Article#1...First Aid for Dogs

Article#2....Cats: Indoors, Outdoors or Somewhere in Between?

Article#3....Flower Essences for Pets

Article#4....Microchips & Lost Pet Prevention

First Aid for Dogs:

Would you know what to do if your dog became ill or injured? Being prepared ahead of time can save the life of your pet. Below is a list of supplies and common sense ideas to protect your forever pal.


  • Avoid bites. Use a muzzle, nylon leash, gauze, belt, etc.
  • Avoid dangerous situations. Do not climb down cliffs, enter burning buildings, swim in fast water, etc.
  • Keep a clear head.
  • In a car accident, use gloves where blood is present, blood may be human.
  • If your dog needs emergency veterinary care, transport as soon as possible. Make sure to call the clinic first so they know you are on the way.

Contact numbers

  • ASPCA Poison Control 1-888-426-4435
  • Local Emergency Clinics: AETC, Poulsbo 360-697-7771
    AHCK, Poulsbo/Silverdale 360-692-6162
    All Creatures AH, Gorst 360-377-3801
  • Your personal Veterinarian


  • Online pet first aid course.
  • “The Pet Lover’s Guide to First Aid and Emergencies” by Thomas K. Day, DVM, DACVA,DACVECC.

Items in your kit

  • Muzzle
  • Slip lead
  • Latex Gloves
  • Blanket
  • Heavy duty sanitary napkins (Kotex type)
  • Bandage tape
  • Vet Wrap/Ace bandage
  • Eye flush
  • Benadryl, 25 mg capsules or pediatric solution
  • Alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Karo Syrup
  • Bandage Scissors
  • Roll Gauze
  • Feeding syringe, small and large
  • Tweezers/hemostats
  • Thermometer
  • “Instant” cold pack
  • Band-Aids
  • Medical records

Poison ingestion

  • Call your vet, emergency vet or poison control.
  • Save any packaging, and bring with you to the vet.
  • Depending on the poison, you may induce vomiting with oral Hydrogen Peroxide. Do not induce vomiting with any solvent or petroleum product. Read the package label, and ask your vet first.
  • Transport as soon as possible.


  • Bleeding wounds—Wear gloves. Use Kotex pads or other absorbent material to staunch bleeding, can be held in place with tape, vet wrap or ace bandage.
  • Fractures—Because these can be very painful, always place a muzzle. Do not worry about splinting or bandaging unless there is an open wound. Dog should be carried, wrapped in a blanket if possible, and transported as soon as possible.
  • Shock—Pale mucus membranes, cold, rapid heart rate. Wrap in a blanket, transport ASAP, turn on heater in car for warmth. Place Karo Syrup on gums.
  • Bite wounds. Use Kotex for major bleeding. If only minor bleeding or bruising, can place ice compress. See your vet for wound flushing and antibiotics.


  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea, do not give oral medications, transport to vet.
  • Respiratory distress, transport to vet.
  • Seizures. Do not put hands in mouth. Protect dog from falling down stairs, etc. Call your vet, and transport for exam ASAP.

Insect bites/Snake bites

  • Give Benadryl 1 mg/lb (1 25 mg capsule for a 25 lb dog).
  • If severe swelling, respiratory difficulty, severe pain, or known venomous snake bite, transport ASAP.
  • Ice the area.

Heat Stroke

  • Rapid breathing, lethargy, bright red tongue, body temperature over 105, exposure to heat.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Apply cool water, alcohol or ice to body, especially inside of thighs/groin.
  • Transport to vet ASAP

Other minor events

  • Ticks—Remove with a tick snare, disinfect w/ alcohol, watch for illness
  • Foxtails—Can be serious if they migrate. Remove as soon as possible, may need surgery and antibiotics
  • Toe nail bleeding—Kwik stop or corn starch can be applied. Watch for biting.

Cats: Indoors, Outdoors or Somewhere in Between?

