Your Dog’s Medicine Cabinet
How to Create a Safe Medicine Cabinet for Your Dog
Most of us keep a variety of medicines at home for those occasions when we are sick or injured, but did you know there are some important medicines to keep on hand if your dog is not well? Here are some of the commonly used items you should have on hand in your dog’s medicine chest. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving any medicines to your dog.
Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is commonly used for itching and allergic reactions. Dogs that have had a bee sting, insect bite or vaccination reaction often need a dose of Benadryl® to calm itchiness, facial swelling or hives. The dose is based on your dog’s weight, so check with your veterinarian; he or she can tell you how much Benadryl® you can give and how often.
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Topical antibacterial ointment is great for superficial wounds, such as cuts and scratches. It works best when the wound is located where the dog can’t lick it since most dogs will lick off any salve you apply. It is not a good treatment for deep wounds, especially if they are dirty or bleeding, or the result of a bite. These need veterinary attention.
Bandages and Tape
It can be challenging to bandage a bleeding wound on your dog. Most often an old sock and electrical tape are cleverly used as bandages when an emergency arises. Keep a pack of clean or sterile gauze and some medical tape handy. Most bleeding wounds require pressure and tape will help keep the gauze in place.
Your veterinarian can supply you with a handy little item called a pill gun. It is a long plastic tube with a plunger used to deliver pills to our less cooperative friends. Some dogs just aren’t fooled by that little meatball with the pill in the middle. The pill gun keeps you from having to stick your hand/fingers into your dog’s mouth when medicating him. An oral dose syringe will help you give liquid medications accurately. A pill splitter will help you cut large tablets into equal portions if your pet requires a smaller dose.
Having these medications on hand is only half the job. Calling your pet’s doctor for proper instructions and potential side effects is the other. Never give your pet any medicine prescribed for people unless instructed by your veterinarian.