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Essential Items for your Dog’s First Aid Kit

by DOG for DOG Team 1 Comment

Essential Items for your Dog's First Aid Kit

April is Pet First Aid Awareness month and while we understand it can be exhausting learning or hearing about a new awareness month/day or week (unless it’s like national pizza or cupcake awareness day), this is an important one for pet owners to pay attention to. Of course, odds are in your favor that you won’t ever need a first aid kit and that your pup will go through their life without any major disasters. But as you well know, it never hurts to be prepared, because the reality is your dog could choke on a toy, get hit by a car, suffer a near drowning accident, or ingest one of the countless pet toxins found in the average home—from grapes to azaleas to acetaminophen to anything sweetened with xylitol. We definitely don’t want to scare anyone, but animals are surrounded by hazards, and these hazards sometimes lead to serious accidents. Being just a little prepared – both with information and with a tangible first aid kit – can help tremendously in the rare case that something does happen. To help out, we created a list of essentials to put in a first aid kit for your dog.

 

“What you do (or don’t do) in the first moments following an accident can often be the difference between life and death,” says Melanie Monteiro, a pet first aid instructor, dog safety consultant, and author of The Safe Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Pooch, Indoors and Out. “One such example is with choking. If your pet’s airway is completely obstructed by an object, there will be no time to go to the veterinarian for help—you need to take immediate action.” You can watch some of her amazing video instructions here. She also recommends signing up for a training course in your area. Check with your local Red Cross, humane organizations, or private companies such as PetTech. Lastly, buy a guide on pet first aid emergencies (most training courses include a guide). Her favorites are the Red Cross’ Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid and Pets America’s Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide.

 

A simple yet important place to start is by programming useful contacts into your mobile phone, to ensure that emergency numbers are at your fingertips and you don’t waste valuable time searching for them when needed. Program the phone numbers and addresses of your veterinarian and a 24-hour emergency animal hospital into your phone. If possible, save the addresses in your car’s GPS. You also always want to watch out for commonly found items that can be poisonous to canine companions. Human medications topped the list of pet toxins in 2010 as accidentally dropped or misplaced pills can seem like treats to our furry friends. Household toxins or cleaners, insecticides/rodenticides, and plants are also common toxins for dogs. Being aware of these toxins and exercising prevention can help keep your animals safe. The ASPCA Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline (1-888-426-4435) is another valuable resource to have in your address book.

 

Now for the first aid kit essentials! The first thing to do in the event of an accident or injury is to consult a veterinarian. Many of the items found in a first aid kit should only be administered under the vet’s guidance, but having them readily available allows for quicker treatment and can minimize pain or discomfort that your animal may be experiencing. Since you never know when an accident will happen, keeping a pet emergency kit at your home is a good idea. A smaller kit could be used in the car. You can put a first aid kit together yourself and buy the items separately, or buy one ready-made (just one example, there are tons of varieties in all shapes and sizes available for purchase online and at local pet supply stores). If you make one yourself, use a small plastic tub with a tight fitting lid and keep one at home and make one to have in the car for when you’re on the go.

 

Here are some essential items:

  • Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
  • A pet carrier
  • Muzzle or strip of fabric to prevent biting (in cases of severe pain during treatment but only when there is no injury to the throat or neck, vomiting, or difficulty breathing)
  • Leash
  • Blanket (foil emergency blanket)
  • Pediatric digital rectal thermometer plus water-based lubricant
  • Oral syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Saline eye wash
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  • Nail clippers
  • Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
  • Penlight or flashlight
  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
  • Splints and tongue depressors
  • Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
  • Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet’s collar when you travel)
  • Towels
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Epsom salts
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mild soap
  • Cut- and wound-care items, such as: hand sanitizer, antiseptic (povidone-iodine) solution such as Betadine, elastic or ace bandage (best case: self-cling bandage – bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur – which is available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs), stretchable gauze, gauze pads, non-stick bandages, non-scented sanitary pads (for heavily bleeding wounds), first aid adhesive tape, blunt scissors
  • Hydrogen peroxide #3% USP (to induce vomiting)
  • Toxiban or other vet-approved activated charcoal (for use in certain poisoning emergencies)
  • Diphenhydramine antihistamine, or Benadryl (to counter allergic reactions)

Of course, each list of recommendations has their unique take on what all is needed in a kit. We think this more than covers the essentials, but you can find many more suggestions from the sites below. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet to see if they think you’re missing anything from whatever list you decide to go with, and to think about your own pet’s specific needs that might come up in an emergency scenario.

The Red Cross, AVMA checklist, Modern Dog, Cesar’s Way and Pet Education

Want to know more quick tips? Our founder Rocky Kanaka has simple tips that you can follow today!

We hope you find this guide helpful and that it encourages you to learn about pet safety and ways to prevent accidents and prepare for the unexpected. In the comments below, please share any of your own tips to keep in mind for Pet First Aid Awareness!

