Get Prepared For Summer Camp Season

Get Prepared For Summer Camp Season



Start Planning Kids’ Summer Recreation Now


Many families spend winter figuring out how to chase away cabin fever and endure frigid temperatures until spring and summer mercifully return.  Parents and grandparents thinking ahead to swimming pools and days lounging on the beach can put their daydreams to practical use by planning ahead for their youngsters’ summer vacations.

Youth recreational programs and summer camps can bridge the gap in care between the end of school and the day when classes resume.  Due in part to high demand, parents who want to place their kids in summer recreation programs or summer camps should be vetting such programs and camps well in advance of summer.


The Benefits of Summer Camp for Kids


I am a huge believer in the summer camp experience for kids, especially these days, when many of today’s youth spend much of their time playing with their digital devices.  Summer camp is great option for parents who want their children to get outdoors once the school year ends, but there are so many other benefits to be had from a session or more of summer camp.



Kids Explore Their Talents at Kids’ Summer Camp



Summer camps help young people explore their unique interests and talents.  Under an organized, yet often easygoing camp schedule, kids can dabble in sports, crafts, the visual arts, leadership, community support, and so many other activities that may not be fully available to them elsewhere or during the school year.



Physical Activity at Kids’ Summer Camp


Many camps build their itineraries around physical activities that take place outdoors.  Campers may spend their time swimming, running, hiking, playing sports, climbing and so much more. 





This can be a welcome change for kids accustomed to living sedentary lifestyles.  Regular physical activity has many health benefits, and can set a foundation for healthy habits as adults.



Kids Gain Confidence at Summer Camp



Day and sleep-away camps offer campers the opportunity to get comfortable in their own skin.  Camps can foster activities which enhance self esteem by removing the academic measures of success and replacing them with noncompetitive opportunities to succeed.  Campers learn independence, decision-making skills, and the ability to thrive outside of the shadow of their parents, siblings, or other students.



Kids Try New Things at Summer Camp


Camp gives children the chance to try new things, whether that’s learning to cook, exploring new environments, or embracing a new sport or leisure activity.  Opening oneself up to new opportunities can build character and prove enlightening for children.



Kids Make New Friends at Summer Camp



Camp is a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends.  Campers flood in from areas near and far, which provides kids with a chance to expand their social circles beyond their immediate neighborhoods and schools. 


Searching For a Summer Camp


The following are some handy tips for parents and grandparents who want their kids to have fun and fulfilling summers.


Determine Your Budget the Kids’ Summer Camp

As varied as program offerings may be, camps can also vary greatly with regard to cost.  Government-run camps may be less expensive than those offered by private companies.  day camps typically cost less than those that provide room and board.  Find out if a particular organization subsidizes a portion of camp costs.

Scouting programs often have a dedicated camp, and may offer affordable options for scouts.  Martial arts schools and dance centers frequently offer day camps, as well.

if camp seems out of reach, look into local summer recreation programs at parks or schools.  Such programs may not be as extensive as those offered by camps, but they can quell kids’ boredom and keep children occupied during the day.


Ask For Recommendations For Good Camps

Speak with fellow parents and trusted friends about where they send their children.  Personal recommendations can be very helpful, providing firsthand insight into a particular camp or program.  Schedule appointments to visit camps that fall within your budget.  Take your son or daughter (or grandkids) along, so he or she can get a sense of what camp will be like.


Explore All the Kids’ Camp Options

Camps come in more flavors than ever before.  Certain camps may be faith-based ministries, while others may focus on particular sports.  Band camps and art camps may appeal to creative kids.  There are also plenty of general-interest camps that offer various activities without narrowing in on any particular one.

Parents may need to choose between a sleep-away camp or day camps, depending on which camp experience they want for their children.


Inquire About Camp Schedules

While many camps are flexible, day camps do not have the same level of flexibility as after-school programs.  Arrangements will need to be made if care is required after regular camp hours.  Speak with camp staff to see which types of after-hours programs, if any, are available.


Plan Time Off This Summer For the Kids

In addition to camp, remember to plan for some free days, so children can just enjoy some downtime.  Such days can break up the monotony of a routine and provide kids and families time to relax together.



Purchase Your Kids’ Summer Camp Supplies Early

According to The Summer Camp Handbook author and psychologist Dr. Christopher Thurber, the most important thing to remember about packing for camp is simple and surprising: Give yourself plenty of time. This will ensure you’re not rushing and forgetting things last-minute and can even help ease nerves about heading off away from home.


Recommended Reading:

The Summer Camp Handbook – Everything You Need to Find, Choose, and Get Ready For Camp – And Skip the Homesickness


Camp Packing List

Your camp will provide you with a packing list, but even if you don’t yet have the list in hand, you can get started purchasing and organizing supplies that you are sure to need.

Think about which items you already have, and make a list of the items you will need to buy.  If possible, plan to go shopping in advance of the big rush, when all the parents are stocking up on the same items.  This will save you from the stress of “the hunt” when the stores are busy, or when the sizes and styles may not be as plentiful.

I always like to purchase as much online as possible:  if it’s not an item that your child must try out or try on in advance, order it online and have it delivered to your home.  For the other items, plan a shopping trip with your kid(s), and allow plenty of time to find just the right items.  If your kids are happy with the things they bring, it will be one less stressor as they get used to their new surroundings and fellow campers.

Here are the things you and your child will likely need to pack for a typical sleep-away summer camp:

Consider visiting Amazon for some of these supplies.  You’ll find a ton of choices and prices, you’ll be able to read consumer reviews, and if necessary, you can return anything easily.

Plus, they have really cute items you can’t find in the stores, like these:


Ozark-Trail Kids Sleeping Bags


The Best Ever Fun-Filled Summer Camp Journal Just for Girls
The Best Ever Fun-Filled Summer Camp Journal Just for Girls
My Camp Friends Autograph Pillowcase



Tie-Died Laundry Bag
Postcards From Camp – 12 Postcard Booklet


Okay… I got sidetracked.  Here is the packing list:


  • Bandana/scarf
  • Hat
  • Glasses/contacts and cleaning solution
  • Prescription medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles for swimming
  • Dress clothes and coordinating belts and shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Jeans
  • Rain gear or umbrella
  • Shorts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim shirt with UV protection
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Underwear
  • Sweatpants or warm-up pants
  • Pajamas
  • Cotton bathrobe
  • Bras
  • Athletic support (jock strap)
  • Boots
  • Cleats
  • Flip-flops
  • Shoes, plus a spare pair
  • Socks
  • Bedding — check with your camp checklist for what, if any, to bring for bedding
  • Hand towels
  • Beach towels — can be used for bath or swimming
  • Shower caddy
  • Comb or brush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bug repellant
  • Lip balm
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream and razors
  • Soap in carrier
  • Sunblock
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush, toothbrush container and toothpaste
  • Camera
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Laundry bag
  • Reusable water bottle or canteen
  • Writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, stamps and/or calling card
  • Spending money (but check with camp for policies)
  • Comforts of home, like a family photo or a stuffed animal
  • Entertainment, like books and deck of cards
  • Small backpack or tote for day trips
  • Medical ID bracelet, if applicable



Final Thoughts


Camps benefit children in a variety of ways.  Lessons learned in camp can strengthen values, build confidence, develop coping mechanisms for when adversity strikes, and enable campers to make lifelong friends.

Summer recreation may a little ways off, but it’s never too early to start making summer plans, including finding camps and other activities for the kids.



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on planning some great summer activities for the kids!

I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

The Complete Guide to Medical ID Bracelets

Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Today’s Best Home Retinol Treatments

Simple Steps to Younger Looking Skin (Things That Actually Work!)

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Good (And Products You Need)

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner



Natural Options For Managing Asthma

 Natural Options For Managing Asthma




Natural Remedies and Complimentary Treatments for Asthma Management



If you have asthma or care for someone who does, you probably already know that prescription drugs are the largest medical expense related to asthma. According to the American Lung Association, asthma medications cost $6 billion a year in the United States.

In addition to the expense of asthma prescriptions, keeping track of different inhalers and medications can also be a pain. If you’re seeking more natural methods of asthma treatment or are looking for ways to improve control of your asthma symptoms, you may be thinking about using a natural remedy or alternative treatment for your asthma.

The natural treatment of asthma focuses on several key principles: reducing allergic exposure, reducing the sensitivity and spasticity of the airways of the lungs, balancing the allergic/inflammatory pathways in the body, and correcting nutrient imbalances.



Steam Baths as Asthma Treatment


While warm steam baths have often been used to help alleviate nasal congestion and airway irritation associated with asthma, there’s never been a study that proves that steam treatments help improve asthma symptoms. It’s important to understand that it’s not a cure for asthma.

Even so, just because the studies haven’t established a definite benefit doesn’t mean that steam baths won’t be of benefit to some people.

Steam baths may relieve some of the symptoms because it may provide moisture to the airways.  One caution, though, is that steam can be dangerously hot, so in some asthmatics, it could exacerbate symptoms. So, always use a gentle steam and monitor how you react.

Steam baths may help offset some symptoms, particularly nasal stuffiness,  it has to be stressed that steam baths are not a substitute for asthma medications. 

If a steam bath isn’t convenient, try a personal steam inhaler to efficiently get the soothing steam into your nose and throat.

Example: This Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler provides gentle, germ-free steam.



Herbs and Other Alternative Asthma Treatment Options


A number of herbs have been touted as natural remedies for asthma.  While there are no definitive studies proving the efficacy of these options for asthma, it’s important to note that there is no financial incentive for large pharma companies to invest millions studying natural products which cannot be patented and profited from. So, just because a remedy hasn’t been scientifically proven, does not mean if doesn’t work for some people, or that it won’t work for you.  I do suggest, though, that you check with your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your routine.


Some alternative treatment options and their associated risks and benefits include:



Garlic has been used as a natural remedy to manage many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, it would make sense that garlic may also help relieve asthma symptoms.

There have never been any controlled studies investigating the effect of garlic on asthma symptoms, so its role in asthma treatment is unknown. The use of garlic as an alternative treatment for asthma is, however, currently being studied.


Example: BRI Nutrition Extra Strength Odorless Garlic




Ginger is also thought to decrease inflammation, and a recent study did show that oral ginger supplements were linked to improvement in asthma symptoms. The study didn’t show, however, that ginger use led to any improvement in actual lung function. As a result, we can’t really use this study to draw any conclusions about the use of ginger as an alternative treatment for asthma. Additional studies are now being conducted to evaluate more fully whether or not ginger may help manage asthma symptoms.


Example: Nature’s Way Premium Herbal Ginger Root





Turmeric has been the subject of a number of studies, and it has been found to have some anti-allergy properties. It’s thought that turmeric has an effect on histamines, which can cause inflammation. Nevertheless, much more research needs to be done before turmeric can be established as a safe and effective natural remedy for asthma. 

