Summertime means more people are out and about, including bringing their four-legged friends along. While the weather’s warm and the living is easy, as they say, there are more things out in the environment that can cause problems with animals. Protect your pet with pet first aid and have a pet first aid kit on hand when you’re out in the heat.

Take a pet first-aid course.

The American Red Cross offers pet first aid classes. Find one through your local chapter. In this class you can learn how to treat basic wounds in your animals, how to help if your pet is choking, how to identify signs of heatstroke, how to handle poison, and many other situations that can arise out of the blue that you may not be prepared for.

Items for your pet first aid kit. 

The Humane Society has a list of items it recommends to have on hand in a pet first aid kit. We can’t argue with any of its advice, and we’re giving a basic outline here, but the one item the Humane Society does not list in its kit that we think is important is a bag of treats! If you have to use tweezers or pliers to get something out of your pet’s paw,or if your best friend gets stung on the face and nose by a swarm of angry bees as happened to my dog once, that poor animal sure deserves a treat afterward, don’t you think? Keep a kit at home as well as in your car, and prepare a travel-friendly version if you’re going to be away from your usual stash of supplies.

Here are some items for your pet first aid kit.

Extra collar, ID tag and leash

You never know when you might lose one.

Vet information and medical records

Note your veterinarian’s name and number, and print out the medical records in case you have to go somewhere where they are not familiar with your animal. If you’re traveling somewhere, take a moment to look in advance to locate a vet’s office as well as an emergency clinic, just in case. No one wants to be camping or somewhere where there isn’t phone service and be stuck trying to figure out where you can take your dog in an emergency when you have no one to ask.

Basic First Aid Supplies

Think of the basic items that you would pack for a human first aid kit. Pack basic bandaging items such as gauze and tape, a thermometer and petroleum jelly for lubrication and disposable gloves, antiseptic soap or cleaning solution.


In case you need to open packaging, cut off a collar, or cut off something the animal has gotten into.


You can use these items to remove bee stinger or ticks. The pliers might be useful if the animal gets into something bigger than what you can handle with tweezers, such as a nail or splinter of some sort stuck in a paw or if he or she gets wrapped up in a tangled piece of wire. You never know what’s out there.

Allergy medication

Ask a veterinarian for supervision on what medication might be good to keep on hand for your particular pet. A vet must determine the correct dosage. My dog once was walking on a leash with me along a lakeshore when he accidentally stepped on an underground bee nest. Both he and I got stung repeatedly. He was really uncomfortable and I was scared! If I’d had something on hand to help him, he would have felt better a lot faster.

Calming medication

This is another one to get your veterinarian’s advice on. You may end up in a place with a severe thunderstorm that could scare your dog as much as fireworks do. Or, if there is a weather disaster or other unexpected event, you may be grateful to have the calming medication on hand until you can get somewhere safe. Wouldn’t hurt to have some calming medication on hand for humans too, now that I think about it!


It’s not a bad idea to make booties to protect your dog’s paws a part of your every day attire, but at any event, keep a pair in your kit in case of emergency. You may spontaneously end up somewhere with hot sand, hot pavement or other uncomfortable conditions. Humans wear shoes, so we don’t usually think much about the surface we’re walking on but dogs are directly in contact. Booties help protect their paws from any weather condition or terrain.

Baking soda

A baking soda and water paste can be applied to soothe skin conditions from bug bites to skunk spray. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your dog to give them a freshening dry bath if they’ve gotten into something and you can’t properly bathe them.

Plastic baggies

Because you never know when you’ll need to collect something you don’t want to handle with your bare hands.

An emergency chew toy

What if his favorite chew toy gets lost? Or you forget to bring it? This way you won’t have to worry about him chewing on your sneakers or the expensive hotel towels.

Particular needs for your pet

If your dog is diabetic, you might need to keep on hand some sugar syrup, for instance. Perhaps eye drops or nail clippers would get used in your household.

If someone is taking care of your pet while you’re away, make sure they know where you keep your first aid kit and your records. If you’re going away and you’re not taking your animals with you, inform your veterinarian who you have left in charge of your animals, just in case there happens to be an emergency visit. Don’t lose valuable time if the vet has to track you down to make sure they have approval to treat your pets.

What do you keep in your pet first aid kit? Let us know!

Summer has several dangers for pets that people may not think about. Like humans, dogs and cats get dehydrated and overheated. Providing adequate water and shade are a given, but what about the hidden dangers that summer poses for pets?

