Responsible dog parents find it imperative to have certain essential items at their reach for their furry family members. Here is a list of some of the most important pet friendly products you should have on hand in your home:
Most dog parents, especially those with curious puppies, can attest to the fact that their canine companions often eat foods or objects that they should not. If you are aware of your dog consuming something that could potentially be harmful (eg. Chocolate, grapes, toys), you should consult with your veterinarian or poison control specialist right away. They may suggest you induce vomiting, in which case you should use hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. You should consult with your veterinarian or poison control specialist for dosing based on your dog’s weight.
Ear infections are a common occurrence that many of our pets experience on a semi-regular basis. These can be very bothersome to our dogs and cause them to constantly shake their heads or dig at their ears in an effort to relive their own discomfort. Routine ear cleaning can help prevent these ear infections from occurring and keep you from making constant trips to your veterinarian for antibiotic treatments. It is recommended you find a quality ear cleaner that does not overly dry out the ear canal. Your veterinarian can recommend or prescribe one for your dog. When cleaning the ears, you should fill the ear canal with an appropriate amount of fluid, massage the ear from the outside, then gently remove the remaining liquid with a wash cloth, gauze or cotton ball. Avoid using cotton tipped applicators in order to keep you from penetrating too deep into the ear canal in the region of the ear drum. One at home remedy for helping to prevent yeast infections within the ear is using 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water and cleaning in the same process as mentioned above. Cleaning your dog’s ears approximately once a week is a great way to keep those pesky ear infections from becoming a serious problem.
If your dog does not make routine visits to a groomer, then it is up to you to keep your pet’s nails trimmed and coat in quality shape. Overgrown nails can make it more challenging for your dog to walk and can even grow into the paw pad or break causing a great deal of pain to your dog. There are several types of nail clippers and nail grinders on the market and finding what works best for you and your dog is essential. Make it a positive and rewarding experience to alleviate some of the stress that may be involved with the nail trimming process. You can also purchase quick stop to have on hand in case a nail is trimmed too short and you need to stop bleeding. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every 6-10 weeks, although this varies with each different breeds. Frequent brushing of your dog’s coat is another important aspect of the grooming process. Finding a high quality hair brush will help you keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and well-groomed.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Dental disease is a serious issue for our pets and can lead to other underlying health issues. Having a toothbrush and dog friendly toothpaste at home is another key item to have on your shelf. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily can help to prevent the buildup of tartar, plaque and gingivitis. This will also lessen the need for anesthetized dental procedures that can become costly, especially if any of your dog’s teeth need to be extracted due to severe periodontal disease.
Allergies are very frequent in the veterinary field. There are many different allergies, including those to certain types of food, to environmental components and even to fleas. Finding the underlying cause of these allergies can be helpful in alleviating your dog from allergy related clinical signs, including itching, hair loss and skin infections. Antihistamines, such as Benadryl or Zyrtec often play an important role in keeping an allergic dog more comfortable. Discuss with your veterinarian an appropriate dosage based on your dog’s weight and consider having antihistamines on hand at home.
Heartworm is a serious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can cause life-threatening heart and lung conditions if not treated. Having your dog on monthly heartworm prevention with products such as Heartgard will be extremely helpful in preventing your dog from acquiring heartworm disease. A blood test is recommended prior to starting any heartworm prevention to ensure the disease is not present and other treatment options would be recommended.
Flea & tick preventatives
Flea and tick preventatives should always be on hand at home, especially during the warmer months, when fleas and ticks are widespread. These preventatives come in various types of applications, including oral tablets, topical liquids and collars that can be left on for several months. Ticks can transmit several serious diseases including lyme disease, anaplasma and ehrlichia. Fleas can be a challenge to get rid of once they have infested your home and can cause skin irritation and infections.
Wound cleaning supplies
There are cases when your dog may have a minor scratch or scrape on the skin or paw that you want to address at home prior to scheduling a veterinary appointment. In this situations, it is recommended to have gauze and an anti-septic cleaner (chlorhexidine based) to clean out the wound. Bandaging can be difficult to do without veterinary supervision, because one must be careful not to place the bandage too tightly, as it may result in constriction of blood flow to that area. If the wound is deep or infected you should seek veterinary care immediately, so it can be properly cleaned, bandaged and antibiotics can be prescribed.
It is important to keep your dog’s vaccine records at home and up to date. If there is ever an emergency, you should have access to these records to ensure you can show proof of proper vaccination, specifically rabies vaccination status. Some pet parents will even have an emergency kit set aside that contains water, food, leashes, thermometer, bandage supplies, collar, and copies of medical records.
Emergency veterinary hospital contact information
Having an emergency care veterinary hospital’s name, number and address is a terrific idea for pet parents in case of unplanned critical health concerns. Many primary veterinarians are not open on nights and weekends and there are certain instances where you may need to reach out to an emergency facility.