I have written extensively on turmeric (it’s a true adaptogenic herb that is beneficial in so many ways!).


Example: NaturMyst Natural and Pure Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine



Example: This Vimerson Health Turmeric and Ginger With Bioperine combines 2 helpful herbs plus bioperine, which enhances turmeric absorption.




Honey is an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies, used to help sooth an irritated throat and calm a cough. Many people with asthma may try mixing honey with a hot drink for relief, but again, there are no studies to support the use of honey as an alternative treatment for asthma symptoms.  Choose Manuka honey for its added health benefits.


Example: Manuka Doctor 24+ Bio Active Manuka Honey



Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are often used as a natural remedy to help prevent and treat heart disease. Though some research suggests that omega-3s may also help to decrease airway inflammation and boost lung function, there’s still a lot that isn’t known about their role in asthma treatment. There is some literature to say thatfish oil supplements may also be beneficial in people with asthma, but as of right now, more research needs to be done.

Example: Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega 3 Fish Oil





Avoid Echinacea and Licorice Root 



One study that examined the use of a number of different herbs to treat asthma found that Echinacea — an herb often used to treat upper respiratory infections — was not only ineffective, but was also associated with a number of side effects.

Worsening asthma symptoms, skin rashes and possible liver damage when taken with other medications are risks linked to Echinacea use. Likewise, licorice root — which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is sometimes used by people with asthma to soothe their lungs — was found to be ineffective as an alternative treatment for asthma and was also associated with side effects such as high blood pressure.

There have not been any clinical trials that have shown either Echinacea or licorice root to be an effective asthma treatment and she notes that there have been some reports that Echinacea may worsen asthma symptoms in some people.  So, just stay away from both.




Check Your Indoor Air Quality


There might not be much you can do about pollution outdoors, but minimizing pollutants in your home can greatly lessen susceptibility to outdoor asthma attacks.

Believe it or not, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us our indoor environments are two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environments!

Here are tips to help you remove many sources of irritants that are likely found in your home:


  • Try to keep a window open even during the winter to bring fresh air in. If you can afford it, use a heat recovery ventilator (air-to-air heat exchanger) to bring outside air in.


  • Avoid secondhand smoke from wood-burning stoves and cigarettes.


  • Switch to natural cleaning products or use baking soda, lavender oil and vinegar to make your own. There are many simple recipes available online that can keep added chemicals out of your home and save you a bundle of money.  I like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products.  They’re made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients, they smell wonderful, and yes – they are very effective.


  • Avoid antibacterial soaps and disinfectants.



  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas, and fix water leaks to reduce mold.  If you have (or suspect) a mold problem, read this article.


  • Buy a water filter to remove chlorine from your tap water.


  • Install flooring or carpets that you can vacuum beneath to reduce dust mites.  Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner.


  • Wash bedding weekly, and keep upholstery and carpets regularly vacuumed.
I use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent. It’s a natural, HE compatible product that does a great job on dirty laundry. It’s free of phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, artificial colors, parabens, animal derived ingredients, MEA, DEA, optical brighteners.


  • Use sheets and pillow cases that are non-allergenic and don’t contain down or feathers.


  • Keep furry friends out of the bedroom to limit the amount of pet hair you’re exposed to. Clean and brush pets regularly to remove some of their fur that can wind up around your home.


  • Cockroaches are another asthma trigger, so speak with a professional exterminator if you suspect you might have some in your home.







Manage Your Stress


The Western lifestyle includes high degrees of emotional stress, and studies show that stress management techniques help reduce asthma severity. It’s well-known that stress increases the severity and frequency of asthmatic attacks because it hinders immune function and raises inflammation.

In fact, studies show that roughly 67 percent or more of asthmatics have diminished adrenal capacity, increased anxiety and other mood disorders related to stress. Mood disorders are considered “adaptive diseases” — that is, they result from a person’s inability to deal with stress.

Try natural stress relievers, including massage, deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and art therapies. These can all help reduce stress and give asthmatics the tools to modulate their stress responses. This lowers susceptibility to future attacks and lessens reliance on asthma drugs.

On a personal note, we have a massage chair at our house, and it is a huge stress reducer (plus, it helped my husband heal from debilitating sciatica pain).  I wrote about that and reviewed the best massage chairs here.



Stay Active


A growing body of literature indicates that lifestyle changes in recent decades, specifically decreased physical activity and dietary changes, are key contributing factors causing an increase in asthma prevalence and severity. Obesity is linked to higher risk for asthma and other breathing problems, including sleep apnea.

Although vigorous exercise can sometimes cause symptoms in people who already have asthma, staying active is generally very beneficial for improving immune function, preventing obesity, dealing with stress and lowering inflammation.



Asthma Attacks May be Unavoidable – Always Wear a Medical ID for Asthma


Over time, people with asthma may learn what triggers their asthma attacks and are thus better able to avoid having serious episodes. However, not all allergens are avoidable, and not all asthma attacks are caused by allergies. In fact, as we discussed, many asthma attacks are unavoidable because they are caused by chemicals, exercise, smoke exposure, and stress.

While most asthma attacks are treatable with rescue drugs such as inhalers, sometimes an inhaler is too far away to be reached. Other times, the attack may be extreme. In both instances, those surrounding the person suffering an asthma attack need to know what to do and how to help.

By wearing medical ID jewelry, those with asthma can have their diagnosis and treatment protocol on hand in the event they are unable to speak. Additionally, if EMTs do need to respond, knowing the cause of someone’s inability to breathe can contribute toward faster, more effective treatment.

If you have asthma, wearing medical ID jewelry is imperative. I recommend listing your name, diagnosis(es), any medications, all allergies, and emergency contact numbers.

Here are some examples of what to engrave on your asthma medical alert jewelry (ICE = In Case of Emergency):


CALL 911
ICE 555-746-4097


ICE 555-746-4097
ICE 555-746-0014


ICE 555-746-0014



Final Thoughts


Risk factors and underlying contributors of asthma include an inflammatory/poor diet, low immune function, food or seasonal allergies, and exposure to household or environmental irritants.  Anything you can do to mitigate those factors will help with asthma management.

Look into supplements which reduce inflammation and enhance your body’s immunity, try to cut down on stress, and avoid chemicals and pollutants wherever possible.


Recommended Reading:


Breathe To Heal – Break Free From Asthma


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on natural options for managing asthma.

I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Is the SoClean CPAP Cleaner Worth Buying?

The Most Powerful Herb on the Planet

How Manuka Honey Helps Ulcerative Colitis

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews


Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

 Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

(And Other Medical ID Jewelry)

More than 95 percent of emergency medical responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.  Should you be wearing one?


A medical ID provides information that could save your life in an emergency. With medical conditions, drug and food allergies, prescribed medicines and emergency contacts engraved onto its surface, a medical ID bracelet or necklace guides paramedics and doctors in giving you appropriate, timely treatment when you are unable to communicate.  Image above:  VNOX Men’s Medical ID Bracelet with Free Engraving.



Why Wear a Medical ID?


In an emergency, when you might be unable to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace protects you by speaking for you.

Lack of information can be dangerous –

  • Symptoms of common ailments can be misdiagnosed easily.
  • Prompt diagnosis critical to effective treatment may be delayed.
  • Half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission to or discharge from the hospital according to a study conducted in the US.



Paramedics Look for Medical ID


According to a recent U.S. survey of emergency medical professionals, including EMTs and paramedics –

  • More that 95 percent of repondents look for a medical ID during emergencies.
  • More that 75 percent look for a medical ID immediately upon assessing a patient.
  • 95 percent look at the patient’s wrist to find a medical ID and 68 percent look for an ID on the patient’s neck.


 This is what the paramedics will (and won’t do):

• First they feel around both wrists for a medical bracelet
• If no bracelet, they look around your neck
• Last place they look is around your ankles
• They’ll read all information on both sides of the tag
• They’re especially concerned about blood thinners
• They don’t have time to make phone calls
• They’re reluctant to go into wallets without police observers



Doctors and Healthcare Organizations Recommend Medical IDs


Doctors and healthcare organizations throughout the world recommend medical IDs.  The following organizations are only a few who have formally recommended the wearing of medical IDs.


  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Mayo Clinic
  • National Institutes of Health
  • The Merck Manual
  • The National Association of EMS Educators
  • World Health Organization



Examples of Medical Conditions That Warrant Wearing a Medical ID:


  • Abnormal ECG/EKG
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Alchoholism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Cataracts
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes (insulin dependent)
  • Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
  • Emphysema
  • Glaucoma
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hypertension
  • Laryngectomy
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Mental retardation
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pacemaker or ICD implant
  • Renal failure
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Situs inversus
  • Stroke
  • Visual impairment



Listing Medication on Your Medical ID


As a rule and if space permits it is wise to list prescription medicines taken on a long-term or maintenance basis. This will give medical personnel better guidance for initiating treatment and will lessen the chance of a drug interaction.


Some classes of medicines that are appropriate for an ID are:


  • Analgesics: including many narcotics
  • Cardiac medicines: including ones for angina or atrial fibrillation
  • Anticoagulants: Blood Thinners
  • Anticonvulsants: for seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
  • Antihistamines, Decongestants: prescription or over-the-counter medicines for allergies
  • Antihypertensives: blood pressure medicines
  • Beta Blockers: drugs that can slow the heart rate
  • Chemotherapy agents: medicines for treating cancer or serious infectious diseases
  • Steroids



Listing Your Allergies


Allergic reactions to drugs, foods and insects can cause serious medical problems. A medical ID informs medics of an allergy, allowing for rapid response to a serious allergic reaction.

Allergens are numerous. Some common examples include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Analgesics: aspirin
  • Antibiotics: cephalosporins, erythromycins
  • Narcotics
  • Foods: nuts, wheat, dairy products, soy
  • Other: horse serum, insect stings, latex, x-ray dye



Other Information You Can Add on Your Medical ID


With space permitting, anything can be engraved on your medical ID,including:


  • Advance directive
  • Living will
  • DNR
  • Blood type
  • Contact lenses
  • Difficult intubation
  • Emergency contacts (next of kin, doctor, etc.)
  • Faith
  • Implant (e.g., pacemaker)
  • Organ donor
  • Transplanted organ
  • Stent
  • See wallet card



Tips For Engraving Your Medical ID


Start With Your Doctor

To begin with, ask your doctor to explain your illness so you understand what to say and how to abbreviate your conditions and medications, as well as what critical issues need to be listed, and in what order of importance.

List only medical conditions that should be known in an emergency. For example, a minor surgery that took place several years ago may no longer be relevant to your medical care.


