Category Archives: Service Dog

A Fall To Remember

Here is a warning story for anyone with tiny dogs. We have four…Grandma (Skipper), Grandpa (Pirate), Momma (Maui) and baby (Saylor). They all sleep with us in our king size bed that is a bit higher than a typical bed. Because of this we have a carpeted dog ramp on my side of the bed. The dogs learned to use it and come and go with ease.

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Not my dog or bedroom, but likeness of my dog ramp.

Maui is our biggest…almost eight pounds and although she uses the ramp to get on the bed, she has a habit of jumping off Dad’s side onto the hard wood floor. We tried to keep a fluffy rug there as a cushion but sometimes it gets moved and I cringe if I hear her knees hit the floor before I can grab her. Because of this I purchased two Wellness Pet Mats that I discovered at the Global Pet Expo. Since I am starting a site with solutions for older dogs and this helps with arthritis and other ailments I thought we’d get one to try it out and also cushion Maui’s daring jumps.

We got the biggest one for Dad’s side to cover a bigger area to cushion her jumps. We also got one a bit smaller for my side of the bed next to the ramp in case our little ones miss the ramp since Grandpa and Grandma are nearly blind. I never got around to placing the smaller one on my side…until today.

Late last night I came to bed later than usual because we are fostering a 3 week old kitten and I had to bottle feed him once more before bed. The room was pitch dark and as I came in the dogs awoke. Faithful tiny 4 pound Pirate (Grandpa) got up to greet me as I fumbled plugging in my phone in the dark…then I heard the terrible hard thud…He got too close to the edge near the ramp and fell on the very thin throw rug…then he made a terrible long agonizing scream. I got the light on and there he was laying on his side twitching with his little front legs stretched out in front of him.

By now my husband was waking and I grabbed up Pirate, placed him on my bed and his front legs were like straight steel rods, I couldn’t move or bend them…he was breathing heavy…I thought for sure he broke his neck or spine. I dialed the E R vet who said the vet just left (it was 12:03am). I started praying out loud for Pirate as I got the number for another ER. I called them and they said we could come right away.

We flew out the door within less than 4 minutes of the accident. I held Pirate against my chest vowing that if he was paralyzed, I’d carry him around, strap him to my chest for the rest of his life, hand feed him and do whatever it took to bring comfort to my precious little pal.

Then I started to pray…I prayed for full and complete healing in Jesus name over and over again, then I sang a little hymn into his ear as we were exiting the expressway.

My husband dropped me at the door while he parked and they were there to greet me at the door. The nurse asked me to put him down on the big scale….I told her I was worried about his spine and his legs were stiff…she reminded me they would need his weight in case of a RX Prescription. I gently placed him on the scale and he was remarkably quiet. (He is a very vocal dog usually). 4.2 Pounds…I scooped him up and we waited for the vet. By the time the vet came into the room and I put him down on the table, his tiny legs had loosened and were bendable! She took his vitals and left for a few minutes.

By the time the vet entered, Pirate was able to stand by himself on the table…he was a bit wobbly and his right front leg seemed bent in a bit. The vet wasn’t concerned and released him without any meds or treatment. By the next day he was back to his old self! We got our miracle and dodged a bullet!

 

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Sweet tiny Pirate…very fragile but big attitude and bigger heart!

In the meantime, I hurried my launch of Gramppaws.com and Gramp Paws on Facebook to bring solutions to older senior or disabled pets. I will detail my solution to keep the Yorkies safe in my next blog. Please stay tuned and be sure to visit and like our new Gramp Paws Facebook page!

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What Exactly is a SERVICE DOG?

I’m often asked what qualifies my dog to be a service dog.  The easiest way to answer that is the dog must provide a specific service to their disabled handler.  There is also a Therapy Dog or Emotional Support Dog.  Only Service Dogs qualify for full access under ADA. 

A disability can be obvious such as wheelchair bound, blind, or other physical handicap but it can also be a disability not so obvious to the general public…such as a seizure alert dog, sugar dog for diabetics, balance dog for those with Meniere’s disease, hearing alert dogs…just to name a few. 