1 – Heat stroke. It’s not unprecedented for animals to suffer heat stroke, and there are several types of dogs that have an increased risk for this. Breeds with shorter noses like bulldogs, Boston terriers, and boxers aren’t able to cool themselves as efficiently as other breeds. Active breeds, such as the Labrador retriever, get so focused on their rigorous activities that they don’t stop long enough to cool off.

Dogs have an normal body temperature that is already slightly higher than that of humans–100 to 102.5 F. Their internal temperature can rapidly reach 109 F in the summer months. When this happens, dogs may develop multiple organ dysfunctions and it can be fatal. Signs of heat stroke include panting, excessive drooling, lack of urine, and rapid heart rate.

If your pet shows signs of a heat stroke, cool them down by putting them in a shaded water and offer cool water. Don’t force them to drink, but offer it. Place a fan directly on your pet and put water or wet towels over their neck, back, underarm area, and groin area. Whatever you do, don’t put ice or ice water on your pet because it can cause blood vessels to shrink and not effectively cool the inner body.

2 – Other animals or insects. This is another hidden danger of summer for pets. Bee stings, spider bites, and venomous snakebites aren’t unusual this time of year. A bad reaction can leave a dog with a swollen muzzle and an untreated wound can lead to necrosis of the skin.

If your dog gets a bee or insect sting, attempt removing a visible stinger by scraping it out of the skin with a credit card. A cool compress to the area with a mixture of baking soda and water will aid in neutralizing the venom.

Keep an eye out for your pet swiping its paw across its face, which could mean it has a bite or other irritation that you can’t see. If your animal’s face swells or your pet has difficulty breathing, seek a veterinarian’s help immediately. In the event of a snakebite, a veterinarian can administer an anti-venom shot.

The number of fleas and ticks greatly increase during the summer months. Be sure that your pet is receiving effective flea and tick prevention treatment.

3 – Sunburn. Even though pets are covered with fur, pets aren’t immune to sunburn, especially when the sun is exposed to areas of the animal that has minimal hair, such as the belly and tip of the nose.

For dogs, there are specific types of sunscreen made for them. Human sunscreen can be dangerous since it contains zinc, which is toxic if it’s swallowed.

4 – Burned paw pads. Cats and dogs have a hard time handling extreme temperatures. We walk around wearing shoes, so we don’t often notice the temperature of the surfaces we walk on. Dogs and cats, of course, are walking right on the heated surfaces with no protection. With the sun baking hard surfaces like asphalt and cement, it can be painful for pets to walk on. Add to that, the potential of chemicals or hazardous objects like glass shards presenting a problem during summer parties.

If you notice your pet is limping or stumbling, take it to a veterinarian for examination. Try keeping your dog or cat on the cooler grass instead of hot surfaces like asphalt and cement.

5 – Bacteria or algae in still water and puddles. A danger to pets during summer in stagnant water or puddles is a condition known as Giardiasis. It results from a parasite known as giardia lamblia found in still water areas. Giardiasis is an intestinal illness with symptoms of diarrhea, dehydration, and upset stomach. Some lakes and small bodies of water can develop a toxic algae in the summer months that is toxic to both humans and animals if consumed. Be aware of any health reports that may affect water near you.

6 – Leptospirosis is another danger to pets as well as humans. It’s a bacterial infection that can affect many animals, including dogs. It may cause liver and kidney damage — and possibly organ failure. The Centers for Disease Control reveals that the occurrence of Leptospirosis is more commons in pets than it has been in the past. The bacteria that cause Leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, gets into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months.

7 – Allergies. Animals are more likely to suffer from summertime seasonal allergies, which commonly cause ear infections and itchy skin. Dogs and cats can get hay fever like humans, but their symptoms are usually itchy skin and bad ear infections rather than sinus issues.

One way to treat ear infections is by cleaning the ears with a veterinary prescribed ear-cleaning solution once a month, or as recommended. The solution is meant to prevent wax buildup, which makes the infection worse. Refrain from using cotton swabs in your pet’s ears.

While you’re out having a good time this summer, keep an eye out for these hidden dangers, and keep your pet safe!

Summertime is fun, but bee stings aren’t. There are some crazy simple tips that can prevent most stings from bees and wasps.

1– Avoid wearing perfume or cologne. Some scents attract bees. Nectar-seeking bees and wasps will be especially attracted to anything floral, even from a distance. When the bees figure out you’re the source of the scent, they land on your body and before you know it, you might a bee sting!

