{First Aid Essentials} Normal Vital Signs

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Another installment in my First Aid Essentials series today! You can still read up on parts one, and two if you missed them.Sometimes it’s good to know what the ‘norm’ is for your dog, to help determine if something is wrong with them. Of course, none of this knowledge is a replacement for simply knowing your dog, their routine, and what is typically normal for them. If you’ve noticed some behaviors are off, that’s a clue to look deeper.


Here, as much for your reference as mine, are the normal vital signs of our canine companions:


100.5-102.5 degrees

Resting Pulse:

80-120 beats per minute (can be higher in puppies and small dogs)

Respiratory Rate:

18-24 breaths per minute

Gum Color:



Skin at the nape of neck should snap back into place in 1 second

Have any of you ever taken an animal first aid/CPR course? Did you get as much out of it as I did? I’ve recently been invited to another, thinking of going back again if my schedule allows, just ’cause. We’ll see ;)

Disclaimer: Again, none of this advice is intended to be anything other than helpful guidance. I am not a vet, and you should not be using any information found online in place of taking your pet into a vets office to be seen if they are sick or injured.

{First Aid Essentials} First Aid Kit + Emergency #’s

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We’ve already discussed the tips and tricks to approaching an injured animal, and today it’s time to shift gears and give you a bit of important information that you might want to act on today.


Pet poisonings happen. Often accidentally, and they’re terribly traumatic. When a pet has been poisoned, often treatment must be received immediately in order to save the life of the animal. Having these pet poison hotline #’s somewhere accessible truly could save your pet, or a friends, in an emergency.

Pet Poison Hotline #’s:

ASPCA Poison Control 1-888-426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680

Animal Poison Hotline 1-888-232-8870

Perhaps you want to print those out? Or better yet- save them in your cell phone like I did. Call it the former insurance agent in me, but I truly do love feeling prepared! ;)

Keeping a dedicated pet first aid kit is another great way to be prepared, and stay one step ahead of the game. We’ve got our own tips and tricks for creating a Disaster Kit for your pet, and Pretty Fluffy’s guest post on her First Aid Kit was a huge hit on SheSpeaksBark.


A few basic first aid items that are great to keep on hand include:

* Tweezers

*Muzzle/Nylon leash


*Saline Solution

*Roll of gauze or gauze sponges

*Adhesive tape

*Antibiotic ointment

*Latex gloves

*Large towel


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Considering my current part time job entails caring for lots of dogs and the occasional cat, I have at least half of that list rolling around in my car at any given time. Along with 3 pairs of shoes, 7 random socks, scratch paper galore, 12 ballpoint pens, 2 coffee cups, 4 pairs of gloves, and at least a pound of dog hair… ;) Needless to say, I’d do well to round it all up and slap it into a container for easy access, since sifting through all the ‘extras’ would really slow down my ability to find anything useful.

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Put that on my 2014 Goals List ;)

Psst- If making your own first aid kit just isn’t your thing….our friends at Amazon have totally got you covered with a light, medium, and extreme version all ready to go.

World Spay Day

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Today, February 26th, 2013 is ‘World Spay Day‘ which is an annual event hosted by The Humane Society of the United States in conjunction with Humane Society International. To see the list of other sponsors click here.  World Spay Day is dedicated to spreading awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering our pets.


As I’m sure you all know, part of being a responsible pet owner is getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered. Each year 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters nationwide. Only half of those animals are ever adopted, which means the other half are being euthanized.  Yet thousands of litters of puppies and kittens are intentionally (and non-intentionally) brought into this world each year.  By doing your part (although it may feel like a small and insignificant act) and getting your pet fixed, you can help make a change in the right direction. Talk to your friends and family about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, and now you’ve payed it forward just a little bit more.

Most shelters include a spay/neuter surgery with their adoption fee, so adoption can be a great way to get a healthy pet quite affordably.  Many shelters and rescue programs are also able to get you in touch with a low cost spay/neuter program if you simply ask for their help. A ‘free dog’ from the paper isn’t free any longer once you’ve spent hundreds of dollars in supplies, vaccines and other vet care which is one of the reasons that I promote and support adoption whenever anyone is seeking to add a furry companion to their family.

If you’re looking to get involved with World Spay Day, click here for a list of WSD events near you. Or maybe you’re in need of a low cost spay/neuter program for your own pet? Please see the various resources available to you here.

I’d love to know how many of you have your pets spayed or neutered? Both Bear and Scooter have been neutered for years, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! All of my pets growing up were always fixed too, and I thank my parents for instilling good pet ownership in us at a young age. We had two female dogs, three cats, and even Bear who were all dutifully fixed under my parents care.

With a lofty goal of 55,000 spay/neuters there is still a long way to go…please help spread the word!

Winter Wishlist

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I’ve already done one Christmas roundup this year (check our these awesome Etsy finds!) and I still owe you a round up for the dog lovers in your life, but I just had to share this one today.

I was browsing amazon last night when this little gem popped up:

Needless to say, I couldn’t say ‘ohhh I need one of these‘ fast enough! I added it to my amazon wishlist, and also to the SheSpeaksBark’s Amazon store (if any of you are interested in one of your own).

