National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Save A Life!

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month.  I have for the last 26 years taken CPR and First Aid Classes as part of being a Certified Group Fitness Instructor.  When the subject came up to get training for Pet CPR and First Aid, it just seemed like the right thing to do as a pet business owner.  After I took the course I saw how valuable it was and felt that everyone who has a pet should want to be able to help that pet in an emergency.  In that emergency situation sometimes what you do before you get to the Vet can be the difference between a favorable outcome and a tragic outcome.  Along with learning about taking the pet’s vital signs, you will learn what to do if your pet is choking, bleeding protocol and CPR.  You’ll also learn what not to do – such as don’t put your fingers in a conscious dog’s throat to dislodge something. You could lose a finger!  Most of the programs (if not all) will show you how to do a Snout to Tail Assessment.  This is an invaluable tool.  You will learn what is normal for your pet.  If you do this regularly (once a month), you may be able to detect a lump or discover an area of discomfort for your pet.  Our pets can’t tell us if something is wrong.  This assessment is the closest thing to them telling you where it hurts.  If you are interested in taking a Pet CPR and First Aid course, you can Google for some options.  Or check out the American Red Cross, Pet Tech or  Your furry pal will thank you!

April Showers, Bring May Flowers or is it Just More Rain!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Maybe that’s how you feel when it’s raining in South Florida but if you own a dog, you know you’re going to have to get wet.  Or maybe hire someone to do it!  You may have a dog or dogs, as I do, who really don’t like going out in the rain and getting wet.  Now I’m not that kind of dog owner who dresses my dog in matching outfits.  Other than their collars, the occasional bandana is as much as they’ll tolerate. Well I never thought I would suggest this (or be pro-this) but how about a raincoat for your dog?  Hold on give me a chance to explain.  I had a client with a pug, Charlie, a few years back and his owner had left a raincoat out for him.  It was rainy season and sure enough it was raining for one of Charlie’s walks. I said to myself let’s try this out.  Charlie (see picture) seemed to be a little confused by the raincoat but allowed me to get it on him.  I put on his raincoat and to my surprise I was sold! We got back to the house and no need to towel him off, the raincoat had kept him dry! I took a picture of him to send to his owner and that’s when I found out Charlie had never worn it, which explains his confusion! So, if you see me walking my dogs in raincoats, laugh all you want.  My dogs will be dry and my house will be clean (well, sort of, after all, I live with dogs!)  Who has raincoats for their dogs? Now let’s talk boots! Almost better than raincoats, image no muddy footprints!  Now that’s an outfit I’m all for and my dogs like that they don’t get their feet wet.  Don’t knock it, till you try it!

Poison Prevention Room-by-Room

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month.  Most pet owners know that chocolate is a no-no for all pets, but there are many more substances maybe you didn’t think would be a problem.  We are going to encourage pet owners to go room-by-room to create a pet-friendly environment.

  • Kitchen:  Be sure to put all food in secure containers, and only feed pet food to your pet. Even small amounts of grapes, raisons, macadamia nuts, xylitol (artificial sweetener found in gum and other foods) can be dangerous to your pet.  Purchase a garbage can with a heavy, secure lid.
  • Living Area: Plants may seem harmless, but some plants contain toxic substances.  Consult with your Veterinarian before purchasing a new household plant.  Here are a few plants that are toxic to pets:  Aloe Vera, Azalea, Boxwood, Calla Lilly, Chrysanthemum, Easter lily, and Philodendron.
  • Bathroom:  Keep all medications in original, safety top containers, personal care products in a medicine cabinet and cleaning supplies in a secure location.  Install child-proof cabinet devices to prevent pets from opening cabinet doors.
  • Bedroom: Under-the-bed storage space can be great for keeping last season’s sweaters out of sight, but do not use the space to store toxic substances.  Examine the room for perfume, medicine or personal care items and store them in drawers or boxes.
  • Laundry Room:  Keep laundry detergent and supplies in tightly closed, original containers.
  • Garage:  Bug spray, weed killer, paint, charcoal, car coolant and gasoline can be fatal for your pet.  Store these items in a locked cabinet or box to prevent your pet from accidental ingestion.  Be careful on your walks for coolant that has leaked out of your car or a neighbor’s car as it is an attractive substances for your dog but extremely toxic.