Cats love to be outside.  They sit in the sun, roll in and chew on the grass and play Mighty Bug Hunter.   But they’re not really equipped to deal with all the situations they can encounter outside on their own.  Aggressive dogs, territorial raccoons, hungry coyotes and cougars are more than most cats can handle.   Contact with other cats can expose them to diseases like feline leukemia or FIV, which can be transmitted by bites.  Upper respiratory infections can be transmitted by close contact like face-to-face hissing, sniffing or shared food and water dishes.  Cars, bad-intentioned humans and poisons like pesticides and spilled auto chemicals are other dangers cats face outdoors.

There are ways we can keep our cats safe outside.  Many people find that their cats take quite readily to leashes and harnesses.  Always attach leashes or tethers to a harness, not a collar--some cats can pull out of their collars when on a leash and a cat can strangle if the tether gets twisted around plants or furniture.

Whether you’re building a yard yourself, or purchasing a commercial system, here are a few things to consider:

  • Ease of entry/exit for the cats and for you.  Using a window is handy because you can easily control your cats’ access in either direction.  A cat flap door can be installed in a window or wall.  A human-sized door lets you get in easily to clean and get to the cats if needed.
  • Places to snooze in the sun make the yard a place the cats want to be.  Your cat yard should have plenty of comfortable sleeping spots.  Perches and ramps are fun, too.  Varying heights and sizes keep things interesting.  A nearby bird feeder/bath provides hours of free “Kitty TV”. 
  • Security—determined cats can dig, climb and tear their way out of any enclosure that’s not built to last.  Check for screening that could be pushed out, edges that could be torn, doors that don’t latch tightly and soft soil or sand that could be scraped away by a busy paw.
  • Safety—double check that there are no sharp wires or nails to poke your cat.  Ramps should be rough textured so that cats don’t slip, especially in the rain.  (Yes, they will go out in the rain…) 

Click images to enlarge

We use two kinds of cat yards.  One is a wood framed structure that sits next to the house.  The top and sides are covered with chicken wire and there is a human-sized screen door so that we can get in and play, too.  It has perches and climbing ramps and the cats get to it through a commercial cat flap/door installed in a piece of plywood inserted into a window.  It cost about $150 to build and was installed in a weekend.

The other cat yard is essentially our entire back yard.  It has a 6’ wooden fence around all sides, but the slats are wide enough apart for a cat to squeeze through.  To make it “cat proof”, we stapled a 4’ high length of chicken wire along the fence, with a curl of the wire near the top so that they can’t jump or climb over.  It’s not the most attractive part of the landscaping, but it’s secure and was very inexpensive.  There are commercial versions available, too.

These websites offer ideas for building your own cat yard, as well as selling kits or completely installed enclosures.

If you have questions, or would like us to take a look at the cat-safety issues at your home, just give us a call!

Flower Essences for Pets:

Flower essences or remedies, as they are often called, are over-the-counter products sometimes used to reduce behaviors displayed by animals (human and non-human) experiencing strong emotional states. This sheet is designed as a very brief introduction to flower essences and their use in animals. It is very important to tell us about any medications, supplements or remedies that you have been administering to your pet.

The most basic explanation of the concept is that on an energetic level, everything on the planet vibrates at a particular rate. The flower essences match specific plants with specific emotional states. The remedies appear to help regulate the emotions to a healthy balance.

Flower essences are made by soaking particular plants in distilled water for a specified amount of time. Brandy is usually added as a preservative and the mix is diluted back into spring or distilled water before administering it to a patient.

The remedies appear to be completely safe and without negative side effects. If the emotional imbalance doesn’t match that of the essence, nothing happens. If the remedy is diluted appropriately, there is very little chance of overdose. Remedies are administered by mouth, in water or food, through the skin or in an atomizer into the air.

We have successfully used flower essences to help our own pets and often suggest their use as supportive therapy for patients. Before treating with flower essences, it is important to make careful observations about the animal’s behavior and habits. Each essence corresponds to a specific set of characteristics. We have found them most helpful in reducing behaviors caused by anxiety, emotional trauma and issues relating to other animals in a household. They may help ease an animal’s stress so that conventional therapies are more effective.

Flower essences are available locally in health food stores, some pet supply shops and grocery stores. There are numerous on-line resources.

There are several very informative websites and books about flower essences available. We strongly suggest that you do some research on your own if you’re interested in these remedies. Here are some resources to get you started:
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals, by Graham and Vlamis.




"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  -Anatole France


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