Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Pet First Aid Awareness Month emphasizes the importance of education and training and being a caring, conscientious, responsible and loving pet parent and Pet Care Professional during April and all through the year! Our theme for this year’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month 2014 (April 1-30) is “Don’t Learn By Accident...Let’s
Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Visits!”
Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or suddenly take ill. This includes home care and when necessary veterinary help. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean the difference between life and death; temporary and permanent disability; and expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care. It is estimated that 1- out-of-4 more pets could be saved if just one basic skill or technique was applied before receiving veterinary care.
Along with our ongoing message, this year, we want to emphasize prevention and the importance of being proactive in your pet’s health. Don’t Learn By
Accident...Let’s Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Visits is about taking the initiative and being prepared with the skills and knowledge to eliminate preventable accidents.
Together with our Partners we are “Improving the Quality of Pets’ Lives, One Pet Parent, One Click and One App and one eBook at a Time.TM” Our message, as always, will highlight the importance of learning the necessary skills of CPR, first aid and care for our four-legged, furry, family members. Now, thanks to technology we can have access to the information when we need it whether we are at home, hiking in the woods or on vacation.
This year we would like to highlight our online training and eBook series.
Our Pet First Aid Awareness Month Campaign will include international, regional and local events that will make an impact on pets all over the world. Help us convey our message! This e-kit is full of information and ideas on how you can participate and help pets and pet parents everywhere.
By joining together we can make a difference! We have included some promotional ideas and suggested guidelines for a successful event. Now it’s our turn to show our appreciation to all the pets in our lives for the joy and love they unconditionally give us everyday!
Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake
Every pet parent knows the guilt of leaving their pet home alone all day while they go off to work. At Fetch! Pet Care, we believe that even in your absence your pet can still have a great day! Whether it’s wrestling with a Kong for their food, finding a hidden treat or going for a great 60-minute walk, your pet can have a fun filled day that will leave them tired and ready for some cuddling when you get home. Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your pet busy while you’re at work:
1. Hunger Games: It’s time for your pet to bring home the bacon! There are great toys that make your pet work for their kibble or treats. The Kong and The Bob-Alot are great examples. The Kong has a hallowed out cylinder where you can insert treats that are almost out of your pet’s grasp. With work they can get their treats and have a great time. The Kong has both dog and cat versions of the toy. The Bob-Alot is an egg shape toy, weighted on the bottom so it wobbles around when pushed. Once the treat or kibble is inside, your pet will push it around the floor. The more pushing, the more the kibble comes out! You can put your pet’s whole meal in The Bob-Alot to make a meal last a lifetime!
2. Paper bags or boxes: If your pet has not discovered the joy of a paper bag or box then they are missing out! A simple paper bag or box can keep your pet occupied for hours as they throw the bag around, crawl inside the box and push it around the floor. Sometimes simple everyday items like these can be so entertaining for your pet. For safety purposes, please remember to poke holes in the bags or boxes, and never use plastic bags.
3. Satisfy the need to chew: Pets love to chew, so it’s important they have some great chew toys so they don’t go after your shoes! Chewing is great for dental hygiene and will keep your pet busy for hours! We recommend using nylon bones over rawhide, which can break off into pieces, get lodged in your pet’s stomach, and cause major problems. For kitties we recommend catnip mice and other fabric chew toys. Get some great chew toys and your pet will have a happy, productive day!
4. Fetch! Pet Care Walks/Pet Visits: Pets love to have a daily walk or visit from a Fetch! Pet Care pet sitter or dog walker. We can take your dog on a 30-, 45- or 60-minute walk, or for dogs with extra energy we provide fast-paced walks, designed to truly get your dog’s heart rate up and send him home “dog tired”! For cats we provide fun games and circuit training to engage your cat’s feline prey instincts. A daily visit is a great way to break up the long day.
5. Hiding treats: Our pets are notoriously curious, especially cats and small dogs. You’ll often find your kitty or pup curled up in a small, concealed cubbyhole or hidden spot. Seek out these spots and hide a yummy treat, small chew toys, or a crinkly fun toy! They’ll be lured in by the treat and then stop for a relaxing afternoon nap!
Although nothing substitutes a nice day with their owners, these tips can help your pet have a great, busy week until you’re home for the weekend!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
As more and more parents choose to get pets for their children, local professional pet sitter Trisha Stetzel recommends families give careful consideration to choosing the best possible pet.