Organize Your Medical Information

Each medical ID style allows a different amount of information to be engraved. If you know you will need a lot of information engraved, select a style that can accommodate this, such as our two-sided IDs. You can also engrave “See wallet card” and list more information there than can fit on your ID. You should list frequently changing medicines only on a wallet card.

Summarize your information with short, descriptive words. Any information that will not fit on your medical ID bracelet or necklace can be written on a wallet or handbag ID card.

Only medicines taken on a long-term basis should be engraved on a medical ID. You may wish to list the most important medicines first.

If you need help deciding what to engrave, you can always ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn Your Cellular Age


What to List on Your Medical ID (And How to List It)


Remember that first responders and doctors are trained to know the shorthand abbreviations.


Use “ON” and “NO”

Paramedics and doctors need to know quickly if you are taking meds, or can’t take them. That’s why “ON” tells them that you must take a medication that is critical to your health.  For example: ON COUMADIN.

On the other hand, the word “NO” tells them that you’re allergic to specific meds, foods or even anaphylactic. For example: NO MORPHINE or NO SHELLFISH.

Make sure you tell them if you’re taking or can’t take meds to avoid any confusion.


Blood thinners are usually best to be listed on the top since you could be bleeding internally due to trauma: ON XARELTO, ON PLAVIX, ON COUMADIN or ON BLOOD THINNER.


List all allergies to medications, foods and anything else that might cause an emergency, or what needs to be said to get you through a crisis such as NO NUTS, NO PCN, NO MORPHINE, NO BEES-USE EPIPEN.


Diabetes patients need to communicate DIABETIC 2-MEDS, DM1-INSULIN DEP, DM1-INSULIN PUMP, etc. Diabetes orgs. recommend using Arabic numbers and not Roman numerals to avoid confusion.


No MRI for most pacemakers, defibrillators and stimulators: NO MRI: PACEMAKER, NO MRI: ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator). List ferrous metal implants such as plates, pins, cerebral & heart aneurysm clips, screws, stents and meshes: NO MRI: PIN L-LEG, NO MRI: PLATE-HEAD, NO MRI: BRAIN CLIP.


Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be described as FORGETFUL, MEMORY LOSS, or ALZ.


Artificial Knees, Hips & Spine Injuries—specify where located:  R-KNEE: TKR (total knee replacement), L-HIP: THR (total hip replacement), SPINE MESH-SCI (spinal cord injury).


Lymphedema patients cannot have blood pressure taken or needle punctures such as R-ARM: NO BP/IV, NO NEEDLES/LABS.


Artificial heart valves & heart conditions: List CHF (chronic heart failure) or CABG (coronary artery bypass graft). 


Bariatric Bypass Surgery: Tell not to insert a blind gastric tube to avoid stomach punctures such as: GASTRIC BYPASS, NO BLIND NGT. 


Transplant Patients need to specify the type of transplant and anti-rejection meds such as heart, kidney or lung transplants: KIDNEY TX, HEART TX, ON CELLCEPT, ON PROGRAF.




Space is At A Premium on a Medical ID

Be sure to shorten the information. For example, instead of saying “TAKING PENICILLIN”, you can say ON PCN. And it’s too long to say “DIABETIC TYPE 2 TAKING INSULIN” when you could say DM2-INSULIN or DIABETIC 2-INSULIN.

And medical conditions don’t have to be long to be clear to medical people.


Listing Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency phone numbers are stated as “ICE” which stands for “In Case of Emergency”. This would precede the number: ICE 888-234-5678.

It’s best to have a cell number of a family member or close friend who knows your medical issues.  However, don’t count on any phone number to be called by paramedics or doctors as they are usually too busy saving your life, so make sure all critical information is stated on your ID Tag.


Should You Engrave Your Name?

Engraving your name on your medical ID is a matter of personal preference. However, listing at least a first name is recommended. In an emergency, EMRs and doctors will say a person’s name in an effort to get his or her attention if the person is, for example, in a daze, a diabetic coma or unconscious.

Alzheimer’s patients should include his or her name and address or the address of a caregiver or family member.


Please visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry. It’s more than a piece of jewelry.  It’s peace of mind.

Lauren's Hope Medical ID



Why Other Medical Information Sources  Aren’t as Good as Medical ID’s


Your Wallet and Cell Phone

Lost wallets and broken phones may prevent retrieving your medical information in emergencies such as car accidents. Just because you have a medical card in your wallet does not guarantee that your wallet will be found or searched.
Even your cell phone may be broken or lost in the weeds.  That’s why you can only count on a medical ID that’s securely attached. 


Cellular Rescue Services 

Cellular Rescue Services with buttons or fall detection are great for people at severe risk, but may not be enough in every medical emergency.  Pressing a button and having your fall detected gets medical services to you quickly. However, once the emergency people get there, will they be completely informed about your pre-existing conditions? 
Paramedics are usually too busy to make phone calls if that’s required.  And, if the service can speak through the speaker, the information must be given quickly without delay otherwise they can’t wait.
What if you’re in a no-service cell zone—where is the information then?

Always having a medical ID bracelet is usually the quickest, surest way to convey your pre-existing conditions, your allergies, and what meds you are taking—right there on the spot—when every second counts!  It only makes common sense to protect yourself in every way possible—a cellular service and a bracelet!

Medical USB’s and QR Codes

98% of medical USB’s and QR Codes are useless in America. In a middle of an emergency, paramedics, hospitals and doctors have no time to access the equipment needed to read personal USB’s and QR Codes on medical bracelets.  As a matter of policy, most hospitals and first responders are forbidden to insert any private media into official computers for fear of viruses.

Also in emergencies, USB’s take too much time to load and read.  Most paramedics are not allowed to use their personal or hospital phones to read QR codes because of policy and HIPAA compliance. In most cases, there are “no universal standards” and scanners to permit reading these codes.

Also, be aware that most QR codes require a cellular connection to the internet to retrieve your medical information. Mountains, valleys and heavily forested areas can block this service. At this time, there is no nationwide Federal hospital standards to coordinate and read these devices. If you intend to use one of these devices or codes, make sure your area hospitals and EMT’s can read and accept your data before investing in this technology.


800-Number Medical Data Services    
Any service providing important medical information is helpful.  However, paramedics are usually too busy saving lives and unfortunately have no time to make calls to any phone service. Doctors in emergency rooms are also too busy to call. It’s only when an unconscious person comes out of the ER when nurses usually call for more information. Having a number for a medical data service on your ID tag can help—after the emergency is over!
It’s always better to have all “critical information” firmly attached to you.



Final Thoughts


Medical IDs are not just for emergencies. They can forestall problems eliminating trips to hospital, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and preventing minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save time and trouble as well as lives!


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.



Please visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry.


Lauren's Hope Medical ID Jewelry



You May Also Be Interested In:

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

New Solution to Dementia Wandering

Important Tips for Dealing With Dementia Wandering

Important Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Tips For Easier Senior Car Travel

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner


The Solution to Dementia Wandering

The Solution to Dementia Wandering




Are You Worried About Someone You Care About Getting Lost?


The most important part of a caregiver’s job is to keep an elderly loved one safe. Some caregivers have elderly loved ones who are prone to wandering, especially those with dementia or other diseases. For example, a diabetic’s low blood sugars may cause episodes of confusion causing the person to wander. Whatever the cause, wandering is dangerous for the elderly and worrisome for caregivers.



There’s a New, Unobtrusive Option (Finally!)

Now there is finally a new option for monitoring loved ones’ locations, even from a any distance.  This system works really well for caregivers of seniors who could benefit from monitoring but who do not want or need round-the-clock supervision.  I am really excited about what I think is the ideal solution to relieve the stress of worrying about someone wandering off and getting lost or hurt:   Smartsole, a GPS tracking system, includes all the necessary equipment to provide state-of-the-art monitoring for caregivers.



New Monitoring Device

For some caregivers, being present round-the-clock simply is not possible. In addition to this, even caregivers who are present 24/7 cannot be by the side of a wander-prone senior at all times; it’s just impossible.

Electronic monitoring systems can help prevent wandering and also immediately locate seniors who meander off the beaten track.

You’ve probably already seen the most familiar types of consumers would be a wrist watch-type device and one that looks similar to a mobile phone, or the ankle strap devices that some wanderers wear; but these can be obtrusive and even embarrassing, and someone has to remember to put them on each day (which can obviously be a problem with dementia).

The newest and most unique device is the GPS “SmartSole,” which is placed inside a shoe insert and carried with the person being tracked (so they’ll always be wearing it when they have shoes on).  


With SmartSole, as long as your loved one is wearing their shoes, you won’t have to worry about them getting lost.
The SmartSoles have a battery that lasts for three days before needing a charge – so it’s ideal for caregivers who cannot visit every day.



Using Technology to Enhance Freedom and Safety of Dementia Sufferers

Smartsole is designed to provide caregivers with a safe way to monitor their loved ones in case of an emergency. As caregivers of seniors with dementia often know firsthand, the dangers of a loved one wandering and becoming lost are real. The consequences can be deadly.

Smartsole responds to this need with technology that pairs with smartphones and global positioning system (GPS) technology to find those who might have wandered.

With SmartSoles, caregivers also can set up “invisible” fences that notify them if an elderly loved one leaves the house or ventures beyond a certain distance.

Such a notification can prompt the caregiver to check on the person. All might be well. The elderly person may just be making a trip to the corner and back for exercise. Yet Smartsole keeps caregivers informed, in case a trip to the corner results in a missing person.


With SmartSoles, caregivers also can set up “invisible” fences that notify them if an elderly loved one leaves the house or ventures beyond a certain distance.


Voice connections are available too, which can help establish where the elderly loved one is and whether or not the person is safe. There is no need to guess at a location or purpose for going out. Certain triggers in the technology will also notify emergency personnel. 

You can  find more details on the SmartSole website.

The GPS SmartSole Hidden Wearable Tracker is also available at Amazon.



Getting Started With a Monitoring Device – Some Considerations

The first step toward establishing successful and safe caregiving practices is meeting with the patient and his or her doctor(s). Asking for safety recommendations, taking diligent notes, and then discussing, at length, what the elderly loved one needs and prefers all lay the groundwork for safety.

Some seniors value their privacy and would like electronic monitoring because it allows them to be safe but also alone. Others might want an additional level of security even if they live in a facility. Yet others might not enjoy the physical presence of an electronic monitoring device. The latter is an important consideration, as people have privacy rights when it comes to being monitored.

Overall, it is all about what works for the elderly loved one and his or her caregivers, taking into account all health risks assessments by physicians.

After everyone agrees with the idea of an electronic monitoring system, it pays to do research. Not every system, despite great gadgets or a high price, is the right one. Price, longevity, and reviews, both online and through word-of-mouth, are important considerations.

