Life-Savers for summer's hazards: Milder weather brings pets and their owners out-of-doors; the more time spent out-of-doors, the higher the potential for exposure to insects, toxins, and weather-related problems. Many summer hazards may be life-threatening to your dog--the bite of a black-widow or brown-recluse spider, the ingestion of a toxin, heat-stroke, etc! In these cases, it is important to get your dog to a veterinarian, as soon as possible. However, there are interventions you may take; add these items to your dog's emergency kit for the summer months:
pedialyte:helps restore natural electrolytes in case of dehydration or heat stress; drawback, once opened, it loses its potency quickly so make pedialyte ice cubes and add them to your dog's water bowl
tweezers or a "hairmostat": helpful in removing ticks and burrs (do not attempt to pull stingers from wasps, bees, etc., because you may inadvertently inject more toxins into your pet by applying pressure to the stinger; instead, scrape them out with your fingernail, a table knife, or other blunt object.)
topical antibiotic cream: for treating wounds, cuts, abrasions, bites and burns
cotton balls, sterile gauze pads, vetwrap or Ace bandages, adhesive tape, etc.: to clean and bind wounds, serve as pressure bandages, etc. (Old ties and pantyhose, etc. can be used as tourniquets and muzzles--don't throw them away)!
hydrogen peroxide (3% solution): to induce vomitting and to cleanse wounds (it will, however, bleach coats). NEVER ATTEMPT TO INDUCE VOMITTING IF IT WOULD POSE A GREATER HEALTH HAZARD TO THE DOG--i.e., if the dog has ingested a sharp object such as glass or a large object which might obstruct the esophagus if regurgitated; some chemical substances may also cause more damage if regurgitated! Be sure to read and follow the "Warning Label"s on any suspected toxins!!!
Charco-caps: compressed activated charcoal in powder form is effective in absorbing toxins in the system; use if "poisoning" is suspected (in all cases of suspected poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately--intervention and supportive care may be needed)! The ASPCA sponsors a National Animal Poison Control Center: (800) 548-2423 or (900) 680-0000, or contact the number listed on the package, of the expected toxin for more information!
"instant ice" or similar products: help to cool the dog and can be used under grates in crates to reduce environmental temperatures; even in an air-conditioned house, a dog in a crate may suffer from heat-related stress.
an eye-dropper or syringe (without the needle): helpful in administering fluids, meds, or food to weak or injured dogs.