Items in your Dog First Aid Kit

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 25 percent more pets would survive if just one pet first aid technique were applied prior to getting emergency veterinary care.

Most dog accidents happen in or nearby the home. Examples of the most common pet accidents include: toxic ingestion, dog bites, high rise syndrome, ripped toenails, foreign body ingestions with gastrointestinal problems, eye emergencies, broken bones, trouble giving birth and being hit by a car. One way to be prepared is to have a pet first aid kit on hand.

Dog First Aid Kit contents:

  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% (within the expiration date)- must be fresh/bubbly

  • An oral dosing syringe or turkey baster (for administering hydrogen peroxide)

  • Teaspoon/tablespoon set (to calculate the appropriate amount of hydrogen peroxide to give)

  • Liquid hand dish washing detergent (i.e., Dawn, Palmolive)- no bleach containing

  • Rubber gloves Triple antibiotic ointment with NO other combination ingredients

  • Diphenhydramine tablets 25 mg (with NO other combination ingredients)

  • Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears

  • Sweet electrolyte-containing beverage

  • Corn syrup- about 1/8 cup in case of hypoglycemia

  • Vegetable oil- for removal of sticky substances

Based on recommendations from the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA), you should also consider including these additional items:

  • Gauze

  • Nonstick bandages (or towels/cloth strips)

  • Adhesive tape for bandages (Do not use human adhesive bandages.)

  • Milk of Magnesia

  • Digital thermometer

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Instant ice pack

  • Styptic powder or pencil

  • Tweezers

Having an extra leash in your kit is also a good idea, and make sure that you always have the phone numbers for your veterinarian and the local emergency veterinary clinic handy.

Remember, before you attempt anything with your first aid kit, it is always important to speak with a poison control specialist before you try any therapies at home. Never administer hydrogen peroxide to any pet without checking with a veterinary professional first, as sometimes it’s not appropriate to induce vomiting at home. The Pet Poison Helpline: 1 (800) 213-6680 or

After you’ve administered first aid, it is still extremely important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.



Poison Prevention Awareness Month ( March 17th-23rd)

March is recognized as Poison Prevention Awareness Month and this year, March 17-23 marks National Poison Prevention Week.

With many common household items toxic to pets, it’s important to educate yourself to ensure you keep unsafe items out of paw’s reach.

It can happen to even the best pet owners—you turn around for one moment (or accidentally leave medication or chocolate on the counter) and your pet ingests a potentially harmful or fatal pet poison.

Many items commonly found around our homes can be dangerous to pets, including:

For dogs:

  • Chocolate, particularly bakers and dark chocolate.

  • Xylitol, the sweetener used in sugarless gums and candies, as well as some medications.

  • NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen found in products like Advil and Aleve.

  • Over the counter cough, cold and allergy medications.

  • Rodenticides (mouse poison).

    For a complete list of pet toxins, visit the Pet Poison Helpline at You can also view the Top Pet Toxins of 2017 as reported by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Pet owners should contact their veterinarian or a pet poison helpline immediately if they suspect their pets have ingested a potentially toxic item.



5 Dog Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

As much as dogs like to run, play and sniff out the world around them, they also like to snooze. Healthy adult dogs spend an average of 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping, and puppies, senior dogs or those with health problems may require even more rest.

 Pet parents witness all sorts of dog sleeping positions, especially if they share a bed or couch with their pups. You have the back loungers, the spread-out space hogs, and the curled-up cuties. But what do these dog sleeping positions mean? Why do dogs sleep the way they do?

 This helpful guide breaks down five common dog sleeping positions and explains some of the science behind why dogs sleep in certain ways.

 The Lion Pose

 If you see your dog sleeping with his head on top of his paws, chances are he’s just resting, says Dr. Stanley Coren, professor emeritus in the Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia and author of numerous books, including "Do Dogs Dream?"

 “If you see a dog in a lion pose—with his paws stretched forward and head resting on his paws like the statues of reclining lions in front of some government buildings—the dog is apt to be simply dozing and not in a deep sleep state,” he says.

 The Side Sleeper

 “The most common posture that dogs use to sleep is lying on their sides with their legs extended,” says Dr. Coren.

 This means that a dog is relaxed and comfortable and shows a level of trust with his surroundings.