Company representatives should be able to provide research and proof of their products’ track records. They should also provide information on customer support or warranties in case device breaks. The Better Business Bureau or equivalent organization is a good guide to a company’s viability. Knowing the facts before investing in a product can help keep an elderly loved one safer and happier for longer.



Re-Evaluate Monitoring Requirements Periodically

Some electronic monitoring systems come with monthly or yearly fees for use. Periodic re-evaluation may show that there is no reason to continue paying for a system that is unsatisfactory or not useful. Upgrades to more intense monitoring or a more precise device is one solution, as is overtime for paid caregivers. There are many options.

Monitoring an elderly patient is a process rather than a one-off product purchase. Peace of mind for caregivers as well as the patient’s safety and happiness are the most important commodities such devices offer.



Final Thoughts



If someone you love might potentially wander off and get lost, I highly recommend looking into the patented GPS enabled “Smart” insoles.  They fit easily into most adult shoes and let you monitor the whereabouts of loved ones in an unobtrusive way;  no need for them to remember to carry a separate tracking device they just slip on their shoes and go – like they normally would.

This Smart Sole system capitalizes on procedural memory, which means even those with advanced memory disorders typically remember to wear shoes!

This is a wearable technology that not only provides peace of mind, but can also save lives, while preserving the privacy and dignity of the wearer.

You can find full details and FAQ’s at the GPS SmartSole website

The SmartSole is also available at Amazon.




Suggested Reading:

Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers by Paula Spencer Scott



Please Visit Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry.  It’s more than a piece of jewelry.  It’s peace of mind.

Rose Gold Tone Medical ID Jewelry


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.





Tips for Easier Senior Car Travel

Tips for Easier Senior Car Travel



Car Travel is Challenging for Seniors and Their Caregivers


Traveling by car can be challenging for seniors. Whether they drive themselves or you’re playing chauffeur, simply using a car can be difficult. This can be caused by health conditions or the physical changes of normal aging.

For someone with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, or mobility issues, the difficulty level can be exponential. It may even take multiple people to help them safely into and out of a car.

This is important because most seniors travel by car, especially when visiting the doctor. This usually means frequent car struggles for both seniors and caregivers.

All seniors benefit if they have an easier time traveling by car. Seniors who can drive will feel more independent and confident. Those with mobility issues won’t have to go through such an exhausting ordeal.

Getting around more easily also helps seniors be more connected with family and friends, preventing the negative effects of isolation.



Gadgets That Really Help With Seniors’ Car Travel



Here are some aids that solve the problems that can make car travel so frustrating!



Grab and Pull Seat Belt Reacher


Kikigoal Silicone Seat Belt Grabber Handle


For those with arthritis or limited shoulder / torso mobility, it’s hard to reach up and pull the seat belt down. This reacher attaches to the seat belt and makes an extra long handle.



Seat Belt Extender


Extender Pros Seat Belt Extender

With limited mobility, it can be difficult to get the seat belt buckled. This seat belt extender makes it easier to reach and buckle up properly for a safe car ride.

Make sure to get the right size extender to fit your car’s buckle.



Seat Belt Opening Aid

For people with arthritis or limited hand and thumb strength, unbuckling the seat belt can be frustrating. This aid makes it easier to undo a standard seat belt.


Bucklebee Easy Buckle Release Aid


This Bucklebee Easy Buckle Release Aid is designed to reduce the unbuckling force required for a release by the rider.  It has a large grip for easy, ergonomic release, and remains attached to the seat for convenient. 



Seat Buckle Guard

Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s or dementia unbuckle their seatbelts while you’re driving. Dangerous!

This seat buckle guard is a good solution. Just stick your key in to pop the buckle open.

BuckleBoss Seat Belt Guard

This BuckleBoss Seat Belt Guard doesn’t allow your senior to unbuckle themselves in case of an accident or emergency, but it may be worth the risk if they frequently unbuckle themselves while you’re driving – a more immediate danger.



Swivel Seat Cushion

This cushion has a base that swivels. Seniors can just sit down, then easily swivel their legs into the car.


SOJOY Swivel Seat Cushion


No more struggling to lift legs and turn at the same time. The SOJOY Swivel Seat Cushion also makes it much easier for someone who’s helping them into the car. 

If the car has bucket seats, place a towel on the car’s seat to fill the gap and allow the swivel cushion to sit flat.



Auto Standing Aid

This removable handle fits securely into almost all driver or passenger side car doors. It’s a non-slip grip hand hold that lets seniors boost themselves up and out of the car. The Stander Handybar has a 350 lb capacity.

Stander Handybar






Auto Aids for Those With Limited Mobility


When older adults have limited mobility, it’s a struggle for them and you to leave the house. Getting into and out of the car can be almost impossible.

Without any auto mobility aids, helping these seniors into a car can take multiple people, making every trip to the doctor a major event. If you can’t get enough help from others, you could end up hurting yourself or might be forced to use non-emergency ambulance transportation (expensive!).


Transfer Board

To help your senior get from their wheelchair to a car, this Mabis Wooden Transfer Slide Board bridges the gap and makes it possible for them to scoot from one seat to the other without needing to stand. Reviewers say it has a weight capacity of up to 350 lbs.

Mabis Wooden Transfer Slide Board





Pivot Disc

Some older adults can stand up from a wheelchair, but can’t turn around to sit in the car. This disc saves you from injuring your back or shoulders while helping them turn around.

With this pivot disc, your senior stands on the disc and you can slowly turn them so their back faces the car seat and they can sit down.


North Coast Safety Transfer Pivot Disc


If you need to move someone from a wheelchair to the car, this Preston BeasyGlyder board can make that task easier and safer on both you and your senior. There’s a disc that slides along the board so you can push them from one seat to the other. They don’t need to scoot their butt and you don’t need to provide as much lifting or carrying support.


Preston - BeasyGlyder (For BeasyTrans Easy Transfer System )
Preston BeasyGlyder

It’s expensive, but may let you delay more expensive options like non-emergency ambulance transport, buying an automatic access lift seat, or getting an accessible van.


Final Thoughts

Auto aids are a worthwhile investment if it makes it possible to take your senior out of the house. Plus, even the most expensive of these options cost much less than a one-time ambulance transport.


Lauren's Hope Medical ID


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

How to Find the Best Luggage for Seniors

Important Tips For Traveling With the Elderly

Simple Gadgets and Tips For Seniors’ Kitchen Safety

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Minimize Your Seniors Risk of Falling Now!

The Right Lighting Prevents Falls

Shoes and Slippers for Swollen Feet

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Gardening Safety Tips for Seniors

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Buying Guide

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

Choosing the Right Personal Medical Alert System

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Patient Lifts and Slings for Safety and Comfort

Caregivers Can Reduce the Risks from Heavy Lifting

Choosing the Right Medical Walker

How to Choose the Right Walking Cane

Help For Low Vision

Stop Alzheimer’s Wandering

Preparing For Your Hip Replacement Surgery

Studies Prove Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

10 Simply Fabulous Arthritis Aids

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

About Me

Create Your Own Blog


Should Your Dog Take a Glucosamine Supplement?

Should Your Dog Take a Glucosamine Supplement?





Joint problems like arthritis and inflammation afflict dogs as they age just like they do with humans. These issues can slow your dog down and make movement painful, reducing their quality of life and long-term health.

These conditions are particularly prevalent with large breed dogs, and especially labrador retrievers, though it can affect any dog, no matter the breed or their size.

All is not lost however, and – again, just like with humans– there are plenty of diet supplements for dogs on the market that can improve any joint issues Fido may be suffering with. Although unable to provide a total cure, the best supplements can relieve pain and, if started early enough, even serve as a preventative measure.

One such diet supplement is glucosamine, which you may be familiar with as a human supplement to help ease joint stiffness and the symptoms of arthritis.

Glucosamine for dogs is similar to the human formulation and can prove a valuable tool in the fight against arthritis regardless of the stage the arthritis is at.

In essence, glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound found in the connective tissue and fluid around joints. The supplement is simply a synthesized version of this.

(Image above – K9 Care Labs Chewable Joint Supplement)


Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs


It can be quite difficult to detect whether your dog is suffering from arthritis, as our canine friends tend to hide their weaknesses and suffering as an innate defensive response.

Having said that, look out for the following clues that could be signs of joint discomfort in your dog:

  • A decrease in activity and sense of lethargy. They may be particularly hesitant on long walks, and running up and down stairs
  • Tender to the touch, particularly around their hind legs and hip joints
  • A restlessness when lying down or sleeping, indicating pain from swelling and inflammation



Your Vet’s Advice

First things first, always consult your vet if you suspect your dog may be suffering from arthritis or a similar joint problem and they will be able to provide tailored advice and medication to best fit your dog’s needs.

Otherwise, you can make your dog as comfortable as possible by:

  • Providing them a healthy, balanced diet (remember to reduce their portion sizes accordingly if they are less active than normal)
  • Giving them plenty of rest and avoiding stressful environments
  • Giving them plenty of love and attention
  • Supplementing their diet with substances like glucosamine and other vitamins and minerals to help slow and support the aging process

Image above:  Deep Dish Cuddler Bed for Joint Relief (also available in Jumbo size).


Glucosamine Benefits for Dogs


By taking glucosamine regularly, in the manner advised by your vet, your dog can expect to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Pain relief from muscle inflammation, bone loss and arthritis
  • The rebuilding of lost cartilage
  • Improvement in joint function and movement

Consequently, you’ll notice that your dog has more energy and freedom to move, leading to a greater quality of life and an array of other health benefits.

Additionally, taking glucosamine as a preventative measure for arthritis will mean your dog is less likely to need medicated pain relief in their future.


Comparing Glucosamine to Veterinarian Pain Medication


  • Glucosamine is cheaper than pain medication
  • Glucosamine carries less risk of unpleasant side effects than pain medication
  • Glucosamine is less likely to react with other supplements, dietary intake and medicines than pain medication


You can start your dog on glucosamine at any age; just remember to consult your vet so that they can advise on the best dosage tailored to your pet’s particular needs. As a diet supplement, it carries low risks of side effects and can prove preventative for arthritis and other joint problems later in life.

Having said that, if your dog begins to develop signs of arthritis, or if they are already in the full throes of the disease, glucosamine supplements are still a valuable tool in your dog’s health kit.

If you suspect that your dog may be developing joint problems or arthritis, consult your vet so you can begin treatment and glucosamine supplementation as soon as possible.



How to Give Your Dog a Glucosamine Supplement


Your vet should be able to advise on the correct dosage of glucosamine for your dog, taking into account such factors as their weight, age and the extent of their problems.

It’s imperative that you do consult a vet before administering supplements or other medicines to your dog: only a trained professional will be best placed to know how your dog will react to a certain formula.

