If you’re an animal lover, then you already know that dogs and cats are some of the best companions you can ask for. They love us unconditionally, offer us unconditional support, and make life 100 times more fun than it would be without them.
But with all the good comes some bad too – especially when it comes to medical needs since you can’t exactly go to the human pharmacy to get your dog or cat whatever medication they might need to feel better.
1) Potassium Iodide Pills
Potassium iodide is a natural way to protect your pet’s thyroid gland against radioactive iodine. This rare element can do some serious damage if your dog or cat comes into contact with it, and it is particularly harmful in large doses.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recommends that you keep at least 10mg of potassium iodide on hand for every 1 lb of body weight of each family member, including pets.
For example, if you have a 60-lb Labrador retriever, she would need 600 mg of potassium iodide pills; an 80-lb golden retriever would need 800 mg. If you live within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant, be sure to store more than one dose per person/pet.
If there is any threat of radiation exposure, immediately give your pet 2mg/kg of KI orally. Repeat every 12 hours until no longer exposed to radiation.
2) Collapsible Water Bowls
If you leave your pet home alone all day, a collapsible water bowl is a great way to encourage them to drink water, but not too much at once. These bowls collapse flat when they’re empty, so you can take them with you in a suitcase or bag.
They come in all different sizes and materials. Pick your favorite! Collapsible Plastic Bowls Most pets are pretty good about using their litter box, but if yours has trouble remembering where it is (or just likes to pee everywhere), a plastic pop-up litter box makes cleanup easy.
Just scoop out what needs scooping, throw away whatever needs throwing away, and collapse it back down until next time. Carriers: For long trips or short ones where your pet might get nervous, make sure you have a carrier that keeps them safe and comfortable.
Look for one that lets you adjust ventilation—it’s important to keep your pet cool and calm during travel. Pooper Scoopers: Whether you walk your dog yourself or use a service, pooper scooper bags are an essential part of any dog owner’s toolkit.
When picking out bags, look for those with handles so they’re easier to carry—and don’t forget some gloves!
3) A Water Filter
Filter their water before they drink it. Pets are as vulnerable to harmful contaminants in tap water as humans are, and a good filter can mean all of the difference between an upset stomach and serious illness down the road.
Filters vary widely by price and quality, so choose one that fits your budget. If you’re unsure about which filter is best for your pet, consult with your veterinarian or local pet store staff. They’ll be able to help guide you toward something safe and effective.
Remember: No matter what kind of filter you use, change it regularly—the frequency will depend on how much water your pet drinks per day, but most filters recommend changing every two months at a minimum.
For example, if your dog consumes 1/2 gallon of water daily, then you should change her filter once every three months. The cost for these replacements varies from $5 to $15. This investment could save your pet’s life!
If you own more than one pet, purchase additional filters accordingly. Many people opt to buy more than one filter so they have them ready when needed; just make sure each filter has its own indicator light or alarm to let you know when it needs replacing.
4) Syringes for Injections
Whether you have a dog, cat, or bird, you may need syringes from time to time. Use these syringes as directed by your veterinarian to administer medications or fluid. (They’re also useful when feeding baby birds.)
Store syringes in a safe place away from children and animals. It’s best to keep them in their original packaging until you need them. If possible, write down how much medication is left in each syringe so that you know when it needs refilling.
And remember: never use needles that are dull or damaged—you could hurt your pet! Be sure to discard any unused medicine after one year.
Post-It Notes: Post-it notes come in handy during veterinary visits. Write down important information about your pet on post-it notes, including names of medicines and dosages, then stick them onto bottles of medicine so you can easily find what you need when giving your pet an injection or administering another type of treatment.
Store these notes somewhere safe where they won’t get lost—but be sure to keep them close by! If you use a lot of medications with long lists of instructions, it might be helpful to create a medication cheat sheet that includes instructions for each drug as well as dosage amounts.
This will help ensure that you don’t miss any steps when treating your pet.
5) Gauze Rolls
Gauze rolls are perfect for cleaning wounds, wrapping bandages and splints, and even covering furniture. Gauze is more absorbent than most cotton fabrics, meaning that it can be used as a small towel or washcloth.
If you have a pet prone to getting cuts or scrapes in their pads, keep gauze rolls at home. They’re also great for keeping around your first aid kit. And don’t forget to use them for yourself! We all get injured from time to time, and having a roll of gauze in your medical supplies will ensure that you don’t end up with an infection after cutting yourself.
For those who like to travel light, make sure you include a few gauze rolls in your emergency kit—they’ll serve as both bandages and blankets if need be.
6) Personal Cooler
Buy a small, personal-sized cooler and fill it with ice packs. Then make sure to keep it stocked with plenty of water, fresh fruits and veggies, and your pet’s medication. If you take him with you when you go shopping or hiking, it’ll be easy to give him a treat without worrying about attracting bugs or waste in an open container.
It also makes it easier to bring along his food, if he has specific dietary needs. Just remember that while they love their treats, they don’t need them. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and even obesity—something that could cause serious health problems down the road.
And never leave pets in hot cars! They can suffer from heat stroke very quickly, so always keep them cool during the summer months by bringing them inside air-conditioned buildings whenever possible.
7) Propylene Glycol
While propylene glycol is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by organizations such as The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it has been known to cause several health problems in pets, including asthma.
If your pet is diagnosed with a respiratory disease like asthma, you should probably avoid using it. Propylene glycol can also be toxic if ingested at high levels. In some cases, it may even lead to death.
This chemical is used in many of our foods and personal care products, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for it on ingredient lists. As always, check with your veterinarian before giving any medications or supplements to your pet!
8) Pain Management Medication
Whether you have a senior pet, a rescue dog, or just one that loves to run and play outside, chances are your pet will experience some form of pain. The most common form of pain is from arthritis and aging joints.
Traditional medicine comes in many forms including gels, pills, injections, topical creams as well as various devices and procedures. One important factor is knowing how long it takes any kind of medicine to act on your pet’s body.
Some work almost immediately while others can take up to 72 hours before showing an effect. This makes it important to keep track of what works best for your pet and when they need their next dose.
It also helps if you know what side effects might occur so you can be prepared when they do happen. For example, if your pet experiences excessive vomiting with a certain medication, then make sure there is plenty of water available at all times so dehydration doesn’t become an issue.