How to Help Pet Owners Prepare for Summertime Emergencies
Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, pet owners across the country are venturing outdoors with their four-legged friends for hikes through the woods, picnics on the beach and playtime in the local dog park. And while all of these activities offer great opportunities for fun and bonding with our animal companions, they can also potentially increase the chances for injuries such as cuts, scrapes and a variety of skin irritations.
“As far as smaller injuries to pets are concerned, we tend to see an uptick during the spring-summer months,” says Tony de Vos, president of Cardinal Pet Care. “This is because dogs spend more time outdoors and get more cuts and scrapes, as well as insect bites, bee stings, skin allergies and rashes from poisonous plants.
“Another development that has put dogs at greater risk for injuries is the growth of canine competitive sports, such as Agility and Dock Diving. While participating in a sport is healthy and fun for pets as it is for humans, the more physically active a dog is, the greater the chance of suffering an injury, just as with ourselves.”
While minor injuries and irritations like cuts, scrapes and bug bites may not seem like a big deal, without quick and effective care, they can certainly pose a much greater health risk.
“If left untreated, a small wound or bite can quickly become a major problem,” de Vos explains. “Dogs tend to lick and scratch an injury that’s itchy and painful, and this can result in acute moist dermatitis—a.k.a. hot spots—which can become extremely sore and inflamed and take much longer to heal.”
With this in mind, pet retailers should encourage their customers to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand to deal with the variety of everyday pet emergencies and offer the appropriate products to fill those kits. This is where working with the right vendors can be a huge help.
“Cardinal Pet Care’s Remedy+Recovery brand offers a complete line of over-the-counter first-aid and health products for dogs that can be easily administered by pet parents to treat bites, rashes, cuts, scrapes and a variety of other injuries and irritations,” says de Vos, noting seven key items that should be in a first-aid kit for dogs.
Numbs and relieves minor pain and itching from hot spots, flea and bug bites, scrapes and scratches, and skin irritations caused by scratching. Reduces minor swelling and redness, and promotes healing.
Kills germs that can cause infection. Soothes itch and pain from minor cuts, scratches and bug bites.
Used mainly to reduce inflammation and swelling from skin rashes, wet eczema and flea bite dermatitis, and in areas where scratching has cut the skin. Relieves itching and helps heal and soothe dry skin.
An antimicrobial used on cuts, burns, bites, stitches and infections to clean and kill bacteria that cause infection and speed healing.
A spray that forms a waterproof, breathable film to protect injuries, keeping them clean and dry, and helping to heal them.
An insecticide made with natural Pyrethrin that reduces itching and eliminates ear mites and ticks.
Used to stop bleeding from minor superficial cuts, such as nicks that occur during nail clipping. Not for use on deep open wounds, punctures or burns.
While there are a number of companies like Cardinal Pet Care that offer the products mentioned above, not all brands in the first-aid and wound care category are equal. With that said, it is incumbent upon retailers to do their homework and make sure they are working with the reliable vendor partners.
“Retailers should be sure to carry first-aid products that have been formulated specifically for pets, and they should work with vendors whose products have been certified by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) as being safe for pets,” says de Vos.
“We often get asked why it’s necessary to have special first-aid products for pets—why we can’t use the same medicated sprays and lotions on dogs that we use ourselves. The answer is that dogs’ skin properties are different than those of humans. A dog’s epidermis or skin layer is only 3-5 cells thick and turns over every 20 days, compared to human epidermis, which is 10-15 cells thick and turns over every 28 days. Additionally, human skin has a pH balance of 5.2-6.2, while the pH of a dog’s skin ranges from 5.5-7.5. The FDA has taken this into account in establishing specific ingredients and ingredient amounts in drugs it approves as being safe for pets, which are different than those in human first-aid products.”
All of Cardinal Pet Care’s Remedy+Recovery formulations are made specifically for pets at the company’s FDA-licensed drug manufacturing facility in California. Eco-friendly retailers should note that the green facility runs on solar power and has a hybrid and electric car charging station for its employees.
Retailers should also help educate pet owners on the when and how to use each item within their first-aid kit. For example, as de Vos explains, hydrocortisone lotion will help reduce the inflammation and swelling associated with rashes, whereas a cut or wound would typically call for an antimicrobial product to prevent infection.
This is, again, where good vendor partners can play a huge role.
“Since pet parents often need help in selecting the right first-aid product for their dog’s condition, it’s also a good idea for retailers to work with suppliers who can provide educational material for their sales staff,” says de Vos. “Cardinal Pet Care offers informative easy-to-understand handouts and customized training webinars that explain specifically what types of injuries, wounds and irritations each of the Remedy+Recovery first-aid products should be used for.” An educated retail staff can communicate the importance of pet first aid and help pet parents prepare for those summer emergencies. This will help strengthen the relationship with the customer and elevate the retailer from a place to shop to a resource center that goes above and beyond to help pet parents care for their pets!
For more information on Remedy+Recovery products, visit remedyandrecovery.com/firstaidforpets or call 1-800-433-7387.