachable, then take note of its location and call animal control. If you can, you may stay with the mutt until help arrives. If you feel like the dog is approachable and friendly, then calmly allow the mutt into your car and drive it to the nearest animal shelter or vet clinic if you see that the mutt is injured. Keep in mind that picking up a mutt may not be the best idea especially if the dog is injured and may react to your touch aggressively when it's in pain.
  2. Seek professional help - So you have the dog in your possession; now what? If the dog does not have a tag or any other types of identifier that you can see, then the next best thing is to take it to the nearest animal shelter where they can scan for registered microchips for further investigation. Depending on the situation, the shelter may take the stray in or may release temporary caring rights to you. The shelter usually will take photos of the dog and your contact information in case the owners come looking for their pet. If you decide to temporarily care for the stray, you may want to consider taking the mutt to a trusted vet to make sure it doesn't have any internal injuries, parasites, or diseases. Keep in mind that you may be the one that is financially responsible for these vet bills.
  3. Spread the word - Don't assume that all strays were abandoned or left unwanted. Think that if this were your dog that's lost, what would you do to find it? Make a valiant effort to help spread the word about this lost pet through friends, families, church groups, local community news boards, internet, social media...etc. If enough time has passed and there is still no contact from the original owners, you may consider adopting this as your own pet. Your local animal shelter can provide you with the appropriate length of waiting time required by your local authorities before officially letting you adopt the mutt. Just keep in mind that there still may be a chance that the original owners may still find you and wan their pet back. Be prepared to have a realistic plan in mind if and when that happens.
Keeping your mutts happy, healthy, and hearty!