A Therapy dog has special training and has to pass a temperament test to be calm and not startle easily around all kinds of situations.  Emotional support dogs that help people with anxiety or depression may travel on airlines only with a Doctor’s letter.

Service Dog on the other hand should be able to travel anywhere with or without documentation….although carrying  documentation or a vest & ADA Full Access cards with the Law spelled out does help avoid embarrassment by the uninformed public and business owners.

There are many types of Service Dog Identification that helps overcome public ignorance of the ADA Laws.( not required by law)

Different Types of Service Dog Identification

Look for my next blog with common questions about Service Dogs.Here is the actual ADA Law:

Service Animals

The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).

Overview

This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations.

  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
  • Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

How “Service Animal” Is Defined

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

Where Service Animals Are Allowed

Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Service Animals Must Be Under Control

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and Other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals

  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
  • Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.
  • If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.
  • Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

Miniature Horses

In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.

For more information about the ADA, please visit our website or call our toll-free number.

ADA Website

www.ADA.gov

To receive e-mail notifications when new ADA information is available,

visit the ADA Website’s home page and click the link near the top of the middle column.

ADA Information Line

800-514-0301 (Voice) and 800-514-0383 (TTY)

24 hours a day to order publications by mail.

M-W, F 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Th 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

to speak with an ADA Specialist. All calls are confidential.

For persons with disabilities, this publication is available in alternate formats.

Duplication of this document is encouraged. July 2011

Tick Tick Tick Removal with Tick SR

As promised I am sharing about some great discoveries I found at the Global Pet Expo last month.  Tick SR stands for “Tick Safe Release” and as soon as I got to their booth and saw the product I new it was a winner! Safe fior Humans & your dog!

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 I shared the story below with the guy at the booth and said, “I wish I had this about 7 weeks ago when I had to remove a tick from our baby Yorkie!”  He explained the product with all the science behind it.  I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this before.  Tick SR comes in two forms.  A bottle of liquid (60ml or 250 ml)  that you can squirt out and convenient individually wrapped packets  or 5 or 10 with treated wipes.

60 oz Tick SR box

You can carry a wipe with you where you go.  Attach it to your poop bag holder, keep it in your pocket, or if you have one of those fancy leashes with compartments always keep one there.  The way it works is you just grab the tick with the treated wipe and hold in place till the tick releases.  Once it releases, (between 30 seconds to 4 minutes), you just drop the tick in the toilet and flush or drop it in a bottle with alcohol and keep for a week in case there is complications at the site.   You never have to or should touch the tick with your bare hands.

I find it humorous that the manufacturer’s rep as well as the website and literature emphasizes that it doesn’t harm the tick.  I really don’t care about the tick.  I’m ticked off that the tick chose my dog as a new host.  I’m not sure why they make such a big deal about not harming the tick except maybe because they explain that if you upset the tick it may regurgitate back into the dog ( horse or person) and spread disease.  They even have a large bottle for horses & Stables.

Horses

The way it works is that it dissolves the “glue” that bonds the tick to the host as well as impeding the blood flow to the area cutting off the ticks meal.  It also helps disinfect the wound to further prevent infection.  I found a video that shows how well it works.

I also found it interesting that when I read all of the scientific and testing info, that they used humans in their tests.  Apparently you can get disease free ticks from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Entomology of the Oklahoma State University

Just before Christmas we discovered a tick attached above the eyelid of our Yorkie Saylor.  At first I thought it was a skin tag.  Upon further inspection I was horrified to discover a tick!  Since she only spends time outside in our regularly maintained back yard, it was the only place she could have gotten it from.  We lived here since 1998 and this is the first tick for any of our dogs.

I did all the wrong things to try to remove it.  The only other tick I ever encountered was on our German Shepherd back when I was in high school.  My dad told me to light a match, blow it out and touch it to the tick’s butt.  I did and he (or she) immediately backed out of the dogs neck.  I grabbed it in a tissue and flushed it.  Voila!  Removal complete!

