June 12th, 2020
Today I want to share a very simple photo with no glitz or glamor. Most people won't look twice. But it carries a short but very important message. This pup passed a MAJOR milestone! This was her first spa day with us but this sweet girl was known for her anxiety especially concerning her feet. She was once told she would possibly need medication to soothe her before attempting to trim her nails due to her anxiety. We took all of this into consideration and made sure to book a larger groom slot for her as to not risk any outside triggers to contribute to her anxiety. We figured out she was very treat motivated and used it as positive reinforcement! She allowed us to blow dry her with cookies in hand! Then, when it came time for nails we filled a Kong toy with peanut butter (with approval from owner to verify if anyone in the household had a peanut allergy) and she went to town without a care in the world while she got mani/pedi! A little extra TLC is sometimes all these babies need! Now, this isn't always the case. Sometimes a muzzle is required for the safety of the person working with the dog or in extreme cases sedative medication with veterinarian supervision is required. The most important thing I want to mention here is her owner's clear voice for her pet! When you tell your groomer, veterinarian, or pup sitter ALL your pets special needs, temperament issues, or behavioral sensitivities it makes our job much safer for human AND pet! Armed with this knowledge of her past experiences and anxiety's we were able to do our best cater to her needs. Be your pet's voice!!! Let other's know what your pet NEEDS in order to have a calm exam, or relaxed spa day! Never be afraid to ask questions or for suggestions from animal professionals. We want your pet to leave us with a happy and positive experience, and maybe some peanut butter breath! ♡
SO given the current circumstances around our beautiful nation I thought it would be a good idea to give some practical emergency tips. Especially with all this lovely free time most of us have! I will cover some basic information on what I have in place in my own home as well as tips I have seen other pet owners use quite effectively. We all know the tips you see on the news for “things to prepare” for a natural disaster type scenario. No one could predict this pandemic scenario, but what about your everyday emergency? That’s what I would like to discuss today.
In my household we have three poodles, two cats, eight chickens and one duck. Three of my animals receive medications daily. So as you can imagine, if something were to happen to me and/or my husband we would need someone to know how to care for our herd! In my wallet I keep a “Pet Emergency'' ID card behind my license. This was especially important to me when I was single, on this card it states that I have pets at home that require medical care. Their names (any major health issues such as diabetes, epileptic listed next to it), species, and 3 contact numbers are listed. One of which should always be your trusted veterinarian in case your immediate family is unable to care for them. Now, let’s say you had a medical emergency and you are in the hospital, maybe unable to communicate. You have a friend who agreed to go over and tend to your pets but maybe they aren’t very familiar with your animals? A close friend of mine used this template and explained to me her reasoning. “I want to know that if something happens to me, my animals will still receive the care they need. I want to leave such clear instructions that a stranger could come and tend to them and know exactly what to do, who was who, and where to find what they need.” That statement has stuck with me through the years.
So my template includes the following: Name, age, color, gender, special needs, any known behavioral issues (for example my female cannot be fed with my other two dogs or a fight will occur). Then I go on to list out the feeding routine, who is fed where, the amounts of food, and any medications. I also put where they can find the food/medication. Is this a bit much? Maybe, but when you have several senior pets skipping one or two doses of medication can have severe health repercussions. I update this document as needed and keep it hung on the fridge at all times. I also keep a list of friends/pet sitters who are familiar with my animals as well as the contact info for the vet on the bottom of the paper.
Now the last thing I will go over is vehicle accidents that INCLUDE your pet. Hopefully we never have to worry about any of this. However, we need to be prepared for your pet’s sake. First, if your pet is in a carrier is it secured? Even if your pet is secured in a carrier and strapped into a seatbelt carriers can break and leashes can be cut. They do make crash proof kennels for those who travel frequently. They can be pricey but oh so worth the piece of mind. Let’s say you don’t have that (as most of us don’t). I HIGHLY recommend having your pet mircochipped. This is such a valuable thing especially if your pet loses its collar.
Now, be mindful that even if you have microchipped your pet some companies require annual fees to remain active, while others are simply a one time initial fee when the chip is inserted. Check to make sure which type of chip you have! Next, have a collar on your pet in case they do get loose if you have an accident! My pet’s typically do not wear any collars when inside (that’s for another article) but when we go for walks or do any kind of travel they wear them at all times. Make sure your tag includes a rabies tag AND your CURRENT contact info. Don’t know if your dog even has an up to date tag? Now is the perfect time to update that info! I include the pets name, 1-2 contact numbers, and if the pet has medical issues you can add a handicap symbol or the term “Med Alert ''. I believe this is crucial information. If the pet is still with you hopefully they will see your pet ID card in your wallet with the specifics of your pets needs.
