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Your Pets Medicine Chest - Medications To Keep On-Hand

We all know that good food, a loving home and plenty of exercise will go a long way in giving your dog and cata happy and healthy life. But what about those times when some minor illness suddenly appears and it's 10 pm in the evening with no veterinarian available? (For those of you who have small understand how this works).

Just like humans, animals can and will occasionally getsick. Considering some of the things animals get into, it'struly amazing our dogs and cats stay as healthy as they do. There are a lot of potential dangers out in that bigwide world.

"Child" Proofing Your Home For Your Pet

Pets are just like children. They are curious explorers that love to check out what's in that overflowing garbagecan or see if they really can reach the toilet bowl for a drink before someone catches them.

Here are a few guidelines to help you "pet proof" your home:

* When you use any pesticides, herbicides, antifreeze,or household cleaning products, make sure they are storedsafely away after use. Wash away any extra waste that might have spilled immediately.

* It's preferable that you don't let your cat roam theneighborhood. Some people put out rat bait and other suchpoisons in their gardens and in their garbage. Why? Well,they may have mice in the area which they want to get ridof. They may also be tired of your or someone else's catconstantly getting into their garbage or defecating in their gardens. Believe me, this is a slow, painful deathfor your pet. I learned the hard way with a much belovedcat of mine. Since then, all of my cats are indoor housecats.

* Keep your garbage can lids closed tight. Animals lovesmelly garbage to explore to find what great human tidbitsmight be in there. However, that "food" may have some toxic cleaner spilled on it. Those yummy chicken bonesare cooked...and splinter, which could cause serious intestinal problems. You get the idea.

* Be sure all electrical cords are kept covered or unpluggedwhen not in use. Although not recommended normally, if you have a small puppy or kitten, run the cords under carpets,behind cabinets or heavy furniture that they can't crawlbehind. Young pets love to chew...and wires and cords areenticing.

* If you use a toilet bowl cleaner that stays in toilet to"clean" with each flush keep the lid down. Animals, especiallydogs, love to drink from the toilet for some bizarre

reason that only they understand. The chemicals in the cleaner can poison and/or kill.

Stocking The Medicine Cabinet

So, what to do when your dog or cat gets sick with a minortummy ache, diarrhea, or some minor infection, including itchyskin? Stock your medicine cabinet with certain human medications that are perfectly fine to give to your petsin the proper dosage. However, you should always consult yourveterinarian if possible before administering any typeof medication, including dosage amounts of each for each ofyour animals. Keep a list handy near the cabinet for quickreference on dosages.

Here are some items you should keep on hand:

* Buffered Aspirin is good for lowering fever and relievingminor aches and pains in dogs. Most people prefer to usebaby aspirin. Use approximately 80 mg per every 10 poundsof weight, usually no more than twice a day. NEVER giveaspirin to a cat as it's extremely dangerous to them. Also,do not use Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, as they are alsodangerous to pets in general. Stick with the aspirin.

* Keopectate is good for soothing stomach troubles anddiarrhea in both dogs and cats. A recommended amount wouldbe 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of weight roughly every 4 hours.

* Gravol for motion sickness if you need to travel withyour pet. Administer the tablet one hour before you leave.You should give no more than 12.5 mg to a cat or a smalldog. A medium to large dog can handle between 25 to 50 mg.Do not give this to any animal that has bladder problems orglaucoma. Again, check with your vet to be sure if it's safeand what dosage is recommended for your pet.

* Pepto-Bismol, that good old pink stuff, is fine to give toyour dog if they are having tummy trouble, such as vomiting or a rolling, noisy belly. One teaspoon every 6 hours per pound of body weight should be sufficient. This is another medicinal product that should not be given to cats.

* Hydrogen Peroxide and Polysporin for minor cuts and scratches. These will help clean out the wound and hopefullyprevent any infection from occurring.

All in all, checking up with your vet and keeping some specific medications on hand should help you deal with any minor illnesses you may encounter with your dog andcat.

Rose Smith is the author and owner of Caring For Canines, a web site that provides information on natural dog health care. To learn more about dog medications, vaccinations and first aid, please visit us at:

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