Often, your vet will advise your arthritic dog be put on an initial ‘administration’ or ‘loading’ phase, featuring a high intake of glucosamine in a short period, followed by a ‘maintenance’ period with a lower dosage over a longer time span.

Many manufacturers of glucosamine for dogs will have special formulations like flavored chews, liquid, or crumbling tablets to add to food. It depends on your dog’s sensibilities which one they best prefer and are most likely to ingest.

Some manufacturers include additional vitamins and minerals in their glucosamine supplement formulations to provide extra support and benefits to your dog.

Some popular added substances include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: to reduce inflammation and improve the condition of skin and coat
  • Sulfur and sulfur-containing compounds: helps to rebuild cartilage and joint health while improving the condition of skin, hair, and nails
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): reduces stiffness and inflammation
  • Manganese: strengthens bones



Glucosamine Side Effects are Not Common


The side effects for a dog taking glucosamine are rare although not unheard of, and usually avoided if you follow dosing advice from your vet.

  • Allergic reactions: dogs who suffer from shellfish allergies may also be allergic to glucosamine supplements. Your vet will either advise a lower dose of the supplement or recommend a plant-based formulation.


  • Interactions with blood sugar: glucosamine supplements can interact with your dog’s blood sugar levels, particularly if they are also taking blood-thinning medication. Again, consult your vet for tailored advice.


  • Gastrointestinal upsets: glucosamine supplements can be a little harsh on your dog’s stomach and digestive system, occasionally leading to flatulence, vomit, and diarrhea. The best way to combat this is to administer their dosage with food or lower their dose, after consulting with your vet.


The Best Glucosamine Supplements for Dogs


Below, I’ve rounded up and reviewed what we consider to be the best glucosamine supplements for dogs currently available on the market.



NUTRAMAX Dasuquin With MSM

Trusted manufacturer Nutramax are the people behind the best glucosamine supplement for dogs on the market with their all-round joint support chewable tablet, Dasuquin With MSM.



  • Dasuquin is most complete joint support supplement on the market today
  • It’s a chewable tablet that’s easily digestible
  • Its formulation includes Chondroitin Sulfate, ASU (avocado and soybean unsaponifiables), MSM and green tea to effectively reduce stiffness and other symptoms of arthritis
  • Dasuquin With MSM benefits from over ten years worth of clinical use and research
  • It’s suitable for long term use and effective when used for arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint problems


  • It’s quite expensive in comparison to other supplements on the market




Another Nutramax product, Cosequin DS, is in second place and is well known for being potent and fast-acting – hence why it’s vets’ favorite glucosamine supplement for joint health.


Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM Chewable Tablets



  • Cosequin DS is the most recommended supplement for joint health among veterinary professionals
  • It contains glucosamine hydrochloride, sodium chondroitin sulfate, MSM and manganese
  • It’s a chewable tablet so is easily digestible and has a light liver flavor
  • Suitable for use on dogs of all different sizes, ages, and joint symptoms
  • The supply lasts for a long time and is particularly economical once your dog progresses on to the maintenance stage and requires lower dosages
  • The initial administration stage is very strong and works quickly in relieving chronic joint problems



  • Particularly fussy dogs may not enjoy the very light taste of the chewable tablet




These PAH Hip + Joint Chews are full of potent and fast-acting vitamins and minerals, promising pain relief, joint support and an extra glossy coat for your dog.

PAH Hip + Joint Chew Supplement



  • PAH Hip + Joint Chews contains extra-strength glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin and Omega-3 fish oils
  • The Omega-3 ensures a strong and glossy coat, as well as providing additional anti-inflammatory support
  • Formulated in a chewable tablet with a delicious chicken flavor
  • Made in the USA using a cold pressed manufacturing process which ensures no active ingredients are lost
  • It works quickly and effectively to combat joint problems and comes with a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied
  • It’s gentle on your dog’s stomach



  • Some users have commented that it’s difficult to halve the chews without them crumbling – be sure to use scissors or a super sharp knife if you try!



Offering something a little different, TerraMax Pro’s Hip & Joint Advanced comes in a liquid form and is easy to combine with food and water – perfect for fussy eaters! 

Additionally, it contains a high dosage of the glucosamine and other helpful compounds.


Terramax Pro Hip & Joint Advanced (Liquid Form)



  • Hip & Joint Advanced contains an unmatched 1,600 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulfate and 1,000 mg of MSM.
  • It’s also fortified with Hyaluronic acid which helps the rebuilding process of cartilage and joint tissue
  • It’s a liquid formulation which is absorbed faster and more efficiently into the bloodstream than tablets are
  • TerraMax manufacture their supplements in the USA, and they last for a long time with a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied
  • All ingredients are rated at human grade and are distilled to provide the purest form.
  • The liquid is free from gluten, corn, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, starch and soy derivatives



  • As it’s in liquid form, this glucosamine supplement doesn’t last as long as the other solid products on this list.  The manufacturer recommends that you keep the bottle in the fridge after opening it.




Final Thoughts


Arthritis will afflict most dogs as they age. Unfortunately, dog owners and veterinarians rarely notice the early warning signs of arthritis because dogs tend to hide soreness and discomfort until the arthritic changes in joints have become severe.

Supplements to the dog’s diet – such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) – can assist in decreasing inflammation and improving your dog’s ability to repair and strengthen joint tissues. And while high-quality supplements are very safe, they tend to work best in combination with other forms of arthritis treatment.

You can be proactive by giving your dog a daily joint supplement. And of course, be sure to check with your vet if you suspect any joint problems. Image above:  Gypsy Rock Dog Mug.


Pet Medical ID Tags by Lauren's Hope


Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

Best Dog Shampoos – Full Reviews

The Best Flea Treatments for Your Dog or Cat

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

About Me

Create Your Own Blog


Dog Shampoo Buying Guide

Dog Shampoo Buying Guide

How to Find the Right Dog Shampoo For Your Special Pet


But first – do you actually need special shampoo for your dog? … or can you just use human shampoo?  It might be tempting to simply use human shampoo and conditioner instead of specialized pet products to bathe your dog, but it really isn’t a good idea. Image above: Kreative Arts Modern Giclee Dog Prints.

Although the odd occasion may not do them much harm, frequent use of human products can be harmful to your dog and certainly won’t do the condition of their skin and coat any favors. There are 2 major reasons to avoid using human shampoo on your dog:


Skin pH levels

Human shampoo tends to be marginally acidic in order to best clean our skin, which has a pH somewhere between 5.2 and 6.2. Dogs, on the other hand, have an alkaline skin pH of up to 7.5 – using such acidic human shampoo on them could break down their skin mantle and make them vulnerable to bacteria and parasites.


Sensitive skin

Dogs are generally much more sensitive than humans as their skin only has between 3-5 layers, in comparison to humans with 10-15 layers. As such, our skin can take more of a battering from harsh products and chemicals while your dog will be more easily irritated. Such irritation leads to dryness, scratching and abrasions.

If you have to bathe your dog with human products – perhaps in a particularly smelly emergency with no pet products at hand – try to opt for mild formulations used on babies and children. Dr. Debora Lichtenberg VMD states in Petful, “veterinary dermatologists recommend Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo frequently for sensitive dogs.”



How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?


How often you need to bathe your dog will vary from breed to breed and also depends on their individual lifestyle and habits.

Let’s say they like to spend time outside, playing in the dirt; in this case, you would generally expect to bathe them around every four to six weeks or so. If your dog gets smelly in between full shampoo baths, opt for a simple plain water rinse in between.

Dogs that spend more time indoors and rarely get dirty will require less regular baths. Depending on how smelly they get, a bath somewhere between every 2 to 3 months would be about right.

Double-coated breeds, such as Labs, should really only be bathed every three months – or even less often – unless they get particularly smelly. Their oily double coats will dry out from too much shampooing, depleting the insulating, protective properties and waterproofing their coat has.

Just as with humans, shampooing too often has a tendency to dry out the skin and hair, leading to irritation, scratching and in extreme cases maybe even lesions.

With excessive shampooing a dog’s hair quickly loses its natural shine and can also become damaged, brittle and broken. If your dog’s fur has ever felt rough to the touch, this could well be the reason.

The best way to prolong time between baths and keep your dog looking healthy and clean is to commit to a daily brushing schedule.

On the other hand, your dog does need that regular shampooing in that 2 to 3 month range; although it’s a cardinal sin to bathe your dog too frequently, not bathing them at all will also put the health of their skin and coat at risk.

Unlike humans who breathe in allergens, dogs absorb them through their skin.  If you decline to wash your dog – or don’t wash them enough – all of the dirt, debris and bugs your dog may have picked up on their travels will hang around in their skin and hair until they’re absorbed. This can lead to irritation, scratching and eventually – in extreme cases – lesions.



Quick Tips For Washing Your Dog

Bathing Tethers


Before Bathing

Brush your dog to remove any tangles and debris caught in their hair, and prepare the room for bath time by by assembling products ready to use, laying down towels or waterproof sheets and keeping treats on hand to reward good behavior. 

Of course, you will want to remove your dog’s collar and lead (if they need to be restrained, use a muzzle or a special bathing tether).

Warm up the water to lukewarm, and line the sink with a non-skid mat for your dog’s comfort.


In the Bath

Introduce your dog to the water slowly by spraying their backs first and keeping the power on low, allowing them to get used to the sensation. Protect your dog’s face from the shampoo and water by applying a little petroleum jelly around their eyes and putting cotton balls in their ears.

Use a soft shampooing brush in the direction of hair growth to best lather in the shampoo and avoid any tangles. Use the brush again to gently clean the paw pads.  Then, rinse thoroughly by wetting the head and face first before working your way down the rest of their body.  Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.

At this point, some owners choose to use a special dog conditioner to seal the hair cuticle and keep the coat shiny and full of moisture. Follow the steps as for shampooing, making sure not to get any chemicals in your dog’s eyes.


Once Your Dog is Clean and Rinsed

Lift your dog out of the bath and wrap them in an absorbent towel. Avoid rubbing them dry as this can tangle their hair; blot the coat instead. They will probably want to shake themselves dry too.

Make sure your dog stays in the warm until they are completely dry.



Dog Shampoo Reviews and Recommendations


Lume.le Shower Curtain Set


There’s no one product that suits all dogs and the shampoo you choose must suit your dogs specific requirements and the job at hand.


To help make sure you find the right product for your needs, I’ve split the products  into 5 categories:

  • All natural, organic shampoos.
  • Heavy duty shampoo.
  • Hypo allergenic Shampoo.
  • Shampoo and conditioner combined
  • Conditioners



The Best All-Natural, Organic Dog Shampoos


These shampoos contain only natural ingredients, suitable as a general purpose shampoo for most dogs and breeds. Gentle yet highly effective.


Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo

Earthbath is well known for totally natural dog care products that are intelligently formulated to effectively clean dirty dogs.