So often pets are not chipped nor have tags on their collar so we can’t contact their owners. Or perhaps nothing but an old rabies tag? Well if the vet office is closed for the weekend your pet may go to the pound until they officials can contact the vet office to get your information. Then your diabetic pet may have gone a full two days without insulin, you guys see where I’m going. This is a really “negative nancy” type article but something we should all think about once or twice a year. Why not print up a “How to Care '' template while your on Covid-19 shutdown and watching Netflix? That’s what I’m doing this afternoon myself ;) . We hope this article has helped you feel more secure for any situation that comes your way.
Your Furry Godmother
A Tribute to our Senior Citizens
So I wanted to give our senior citizens a shout out in this article. I want to discuss with a subject very dear to me. Our senior kids need more attention, medical care, and accommodations. They may grow more gray and begin to walk alittle slower but we still see our young playful puppy! They can't tell us that their hip hurts or that they are particularly stiff in the back this morning. We have to notice these changes and address them as needed. Particularly in the grooming profession, many owners don't know how difficult a grooming session may be on their pup so it is up to the groomer to be very open and voice your dogs new changes. For example Max may have been fantastic for grooming his entire life, always sporting a beautiful hand scissored trim! Well now Max is 12 and he doesn't like to stand much anymore. His eyes bother him abit as he adjusts to having cataracts. He knows I'm there and what I'm doing but he can't really hear my reassurances that he is such a good boy! Oh ouch! That foot hurts today! So he snaps and yelps to communicate that to me. I don't blame him, he was just telling me what I didn't know. So now it's time to have that talk. Max and I have a chat with mom and dad, "Max has decided he is ready for a "comfort groom" well what is that? A comfort groom is a haircut that may or may not meet your expectations but it does for Max. It's no longer in Max's best interest to stand for an hour on the grooming table (can your 80 year old grandmother stand for an hour in a checkout line? Maybe. But not without discomfort), he is becoming arthritic and he can't balance on three legs while I scissor those cute teddy bear feet you love. (Could your 80 year old grandmother stand on one leg for any period of time? Probably not.) I know we love his long beautiful hair but brushing out tangles is becoming hard on him and his skin. (You know where I'm going with this. Do I need to talk about that paper thin skin we will all have one day?) So what does this all mean for Max? Well, let's go for a simple trim that is the same length all over, maybe shorter than his old style to minimize brushing and risk of tangles. I'm going to do my very best to allow him to be in whatever position is most comfortable for him while we work together. For my big dogs that may mean they lay on the floor with their head in my lap! For my little guys maybe I hold them while cutting their nails so they don't have to balance. Comfort grooms come one day for everyone. Having incontinence issues? Let's trim them like puppy's with large potty patches to help avoid urine scalding or dingle berries off the rear end. Max may be alittle uneven and not look as spiffy as he use too. We may not even be able to fluff dry him anymore if the dryer causes seizures. BUT this is what I do guranatee with his comfort groom. Max will trust me more because he will know I will stop and alter whatever I can to make him more comfortable and if something is obviously painful or wrong we stop. He will go home much happier and with less soreness or stiffness because I didn't force him to stand the whole time. My old man Gilbert and I had this very discussion this week. He told me it was time. He wanted a comfort groom, he can no longer stand or even sit upright while I clipper his front legs and feet. I can only use scissors and even then he becomes extremely stressed and bites (yes I his mother, his groomer, his snuggle buddy!). So he got an extreme comfort groom. His legs are choppy, his nails and paw pads done but nothing pretty to look at. Some may even say it was a chop job. But you know what? My dogs needs come before my wants. He NEEDS a 30 minute groom. Does he trot around my backyard still and wiggle his nub? YES! He loves to put a little giddy up in his step! But when it comes to grooming it is becoming harder for him. He does sit like a perfect angel for his face. So he gets a cute little scissored face with choppy legs. Humanity before vanity. Always. So when your groomer wants to have a talk about a comfort groom for your dog we come from a place of love not laziness. We may have been with your dog from 12 weeks, so now at 12 years we feel like they are apart of our family too. We only have your pet's health and happiness in our hearts. Thank you for reading.
Your Furry-Godmother & Gilbert (photographed above)
Real Fur. Real Talk
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