 Dr. Coren explains that a dog will often start to dose in lion pose and then slump onto his side once he falls into a deeper sleep. “As soon as the dog starts to dream, his muscles will relax and he will roll out of the lion pose into the normal sleeping position,” says Dr. Coren.

 Dogs that sleep on their sides need space to stretch out.

 The Donut

 Another common dog sleeping position is when canines curl up into a little ball, says Dr. Katherine Houpt, professor emeritus of behavioral medicine at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

 Dr. Houpt completed a study that looked at dogs in shelters and how they sleep. “They almost all sleep that way when they're undisturbed—in balls, curled up,” she says.

Dr. Houpt explains that dogs do this to make themselves as small as possible, and that it also helps them regulate body temperature. “When dogs are really warm, they will stretch out on cool surfaces, but most of the time, they curl up,” she says. “I think that it makes them feel that they are less vulnerable.”

 The Superman

 You may see some dogs stretched out with their legs in front of their heads and kicked back behind their butts. This is sometimes referred to as the “Superman position.” While researchers aren’t 100 percent sure why this happens, Dr. Coren and Dr. Houpt have a couple of ideas about this dog sleeping position.

 Dr. Coren believes that this position also relates to temperature. “The fur on the dog's underside is not as deep and insulating as the fur on the rest of his body,” he says. “What you call the ‘Superman position’—with limbs outstretched and belly against the floor—is also a response to a warm environment, but usually occurs in situations where the surface that the dog is lying on is relatively cooler than the air around him.”

 Dr. Houpt says that she sees smaller dogs and puppies stretch their back legs behind them more often than larger breeds. “You see it often in Chihuahuas and Terriers,” she says. “I think that there may be some mechanical reason why if a dog gets to be over 20 pounds, it's harder for them to do that.”

 The Cuddle Bug

 If your dog is constantly snuggling up against you, or you notice him nuzzled up next to one of the other dogs in your household, there is a pretty simple explanation for this adorable dog sleeping position, says Dr. Coren.

 “The tendency that many dogs have to cuddle when they sleep is a holdover from when they were puppies. Again, this has to do with temperature, since puppies have difficulty regulating their body heat,” he explains. “As the dogs mature, sleeping that way against another living thing merely becomes a sort of learned feeling of comfort held over from puppyhood.”




Preventing Pet Theft

While it may be hard to imagine why anyone would steal a pet from its caretakers, it happens all too frequently. According to Last Chance for Animals, an estimated 2 million pets are stolen in the United States each year.

Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take each day to minimize the risk of pet theft.

1. Never leave pets unattended in public.

As a pet sitter or pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure you stay with pets at all times when you are out in public, whether you are at a dog park or the grocery store. Leaving a pet alone even for a few moments can put them at risk of theft, so always keep them with you, and keep them on a leash. Even if you are nearby, it is easier for a criminal to try to run off with a pet if it is not on a leash.

If the dog will be spending time outside at home, ensure that the yard has a secure fence. Just keep in mind that it is still best not to leave the dog unattended for long, since even fences are not a deterrent to some criminals.

Another important thing to remember: Never leave pets in your vehicle, even if you plan to be back in a few minutes. Not only does it pose a health risk to pets, since temperatures can drop or rise quickly even while the heat or air conditioning are on, but it also leaves the pets susceptible to people with bad intentions who may see them alone in your car.

2. Research your pet-care providers.

Whether you are looking for a pet sitter, trainer, groomer or other pet-service provider, be sure to do your research. You should always use the services of a trained professional who can provide references, proof of a background check and insurance coverage, etc.

This is especially important when selecting a pet sitter. More and more horror stories are coming out each year of people who posed as “pet sitters” only to steal (and then sell) an animal they had been hired to pet sit. Just because someone is listed on an online directory or app doesn’t mean he or she is a qualified pet sitter running a professional business.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) offers a free checklist of questions pet owners should ask any potential pet sitter. Pet owners can also visit to search for a PSI member in their area. Hiring a trustworthy pet sitter ensures that pets get to stay in the comfort of their own home and that pet parents have peace of mind.

3. Make sure pets have current IDs.

Always make sure that the pets in your care are wearing collars and ID tags with up-to-date contact information. While you should take steps to prevent pet theft, you want to be prepared in the unlikely event that the pet is still stolen somehow. If the pet gets away from the thief and is found by someone else—or if someone gets suspicious of the pet’s origins and intervenes—the current contact information will let them know where the pet should go.