Potpourri and tobacco products left out can be toxic to pets.  For a more complete list visit the ASPCA website.  If you know your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline 1-888-426-4435 or 1-800-548-2423.  They will charge $50 but this is considered the most up to date database on toxic substances.

Pet Parents – Be Responsible, Good Human!

Responsible Pet Owners Month

Most of us are responsible pet parents, but we’ve all met those annoying people who give the dog-loving (and cat-loving) parents a bad name.  Of course, we aren’t perfect and sometimes we make mistakes, have accidents and the unexpected happens.  If you see yourself in any of the following situations, you might want to rethink how you and your pet’s behavior affects others.  No one wants to be that pet parent, but sometimes it happens even if unintentionally.

  • Unwanted Greetings – not every human wants to meet your dog and even some dog people don’t want to greet your jumping up dog. Keep your greetings by invitation only.
  • Not Cleaning Up – this is a big one. No one should have to clean up after your dog. It really isn’t biodegradable.  Always have bags with you, whether on neighborhood walks or at the local dog park.
  • Being A Know-It-All – unless you’re a professional dog trainer or behaviorist don’t share your opinion.  You probably know your dog very well and what works for your dog may not work for others.  Recommend a great trainer or Vet, let them be the know-it-alls.
  • Ignoring Leash Laws – this one ties into “not cleaning up.” If your dog is roaming unattended, who’s cleaning up?  If your dog is off leash with you, he may be friendly, but the dog he’s bounding up to may not be so friendly.  Save the no leash for the off-leash parks. 
  • Not Paying Attention – as stated above letting your dog roam the neighborhood is not a responsible pet parent and that goes for the dog park.  The dog park isn’t a place for you to catch up on your Facebook posts, emails or be distracted by your phone.  Be in the moment with your dog.
  • Forcing Hellos – remember how you didn’t like it when your mom would force you to make friends.  Well, your dogs have their likes and dislikes and they don’t like to be forced into hellos either.
  • Cats – yes, this sounded like I was bashing on dog owners, but cat owners have some bad behaviors, too! Bad Kitty!  If you own a cat keep it inside.  Unless you live on a farm and your cat is a barn cat, indoors is the safest and healthiest place for your cat. If they must be outside, spay or neuter your cat.

These are just a few things you can do to be a responsible pet owner.  We have gotten some privileges in recent years, but there are always people who would like to take them away.  Having dog parks and beaches, having pets allowed in condos and apartments aren’t rights and bad behaviors make it harder on the next pet owner.  Be a responsible pet parent – Good human!

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart…

National Heart Disease Awareness Month

February brings attention to quite a few important issues – spay/neuter awareness, pet dental health and responsible pet owner month to name a sampling.  This blog will bring your attention to Heart Disease awareness.  In years past heart disease was considered a men’s health issue, but it is the leading cause of death in men and women! Here are some symptoms to be aware of:

Nausea, Unexplained Fatigue, Dizziness, Heavy Chest Pain, Arm Pain and Breathlessness

You may be asking why a pet sitting and dog walking company is talking about heart disease?! Well last month at a Vet visit it was discovered that my Boston Terrier has an enlarged heart (a.k.a. heart disease).  Our Vet (Arbor Pet Hospital) wants me to be aware of any increased coughing. I would like to share with you some other symptoms to be aware of and notice how similar the symptoms are to ours.