2 – Don’t wear brightly-colored (or dark brown) clothing. This tip is related to the first one. Looking like a flower is as risky as smelling like one. Beekeepers wear white for this reason. Good colors to stick with are white, beige, khaki, or other light colors to avoid a bee sting. Bears are a natural enemy to bees, so wearing dark browns, especially when you’re near a hive, can make them defensive.

3 – Be cautious with sugary foods and drinks. Bees and wasps love food with sugar in them. Check your can or glass of soda before taking a sip from it in case a bee might be just inside it for a taste! Also, ripe fruits can attract stings from bees. Refrain from leaving your peach pits or orange peels lying around.

4 – Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes. Bees and wasps are good at going up loose clothes and onto your skin. To avoid this, wear clothes with tighter cuffs, pants that aren’t too breezy, and tuck in shirts.

5 – Rinse food containers and empty soda and beer bottles. Bees and other stingers like yellowjackets also land on food residue build-up on your garbage cans. Be sure to rinse them well now and then, and be diligent about putting tight-fitting lids on them to keep wasps away from your garbage. This also cuts down on the numbers of stinging insects hanging around your yard.

6 – Wear close-toed shoes while outside. Don’t go barefoot while outdoors or you might accidentally step on a bee. They huddle down in grass, especially when visiting low-growing plants such as clover, and will sting you when you least expect it.

7 – Use caution while mowing the lawn or trimming vegetation. These kinds of activities can arouse insects in a beehive or wasp nest.


You want to be prepared to guide your family to safety if you need to bug out, but sometimes pets are family too. If you have a dog that never leaves your side, you need to plan for how to bring it along if you need to get away fast.

Since dogs are the most likely pet you’ll take with you, this guide focuses on what you should do to prepare moving them out.

Bug Out Bag

If you have a large dog, there are dog bug out bags they can wear that enables them to carry some — or all — of the weight of their own supplies. This is preferable for large breed dogs, as they can support more weight. It’s recommended trying this pack out on your dog well in advance to ensure that your dog can handle the weight.

Take your dog to the mountains or the park with the bag at a weight you plan to have him or her to practice carrying it in the event of an emergency.


Preppers are recommended to have a of 72-hour supply of food. In preparing your pet for the bug out, have the same amount. If your dog will help by packing things around, add a little extra.

Throwing in some favorite snacks is a nice addition, too. It’s good for animals to have their spirits lifted as well in these situations.


While you need to pack some water for your dog, they won’t require the same amount you do. Preppers need around 3 gallons of water for drinking, hygiene, cooking, and cleaning.

Pack a liter of water for the dog (same as a human) and make sure you have a filter in your pack to filter or disinfect water along the way.


Dogs are generally healthy if they’re well taken care of. If you have an older dog, they may be on medications that need to be packed as well. Be sure to take a simple first aid kit for your dog. Also, if you’ll be traveling on rough terrain in a bug  out, you need to make sure your dog’s paws are healthy because like humans, if the feet go out, they won’t be able to go any further.

If there any sharp edges along the way, there are dog shoes that protect their feet. Check pet supply stores for quality paw protection gear.

Leash and Collar

Yes, this is an obvious choice, but it’s recommended to have a nylon 6 or 10-foot leash instead of a retractable leash. This is a good type of leash to have while hiking through the woods or when the dog wants to do his/her business.

You’ll want something simpler, stronger, and less prone to breaking; that is a nylon leash. A 10-foot leash will allow the dog to walk in front of you a little further, which eases fatigue when going over terrain.

Noise Discipline

If you’re trying to keep quiet and don’t want the jingling of metal on metal from your dog’s tags on its collar, tape the noisy parts of the collar together so it doesn’t make noise. Another alternative is to remove the noisy parts of the collar and keep in the dog bug out bag.

No matter how you decide to prepare your dog for a long bug out trip, be sure to talk with a veterinarian experienced in hiking and camping with animals before you try it. Dogs require constant attention to remina in good health, so be sure you’re ready to provide what they need.

Are you ready to move beyond stacking cans on shelves? If you’re serious about survival, you might want to think about keeping some livestock for when things get ugly.

Certain animals are better than others in providing vital food and other items we all need. It requires a balance of maintenance and yield, and it’s wise to know what animals heave the best payoff.

 5 Best Livestock Animals for Preppers

1. Chickens.

Poultry is good for laying a lot of eggs for very little work. You have to keep up on maintaining their coop or they won’t lay in the same place, however. You must also collect eggs daily and keep the coop closed off from predators. You need to be mindful of disease concerns, worms, lice, and mites. Chickens are great for free-ranging and organic eggs — which is in high demand. Extra eggs can be sold for good money.