Naturally that is what I tried at first with Saylor.  My husband asked if we should just get a tweezers and pull it out.  “Oh no”, I said.  I’ve read that it squeezes the stomach guts into the dog and spreads diseases.  It also upsets the tick and he may leave his head or mouth parts in the dog causing infection.  So, with Saylor (Baby) tightly held by daddy, I burned the ticks butt.  Nothing!  I did it several times and all it did was make his butt brown.  He was still alive moving his tiny legs, but made no move to escape his burning hell.  At this I said we needed plan B.  I had heard somewhere you smother it with petroleum jelly and it pulls out and leaves cause it can’t breathe.  I went to the internet to check out the method and was shocked to discover you should never cover it with soap or jelly.  Also, shocked to see you should never use a match!  The article suggested using a tweezers to pull out the tick but said it you may not get all the mouth parts out.

I felt a little foolish that I didn’t go to the internet first.  I found the tweezers and tried over and over to pull the tick but it wouldn’t budge.  IN the mean time poor little Saylor was in a death grip by my husband because it was so close to her eye.  Of course she squirmed and actually yelped a few times when I pulled the tick.  Each time she did we stopped to regroup and steady my hands and nerves.  Finally after about 45 minutes a very flattened tick was freed.  I dumped him into an empty Zephyrhills bottle and added a bit of hydrogen peroxide.  The article said to save the tick in case an infection developed in the dog.  That way you could take the tick cadaver to the vet for analysis of any diseases it may carry.

I cleaned the tiny swollen hole above her eye and applied a tiny bit of Neosporin.  Luckily, the swelling and redness disappeared within a day.  Luckily, there was no complications or infection.

Now that Spring is here, so is Tick season.  Ticks can spread diseases including the infamous Lyme Disease.   Did you know that dogs can get Lyme Disease too?   I Now have my own Tick SR in case of another tick problem.  I got the individual packets and carry them with me wherever I take the dogs.  I’m hoping that now that I am prepared I will never have this problem again…but if a tick dares to glom on to one of my pups he won’t be there for long!

Will you be prepared?  You can Get Tick SR for under $10!

Favorite Find from Global Pet Expo!

It’s been a little over a month since I attended the Global Pet Expo in Orlando and I’m just now finishing up the long process of going through about 200 pounds of literature!

I promised to tell you all about the cool things I discovered at the show and today I’m sharing with you about my absolute favorite product from the show.  There are many that I love but first is first.  It is the CritterZone Air Naturalizer.

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I took one home the first night and it did exactly what they said it would do!  Actually, it worked even better than expected.  What does it do you ask?  It cleans the air and eliminates odor.  Having a family of four Yorkies qualifies me to be a tough customer when it comes to cleaning the air.  I know Yorkies are small and don’t shed and really don’t stink very often, however, they do have accidents at times. 

There were all kinds of products at the show to remove odor.  This was the best!  At the show I met a pleasant woman who demonstrated it for me.   She took a cloth and squirted some very heavy ammonia on it and let me smell it…I got a little too close (or enthusiastic) and it just about knocked me over!  Then she took the small hand size machine and held it up to the cloth.  Within about 30 seconds she had me smell the cloth again and….NOTHING!  Not a trace of ammonia!  Needless to say I took one home that night.

Upon returning from a 10 hour day, 2 of the dogs were locked up comfortably in our bathroom.  After a whole day in there it smelled like….well just like “DOG”.  No accidents or anything, just that stuffy doggie smell.  I ran to my bags of goodies and picked out my CritterZone, plugged it in and told my hubby, “We’ll see if this really works!”  About an hour and a half later I went to check it out…No doggie odor!  The room gave off a very clean fresh smell.  The air felt so oxygen rich, fresh and clean!  I was surprised on how well this tiny little box worked.  They say it only takes 2 or 3 to totally clean the air in a 1800 sq foot house.

 Here’s is why I like CritterZone Air Naturalizer so much.

    It really works well!

    It works fast!

    It actually cleans the air instead of putting chemical sprays in the air.