There’s no irritating soap in this shampoo, which is good news for dogs with sensitive skin.

There’s also no parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes, perfumes, gluten DEA, enzymes or SLS/SLES.

Oatmeal and aloe vera combine with purified water to combat skin irritation and moisturize, while coconut based cleansers, Vitamins A, B, D and E and food-grade vanilla and almond extracts create a truly luxurious, natural dog shampoo.



  • It’s made of natural ingredients, is guaranteed cruelty free and is made of biodegradable packaging. You won’t be hurting your dog or the environment!
  • The oatmeal and aloe will combat and heal your dog’s itchy parts while effectively re-moisturizing their skin and hair.
  • There’s no soap so it’s gentle and no-tears.
  • The vanilla and almond extracts make for a beautifully scented dog.
  • It lathers very easily.



  • Seriously smelly or dirty dogs may need a heavier duty shampoo than this all-natural offering.


Why I recommend it:

With a great smell, all natural ingredients and a gentle formulation that will also heal sensitive skin, Earthbath is an obvious top choice.





WAHL Oatmeal Shampoo Concentrate


Wahl is another natural shampoo manufacturer, and has various formulations and scents to choose from, depending on your preferences and your dog’s needs.



Wahl guarantee that all their ingredients are solely plant-derived.

This shampoo contains oatmeal, aloe vera, coconut, lime and lemon verbena to soothe dry skin and restore some much needed moisture.

There are no harsh chemicals included and it is guaranteed to be PEG-80 (Sorbitan Laurate) free.



  • Totally natural and soothing ingredients ensure this shampoo is safe and gentle for use on your dog.
  • Oatmeal helps to heal your dog’s dry skin and provide welcome itch relief.
  • The shampoo is concentrated so only a small amount is needed to create a rich lather.
  • There are a variety of scents available aside from this Coconut & Lime Verbena formulation: Lavender & Chamomile, White Pear, Cornflower & Aloe, Eucalyptus & Spearmint, and Lemongrass Sage.



  • Some users found the scents quite strong so it may not be suitable for people and dogs with allergies or a particularly sensitive sense of smell.
  • Again, the natural ingredients and gentle formulation mean that very stinky dogs may still need a heavy duty cleaning.


Why I recommend it:

Wahl ensures your dog gets a thorough clean and smells fresh after a round with this shampoo while protecting your dog from any harsh chemicals and irritants.





Best Heavy Duty Dog Shampoos

For times when your dog rolls in something particularly dirty or smelly like animal excrement or perhaps motor-oil, gentle shampoos just aren’t going to make the grade.

So it’s a good idea to keep a heavy duty shampoo in reserve, not for general routine use, but for the inevitable, particularly grimy emergencies. You won’t go wrong with either of the following two.  Image above: 7 Wall Arts Handpainted Dogs on Motorcycle

Barklogic Aloe & Flaxseed Deodorizing Shampoo


BarkLogic’s shampoo is also all-natural and made of plant-derived ingredients, but is heavier hitting on serious odors with its natural deodorizing qualities and refreshing scent.



This shampoo has a long ingredient list but is guaranteed to be made of 100% plant and mineral derived components.

Most importantly, it is free of sulfates, phthalates, PEG, DEA, Triclosan, Gluten, artificial colors, dyes and fragrances that can all cause irritation.



  • It eliminates odors on contact, working like a detergent to gently lift away and dissolve dirt and debris from your dog’s coat.
  • A totally plant-derived ingredients list ensures the product works gently on your dog’s skin and is also hypoallergenic and non-toxic.
  • It’s suitable for vegans.
  • The shampoo is easy to work into a rich lather.
  • It’s biodegradable and made in the US.




  • The lemon scent is very subtle – you may need to repeat the shampooing once or twice if you’re after a truly refreshing scent.


Why I recommend it:

As an effective deodorizer but sporting an all plant-based ingredient list, it’s hard to go wrong with this Barklogic shampoo – it may be heavy duty in its effectiveness but not in its deployment of chemicals.




Synergy Labs Veterinary Formula Triple Strength Dirty Dog Concentrated Shampoo



SynergyLabs produce a variety of popular dog shampoos, some with excellent deodorizing qualities, but this particular formulation stands out for its seriously heavy-duty action on dirty dogs.



This shampoo isn’t as packed to the nines with chemicals as its cleaning qualities may suggest.

Aalongside de-ionized water, there’s a variety of foaming agents, glycerine, DMDM hydantoin, tetrasodium EDTA and fragrances.

In order to protect your dog’s skin and coat, it’s also enriched with Vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter and wheat protein.



  • It possesses three times the number of active cleansers of its competitors, ensuring that dirty dogs are dealt with easily and effectively.
  • It boasts an exclusive ‘Dirt Repel’ formula.
  • It’s scented with subtle and refreshing green apple and tea perfumes.
  • The Vitamin E, aloe vera, shea and wheat protein work to restore moisture to your dog’s coat and skin while ensuring that none of the natural oils are stripped away.
  • It lathers easily and is concentrated, so a little goes a long way.



  • Some owners of particularly smelly dogs have reported that the fresh, clean smell is not very long-lasting, sticking around for only a few days after bathing.


Why I recommend it:

The Synergy Labs Dirty Dog Concentrated Shampoo is very effective on dirty dogs – particularly those who have rolled in something stinky – without being too harsh on their skin and coats.





Best Hypo-Allergenic Dog Shampoos For Sensitive Skin



Some dogs suffer with allergies and sensitive skin, Labradors being particularly prone it seems when compared to many other breeds.

For these poor souls, many standard shampoos can leave them feeling irritated and uncomfortable, with the inevitable scratching and biting that follows sometimes leading to broken skin and further complications.

The obvious answer is hypo-allergenic shampoo formulated specifically for dogs with allergies. Image above: CafeTime Pillow Case.


This 4-Legger Dog Shampoo could have easily ended up in my favorite organic shampoo selection, but its amazing moisturizing qualities means that it’s a firm favorite for dogs with sensitive skin.

4-Legger Dog Shampoo



It’s actually certified to organic food standards so you can be sure that there’s nothing but the safest of natural ingredients in here.

As well as coconut, olive and jojoba oils, there’s also aloe vera and essential oils like lemongrass and rosemary. There are no parabens, DEA, MEA, PEG, DMDM hydantoin, alcohol, sulfates or artificial fragrances and colors.



  • It is specially formulated for sensitive skin with an abundance of natural moisturizers that heal the skin and coat without stripping natural oils. There’s even anecdotal evidence that it works well on dermatitis conditions.
  • The lemongrass and rosemary essential oils are natural flea and tick deterrents.
  • It’s made in the US, 100% vegan, not tested on animals and the packaging is recyclable.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and gentle enough to be used on all skin types and age brackets.



  • Some owners have noted that the consistency is significantly thinner than other shampoos – be careful when pouring it out of the bottle!


Why I recommend it:

As well as being hypoallergenic and specially formulated for sensitive skin, this 4-Legger shampoo smells great, helps to keep pesky fleas and ticks at bay and is totally natural and safe to use.





Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

Vet’s Best have formulated a good value shampoo ideal for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies, which is ‘no tears’ and restores moisture to their coats.



The main ingredients are Allantoin, Panthenol, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.



  • It’s hypoallergenic and designed to thoroughly cleanse and re-moisturize dry skin, soothe itching and re-energize brittle coats.
  • There’s no soap, guaranteeing ‘no tears’ at bath time.
  • It won’t affect any topical flea or tick treatments you may have applied.
  • Some owners reported a reduction in hair shedding after using this shampoo.
  • It’s so smoothing that you won’t even need to use a separate conditioner afterwards.



  • It’s quite difficult to work this shampoo into a lather due to its runnier texture.
  • As it’s hypoallergenic, there’s no scent to this shampoo. While some owners may like that there’s a neutral smell, others may be disappointed.


Why I recommend it:

This Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo is an excellent no-frills, great value, hypoallergenic shampoo that cleans your dog effectively while restoring moisture to their coat and skin. Plus, no tears means bath time doesn’t have to be traumatic!





What About Conditioners For Your Dog?


After bathing your pooch, it’s likely you now have more water on the floor and all over yourself than there ever was on your dog. So yes, we hear you – why would you want to spend even more time on the job of bathing?

Well, shampoo removes all the grime from your dogs skin and coat but a side effect of this is leaving each hair ‘open’, where oils can escape and unwanted contaminants might enter. This can leave hair dry and brittle.

Also, all the brushing, scrubbing, lathering and drying that a good clean requires results in broken and damaged hair – no matter how carefully you work.

Using a conditioner repairs damaged hairs, fills in cracks, restores elasticity, prevents oils from leaving the hair and seals it against contaminants entering.

At the end of the day, using a conditioner results in a stronger, healthier, shinier looking and all around better coat. Using a conditioner after bathing is certainly better than never doing so.


I recommend the following conditioners:


Isle of Dogs Silky Coating Conditioner

This Isle of Dogs Conditioner not only smells great but is also gentle enough to be used regularly. It promises to transform your dog’s hair into silky, lustrous locks.



This conditioner is notably more chemical heavy than many of the other products we’ve discussed, but it’s undoubtedly a heavy hitter when it comes to smoothing out your dog’s hair.

The full ingredients list includes PEG-40 castor oil, PEG-12 dimethicone, DMDM hydantoin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice and a number of strengthening proteins.



  • It’s very effective on tangled hair and restores moisture to the coat immediately. Some owners have described ‘run-your-hands-through-it silkiness’.
  • The jasmine and vanilla fragrance is subtle and attractive.
  • The abundance of aloe leaf juice and proteins in the formulation help to manage and maintain a silky, strong coat in the long term.
  • It lathers well, rinses off really easily and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.



  • There are a lot of chemical ingredients so it won’t be suitable for owners looking for a more natural conditioner.


Why I recommend it:

This great value Isle of Dogs conditioner will immediately put paid to any knots, tangles or matts in a dog’s hair and leave them with a healthy and beautifully glossy coat.





Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Conditioner

Perfect to use after a good wash with the Earthbath shampoo recommended above, this all natural moisturizing conditioner goes a long way, recommended to dilute 1 part in 16 parts water for use.



There’s no artificial or synthetic ingredients in this all natural conditioner, the ingredients consisting of: Purified water, vegetable-derived conditioner, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera and organic shea butter.



  • The Stuff works on all hair types to condition, detangle and penetrate matting.
  • The inclusion of colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera moisturizes and soothes irritated, itchy and dry skin.
  • It doesn’t wash off topical flea and tick treatments (saving money on re-application.)
  • It’s concentrated and so a little goes a long way. Nice for the budget conscious.



  • Try not to spill or spray any of the product into the dogs eyes as it can irritate – though this is true with the vast majority of products on the market.


