LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

A Cruising Dog’s Medicine Cabinet

We are in the home stretch of getting Oliver (and ourselves) outfitted for life aboard, and most recently met with our vet for Oliver’s annual exam and checkup. (Side note – Oliver’s Titer test/certificate came back with flying colors so now we can check that item off our list).

^^this guy is pretty much ready for cruising life.^^

While we were at the vet getting Oliver up to date on all the necessary shots required for entry into various Caribbean islands, we also stocked Oliver’s medicine cabinet with several key prescriptions and got the lowdown on plenty of over-the-counter first aid products we should keep on board for him too.

I actually started the doggie Rx convo awhile back with our awesome vet, Dr. Stacey at Animal Oasis here in Naples, knowing that Oliver has historically been prone to semi-regular skin/ear issues.  We want to make sure we have the necessary meds on board if and when we need to treat him in the islands.  We also want to take the proactive steps now to keep his little poodle face healthy and happy while we’re sailing through the Caribbean.

Okay, let’s be real people. Oliver’s medicine cabinet has actually grown to be quite a bit larger than either Jereme’s or my own! And he’s just a little 20lb. fluffy poodle. How is that even possible?

We’ve stocked Oliver’s doggie medicine cabinet with the following key prescriptions:

  • Cephalexin – antibiotic
  • Cerenia – anti-nausea medication
  • Heartguard – heartworm medication
  • Tramadol – pain reliever
  • Virbantel – dewormer
  • Zymox – enzyme system for chronic ear and skin issues

^^Oliver’s bevy of scripts.^^

And, we’ll have the following “over-the-counter” first aid items on board for Oliver:

  • Frontline (flea + tick)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bedadine
  • Epsom Salts
  • Benadryl
  • Neosporin
  • Sterile bandages/guaze
  • Butterfly closures
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Ear drying solution
  • Baby aspirin
  • Pepcid
  • All the gear for grooming (clippers (fur+nails), doggie shampoo, toothpaste, etc.)

We also plan to have a few key food items on board in case Oliver has any gastro issues. This includes things like canned pumpkin, white rice, and wheat bran.

We’ll be making one final vet visit immediately before we set sail to get a freshly dated international health certificate and a USDA-endorsed cert (that is required at a few countries we plan to visit).

Soon, we’ll have a legit cruising dog with all the gear, meds, and certificates to prove it! 😉

PS – Why am I always the one stuck doing the dirty job of taking Oliver places he would rather not go (i.e. the groomers and the vet)?  Although Oliver usually doesn’t totally hate going to the vet because he gets to chill with other waiting room dogs, this time he wasn’t such a happy camper!  I really don’t blame him considering he had to get his blood drawn for the annual heartworm test and shot up with 3 different vaccinations, plus a nose spray one.  I knew Oliver was super pissed this time around because after his appointment, instead of jumping in the car and happily laying on my lap, he hopped in the car and walked to the very very back (seats were folded down in the Jeep) and laid down facing backwards. Poor thing!  (But don’t worry, he’s feeling like his old self already today!)

PSS – I’m pretty sure we’ve spent way more $$$ on Oliver’s health and well-being than our own. 😉

Brian Bell (UF 1990)January 9, 2014 - 7:27 pm

While I am sure Oliver would never injest anything he shouldnt… we had to resort to the HydrogenPeroxide vomit trick with our pup one frightful time (squirrel poison from an almond orchard)

I see you already have the H-P on your list.
Worked like a charm (yuck!)

Go Gators! Sail Safe! Have Fun!

LAHOWINDJanuary 9, 2014 - 7:40 pm

Hi Brian! Thanks for the tip! Scary! Yet good to know. We’ll have HP on board for sure, hopefully we won’t have to use it. GO GATORS!!! -Kim

Jesse K on s/v SmittyJanuary 16, 2014 - 7:32 pm


Not a fun thing to think about but an item I have come to include as necessary in my K9 first aid kit is something for putting the dog down. Not something you want to think about much but there was a book I read, the Sail of Two Idiots, that brought this to my attention. They had to watch their cat slowly die in an anchorage in the Caribbean. The poor thing suffered until it finally passed. After reading that I added it to my list.

Sorry for the downer post.


LAHOWINDJanuary 16, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Wow, total debbie downer. 😉 jk! I did read that awhile back on your (very helpful) post btw. It’s super scary and not fun to think about at all, but a part of life I suppose. I am crossing my fingers that we never have to face that situation with Oliver being of young age. -Kim

[…] route and saving bookoo bucks in the process.  As you might recall, we didn’t have a problem diy-ing Oliver’s doggie first aid kit, and his medicine cabinet is way bigger than ours so this should be a […]

Katy LinJune 12, 2014 - 11:26 pm

What are the “certificates” required to be a “legit cruising dog?” My husband and I are preparing to set out with our dog, Hallie, and haven’t the foggiest what’s required for her to travel with us!

[…] note, Oliver’s stash of grooming tools, along with his massive medicine cabinet, take up a pretty hefty chunk of our head (bathroom) storage space. Who knew a 20lb. poodle could […]