Demographic surveys of pet owners sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) show that families with children are more likely to own a cat, dog or other type of pet. With pet ownership at an all-time high and continuing to grow, many parents in the Clear Lake area are likely to welcome new pets into their homes this year.
While having a pet offers many positive benefits for children, Trisha Stetzel, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake, encourages parents to choose wisely when selecting their family’s next pet.
Stetzel recommends families consider the following questions before deciding on a new pet:
1. What type of pet is best for your family? While dogs and cats are still the most popular species, more households than ever before own small animals, reptiles and fish, according to 2013-2014 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey. For families with small children or very limited time to care for a pet, animals like hermit crabs, fish or even snails may be better options. Families with smaller living spaces should think carefully before bringing in a larger dog (or even a puppy) that would require room to exercise frequently. For these families, cats, cage pets or aquarium-based pets may be more ideal. Families with fenced-in backyards and/or ample time for walking and play are best suited for more active dogs. For families seeking a dog, retrievers, boxers and collies are often noted as ideal breeds for children.
What is your budget? Caring for a pet is a financial obligation, so it is important for families to consider how much they are able to invest when deciding on a new pet. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates the average costs a pet owner will incur within a year range from less than $300 for fish or small birds to more than $1,000 for dogs, cats and rabbits. These estimated costs include food, veterinary care and miscellaneous items like collars, leashes, litter boxes and crates. The age of the pet can also play a factor in anticipated expenses. For families with dogs, many find older dogs to be more “budget friendly” as they do not require the training and house-breaking items that puppies require. However, depending on the pet’s health, older dogs could also incur more veterinary expenses—so it’s important to consider the pet’s needs, age and health when budgeting.
3. Who will take care of the pet? Families with older children may be able to teach about pet care and responsibility by having the children take on tasks like cleaning the litter box or feeding the fish. Parents with small children who require a lot of attention may need to consider if they have the time to devote to a puppy or other pet that requires frequent exercise or care. For parents who work long hours or juggle multiple family responsibilities, easier-to-care-for pets like fish or reptiles may be the best options to offer their families the joys of pet ownership without the time commitment required for caring for other pets like dogs, cats or birds. Families with limited time can also benefit from the services of a professional pet-sitting service like [Your pet-sitting business name]. Professional pet sitters can offer a variety of pet-care services for parents working long hours or when the families travel out of town and are unable to take their pets.
“Pets bring such joy to families’ lives,” notes Stetzel. “Considering your needs, budget and availability can ensure you select the perfect fuzzy, feathery or scaly new addition to your family.”
Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake is a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters. To learn more about Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake, visit clearlake.fetchpetcare.com or call 866-342-4625. To learn more about PSI, visit www.petsit.com.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Great article from petpav.com!
3 Easy Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Dogs, primarily with flappy ears, are prone to ear infections. If you can clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis, it can help prevent ear infections and/or illnesses associated with the ear. Some dogs have very little ear buildup and simply need their ears wiped out occasionally. Other dogs need thorough ear cleanings every week or two. Inspect your dog's ears regularly and talk to your vet about your specific dog's needs.
You can do the following to clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis.
Ear Cleaning Supplies
Below is what you need to clean your dog’s ears at home:
Ear cleansing solution: Look for a high quality ear cleaner recommended by veterinarians. You can also make a homemade ear cleanser (for dogs without major ear issues) by mixing one part table vinegar to two parts water. Make sure to avoid ear cleansers that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these can cause irritation.
Cotton balls, cotton pads or gauze squares
Tweezers (for dogs with too much hair in the ear canals)
A towel or dish cloth
Getting Started With Ear Cleaning
Ideally, you should clean your dog’s ears in your bathtub or outside. The cleaning will cause your dog to automatically shake his head and the ear debris and cleaner can end up on your walls and possibly you! That is yet another reason to have a towel handy for you and your dog.
Before cleaning your dog’s ears, take a look inside them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, that hair may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers or tweezers.
How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
1, Begin by holding your dog’s ear flap up and squirting a few drops of cleanser on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. If using homemade solution, get a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe with a tip that is about an inch long. Then, you should gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Do not use an excessive amount of pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.
2. Before your dog can shake his head, begin massaging the base of your dog's ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smooshing sound. By massaging the ear, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds, you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.
3. Once your dog has a good shake, use the cotton or gauze and your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it. You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges. Remember, that you should never put the cotton-tipped applicators into the ear any further than you can see as it can cause damage to the eardrum can occur.