Why I recommend it:

Eartbath has a solid reputation with the vast majority of users giving this conditioner 4 or 5 stars and positive feedback.

It’s all natural, in biodegradable packaging, so it’s kind to your dog and friendly to the environment.

However, it’s the results that most speaks volumes. This stuff simply works 🙂





Best Dog Shampoo & Conditioner Combo


Although a separate shampoo and conditioner will give the best results, combining the two into one product can still give a great performance, leave your dog with a healthy, clean, shiny coat – But more importantly cut down on the total time it takes to bathe your dog.

Here’s a quick look at two of the best combined shampoo and conditioners.


Paws & Pals Shampoo & Conditioner

This Paws & Pals 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner is one of the most popular on the market thanks to its natural formulation and sheer effectiveness at cleansing and conditioning your dog’s skin and coat.



Certified organic, there are only natural ingredients to be found in this shampoo and conditioner, such as aloe vera, jojoba and coconut oils, oatmeal, shea butter and rosemary. There are no parabens and only naturally derived foaming agents.



  • The ingredients list is all-natural, high quality and organic, guaranteeing a gentle, non-toxic yet effective clean.
  • It’s suitable for vegans, made in the USA and recyclable.
  • Dry and itchy skin will be soothed by the unique combination of aloe, shea butter, oatmeal and natural oils – prepare to see an instantly glossier coat too!
  • The added conditioner will detangle and smooth your dog’s coat.
  • There’s no soap in this product and it’s guaranteed to be no-tears.
  • Works into a lather and rinses out with ease.



  • It’s relatively expensive in comparison to some of its competitors although you do get a lot of product for your money at 20 ounces.
  • The fragrance is very subtle.


Why I recommend it:

As both a shampoo and conditioner, this Paws & Pals Dog Shampoo and Conditioner combo  provides a complete bathing experience for your dog. With all natural ingredients too, you can be sure of a gentle and effective clean.





Earthbath Mango Tango Shampoo & Conditioner in One

This one-stop shop shampoo and conditioner is from the renowned Earthbath who make great all natural pet products.



The Mango-Tango is made up of purified water alongside a variety of plant-derived cleansers and conditioners.

It contains aloe vera, Vitamins A, B, D and E, as well as glycerine, natural preservatives and mango essence.

There’s no SLS/SLES, DEA, phthalates, enzymes, parabens, artificial dyes or perfumes, soap or gluten, so it’s kind to a dog’s skin.



  • It’s totally natural so you can be sure of a gentle yet thorough clean and condition of your dog’s skin and coat.
  • The added conditioner detangles, softens and promotes shine to your dog’s hair with long-lasting effect.
  • The mango scent is really refreshing.
  • It won’t affect any topical flea treatments.
  • It’s vegan and the packaging is 100% biodegradable.
  • It lathers and rinses out easily.



  • It isn’t specialized to deal with any significant skin or hair problems so you may need to look elsewhere if your dog has issues in this area.




Final Thoughts



So there you have it, some super recommendations for the best dog shampoo and conditioners.  There are hundreds of options out there, some good and some bad. Hopefully our little guide will help you to avoid the bad ones and buy the right product to keep your dog’s coat and skin in tip top condition.

 Just remember that the best shampoo for your dog is not your shampoo! They have very different needs. Image above: Wittsy Glassware Dog Lover Wine Glass.


Pet Medical ID Tags by Lauren's Hope


Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

Should Your Dog Take Glucosamine Supplements?

The Best Flea Treatments for Your Dog or Cat

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Best Flea Treatments for Your Dog or Cat


Best Flea Treatments for Your Dog or Cat


Your Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Fleas!



Fleas are more than an annoyance — they can affect the health of their host dog or cat. A flea’s saliva could trigger allergies, and the itching and scratching that ensues can lead to a more serious skin infection. Infected fleas can also transmit tapeworms and bacteria — including bacteria that are harmful to humans. A large enough number of fleas can even cause life-threatening blood loss.

Unfortunately, fleas are not a problem that will go away on its own. In fact, ignoring a few fleas can quickly lead to an infestation. Female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, many of which fall off and land in carpets, bedding and furniture. Once the larvae hatch, they remain inactive in cocoons for weeks or even months. Unsuspecting pet owners might think the problem is resolved after killing the adult fleas, but the life cycle will repeat weeks later unless eggs and larvae are prevented from maturing into adult fleas. Experts say the most effective way to keep fleas off a dog or cat is with a topical or oral medication.

If fleas are bugging your dog or cat, topical treatments like Advantage and Frontline can provide long lasting relief. I also found some great oral medications, and even a flea collar that’s safe and effective. There are other alternatives, too, but most generally are ineffective at best, and possibly hazardous at worst.

But before we go any further, be sure its fleas – 

Not all scratching indicates dog fleas. Scratching of the ears may indicate ear mites or another ear infection. Scratching or licking other parts of your pet’s body may indicate a food allergy, or other irritation.


Fleas are about half the size of an apple seed, but may be as large as the size of a grain of rice. They’re jumping insects, with laterally flat bodies, and they have no wings. If you don’t see actual fleas, look for flea poop. Flea waste may collect on the skin of your pet, and will look like tiny crumbles of dirt.


What to Look For in a Flea Treatment


  • Works quickly and reliably. The best flea treatments should work quickly enough that your pet will find relief within a short period of time. If the first one you try doesn’t work, try something else.


  • Kills adult fleas, eggs and larvae. Some medications and treatments kill adult fleas only, so you may need to re-treat fairly often, or combine them with a second flea treatment to avoid re-infestation.


  • Causes few side effects. Most flea treatments have potential side effects, though those are mostly minor. However, others could be life threatening to certain animals. Cat owners in particular should avoid products containing permethrin and other pyrethroids.


  • Is easy to use. “Spot-on” topical treatments are quick to apply to a pet’s neck or back, while tablets can often be tucked into a treat like cheese or peanut butter.



Topical Flea Treatment


Also known as spot-on products, topical treatments are squeezed out of a tube and applied to the pet’s neck or back. One advantage of these products is that they generally contain insect growth regulators (IGRs), which prevent eggs from hatching and larvae from maturing into adult fleas. This means that a single application can completely eliminate fleas for up to a month.

However, these products have drawbacks as well. Although they’re generally safe for pets if applied correctly, they can irritate the skin or eyes of humans; should you come in contact with the product, it must be rinsed off promptly. Once applied, the product may take several hours to dry. During this time, it may rinse off in water, and the residue may transfer to other pets, furniture or humans. Moreover, some pet owners find the smell or feel of the spot-on treatments unpleasant.



Flea Collars


Until recently, experts have said that flea collars are generally ineffective; some are toxic to pets and people as well. There is one exception, however, Seresto, which uses the same active ingredient as a well-rated topical treatment, Advantage, but in a slow-release formulation.

Seresto also has a tick killing ingredient. Seresto is pricey, so other options are more cost effective if you pet is indoors most or all of the time, but for pets that spend lots of time out of doors, it can make sense. No other flea collar receives much, if any, positive feedback from pet experts.





Oral Flea Medications


Flea control medications such as Capstar, pose no risk to humans, and they don’t leave any messy residue. Oral flea treatments tend to kill adult fleas very quickly, but most of them don’t contain an IGR to deal with the eggs and larvae. This means that pet owners must either combine the tablet with a second treatment that contains an IGR, such as a spot-on product, or keep repeating the dose until no new fleas are hatching. Another problem is getting a pet to take the pill.

While some users say their pets will gobble them happily if they’re tucked inside a treat, others — especially cat owners — find it very difficult to get them down their pets’ throats. Also, some oral medications are available only with a prescription from a vet.



Alternative Flea Treatments


Flea shampoos can provide immediate relief by killing adult fleas on the pet, but they don’t leave enough residue behind to kill new fleas as they hatch. As for flea dips, bombs, powders and sprays, many of them contain chemicals called pyrethroids, such as permethrin. Experts warn that these chemicals are highly toxic, especially to cats. Some vets say that products containing permethrin can be safe if you only have dogs in your household, but all warn to not use such products on cats or even on dogs if one is likely to come in contact with a cat. Permethrin comes in for the sternest cautions, but some experts also warn against the use of other pyrethroids as well.

Natural remedies are more controversial. I see lots of recommendations for them around the Internet, however, there’s little scientific evidence that they are effective in most cases. In a recent blog post, Nancy Kearns of The Whole Dog Journal says that she’s “never had much luck with the plethora of natural remedies out there.” And some natural remedies are rated to be just as toxic according the GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and in some cases more so, than many of the topical and oral treatments recommended in this report



Shopping for a Flea Treatment


Talk to your vet first.

Your vet may have specific recommendations for products he or she thinks are the most appropriate. This is especially important in the case of pets that are weak, older, medicated, sick, pregnant or nursing, or that have previously had an adverse reaction to a flea control treatment. Additionally, some products are not suitable for puppies and kittens.


Check your pet’s weight.

All flea control treatments are packaged according to the pet’s weight. Don’t try to guess your pet’s weight or buy the wrong dosage because it’s cheaper. You might end up with a dosage that’s too low to kill the fleas or, worse, one that’s too high and causes serious side effects.


Read the directions.

Before you buy a product, take a look at the application instructions and make sure you understand them. Even if you have used the product before, review the directions to make sure they haven’t changed. Many reported illnesses in cats and dogs from flea control products are due to misuse. Lack of effectiveness is also often the result of improper application. Be especially careful not to use flea control treatments designed for dogs on your cat, or vice versa. Permethrin, a pesticide found in some topical dog treatments, can be lethal to cats.


Choose the right treatments.

Don’t waste your time with flea shampoos, dips, sprays or powders. Vets generally agree that these products are ineffective at best and toxic at worst. The same goes for “natural” remedies like essential oils and garlic, some of which are no less toxic than the most effective flea control products per the ratings at the GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory.


Buy your flea remedies from your vet or from a reputable retailer.

Many products sold online, and sometimes even in stores, are counterfeits that may be ineffective or harmful to pets. Counterfeit versions of Frontline Plus are particularly common.


Are generics safe?

Frontline and Frontline Plus topical treatments, and Capstar oral medication, are available in generic formulas at savings ranging from a little to a lot. Experts say to avoid the cheapest generics as they likely won’t provide the same level of protection as better options. Also, though they might use the same active ingredients, the inert ingredients may differ, and that can be the difference between a treatment your pet tolerates well, and one that might irritate. Consult with your vet if you are unsure of any flea treatment.


Be wary of new products.

That’s the advice of The Whole Dog Journal, which adds that you shouldn’t feel pressured to change if a flea treatment that you’ve been using is continuing to work well. In addition, newer flea treatments have been subjected to less “real world” testing, which can often reveal shortcomings or hazards that lab testing fails to turn up. “We suggest that pet owners stick with older products until the safety of new ones has been established,” says Nancy Kerns, editor of The Whole Dog Journal.