Tired – lack of energy, Fainting or Collapsing, Frequent Coughing, Shortness of Breath, Reduced Ability to Exercise, Reduced Appetite – gain or loss of weight and Swelling Abdomen

If you notice any of these symptoms and maybe more than one, get your pet to the Vet asap!  There are medications that just might keep your furry buddy around a little longer.  While you’re at it be aware of your own heart.  Your furry buddy might want you around a little longer, too!

So far Beanie is doing fine – no frequent coughing – but we will keep a close eye on him. 


What’s better than walking your dog on the beach – nothing!

January is Walk Your Dog Month.  Earlier this month I wrote a Blog about resolutions.  Was one of your resolutions to get more exercise?  Don’t buy that treadmill!  Hook up that leash to your dog and get moving!  As some of you may know, I taught fitness classes for about 25 years but then turned my attention to my pet business. I am still an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor.  When I hear exercise resolutions, I can’t help but put on my instructor “hat.”  ACE (American Council on Exercise) had a campaign years ago that had a picture of a Weimaraner with a leash hanging out of its mouth.  The caption underneath the picture read “Think of him as an exercise machine with fur.”  Walk Your Dog Month ties in so well with Train Your Dog Month and with New Year’s Resolutions.  It is no wonder they chose January to be Walk Your Dog Month! It is said that a tired dog is a good dog.  Maybe you should start your training session with a nice brisk walk and burn off some of that excess energy.  Do you or your dog need to lose a couple of pounds?  Walk Your Dog!  Is your dog bored, destructive?  Walk Your Dog! Need help with all this walking and training call East Paws Pet Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Our number is (954) 468-9981.  We will burn that excess energy off with a walk and maybe a little training along the way!


How about a game of Fetch?!

January is National Train Your Dog Month.  I just felt a BIG eye roll from some of you!  You shouldn’t think of training your dog as a chore.  It can be a bonding experience for both of you!  You can (and should) make it FUN!  Your dog doesn’t have to be a robot.  Doing every command perfectly and immediately.  Of course, that would be great!  Only the “Come” cue is the only command they should never ignore, but overall training should be fun. You can teach your dog tricks and entertain your friends and family.  Your dog really loves to be with you and to please you and if there are rewards involved – Yippee!  Did you get a new puppy over the Holidays? Or did you adopt a new pup from the shelter.  You can’t expect a new puppy, or for that matter, a rescued pup to know your house rules. You wouldn’t expect your newborn child to know how to use a fork, walk or use a toilet.  You are going to have to teach them.  Now you have this new pup – who doesn’t speak your language, thinks digging is fun, jumping up is a great way to get close to someone – and you are just going to let them figure it out! You are going to have to teach them.  It’s Train Your Dog Month – you do have to start somewhere!  Need help? Call us at East Paws Pet Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The phone number is (954) 468-9981.


It is the end of the first month of the New Year, how’s everyone doing with those resolutions you made January 1st?  Are you sticking to that diet?  How about sticking to that fitness routine? One way to make Big changes is to start small.  That’s right, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Rather than cutting everything out of your diet (and any eating plan is a diet), maybe you start with your portion size.  You still eat what you like just a little less.  If you want to exercise, schedule it!  Make an appointment with yourself, put it on your calendar!  And again, don’t say you’re going to workout 2 hours/7days a week.  Make it small, doable tasks, such as 15 minutes on a treadmill.  Personally, I don’t like restricting my food choices, I would rather move more, but I do have to put my pug on a diet!  I start by monitoring her treats. I, already, measure out her meals, but those treats can add up. (Of course, this is with the blessing of her Vet.) Our pets can’t monitor their own food intake, it’s up to us as their guardians.  Obesity in pets is on the rise and along with it are diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.  Here at East Paws Pet Services of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we will administer insulin injections for your cat or heart medications for your dog.  But if you can prevent these diseases by not over feeding your pets, don’t you think you show and you’ll prolong their life, too.  Remember – Food is not Love.  There’s a saying “If your dog is fat, you need to exercise!” If you’re monitoring your diet, don’t forget your furry pal!

Coming Soon!