With all the foster dogs I’ve been hauling around, this has become practically a necessity in my life. I’ve got the seats protected, and this handy blocker would help ensure the dogs actually stay on the seats they’re supposed to be on. Both Bear and Maverick try to jump in the front seat to wait for me if I leave them in the car for a moment. (annoying!)

I was ‘sold’ on this seat block in particular because its more affordable than other options I’ve seen, and it comes with storage pockets that I could stuff treats, leashes and poop bags in.

What do you use to keep your dogs ‘under control’ in the car?


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Scooter’s officially been fluff-ified!

Our vets office was able to squeeze him in at the last minute for his free grooming session (more on how we won that here) before we left for Thanksgiving weekend. They are super awesome over there, I’ve never been happier with a vets office in my life. I’m sad that we’ll be moving before too long, and will have to start the search again for another good veterinarian wherever we end up next.

He’d never been professionally groomed up until this point, so I wasn’t sure how he’d react to the whole thing. I’ve always done it myself, which he has tolerated begrudgingly, but I assumed he’d probably behave better for strangers.

I was at work while they groomed him, and picked him up over my lunch break. He came out happy as a clam and smelling like ‘pumkin pie cologne’. He’s literally half the size he was before! Pomeranians have a double coat of hair, so the groomers stripped out his entire undercoat, and then trimmed some of the longest hair in his outer coat.  When I groom him at home I worked in sections to strip out the under coat, but it never occurred to me that trimming the outer coat a bit really cleans things up.  He looks amazing!  The best part was that he got to spend the rest of the day with me at work- we had a blast! He schmoozed all the customers and came home a happy camper. They sent him home wearing a bandana that he proudly displayed to Bear & Maverick. Bragging rights, doncha know?

Pssst: Maverick wants to know why you haven’t entered our giveaway contest yet? There’s 4 more days to get your name in for a chance to win a Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel toy (just in time for Christmas)!!

D.A.P Collar {Product Review}

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Ever heard of D.A.P? It stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone.  I first came across this little gem of ‘pet whispering’ back when I worked at the animal shelter. We used D.A.P and its feline counterpart feliway to comfort animals who were stressed by the shelter environment. Generally a few spritzes to a towel was all that was needed to calm an upset dog or cat.

D.A.P. is available in three different application methods: spritz, collar, & diffuser. This allows you to really customize your pets method of treatment. We thought we’d like to try something new for Bear’s anxiety. He’s recently starting licking a few spots on his legs when he gets nervous, and we’ve had to resort to him wearing a cone on occasion so he’ll leave them alone.

The diffuser works just like a glade plug-in and refills last probably 1-2 months. I’ve never used D.A.P (dog version) diffusers but I have seen the feliway diffusers work wonders. This method is great for apartment dwellers, or if your pet is often contained to a single/few rooms (Ex. crated, confined to a portion of the home)

The spritz lasts quite awhile, and I think it works well for pets who are stressed by certain events. For instance, we always take ours with us when we travel because it helps keep the dogs calm in our hotel room. It works great for us to spray it directly in the dogs kennel, blanket, or even a bandanna their wearing.  Others may use the spritz to keep their dog calm in the car or during a thunderstorm. It can keep a cat comfy on the ride to the vets office or when guests visit.

The collar is just so darn convenient. Reminiscent of a flea collar (but with no detectable odor at all!) this plastic-y collar emits the D.A.P pheromone continuously for about a month. It is great for anxiety issues where it’s constant presence is most helpful. The only issue I have with the collar is that it’s very hard to tell when it has ‘run out’ because a human can’t smell it to begin with!


I’d seen the D.A.P spray and diffusers around for years, but the collars were new to me. So I had to order one and try it out for myself. While I do believe the collar really worked for Bear, I also realize it is not a sustainable method for our family. At $24.95 for a single month’s supply, that gets un-affordable quite quickly. Instead, I’ve opted for the glass spritz bottle which we can use much more sparingly. This way we’re also able to use the D.A.P in situations where we know it will be most helpful for our own pets.

*Each pet is an individual, so the treatment methods and effectiveness will vary from pet to pet. Always consult your vet before making a change in your dogs diet or health care routine. 

**These products were fully purchased and paid for by yours truly. D.A.P, Comfort Zone, or Adaptil have no clue who I am, OR that I’m writing this review. I’ve simply had success with their products, and wanted to share my experience with you. However, some of the links in this post are affiliate links which generate a small bit of revenue for SheSpeaksBark.

Scootie’s Car Seat

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Haha! Isn’t my little babycakes TOO CUTE in that car seat? Ahh those teeny paws….

This little car-seat has been a great improvement in Scooter’s car riding experience as of late. Not only is he up off the seat (and can’t be stepped on or squashed by big brother Bear) but he’s finally got somewhat of a view out the windows. Wahoo!

He’s also a heckofalot safer when he’s all strapped in here safely. Scooter doesn’t ride in the car seat continuously on long car rides because we do like to give him a chance to move about and stretch some too, but it’s a great place for him to tuck away for a nap for a few hours. This is our Travel Tip # 2.

With our new seat cover and now Scootie car seat we’re ridin’ in style! Bring on the roadtrip/vacation- we’re ready!!