If you don’t see it, ask.

Pet stores may not keep all their flea remedies on the same shelf. Some of them may be locked up in a separate case to prevent theft. If you don’t see the one you want, ask an employee where to find it.


Treat the whole house.

Money spent on a flea treatment is wasted if you don’t get the fleas out of your house. Vacuum carpets and upholstery daily, and discard the vacuum bag (outside the house) right away so fleas don’t escape. Also, wash bedding, and wipe floors and furniture.


Keep your eyes open.

After treatment, monitor your pet for any signs of a harmful reaction. Be prepared to contact your vet if necessary. Also keep an eye out for fleas that survive the treatment – a nit comb is very useful for checking your pet for any remaining fleas.

Some products can be re-administrated right away while others should not be. Follow manufacturer instructions to the letter and talk to your vet about additional treatment.

Pet Enjoy Flea Comb


As the name suggests, a flea comb is a grooming tool used to comb through your pet’s fur. But unlike regular combs, the teeth of a flea comb are very finely spaced allowing the comb to physically trap and remove fleas, flea eggs and flea “dirt” from your pet’s fur. The tightly-spaced teeth on the comb are also useful for picking up and removing dander, dirt, and other debris from your pet’s fur.

Even if you don’t think your pet has fleas, using a flea comb periodically can help you identify fleas before they become a more difficult to treat problem.



Know what to expect.

Some flea treatments work almost immediately, some take a day or more for effects to be seen. Frontline and Frontline Plus work by over stimulating a flea’s nervous system, something that’s often mistaken for an increase in fleas or an adverse reaction (caused by a short-term uptick in flea bites) by anxious pet owners.



Flea Treatment Recommendations


The top two topical flea treatments for both dogs and cats are Advantage II and Frontline Plus. They use different active ingredients, imidacloprid and fipronil, respectively, to eradicate infestations. The two insecticides work differently, but experts say that when used correctly, they are both safe and effective.

Both products receive mostly positive reviews from veterinarians and pet owners, but we found somewhat stronger recommendations for Advantage II. Cat owners, in particular, tend to give Advantage II for Cats high marks for its effectiveness, safety and ease of use. While it does not work for every cat, it’s more consistently effective than any other topical treatment. Most owners also find it easy to apply and are not bothered by the odor.

 Advantage II is a reformulated version of an older product called Advantage, first released in 1996, which killed only adult fleas. The current version includes an insect growth regulator (IGR) to kill flea eggs and larvae as well. Both the original Advantage and Advantage II get positive reviews from veterinarians, including those who specialize in cat care. Vets at the All Feline Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., describe Advantage II as “very safe and effective on cats.” However, reviews from cat owners indicate that in very rare cases, cats may have dangerous reactions to this treatment, so it’s probably wise to consult a vet before use.


Advantage II for Dogs is sold in several different dosages, for small, medium, large and extra-large dogs; as you might expect, versions for larger dogs cost a little more than those for smaller ones. Dog owners are not quite as enthusiastic about Advantage II as cat owners. Although most owners find it effective, dog owners were more likely than cat owners to complain that Advantage II either didn’t work or stopped working before the one-month treatment period was up. Veterinarian dermatologist Jon Plant, writing at the Itchy Dog Blog, notes a study, albeit in cats, that shows some drop in effectiveness toward the end of a month. He adds that “the Advantage line of products are generally very effective for flea control in most situations, when used as directed (monthly).”

Bayer (the maker of Advantage II) also offers Advantage Multi, which is offered by prescription only and in formulations for dogs and cats.  It adds additional protections against hookworms, round worms and other parasites (depending on the species). However, it is not an all life cycle flea killer and is only effective on adult fleas, not flea eggs and larvae. The cat version is the only product that’s also FDA approved for use on ferrets (minimum weight of 2 pounds). One disadvantage to products in the Advantage line is that they don’t protect against ticks. If that’s a concern, a different product could be a better choice.

Frontline Plus, like Advantage II, is a reformulated version of an older product. The original Frontline killed adult fleas, as well as lice and ticks. The new version, Frontline Plus, also contains an IGR to kill fleas at every stage of their life cycle. It continues to protect against ticks and chewing lice as well, something that Advantage II can’t do.


Frontline Plus for Cats



Frontline Plus for Dogs



Frontline Plus gets high marks for safety from both vets and pet owners.

Frontline works by over-stimulating a flea’s nervous system, making them hyperactive before they die. That can make it look like your pet’s flea infestation is actually getting worse as fleas that were previously unseen rise to the top of its coat, and that results in some negative feedback in user reviews, but vets have few reservations. Dr. Plant notes that Frontline Plus is “100% effective at 12 and 24 hours from 1 day to 28 days post treatment.”

There have been some reports, such as this article in The New York Times, indicating that, while fleas in a few parts of the country have become more resistant to fipronil (the active ingredient in Frontline), it and other treatments are still largely still effective in most regions. That’s echoed in comments by Dr. Thomas B. McMillen at the Mercy Animal Hospital in Cranston, R.I., who says “There have apparently been some resistance problems in Florida, but there is no evidence of that around here.” In a study published in Parasites & Vectors, a scientific journal, researchers Tad Coles and Michael Dryden find that reports of resistance to flea treatments is more likely to be caused by improper or insufficient application rather than resistance to the product by the fleas or other pests themselves.

Because the patent for fipronil has expired, generic versions of Frontline Plus are now available. Examples include Pet Armor Plus for Dogs and  Sentry Fiproguard Plus for Dogs.  Formulations for cats are also available, as are generic versions of the original Frontline, designed to kill adult fleas but not eggs or larvae.





Experts do sound some cautions, however. While the active ingredients are the same, inactive ingredients can differ. The Whole Dog Journal specifically recommends against using low-budget spot on treatments as they can be more toxic and less effective than those “made by the most reputable and responsible manufacturers.” Still, some vets and other experts consider generic versions of Frontline to be a reasonable alternative where budgets are a concern. If you are considering a generic version of Frontline or Frontline Plus, the best guidance would be to ask your vet. Finally, choose your vendor wisely as counterfeit versions of Frontline Plus have also been reported.


For Fleas and Ticks

For dog owners who want to control both fleas and ticks, another option is K9 Advantix II

 Made by the same company that makes Advantage II, K9 Advantix II contains the same ingredients, plus an additional ingredient called permethrin that kills ticks and mosquitoes. Permethrin is highly toxic to cats, so K9 Advantix II is for use on dogs only. While permethrin is not generally considered harmful to dogs, reviews from dog owners suggest that K9 Advantix II is more likely to cause side effects than either Advantage II or Frontline Plus. Skin irritation is the most common problem, but a few owners describe more serious reactions. Still, K9 Advantix II appears to be an effective product for treating both fleas and ticks in dogs.



One Flea Collar to Try

In general, flea collars get a thumbs down from experts as being both ineffective and often toxic. One that breaks from the pack, however, is the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

This is another product that uses the same active ingredient as Advantage, and is made by the same company, but in a gradual release format that keeps pets pest free for eight months. There’s no IGR, but one’s not needed as the active ingredient is constantly killing fleas as they emerge. Seresto collars also have a tick-killing component, flumethrin, so they are a great choice for animals that spend a lot of time outdoors.

Vet feedback thus far has been largely positive, and the Seresto flea collar receives lots of user feedback at sites like, most of which has been very good. In a blog post, Nancy Kearns of The Whole Dog Journal reports using Seresto to keep her dogs flea free after an outbreak had been eradicated. “So far, so good; I haven’t spotted any fleas, and you can believe I’ve been looking,” she writes. Dr. Plant notes that it kills 100 percent of existing fleas on dogs within 24 hours, and re-infesting fleas in two hours. It’s also 98 percent effective on cats within 6 hours. One caution that he shares is that while the collar is rated to be effective for eight months, frequent swimming or bathing can reduce that duration.

Adverse reactions seem to be relatively rare. However, since this flea collar uses the same active ingredient as Advantage, if your pet has not done well with Advantage, Seresto also won’t be a good choice. Some complaints are seen about the cost, a concern that Kearns echoes as well, especially for those with multiple pets, but keep in mind that a single collar is the equivalent of eight monthly does of Advantage. Versions are available for both dogs and cats.

A Complete Flea Control Program


Treat the Environment

Indoor flea control involves mechanically removing all stages of the fleas, killing any remaining adults, and preventing immature forms from developing.

Start by vacuuming thoroughly, especially below drapes, under furniture edges, and where your pet sleeps. It is estimated that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. Vacuum daily in high traffic areas, weekly in others. Each time, seal your vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it immediately. Do NOT place mothballs or flea collars in the vacuum, since toxic fumes could result.

Use a product that will kill any remaining adult fleas and also stop the development of eggs and larvae. You will need a product that contains both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR), such as Nylar (pyriproxyfen) or methoprene. This can be in the form of carpet powders, foggers, or sprays.

Foggers are especially good for large open areas. Surface sprays can reach areas such as baseboards, moldings, cracks, and under furniture where foggers cannot reach. Choose the product(s) you use with care, taking into account the presence of children, fish, birds, persons with asthma, etc. Your veterinarian can help you choose the appropriate products for your situation. In severe infestations, you may need the help of a professional exterminator.

Wash your pet’s bedding weekly and treat the bed and surrounding area with a product that contains both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator.

Do not forget to also clean and treat your automobile, pet carrier, garage, basement, or any other place your pet spends much time.

Flea control in the outdoor environment generally involves eliminating the habitat in the yard and kennel areas where fleas are most likely to occur. Fleas tend to like it where it is moist, warm, shady, and where there is organic debris. They will also tend to be where pets spend more of their outdoor time. So be sure to concentrate on areas such as patios, under porches, dog houses, etc.

Rake away any organic debris such as leaves, straw, grass clippings, etc., to disturb flea habitat.

Wild animals such as opossums, raccoons, chipmunks and other small rodents can carry fleas. Try to discourage these animals from entering your yard, e.g., do not feed them.




Final Thoughts


Keep in mind that until all of the fleas in your home have died, you will probably still see some fleas, even on a treated pet, since some immature forms may continue to develop. This is especially true if you had a big flea problem to start with. Persistence is the key here. It is essential to keep following an effective flea control program for a long enough time to get rid of all of the fleas, in all life stages. This may take several weeks to 6 months or more, depending on your particular situation.


Pet Medical ID Tags by Lauren's Hope



Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

The Complete Dog Shampoo Buying Guide

Should Your Dog Take Glucosamine Supplements?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Should You Take Probiotics?

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

Find the Best Bathroom Scale for You

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

About Me

Create Your Own Blog