If your pup’s ears still seems dirty, try to repeat the process. Then, move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog's head off. Then, of course, reward your dog with treats for his or her great behavior and you can be rewarded for a job well done!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The Tongue Does Not Heal All Wounds
Have you ever heard someone say that pets should be allowed to lick their wounds because saliva has healing properties? Veterinarians run into the notion all the time … typically after a dog or cat has been brought to the clinic with a wound that is getting worse rather than better after being licked.
Like many old wives tales, there is a modicum of truth behind the idea that licking can be beneficial. When an animal is wounded and does not have access to veterinary care, licking removes foreign material from the injured tissues. Also, there is some evidence that saliva does have antibacterial properties, so licking might help prevent or treat infections under these circumstances.
It makes sense for a wild animal to lick its wounds since no other options are available, but it does not follow that owners should therefore allow pets to do the same. This is particularly true in the case of surgical incisions.
Before, during, and after surgery, doctors go to great lengths to prevent wound contamination and infection including:
- shaving the site to remove hair
- scrubbing the area multiple times with two different types of antiseptics
- covering the surrounding areas with sterile drapes
- using sterile equipment
- cleaning our hands and wearing sterile gloves and gowns
- donning masks, booties and hair covers
- keeping surgical suites impeccably clean
- suturing the wound to keep it closed as it heals
- prescribing antibiotics, pain relievers, and anti-lick devices as necessary
When a pet licks a surgical incision, he is introducing contamination, not removing it. In the case of non-surgical wounds, I don’t care if a pet licks a few times before treatment is initiated, but once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and medications started, the downsides of licking once again outweigh its benefits.
We now have lots of options available for keeping a pet’s mouth away from its wound or incision. Traditional Elizabethan collars work for some individuals, but others find them too annoying and clunky. See-through varieties are available, as are bulky collars that can prevent animals from turning their heads to reach many parts of their bodies. Body wraps and bandages (including some that emit a mild electric charge when licked) are widely available. Deterrent sprays can also help, but should never be applied directly to a wound. Spray the surrounding skin or use them lightly on an overlying bandage.
While we’re on the topic of bandages, a well-applied, appropriate covering that is checked regularly and replaced as needed can speed healing. But when used incorrectly, bandages do more harm than good. They can cut off circulation and lead to tissue death, become soiled and promote infection, and simply hide the fact that a pet’s wound needs attention. I generally do not recommend that owners apply bandages unless they have been taught the correct way to do so by a veterinarian who is familiar with the exact nature of an animal’s wound.
If one form of lick deterrence fails, try another. Keeping a pet’s sutures in place and preventing infection as a wound heals are well worth the effort.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Hose Water Can Get Hot Enough to Burn
Dr. Coates is on vacation this week, so we're revisiting some of our favorite posts from past summers. Today's post is from summer 2012.
Here’s a new summertime threat I had never thought of before — dogs being burned after being hosed off with scalding hose water. Ten such cases were recently reported in an articlepublished in Veterinary Dermatology.
All of the affected dogs had second or third degree burns along their backs after being exposed to hot water from a garden hose that was laying out in the sun. "Third degree" describes a severe burn that damages both the skin and its underlying tissues. Second degree burns involve the superficial and deep layers of the skin.
Cases occurred from May through August in Texas, Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina. The burns were not always apparent until several days after the incident and some resulted in significant scar formation. I’m not sure we need a specific name for this condition, but the authors propose that we use the phrase "garden hose scalding syndrome (GHS)."
According to the July 2012 issue of Veterinary Medicine, the pathologists conducted their own experiment to test whether or not hose water could actually get hot enough to cause second or third degree burns. They filled black and green rubber garden hoses with water and set them out on the grass for two hours in temperatures between 89 and 94° F. The water collected from the hoses reached 120°F. Imagine how much hotter the water might get on a truly scorching day. The Burn Foundation reports that in people, hot water causes third degree burns:
…in 1 second at 156°
…in 2 seconds at 149°
…in 5 seconds at 140°
…in 15 seconds at 133°
I’ve been keeping a hose out on our back patio to water plants this summer and have been surprised a few times at how quickly the water inside heats up. I always let it run for a bit before watering the plants, figuring that they’re not built for those temperatures. The same can obviously be said for canine and human skin.
So even though it may seem like an obvious recommendation, make sure to flush the scalding water out of the hose before you turn it on any living creature.
Dr. Jennifer Coates