    It doesn’t need a filter to change!

    It comes with a cord or direct plug in the wall…no batteries!

    It also has a car adapter available for stinky cars!

    It removes pollutants from air such as bacteria, mold, Salmonella, Listeria +!

    It offers virtual germ control for your air, surfaces and fabrics!

    Compared to electronic Hepa and Air filters, it is cheaper and much quieter!

    It takes up space the size of your coffee mug!

    It uses a process called Bi-Polar Ionization & Plasma Conversion to clean air.

    It actually PREVENTS germ & mold growth!

    Prevents airborne Illness!

    Cleaning is very easy and not very often!

    Breathing clean air can extend live expectancy!

    You don’t need a pet to use one! 

I could go on and on about the CritterZone but you really just need to try it yourself.  They have a 30 day money back guarantee. 

Who needs a CritterZone Air Naturalizer?  Anyone who:

    Has a litter box!

    Has pets!

    Has allergies!

    Wants a fresh smelling car!

    Smokers definitely need one!

    Has a boat!

    Has an RV!

    Has a musty basement!

    Has a vacation home!

    Has kids!

    Has someone sick at home!

    Realtors for Listings with odors!

   Travels…great for hotel rooms!

Likes to breathe fresh, health clean air!

The CritterZone makes a fantastic gift!  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  You can give it as a gift for healthy air, without insulting them about the odor that they are probably used to! 

We travel a lot with our dogs so that means we stay at hotels that allow pets. Sometimes we will get a non smoking room that clearly had a smoker or smells just plain musty. It is a great little gadget to take along to purify the room.

I recommend getting the one with the removable cord instead of direct wall plug in.  That way if you ever want to use it in the car or boat you can get the plug that fits into your lighter.  You can also move it to a stubborn rug or furniture odor spot.

I offer my readers a $10 discount off the retail price of each unit.  Order online and enter “4TheDogs” in the promo code area and it will apply your discount.  It’s also available in the 4thedogs.com store but you need to go thru the direct link above to save the $10.

Let me know how much you love yours when you get it!

 

Stay tuned for my next blog about cool products I discovered at the Expo and our store at 4TheDogs.com!

Service Dogs for Diabetics Are Lifesavers

Many people are surprised to discover that there are service dogs for diabetics. Of course, it is a well-known fact that there are thousands of service dogs assisting people throughout the country, but most people don’t realize the many ways in which these dogs can be trained to assist their ownrs.

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Service dogs that assist people with diabetes are trained to detect low blood sugar levels by scent. They are trained to determine blood sugar levels by scent.  They also help those who are not classified as diabetic but who suffer from hypoglycemia.   For example, if a dog trained in this way was to detect that its owner had dangerously low sugar levels it would alert then by paw or lick him or her. The dog’s owner could then  command to the dog to retrieve glucose tabs or other medications. If after pawing and licking the dog does not receive the appropriate command, then the dog would paw at the owner’s arm and chest or begin licking the face to make its alerts more noticeable until it receives the appropriate response or command.  The dog may even go on it’s own to retrieve a testing kit or pre arranged food or medical item.  Some dogs excel at this more than others and some are naturals who instinctively alert their handler without training.

These dogs are lifesavers, and should be treated as such, yet some difficulties can arise when service dogs are taken into public places. Problems can arise more so when the condition for which the service dog is assisting is not easily visible. Those of us that depend on our service dogs know how important they are. No one should be asked to leave their service dog outside when going into a public place. Yet this very thing may happen if people are unaware of a dog’s service animal status.

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Fortunately the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) states that service animals are allowed in all public areas. Not everyone knows this. Because of recently revised ADA requirements for service animals, only two answers need to be given when questioned about a service animal. (1) The dog is required for assistance with a disability and (2) what task the dog has been trained to do.