Spring Cleaning for your Pets

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Spring Cleaning for your pets

Many dogs get full run of their human counterparts home – their bed and couch included. But even those regulated to the ground and their own pup beds are still tracking their little paws all over your home. So you might be wondering just how often your dog needs a bath, for their own hygiene and for the sake of your belongings. While this is a topic always up for debate amongst dog groups (some swear by washing weekly, others say they’ve never washed their pup and that’s just fine), we thought it might be helpful to offer up some general guidelines on how often you should bathe your dogs and cats, including the items they come in contact with like beds, food bowls, leashes and more! See our thoughts below:

How often to bathe: The general consensus here seems to be that unless your dog has skin problems (in which case you should consult your vet on best bathing practices), how often you give your dog a bath is really up to you! Many people with non-oily dog breeds wash their dogs about once a month, while more oily breeds are bathed on a more regular schedule. Our office pups get a bath about once a month using DOG for DOG’s DOGSPA shampoo
. Dr. Sherry Weaver writes on
CesarsWay.com, “I recommend you bathe a dog with normal skin once a month with dog shampoo or human baby shampoo. If you want to bathe more often than once a month, use a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Do not bathe your dog more than once a week, unless recommended by your vet.” You can also read about more specific grooming tips here.

What about cats? Cats have built-in grooming tools (tongue and teeth), and are much more efficient than dogs at keeping themselves clean. In a perfect world, you won’t need to worry abou bathing them, and can take them into a groomer if they need anything that they will fight you on. Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from their coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of the skin. One or two brushings per week will help kitty to keep a healthy glow—and you’ll find that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer able to groom so meticulously on their own. The ASPCA has further tips on cat bathing and grooming at home!

Beds: Most people report washing their pets beds once a month, moreso if you live in a wooded area or your dog gets dirty more often. You can simply remove the outer cover and wash and dry the bed linen in your own washer/dryer. The bed base can often be washed this way too. Wash separately from other laundry or minimally with like colors. Use a large load setting, cold water, and plenty of clearly marked pet-safe laundry detergent to aid in dislodging as much pet hair and dirt as possible. Repeat the wash cycle for especially dirty beds. Dry the washed bedding in the clothes dryer with at least one clearly marked pet-safe dryer sheet. The dryer sheet will reduce static electricity and remove excess pet hair. Dry on a low temperature setting for 20 minutes to remove hair and wrinkles, then air dry to avoid shrinking the bed. Again, be sure to check the label of your laundry detergent & dryer sheets to ensure it is pet-safe! Want to clean more often? Thoroughly vacuum the bed to remove excess hair, dirt, and other debris. Roll a lint roller over the bed to pull away hairs that the vacuum missed. How to wash a dog bed should be a primary consideration when you are selecting from the range of commercially available dog beds at your local pet or department store. Check the tags on dog beds to see whether the recommended method of cleaning is feasible and practical for you, your home, and the time you have for cleaning. All too often, people buy a dog bed on impulse because it is cute or it fits with their home decor. It won’t be so cute when you go to wash it and find out it’s a pain in the butt to get clean!

Food Bowls: Did you know – NSF International, a public health organization, rated food bowls as the fourth dirtiest spot in our homes. Eeep! We love our cats and dogs so much, and we want to keep them happy and healthy. One way to do this is making sure we thoroughly clean our pet’s food and water bowls to help avoid germs, bugs and mold that can make our furry friends sick. Luckily, there are a few great ways to tackle this cleaning process to make sure you’re doing the job right. NSF recommends either placing the bowl in a dishwasher or soaking it for about 10 minutes once a week in a solution of one part bleach to one part water. Then, rinse well and dry. However, if you don’t feel comfortable using bleach, VetStreet recommends cleaning the dish after every meal with hot water and soap. Or better yet, Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director at the ASPCA’s animal poison control center in New York told Wendy Wilson of Cesar’s Way to combine equal parts of baking soda, warm water and salt and scrub the surface in a circular motion, and then rinse well.

Leashes: Once again, how often you clean your pup’s collar and leash will have to do with how dirty they get them. If your dog doesn’t see much outside action, you’re safe to wash infrequently. But if they’re rolling around outside in a leash and/or collar fairly often, it couldn’t hurt to give these items a good cleaning once a month. Most collars and leashes can be thrown in the dishwasher or clothing washer, but you can read about handmade ways to clean here. A good rule of thumb is to wash your dogs collar at least as often as you wash them! Who wants to put a dirty collar back on a clean pup?