But pet parents should also consider having their pets microchipped. A thief can remove a pet’s collar and ID tags, but he or she may not realize that the pet has a microchip. A simple trip to the veterinarian may then reveal the crime, PetHub explains, and lead to a happy reunion.

4. Keep accurate records.

Also be sure to keep current photos of pet and parent, as well as documents proving pet ownership (e.g. vet records, shelter adoption paperwork, etc.).

While you would like to think the best of the people you know, it is not unheard of for people (especially former roommates or partners) to claim falsely that a pet is theirs. By having records clearly proving ownership, you can help prevent this type of pet theft.



How did you choose your dogs' names?

"How did you choose your dogs’ names?" The majority of dog owners gave their furry friends a "human name" or one that described its personality. 

Read on for more information on pet monikers.

  • 47.1 percent of dog owners chose names like Molly, Sam, Annie or Max.

  • 32.8 percent of dog owners gave their dogs names that described its actions or personality, such as Twister, Sweetie and Trouble.

  • 23 percent of dog owners gave their dogs names that resembled their physical appearance, such as Brownie, Snowball, and Spot.

  • 18.5 percent named their dogs after a famous person, such as Cher or Sylvester. 

Pointers in choosing a pet name:

  • Consider names that the dog can easily recognize.

  • Animals respond better to one or two syllable names.

  • Consider names that are easy to call out - Don't go for a tongue twister!

  • A pet's behavior is a great source of inspiration for names. Study your pet's behavior for ideas.

  • Avoid names that sound like standard instructions, such as Spirit (Sit), Kay (Stay) Fletcher (Fetch), etc. It can be difficult for dogs to tell the difference between similar sounding words.

  • Consider names that will suit your pet through its entire life. For example, "puppy" may not be appropriate for your dog when she matures.

  • Get a book of "Baby Names" and check out their meanings. You may find one that suits your new pet perfectly - like "Clyde," which means "heard from a distance" or "Rhett," which translates to "enthusiastic."



Don’t entrust your dogs' care to dog lovers

Don’t entrust your dogs’ care to dog lovers

Local dog-sitting business Paw Play Date encourages dog owners to do their research and hire not just a “dog lover,” but a dog lover who is also a true dog-care professional for their dog-care needs.

Fort Collins, CO. March 8, 2019 —For local dog owners to travel—whether for work or pleasure— searching for someone to watch the dogs while they’re away is likely on the to-do list. Paw Play Date, which offers dog-sitting services in Fort Collins, encourages dog owners to only use the services of professional dog sitters for their dog-care needs this summer and throughout the year.

“With so many new websites and apps advertising pet sitters and dog walkers, it can be difficult for dog owners to know who they can trust,” explained Paw Play Date owner Katie Stephens. “It’s important that dog owners understand that there are professional dog-sitting and dog-walking businesses that offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”

Paw Play Date encourages dog owners to do they're due diligence when selecting dog-care providers. News stories of tragedies caused by pet lovers looking to earn extra cash and calling themselves “pet sitters” have become more common as the number of pet-care directory sites has grown and articles have touted pet sitting as an easy side job. While these pet lovers are likely well-intentioned, they often lack the experience, education and insurance coverage needed should a pet emergency or other unfortunate situation occur.

“Just because someone is a pet lover and has a profile on an online directory—or even on a nationally-publicized site—doesn’t ensure he or she is a qualified pet sitter operating a legitimate business,” added Stephens. “In today’s sharing economy anyone can offer their services online, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring not just a pet lover, but a pet lover who is also a true pet-care professional.”

Stephens is a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters and dog walkers. 

PSI encourages pet owners to ask any potential pet sitter seven important questions:

  1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?

  2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?

  3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?

  4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?

  5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?

  6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS™) and/or has he or she participated in other pet-care training, such as pet first aid?

  7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

PSI also advises dog owners to schedule an initial consultation with a potential dog sitter prior to booking services.

Because professional dog sitters come to clients’ homes, dogs’ routines are uninterrupted, exposure to illness is minimized, and they don’t experience the stress of a new environment. dog owners have peace-of-mind that their dogs are well cared for while they are away.

“Finding a dog sitter you trust allows you to leave home truly worry-free,” Stephens said.

To learn more about Paw Play Date, visit or call 970-541-2050.