Unless someone has read the ADA requirements, they will not know this; so most people find it far easier to simply use a vest or identification card to identify their dog as a service animal. These forms of service dog identification make getting around a lot easier and they go a long way in helping to avoid unnecessary confrontations with those ignorant of the law. . No one wants to explain 20 times a day how important their dog is to their health, and if others see a dog identified as a service animal, they will be less likely to prohibit the animal access.PACKAGE#7

It is important for a person with diabetes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It sometimes can be difficult to detect when blood sugar is becoming dangerously low or spiking too high. A dog trained to detect these things can be the difference maker.  Service dogs for diabetics are more than just companions, they are lifesavers.

Can You Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?

As I was going through my oodles of phone pictures, I was very surprised to see that over 80% of them were of my dogs…and some other dogs I encountered.  As I went through the photos, I noticed that more than half of them were of the dogs sleeping.

Stop right now and look at the pictures on your phone.  How many are of dogs?  How many pictures do you have of sleeping dogs?

It got me thinking back to all the people I’ve encountered over the years who are quick to pull out their phone and show me cute pictures of their dogs.   Sometimes I get the comment, “I guess I should have more pictures of my kids!”  Since I came to this realization about the amount of sleeping dog pictures, I started to pay attention to the pictures that people e-mail me or put up on Facebook.  A large percentages are of sleeping dogs.  Cuddled up next to a baby, in a cute dog bed, or just on the floor.  What is it about sleeping dogs that draw us in?

I think most people are attracted to sleeping babies and animals.  Maybe we are attracted because they depict peace and contentment.  Sleeping dogs portray a comfortable state that we are longing for.  When these pictures are viewed, it is not uncommon to hear “ahhh!” or `“Oh, how cute!”

I think we are also amused by the sleeping positions that we find dogs in.  They contort into all shapes; curl up into tiny balls that seem impossible for their size.  Some sleep on their backs with all fours sticking straight up, some with their heads hanging upside down, some love to burrow deep down under the covers while others pull the covers over themselves.   I even came across the cutest little disabled Doxi sleeping half in his bed with his back end stilled attached to his wheelchair!

Lots of people allow their dogs to sleep with them in bed.  Most professionals say it’s not a good idea because of the pack hierarchy.  It make sense and I can see why they advise against it.  I just can’t give up that cuddle time with 4 adorable warm bodies every night.  At night they are as quick to cuddle right up against me as they are during the day following me everywhere.

Can you let a sleeping dog lie?  I think not.  Throughout the day they follow me and if I’m still in one place for more than 3 minutes, they fall asleep on me or right up against my feet.  How many of you put off getting a drink or visiting the loo because you don’t want to disturb your sleeping beauties?  When I finally have to get up or move, I try to do it so quietly and carefully as not to disturb them.  It never works!  I tell them to stay but they don’t listen.  They dutifully get up and follow me everywhere.  It always makes me feel bad to disturb them.

I’m sure some of my sleep issues come from not wanting to change to a more comfortable position through the night because I know it will wake them.  This also used to happen when I had a cat who faithfully slept on top of the covers in the middle of my knees.  I did master the art of slightly lifting the covers with the pet while quickly shifting my legs underneath.

I’d love to hear your comments about your sleeping dogs!

How does your dog sleep?  Go through your phone and see how many pics are of dogs.  Post your favorite sleeping dog pics on our 4 The Dogs Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/4-The-Dogs/268357303233926

Summer’s On It’s Way! Keep your Dog Safe!

Now is the time to prepare for summer fun with your best friend.  Whether you will be boating, beaching, hanging out on the dock, or by the pool, keep Fido safe with this comfortable and attractive life vest.  These vests are lightweight, comfortable and also make a fashion statement of your choice.  Several styles and colors to choose from.

Yes dogs can swim, however, they can get panicked, tired out, and even disoriented in the water.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  We have tried several types on our dogs and find these the best.  Not only are they the safest, but also more comfortable for the dog, especially if there is a need to pluck her from the water by the handle.  Other vests only have 2 belly straps which can make uneven weight distribution causing discomfort.  These two strap models also are easier for a wriggling dog to slip out of.

The design of the Paws Aboard vests have a full hook & loop underbelly giving more support and also a feeling of security to tyour pup.  The pricing is very reasonable and affordable.

