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Food And First Aid

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Puppy chow
Theres a wide variety of food out there for out pets, it's up to use to decide which ones are best. A common trail food for our canine counterparts is puppy food. While some dogs can get away with eating it, a lot of dogs can develope issues because of it. Because it's formulated for puppies it's not easy on an adult dogs digestive system. most dogs get gassy and diarrhea from eating puppy food. A female can usually tolerate puppy chow better than a male. Another concern with puppy food is bloat, on the trail this could be a deadly hazard. I am sure some will disagree with me on this but all the dogs I have ever given puppy chow to have vomited and had explosive diarrhea for days after feeding, unless they were a pregnant female or a puppy.

Cat food
Cat food can be a good option. it's higher in protien than dog food and is usually more natural it can also weigh less than normal dog kibble. Some people say that cat food can cause issues for your dog. While I dont know if it is true I'd recomend not feeding cat food for any real length of time.

Dehydrated can be an option, the only down side that I can see is it needs to be rehydrated for the dog to eat it. Dehydrated foods (that aren't rehydrated) can cause organ damage. I believe all dehydrated canine foods are raw, that would have the benefit of more nutrients and less additives, Honest Kitchen one brand.

Freeze dried
Theres a huge variety of freeze dried foods on the market.

First Aid
VetWrap - not just for wrapping injuries but can also be used to make a muzzle or booties in a jam, it's super sticky, works much better than gauze on fur

Kwik Stop - styptic powder, this does sting when applied

Flea Comb - cheap, plastic, $.99 kind work just fine, good for ticks too, invaluable on the trail

Razor Blade - to shave hair from injury, cheap disposables work great

Good Tweezers - for removing ticks or thorns or anything else fun pups get into

Diphenhydramine - For allergic reactions, will make pups sleepy. Dosage recomendations tends to vary, I prefer 1mg per pound of dog, but some vets recomend as much as 3 mg per pound, check with your vet to help you decide whats right for you and your dog.

Liquid Bandage - great for pad rips/injuries, I've used it myself and it sort of stings at first so don't be shocked by a negative reaction but it is great in a pinchBR>
Triple Anti-biotic Ointment, Biocaine Lotion, or Neosporin - most human tubes will be OK for dogs, but you can get pet specific tubes from pet stores

Buffered Aspirin - dogs can't have human aspirin (but I've heard other opinions on this), check with your own vet for more information on this.

Small Scissors or a Small Knife - lots of uses, you'll probably have one in your supplies, no need to duplicate, if you bring a Razor it should work just as well.

Gauze - for packing and cleaning wounds

Rubbing Alcohol - used to help cool overheated dogs, rub on inside of ears and soak pads in it

Hydrogen Peroxide - to induce vomiting, one teaspoon per 10lbs of weight, PLEASE do your research before attempting this, it can do more harm than good in certain circumstances, always best to call your vet for instructions before your trip to know when you should and shouldn't do this

Plastic Baggie - put everything in waterproof baggie

Bitter Spray - some people spray this on injuries to keep dogs from licking, but Biocaine (mentioned above) has a bad taste to it for that purpose so it's a two in one

Nail Clippers - you should ALWAYS trim nails very well, it can be painful for a dog on rough terrain with long nails

Booties - Boots can be handy if your dog injurs a paw, put some ointment on the wound, wrap it with a little Gauze and Vet Wrap and put a boot on it.

It's also a good idea to bring along a copy of your dogs last vaccination record, which can be stored with your first aid gear or laminated.