2. Goats.

Goats are well-adapted animals that provide meat, milk, and fleece. They love grazing and are good for keeping the weeds away, but make sure they don’t destroy anything left in the open. Goats can be good escape artists, too. So, be certain they’re well-contained. Some labor goes into having goats; they need to be milked twice a day. When it comes to their health, goats are prone to mineral deficiencies and internal parasites. Goats are also a great source to make cheese, soaps, and yogurts.

3.  Sheep.

Sheep are a good livestock animal to have because they graze well and provide lambs, milk, wool, and meat. The downfall is they are like goats in that they escape easily — so great fencing is a must. Sheep are also very prone to diseases like blowfly strike, foot rot, and various other health ailments. Sheep offer a lot for preppers in spite of the challenges they pose. Other benefits of owning sheep are they have lambs, meat going for competitive prices, and milk to make cheese.

4. Rabbits.

Rabbits are cheap, quiet, easy to handle, good for meat production, and breed well. The only real disadvantage to owning rabbits is they don’t make you any extra money since it’s low in price. If you own these animals, keep them in a dry place and protect them from extreme temperatures and predators. Rabbits can get ear mites and colds. If chickens are on the same property, keep them separate since the same diseases can harm them.

5. Pigs.

Pigs eat almost anything and fatten up easily. They’re an easy livestock animal for preppers to have on-hand. A con of owning pigs is they wreck good grass if they aren’t ranged or contained well in a paddock. They require shelter at farrowing and mud baths for skin. Pigs need feed daily if they aren’t ranged. The main disease concern for pigs is mastisis after farrowing. Ham and bacon isn’t only delicious, it sells for a premium and is easy to sell!

No matter what you choose, be sure you talk with professionals experienced in keeping and maintaining livestock before you move forward. Keeping livestock healthy and productive requires a tremendous amount of effort and knowledge, but the reward can be lifelong food and materials.

A Boy Scout leader and a few scouts were out for a hike when he had a dangerous encounter with an angry bear. The bravery and survival skills of his son and two other Boy Scouts would end up saving his life.

Check out the video below to hear from the brave scouts and see the area of the attack.

The Bear Encounter
Christopher Petronino, a 50-year-old Boy Scout troop leader, was reportedly mauled by a bear on Dec. 20, 2015 while on a hiking trip at Splitrock Reservoir in New Jersey, about 30 miles from Newark. 

During the hike, Petronino climbed up a rocky hillside to a cave. He says that he has explored the cave on a regular basis since the 1980s, but had never run into a bear.

When he entered the cave, a black bear reportedly grabbed him and pulled him further into the cave.

After the bear grabbed his foot, Petronino struck the animal twice with a rock hammer, pulled his shirt up to cover his head, curled into the fetal position and pretended he was dead. This let the black bear know that he was not a threat, and the bear eventually left him alone.

Desperately Seeking Help
The injured Petrino then yelled to the Boy Scouts to get help. The boys immediately called 911 but could not describe their exact location. They left food outside of the cave in attempt to lure the bear from its den.

One of the Scouts, 13-year-old Frankie Lepore, credits his training for helping him remain calm during the situation. “I thought this was a serious situation—he might not make it alive if we don’t do something,” he told ABC News.

The boys also started building a signal fire to help rescuers locate them. Eventually, the bear left the cave and a dog that was with the Boy Scouts barked and frightened it, causing the bear to run away from the cave.

Petronino says he was in the cave with the bear for about an hour and 20 minutes.

Rescue crews were able to determine the party’s location based on one of the Boy Scout’s cell phone GPS coordinates, and rescued them several hours after the attack.

Petronino was airlifted out of the area and treated at a hospital. The bear had reportedly bitten his leg and both of his shoulders. He was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening and the three Scouts were unharmed.

An Australian hunter survived the scorching Outback desert for six days by eating ants. Reginald Foggerdy, 62, was on a hunting trip in the Great Victoria Desert in mid-October when he went missing wearing only a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. He had gone on a hunting trip with his brother.

Foggerdy got stranded about 9 miles from where he went missing after he trekked to the area to hunt animals. He wound up being in the Australian Outback for a whole week until someone found him.

He was seen in photos under a tree talking to rescuers before he was put in a helicopter. The hunter was alert and sitting up when he was found.

The Australian hunter obviously put his survival skills to the test  while he was away from home for those six days. As the report states, ants and other insects are considered “possible sources of nutrients” by survival experts. What’s more, is it’s a miracle that Foggerdy was able to stay alive that long in a region where temperatures typically escalate well above 90-degrees. It’s especially shocking given the fact that the hunter survived so long without water.