Better quality at a better price for your priceless pet!

DESIGNER DOGGIE LIFE VEST by PAWS ABOARD

Starting at $24.99

Comes in 6 sizes.  XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL

Paws Aboard Pet Life Jacket and Designer Pet Life Jackets provide  ultimate buoyancy and high visibility to keep pets safe on the water.

Constructed to provide buoyancy, along with a cozy secure fit, the Paws Aboard  Pet Life Jackets features:

An advanced breathable mesh underbelly for proper  draining and drying, which provides your dog more comfort

and healthier conditions than traditional pet life jackets, which can cause heat exhaustion  and chafing.    

  • New reflective  strips for maximum visibility,
  • Bright colors  and unique designs
  • Handle on top  for quick and easy grabbing.
  • Adjustable nylon  straps,
  • Quick-release  buckles,
  • Heavy-duty yet  more comfortable Velcro® fastening system around the belly and neck to keep  securely fastened.

Check out this direct link for more info and to purchase your lifevest.  Be sure to look around at some of our other summer fun products for your pet. Pool steps and boat ramps and ladders for easy exit from the water, Chilled water bowl, water toys, summer apparel and more!

http://www.4thedogs.com/designer-doggie-life-vests/

Itchy Scratchy Earth Day Solution

We recently have been staying in South Florida for business.  Upon arriving, the dogs became very itchy and uncomfortable.  We tried all kinds of things.  First, we did some topical anti-itch cream, but it didn’t seem to make a bit of difference to the dogs.  I guess placebo effect doesn’t have a chance with Yorkies.  We watched their diet, gave them extra omegas in their food, but they were still eating themselves raw.

I felt so bad for them but everything we tried was a failure.  Within about 10 days of this, their hair was gone and down to bare skin, I started looking into other things.  I did not want to take them to the vet for cortisone because I had a Lhasa once whose skin was never the same when we moved to the Florida Climate.  He was on cortisone and it worked like a charm, but he also blew up in size and the vet told us it could affect his heart.  Whenever we tried to wean him off, he lost weight but also scratched 24/7.  It was a vicious cycle.

 Since I only wanted to use drugs as a last resort, I sped up my investigation into all the new products and info I got at the Global Pet Expo.  We decided to try a sample of all natural dog shampoos and conditioners from the show.  The Organic Oscar Oatmeal Shampoo and Organic Oscar Aloe Vera Conditioner were amazing!

The pups were bathed only using a tiny bit or product because we needed to spread it to cover all 4 dogs.  As soon as they dried, the results were almost miraculous!  Not only did they smell great and feel softer and silkier then I ever remember, they were NOT itching!  Over the next few days, they rarely scratched, their hair remained very soft, and I knew we would definitely offer Organic Oscar in our store 4thrdogs.com.

Hair has all grown back, they are calm and comfortable, and were just groomed again yesterday with Organic Oscar. It is amazing how little of the product we need to use compared to the previous shampoos and conditioners.  The pump bottle also adds to ease while bathing the dog. The softness of their hair adds an extra benefit that I hadn’t counted on.  They feel so good to touch they are getting lots of extra attention from Dad and I.  We are addicted to touching their soft coat and they love it!

In honor of Earth Day, check out Organic Oscar in our American Service Paws Store…  http://www.4thedogs.com/organic-oscar-oatmeal-shampoo-for-dogs/

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What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

When Pirate had his eye injury, I was totally unprepared for it.  Luckily, I did do the right thing.  I stayed as calm as I could, put him in his little kennel and took him straight to the vet.  I was fortunate that I was not alone and had someone there to help me not only stay calm but find the keys, and drive.

Now that the days are getting longer and the temperature is getting warmer, our pets will be enjoying the outdoors with us.  Great time for fun, playtime, and bonding but also prime season for injuries.  Are you prepared in case of an injury?  What would you do if your pet got stung by an insect or bit by a snake?  Broke a limb?  Fell in the lake or got an eye injury?

