First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Save your veterinarian’s phone number and emergency veterinary clinic’s phone number (if applicable) in your cell phone address book and keep a hard copy in the kit.
  • Gauze to wrap wounds or muzzle animal.
  • Adhesive tape for bandages.
  • Nonstick bandages (i.e., Telfa pads) to protect wounds or control bleeding.
  • Towels and cloth to clean wounds or to wrap up the pet.
  • Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poison (be sure toget the advice of your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poisoning).
  • Large syringe without needle or eyedropper (to give oral treatments).
  • Muzzle, a basket muzzle is the best option but a cloth muzzle will also work, (soft cloth, rope, necktie or nylon stocking) or use a towel to cover a small animal’s head. Do not use in case of vomiting.
  • Stretcher (a door, board, blanket or floor mat).
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Heimlich For Your Dog

Before administering any first aid, make absolutely certain your pet is actually choking. Many people confuse difficulty breathing with choking. If you witness your pet ingesting an item and then immediately begin pawing at the face, the throat, acting frantic, trying to cough and having difficulty breathing, only then should the Heimlich maneuver be considered. If your pet is not really choking, the Heimlich can cause serious injury.

After determining that your pet is choking, remove any item that may be constricting the neck. Examine inside the mouth and remove any foreign object you see. Do not blindly place your hand down your pet’s throat and pull any object you feel. Dogs have small bones that support the base of their tongues. Owners probing the throat for a foreign object have mistaken these for chicken bones. Do not attempt to remove an object unless you can see and identify it.

If your pet is small and you cannot easily remove the object, lift and suspend him with the head pointed down. For larger animals, lift the rear legs so the head is tilted down. This can help dislodge an item stuck in the throat.

Another method is to administer a sharp blow with the palm of your hand between the shoulder blades. This can sometimes dislodge an object. If this does not work, a modified Heimlich maneuver can be attempted.

  • Grasp the animal around the waist so that the rear is nearest to you, similar to a bear hug.
  • Place a fist just behind the ribs.
  • Compress the abdomen several times (usually 3-5 times) with quick pushes.
  • Check the mouth to see if the foreign object has been removed.
  • This maneuver can be repeated one to two times but if not successful on the first attempt, make arrangements to immediately take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital.Even if you are successful in removing a foreign object, veterinary examination is recommended. Internal injury could have occurred that you may not realize.  TO SEE VIDEO…GO TO…


How to Treat a Split Nail on a Dog

When a dog has split nail, it can be a harrowing experience for both the owner and the dog. The dog could be experiencing pain and stress, causing it to whine and cry, and the nail could even bleed. It is important to stay calm and ensure the safety of both you and your pet if you attempt to treat the nail. If the split occurred naturally, it may not be that painful for your dog. However, if the split occurred because of trauma or injury, it may have split back to the quick and can cause a large amount of pain. There is not a whole lot that you can do for a split nail, but you can take steps to relive your dog’s pain and prevent future splits

Dogs with injured or damaged nails may exhibit any of the following symptoms.

  • Limping is very common in dogs with injured nails.
  • Bleeding from the site of injury may occur.
  • A visibly damaged or crooked nail may be noted on the affected foot.
  • The affected foot may be sensitive.   Dogs may resent attempts to handle the foot.
  • Dogs often lick the injured area.
  • The affected toe may be swollen.


  • deficiency of essential vitamins and other such nutritional deficiencies
  • fungal and bacterial infections
  • Canine yeast infection is caused by Candida albicans yeast which live in your pet’s body and consume sugar and fats in order to thrive and grow.
  • Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy: This is an immune mediated disease which causes dry and brittle nails in dogs.


  • Prepare for your dog to try to bite you or get away from you when attempting to treat his nail. Your dog is likely in some pain right now, and the last thing it wants you to do is touch this area that is extremely sensitive. Ask a helper to hold your dog so that it cannot bite you or get away. If alone, consider using a muzzle on your dog. Even the friendliest of dogs will bite if it’s in pain.

  • Stop any bleeding with a coagulant. If the nail split into the quick, it will likely bleed, but if the split occurred only within the nail, it may remain dry. Effective coagulants include styptic powder, cornstarch or flour. In addition, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment on the split to prevent infection.

  • Trim off any rough edges with a nail file. If there are jagged edges, they could potentially hook onto something and cause part of the nail to tear off. Do not use nail clippers, as they can cause the nail to split even more. If the nail begins to bleed while you file, apply a coagulant to the source of bleeding.

  • Apply a clear nail polish to the nail to keep the split together until the nail grows out. Do not let your dog lick the polish until it has finished drying. Furthermore, keep the nail trimmed as short as possible until the split grows out. If the nail is fractured but still well attached a little super glue may stabilize it until your veterinarian can check it for actual trimming and coagulation of the quick.

  • To stop bleeding from a nail that is trimmed too close to the quick or broken away from the quick, you can pack the end of the nail with bar soap, styptic powder, cornstarch, flour, or tea leaves from a tea bag. Pack the coagulant up against the bleeding quick, and hold it there for a minute or two. Remember, animals in pain sometimes bite out of self-preservation instincts, so keep an eye on your animal. Occasionally a nail that breaks off very close to the nail bed results in an infection in the toe. This will require a veterinary clinic visit and antibiotic treatment, so watch for any limping that persists longer than two days.Tips & Warnings
  • Add 1/2 tsp. olive oil to your dog’s food once a day to prevent future splits.
  • Add essential fatty acid (EFA) supplements such as fish oil, vitamin A treatment
  • Keep your dog’s nails trimmed as short as possible to prevent them from getting caught on an object and splitting.
  • If your dog begins to limp, take it to the veterinarian.
  • If you are worried about your dog or the nail, if your dog is acting aggressive toward you or if you are unsure about your ability to treat your dog’s split nail, take it to a veterinarian immediately.