This is a true tale of survival in the harshest of elements. Australian authorities add that the Great Australia Desert is the largest desert in the country. It has “red sand dunes, stony plains and dry salt lakes” but permanent surface water is non-existent.

Guard dogs are a particularly useful deterrent for robbers and home intruders, but there are instances when a criminal might get the upper hand. There are measures to safeguard from these types of situations.

1. When to Train a Guard Dog
First of all, a dog that’s 6-16-months-old is the most important time to start training. Younger dogs are far more easy to train than older ones.

At this age, dogs know how to keep their guard up. They understand what territory that they’re suppose to protect, which is your home and front and backyard.

2. Train Dogs for Specific Situations
What about those treats burglars may use to sneak past your protection dog? Part of this is included in the dog’s training so that they understand they must be weary of food from strangers. They’re given treats ONLY when performing specific instructions. If robbers and burglars encounter a well-trained dog, they won’t have a chance at sneaking past the dog.

A huge tip in preventing an intruder from getting past your dog is to reward the animal repeatedly for responding to an alarm. They associate this reward with knowing this is the behavior of theirs you want from them.

Be sure the dog is trained to bark at any suspicious noise, activity, or people. You’re home is far less likely to be the target of a robber.

A burglar should be turned off by a watchdog being on the property. Have “Beware of Dogs” signs posted around the yard or fence line.

3. How Does Your Dog Interact with Strangers?
The key factor here lies with having a dog to not be easily swayed by strangers. Be sure they’re safe around people in general, but are on their guard enough to know that they shouldn’t be targets for intruders themselves.

Start training your dog to guard in certain situations. Start early and stay consistent. A great dog not only makes a great companion, it can protect your property like nothing else.

Outdoor adventures always carry the chance for close encounters with a wild animals. Most don’t require any preparation or defensive measures, but some do. In areas known as bear country, there are measures and precautions outdoorsmen must take to ensure they come out of the situation alive.

What Gear Prevents Bear Encounters?

There is not a lot to pack when it comes to traveling in areas frequented by bears. I have been taught not to carry bear bells, as they do not act as a deterrent or let the bear know you are around. Instead, carry a loud conversation with your group members. Bears in the area will hear you and may leave the area because of your presence. Also carry a deterrent. Bear spray has proven to be the effective against bear species in America, even more so than firearms.

What Can I Do When I See a Bear?

Should you or your group encounter a bear, the first thing to do is keep calm. Make yourself appear big and talk to the bear in a loud, even voice until it moves on. Avoid eye contact, as this could appear aggressive. Don’t split up. This can excite the bear and encourage it to give chase. It can also lead to personal injury while running through unfamiliar terrain, making you even more vulnerable. In a case in New Jersey, a group split during a bear encounter that lead to the death of one of the men.

While backpacking in Yellowstone National Park, I chanced upon a young grizzly. I stood straight and started talking to it. Within seconds, it decided I was not very interesting and continued on its merry way. All that was required was a level headed response.

Remember: Do not put yourself between a bear and cubs. This will incur aggressive behavior from the adult. Also keep clear of a bear that is hunting and do not fish in areas frequented by bears. They will approach if you have food.

If I’m Attacked by a Bear, Should I Fight Back?

Whether or not to physically engage a bear depends on the circumstances of the attack. An offensive attack is generally defined as when the bear is approaching you out of curiosity or with some kind of aggression. In these cases, use your deterrent when the opportunity arises. Should the bear move past that, fight back and try to strike the eyes and nose. Avoid being hit by the paws as they can incapacitate you in a single blow.

A defensive attack is when a bear is defending cubs or a source of food. Grizzlies have been known to mount fake charges when threatened. In these cases, slowly back away while still making yourself appear large and avoid eye contact. If you feel that the bear will attack you, apply your deterrent when it is close enough.

A grizzly encounter is the only situation I’ve ever seen anyone recommend the fetal position in the case of a physical striking attack. In this case, cover your neck and vital organs while remaining as still as possible. Once the bear is convinced you’re not a threat, it will move on. If this does not work and the bear continues to strike, fight back. Try and used a hard or edged tool such as a knife or rock.

The best way to come out of a bear encounter alive is to avoid it.

  • Know if your area is in bear country. If so, make sure you’re checking trails for bear scat and food remnants.
  • Avoid feeding grounds such as streams and rivers full of fish.
  • When camping, hang your food out of reach or lock it in a bear box.

The more aware you are, the better chance you have of going through your adventure without having to worry about a close encounter with a bear.