Knowing what to do in advance will help your pets’ survival and recovery.  It is important to know what to do and what NOT to do.  How do you protect them and yourself from further injury or transport them safely to the vet?  People have fire drills, hurricane preparation etc.  Now is the time to prepare in case of emergency for your pet.

Do you have the proper first aid kit for your pet?  Know how to preform CPR for your best friend?  Do you have a safe transport solution and muzzle for your protection?    Here are just some web sites that have first aid instructions for your pet:

In my next few blogs, I will cover specific emergencies and solutions to help prepare just in case.  If you have specific situations you would like me to cover, just leave a comment.  Check out http://www.4thedogs.com/med/ for fully supplied first aid kits with instruction cards.

“THE EYES HAVE IT” Part Two

I left off yesterday giving you a little background on Buoy the Service Dog and Nan.  Nan has been working with Buoy since last summer 2011.  He has brought great joy into her life.  He is by her side at all times and usually sleeps on her head, (yes I said head) and licks her forehead and eyes as she falls asleep. Her eyelids of course.  Licking eyeballs would be gross!  It’s like he immediately knew she couldn’t see and he is trying to clear them for her.

As I mentioned in our first blog we were at the Southern Pet Expo in West Palm last Saturday.   Mom called in the afternoon and was concerned that Buoy was injured and in pain.  We were about 4 hours from home and just entered the Expo.  I asked about a million questions:

“What’s wrong?”

“I felt his head, the top of his head feels hot…hotter than usual.”

“Maybe he was just playing in the yard with Ginger and overheated a bit…is he

otherwise ok?”

“No, I feel this large marble size lump on the side of his nose.”

“Mom, could it be something stuck in his beard?  See if it comes out, maybe it’s a

group of those stickem seeds that they pick up sometimes.”

“No, it’s not anything attached, it is under his skin.”

“Do you have him with you right now?”

“Yes, he is on my lap right now.”

“Feel around and tell me is it on top of his nose or on the side of it?”

“It’s on the side of it.  I think he is in pain, he whimpers whenever I touch

it.”

“I wish I was closer right now….do you think he might have gotten stung  with

something or bit by a snake?”

“I don’t know, it feels really big…like a big marble.”

“Darn, I wish I was closer.  Let me think of who can look at it.  He may need to

get to the Emergency Vet…Call Erin, she may be home.  Ask her to come take a

look.  If it is an emergency she could take you to the vet.  How is he   now? Is he

eating or drinking?”

“I don’t know if he ate but I could hear him drinking.  He seems ok as long as I

hold him.  He definitely doesn’t like me touching the lump.”

“OK Mom, poor baby, just comfort him and love on him till I can think

of someone to come check on it.  I’m saying a prayer now that it isn’t anything

serious or expensive.”

Buoy was on our mind as we explored the pet expo.  I felt helpless being away and worried that if something happened to Buoy it would crush my mom.  The sound of her voice has so much laughter and happiness since they became a pair.  We prayed through the day for the little dog to be ok..

After the expo and a quick stop by the beach, we met up with my other daughter and her friend in Del Ray Beach for dinner.  I also asked her to pray for Buoy at dinner.  After a great meal on the water, we walked down Atlantic and came across an outdoor Elvis show.

 We went by his show for a few songs when Erin called.  It was very loud and hard to hear her.  I asked about Buoy.  She had just come from Nan’s and told me she didn’t know what was wrong with him.  She said she checked him out and thought maybe he had a problem with his tooth.  She lifted his lip and saw his gum could have been a bit swollen by his tooth.  She said she couldn’t really see anything that looked like an emergency but it probably was his tooth.  She was almost home and didn’t feel confident it was an emergency.

At this point, I was worried out of my mind and assumed he must have a bad abscess.  Poor dog, suffering, I felt so helpless.  I called Mom told her what Erin said.

“Mom, Erin didn’t seem upset but was not sure what it was.  She said she looked

him over and couldn’t really see a lump but lifted his lip and saw  hat part of his

gum stuck out around his tooth.  Maybe that was it.  She said it didn’t look

definitely swollen, you know how things always feel bigger than they actually

look.  But she said she wasn’t a good judge of how it should look.”