Toys: Although you might not think about cleaning your pet’s toys, depending on how quickly they go through them, it can be an added bonus that results in a cleaner toy bin. If your dog is the type who is on a mission to gut anything with a squeaker or stuffing, then there’s a good chance your toys don’t actually last long enough to necessitate a washing. If you have some favorites sticking around though, and especially if there are young children around, you might consider giving toys that live on the floor a good cleaning. Although babies and dogs alike are quite resilient, there’s something about a toy box filled with crusty drool-laden toys that says it’s time for a quick freshening up. For cloth toys, they are best washed on cold in your washing machine, after being placed in a delicate garment bag. Make sure to reduce the amount of soap you use, assuming the washer won’t be 100% full of toys. If so, it could be time to give a once over and do some purging! When in doubt on how much soap to use, less is better. Once done, remove from the wash and squeeze remaining water out. If you have the ability to line dry, pin them all up and give them an hour or so in the sun to dry out. Placing them in the dryer is just fine, make sure it’s on low heat and if you’re worried about them, place them inside a pillow case. If you have plastic toys, use a solution of 50% white vinegar to 50% water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes. Remove and use a nail brush to scrub the dirt off, rinse with fresh water and allow to dry. Tennis balls can go in the wash, however they do require a bit of funk to make them safe for pets.

How often you clean your floors (whether you have hardwood or carpet) is really up to you. This will likely be determined by how much your pet sheds, how much dirt they’re dragging in from outside and how often you like to clean your house usually anyways. Again, these are all general guidelines based on varying ideals about how to keep your animals and home clean. Doing the research and thinking through what’s best for you and your family is usually best practice in these sorts of matters. That being said, we’d really love to hear your cleaning routines in the comments below!

DOGSBLOG Reader Survey

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

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If you have 5 minutes today, we would really appreciate it if you took the time to take this super short survey about the blog. We want to learn more about you and your furry family. This information will be used to develop and expand the content of the blog. The survey is completely anonymous and only DOG for DOG will be using the information provided.

The survey will only be up for a short time so answer today!

Take the survey

Help Us Feed Pups in Need with Double the Donation

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Always wanted to try our all natural, made in the USA DOGSFOOD? Now’s the perfect time! When you purchase our Grain Free Ocean Fish & Salmon DOGSFOOD (great for active dogs!), we’ll DOUBLE the donation we make to dogs in need.

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So for every bowl you pour for your own dog, we’ll be able to pour 2 for rescue dogs!

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Like Layla and Grandpa Gus at Old Friends Senior Dogs Sanctuary

Curious about switching your dog’s food? It’s pretty easy! Here’s how to make the switch…

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Ready to order DOGSFOOD for your pup, and for two dogs in need?

GRAIN FREE OCEAN FISH & SALMON – 14LBS

GRAIN FREE OCEAN FISH & SALMON – 4.5 LBS

 

DOG for DOG Announces National Sponsorship of Best Friend’s Pet Super Adoptions!

by Lorna Ladd
DOG for DOG Announces National Sponsorship of Best Friend’s Pet Super Adoptions!

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DOG for DOG is proud to announce National Sponsorship of the Best Friend’s Animal Society’s Pet Super Adoptions!

Best Friend’s Animal Society is a national rescue organization with a mission to SAVE THEM ALL! Best Friend’s has made a name for themselves as an organization that is dedicated to saving the lives of and finding homes for all homeless pets, and initiating cities to become No Kill. In 2012, Best Friend’s initiated the campaign No Kill Los Angeles or NKLA in an effort to make Los Angeles a No Kill city. NKLA provides spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters, and increase adoptions through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes.

DOG for DOG is pleased to support the Best Friend’s community by becoming a National Sponsor for their Pet Super Adoptions. The Super Adoptions are events held in three cities: Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and White Plains (NY), and are 2-3 day adoption events open to the public. The purpose of these events is to gather rescue groups and shelters together in the same place with their adoptable animals and make as many adoptions as possible. Super Adoptions have a positive effect on the community by adding so many new and loving members to welcoming families. DOG for DOG will be passing out DOGSBARs to all of the attendees and rescues at these events, along with making large donations of food and treats to the Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary in Utah and NKLA Coalition members!

Helping dogs in need is our passion and Best Friend’s is doing a tremendous job of just that. We are proud to support their work and look forward to the day when euthanization is a thing of the past!

2013 Pet Super Adoptions

Salt Lake City
Utah State Fairpark, 155 N 10th W, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

October 18: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
October 19: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Los Angeles – NKLA Weekend Adoption Event
La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90036

November 9: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
November 10: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

New York
Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave, White Plains, New York 10606

November 16: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
November 17: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Look who’s talking about Dog for Dog

by Lorna Ladd
Look who’s talking about Dog for Dog

Snoop Lion Teams up with Chelsea Handler to save dogs everywhere.

http://youtu.be/8gxSs09bVyM

Snoop Dogg talks about DOG for DOG on Conan!

Michael Buble discusses DOG for DOG on the Tom O’Grady Show

Snoop Dogg Appears on the Queen Latifah Show and talks about DOG for DOG’s Mission

 

And check out Team DOG for DOG to see your favorite athletes helping dogs in need!