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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 PetFirstAidOnline.com.  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!

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!