Dog blog

Pet First Aid Products - 6 Things Retailers Should Know To Sell More This Spring


Now that it’s spring, your customers and their pets will enjoy taking longer walks, visiting dog parks, going to beaches and hiking on nature trails. Unfortunately, the increase in outdoor activities means that dogs suffer more bug bites, rashes, cuts, hot spots and other injuries and irritations this time of year. Retailers have a great opportunity to help their customers, while increasing their own business, by promoting over-the-counter pet first aid products. Here are 6 Q&A’s that can help you sell more of this profitable category.

1) Should dogs be treated with over-the-counter medications such as antiseptics and anti-itch sprays when they get a minor injury, bug bite or rash?


Yes, and treatment should be given as soon as possible. This will relieve the dog’s discomfort and help prevent infection. But another important reason for acting quickly is that dogs tend to lick and scratch itchy, painful wounds and inflammations, further aggravating the area. This itch-scratch cycle often results in acute moist dermatitis, a.k.a. “hot spots.” By treating the irritated area with a spray or lotion that soothes pain and itching, pet parents can break the hot spot cycle, preventing the problem from getting worse and promoting faster healing.

2) Can dogs be given the same first-aid sprays and lotions that humans use on themselves?


No, dogs’ skin and coat properties are different than those of human skin. A dog’s epidermis or skin layer is also 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 balance of a dog ranges from 5.5-7.5. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has taken this into account in establishing specific ingredient amounts in drugs it approves as being safe for pets. Human first-aid products may contain different amounts of these ingredients, or different ingredients, and may be too harsh for dogs and cats. Cardinal Pet Care’s REMEDY+RECOVERY pet first-aid products are made in our FDA-inspected and licensed facility, ensuring they meet the agency’s strict safety standards for use on pets.

3) How can a store put together a good selection of pet first-aid products?


Cardinal Pet Care recommends that retailers include the following products from our REMEDY+RECOVERY line in their selection:

Medicated Hot Spot Spray – reduces pain and itching
Hydrocortisone Lotion – reduces inflammation
Medicated Antiseptic Spray – soothes and prevents infection
Liquid Bandage – protects wounds
Wound & Infection Medication – an antimicrobial that kills bacteria
Styptic Powder – stops bleeding
E-Collars – prevent pets from biting wounds

You can get more information about these and other REMEDY+RECOVERY products on our website.

4) Why is it necessary to stock so many different first-aid products?


Each of the products listed above was designed to treat a specific type of injury or serve a certain purpose. For example, a rash is best treated with Hydrocortisone Lotion, which helps reduce inflammation and swelling, whereas a cut or wound would typically call for an antimicrobial like Wound & Infection Medication to prevent infection. It’s important for retailers and their sales team to be knowledgeable about these products so they can educate and advise pet parents about which to use in any given circumstance.

5) What advice should retailers give customers on how to administer first-aid products to their pets?


First, retailers should remind pet parents to always follow the specific directions on the product label. There are, however, a few general guidelines to be aware of. Before administering sprays, it’s important to cover the dog’s eyes to prevent any stray drops from getting in them. When using both sprays and lotions, the area being treated should be thoroughly cleaned before medication is applied. Additionally, the fur should be pulled back from the affected area, and clipped if necessary, to allow the medication to penetrate the lesion or irritation.

6) Many pet parents view e-collars as something used only after surgery – why are they included on the above list?


We strongly recommend keeping an E-collar on hand as part of a pet first-aid kit. Although many people view “cones” as strictly for preventing post-surgical pets from biting at their incision or removing stitches, the function these collars serve applies equally well to keeping dogs from licking off first-aid medications and aggravating hot spots. Using a Recovery Collar for everyday cuts and skin irritations can promote much faster healing. REMEDY+ RECOVERY offers a full line of Recovery Collars in sizes ranging from Small to XX Large to fit all breeds and dogs. All our collars feature adjustable sizing and padded edges for comfort. In fact, the REMEDY+RECOVERY E-Collar was ranked #1 out of 10 Recovery Collars tested on pets by Wirecutter, a New York Times publication devoted to testing and reviewing consumer products.