Accidents happen when you least expect them. And these accidents can be detrimental if you’re not prepared. With this knowledge in hand, Denise Fleck, founder of Sunny-dog Ink, an animal safety advocacy organization, created a line of pet first aid kits to help pet parents be prepared in any situation—at home, around town or on the road.
Here’s hoping you never need to use a pet first aid kit, but it’s like insurance. Better to have it just in case. One we particularly like is the “Dog on the Go” Ultimate Hiking and Travel First-Aid Kit, designed with the jet set pet in mind. The large zippered bag can be carried anywhere you and your companion may go. It can hang from a belt, be thrown over your shoulder or tossed into a back pack. This kit is packed with all the tools to help aid any accident: bandaging and splinting materials, paw protector cream for rough terrain, a hydration pouch, stethoscope and emergency whistle/compass/outdoor temperature gauge.
It also includes an ID Tag with a QR Code, dehydrated pumpkin and apple fiber for intestinal issues and Earth Heart‘s Buzz Guard and Travel Calm sprays, natural remedy mists to keep Fido friskier outdoors and ease restlessness, panting and tummy upsets during all forms of travel.
Fleck’s mission in creating these pet first aid kits was simple: to help you help your pet. After training with eight national organizations in animal life-saving skills and being a long-time rescue volunteer and animal response team member, Fleck was poised to develop the signature pet first aid kits with the guiding principle that “once you have the knowledge, you must have the tools for the job. Precious time is often wasted when we race around looking for bandages and other needed items.”
Fleck also teaches specially designed pet first aid and CPR classes, has assisted Homeland Security with its K9 Border Patrol First-Aid Program, was the president of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter and is the recipient of the Burbank Police Department’s Volunteer of the Year Award. On top of all of this, she is an award-winning author of several pet care books, contributes pet safety articles to multiple publications and has appeared on national television to divvy out her know-how to the masses, including these tips below.
Top 5 Safety Tips
1. Know where your nearest Animal ER is and keep up with annual visits. Drive there before you need to,so that you know where to enter, what services are offered and how they accept payment. Don’t miss annual veterinary exams where professionals can diagnose problems at their earliest stages.
2. Do a weekly head-to-tail check-up of your pet and notice changing habits. Really get to know your pet, his body and his habits so that you can more quickly determine when something is not quite right. Feel for lumps and bumps, parasites and burrs, anything that should not be on him. Notice what your dog or cat looks like when he sits and stands. How often do you have to fill his water bowl and how often does he need to answer nature’s call? Changes may warrant a veterinary check-up.
3. Get down on all fours. Look at your house and yard from your pet’s perspective. Anything on the floor is fair game and an animal’s amazing sense of smell can find hidden temptations behind cabinet doors. Cleaners and fertilizers not absorbed through paw pads will be ingested when your dog or cat grooms himself, so keep items out of paws reach and use pet-friendly chemicals.
4. Read your pet’s food label. The first three to five items listed on the ingredient label are the bulk of your pet’s diet. Make sure the first one is a high quality protein (i.e. chicken, lamb, salmon or venison). Limit or avoid wheat, corn and soy which results in allergic reactions in many pets. Can’t pronounce it? Your pet probably doesn’t need it. Feeding the right food (all dogs and cats won’t do well on the same brand) just may prevent illness. Educate yourself for your pet’s sake. Food that is okay for humans may not be good for canines or felines.
5. Spend quality time together. That’s why we have pets – to make them part of the family. So when you walk the dog, don’t talk on your cell phone or text. Tune in to kitty rather than mindlessly petting her. Be in the now and keep your eyes open to your pet’s environment to avoid disasters.
We especially like Fleck’s third tip when traveling with pets. Unfortunately, hotel housekeepers don’t always clean a room as well as they should. Items are left under beds and behind curtains. Do a thorough check of the room to find unwanted items before your pet does.
Let’s help one another by sharing your favorite pet travel safety tip with The Jet Set Pets in the comment box below.