Tips and Tricks in Caring for your Pets

There are a lot of things out there on Google that might be steering our pet owners in a wrong direction at times.  Not everything on the internet is true, I know that is shocking news!  A few things that owners frequently read on the internet about fleas can be some of the everyday myths we get questions about.  Such as:

  1. Don’t feed your pet garlic to ward off fleas please, it can cause changes in your pets’ blood that can make them ill or worse.  Too many essential oils or coconut water etc. can also be harsh on your pet and their skin making the skin disease worse when flea allergies are present.
  2. Don’t believe that Dawn dish soap, “the blue kind,” will kill all fleas and eliminate your infestation.  Not only does it strip your pet’s coat of natural oils, it can completely remove your applied topical products or cause them to lose efficacy.  In a true infestation where your pet is needing a bath prior to treatment this product can be used- however it is not a magic cure or a replacement for proper prevention.
  3. Not all the internet pharmacies will guarantee product purchased from their sites.  Some products are improperly labeled, imported from overseas without QA regulations or illegally obtained.  These products are not the same as products from your vet’s office.  Monthly prevention starting at the bare minimum in the spring is the secret to flea and tick control.  Stop the problem before you see it.

I encourage all pet owners to have some basic first aid items for your pet at home if possible.  A first aid kit for your dog might include: a tick puller tool or tweezers, some basic wound wrap such as Vetwrap or Coflex self-adhesive bandage, a general wound cleaner such as Vetrycin spray, betadine or triple antibiotic ointment, nail trimmers, a muzzle or slip lead, and an irrigation fluid such as saline rinse.  That way if your dog or cat is injured you can safely handle the situation with little or no hunting for supplies.  Medication dosages can vary widely and should not be given without basic knowledge of the situation.  Another myth is that Benadryl is great for dogs; it can help in a few conditions but all the uses out on the internet get crazy.  It really isn’t a good allergy drug for dogs either.

A larger, thick towel works well to restrain a cat that is upset or needs medications.  A t-shirt or onesie can be used to keep a pet from fussing at a wound. Cinnamon or corn starch can be used in a pinch to stop a torn toe nail from bleeding.   A pet taxi is a must for transporting your cat in the vehicle and can be a big help in small or painful pets.  The best skunk antidote is NOT tomato juice.  A mixture of baking soda and peroxide used to make a scrub rinse of sorts should be worked into the wet skin and hair and left on the pet for about 10 minutes.  Once you are ready to rinse, use everyone’s favorite odor reducing Dawn dish soap to remove the baking soda mixture and break down the oil from the skunk spray.   I am sure there are more tricks I should share but maybe that is all for another blog article.