“It must be an abscess…and it’s infected.  That’s why his head felt hot.  He has

a fever.  I wonder If I can give him an aspirin?  When will you be back home?”

“Not in time to get him to the vet if this is an emergency…It’s very loud here…Let

me get to the car and call you back.”

It was about 9:15 pm. I called Aloma Jancy Animal Hospital and asked about their emergency hours.  They said they were there till midnight but it was super busy.  I explained the injury the best I could and she told me they would be opened Sunday night from 8pm till 10pm.  She said not to give him aspirin because it could make him bleed and make things worse.  Just keep him comfortable till he could be seen.

By now, my imagination was out of control and I was trying to think of how to get Buoy help immediately.  I called mom back and told her not to give him meds.  Then brainstormed who could come over and take her to the vet at 9:30 on a Saturday night.  Maybe her friend Katie could drive.  I said, “If it’s bad mom, just show up and they will look at him if it is really serious”.   Mom didn’t want to bother her; she had her grandchildren with her that night. I thought about calling my neighbor…then mom thought of her other friend…who also is her groomer.

“Great idea Mom, call her now and call me back!”

“I’ve got good news.  Janine will stop by tomorrow morning at 10 and look it

him.  But she has a 10:30 appointment and is busy.  If he needs a vet, we’ll have

to find someone else to drive us.”

“Great!  I feel a little better.  Since she works with dogs and knows him, I  trust

her judgment.  I will pray tonight that whatever it is healed by tomorrow and

she finds nothing. Call me as soon as you know.”

I did pray throughout the night that Buoy would be ok.  The next morning Mom called.  She was crying.  I misunderstood and thought she was crying.  Crying about poor poor Buoy. She was laughing!

“What’s the matter Mom?  What is it?  Is Janine there?”

“She just left…you are never going to believe this.  It wasn’t his tooth, it’s his

eye!”

“Oh no!  An abcess in his eye?  Is his eye still there?

            (I will post another story sometime on why I asked this.)

“ Yes, he is OK.  It’s his eye!”

“What’s wrong with his eye?  What happened?  Is he going to the vet?”

“Nothing is wrong with his eye.  She said it was his eye I was feeling…do me a

favor, close your eyes and feel on the side of Saylor’s nose…do her eyes feel like

big marbles sticking out?”

“WHAT?…You were feeling his eyeballs?  You said on the side of his nose.”

“His eyes are on the side of his nose.  He has a tiny nose.”

“Mom, were you feeling by the tip of his nose near his teeth or by the top of his

snout on top of his head?”

“His snout is so tiny I can feel the tip and his head at one time.  Do these dogs

have bulging eyeballs?  I’m not kidding these things feel like those giant marbles!

Tell me what you feel on your dog’s face with your eyes closed.”

“No they don’t have bulging eyeballs but if you press on their eyes compared to

the top of the head and snout, they do feel like they stick out but it doesn’t look

like that.  Mom, feel both sides, do they feel the same size?”

“Yes, two huge marbles sticking out from the side of his nose!  I can’t contain

myself…this is the funniest thing…I have a totally different picture of what these

dogs look like! Hahahahaha! The tears are coming out of my eyes this is so

funny!  I can’t believe I was feeling his eyeballs!”

“Mom, didn’t you think to feel both sides?”

“He felt hot, and I was worried, so I started to feel him all over until I found  the

bulge.  I had no idea you could feel their little eyeballs like that!”

“Oh Mom, no wonder he whimpered and didn’t like you touching there…you

were pushing on his eyeballs!”

At this, my mom started laughing hysterically and couldn’t catch her breath.  I was relieved, and a bit shocked at the same time, but couldn’t resist joining in on her contagious laugh.  In the background as she started laughing, I could also hear Buoy laughing!  He mimics her every sound.  I’ve heard him bark, growl, cry, talk, complain, howl, but this was a first,  now I heard him laughing…laughing at all of us!