5 Fun Facts about Dachshunds

Sausage DogBeneath the squatty, streamlined body of the Dachshund, is a strong and nimble hunter. Although they resemble the frankfurter, these pups were originally bread for their stubborn tenacity to hunt a very ornery critter.

Learn more about the beloved Dachshund with these 5 fun facts:

  1. The name “dachshund” is German and literally translates to “badger dog” but they were also referred to as “hole dogs” as far back as the 18th century. Originally larger than their modern counterparts with longer legs, these fearless warriors were used to exterminate badgers throughout Europe.
  2. dachshund Waldi

    Waldi, the mascot of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games

    Because of their strong association with Germany, the dachshund was the symbol of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. His name was Waldi.

  3. As of 2012 the dachshund was the 10th most popular dog breed in the USA, according to the American Kennel Club.
  4. Prone to back injuries, a specialized laser surgery developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital was used in clinical trials to correct defects in injured Dachshunds, with a goal of expanding the treatment to all dachshunds as a preventative measure against spinal injuries.
  5. wiener dog races

    Wiener dogs race to finish line

    Known for their speed, thousands of dachshunds and their owners compete dachshund races around the country. One of the longest running is the annual Wiener Nationals which has been held in Orange County California for over 20 years. Locally, the annual Weinerfest held in Orlando, includes entertainment, food and a dachshund race.

“Ruff” Week? Time For Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

Yappy Hour in Dr PhillipsThe week has barely started and you’re already looking forward to a weekend of wine and spending time with your dog. Well, Big Paw Pet Care and Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips have a TREAT for you! Join us Wednesday May 20, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm for a Yappy Hour at:

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips
7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 8
Orlando, FL 32819
(located in the Dr Phillips Marketplace next to Publix)

Bring Your Dog to Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

This isn’t your normal happy hour. Our Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips will be a great time for you AND your furry best friend. Explore the shop and it’s delightful fresh baked treats. Mingle with other pet lovers like yourself. You’ll also enjoy:

  • Free wine and snacks for people and dog treat samples for your pup (while supplies last).
  • Bring your dog training questions and learn a new technique from Big Paw Pet Care’s Dog Trainer, John Standefer
  • Learn how a simple weekly wellness assessment can keep help keep you better informed about your dog or cat’s health with Mike Meibuhr, Certified Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Instructor.
Please RSVP For You and Your Dog Too

We can’t wait to meet you and your dog this Wednesday!  For more information please call Big Paw Pet Care at (321) 345-7387 or Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips at (407) 363-5550. RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

About Woof Gang Bakery Dr. PhillipsYappy Hour Dr Phillips

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips is your neighborhood pet store! Your dogs will love their full service dog spa for a simple bath or full groom. Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips offers a full line of natural dog and cat food, fresh baked treats, chews, bones, cool collars, leashes, toys and more. Don’t forget: All four legged friends welcome.

About Big Paw Pet Care

Big Paw Pet CareBig Paw Pet Care® is Central Florida’s Total Pet Care providing pet sitting and daily dog walking services 365 days of the year. Big Paw Pet Care® provides pet sitting services for cats, dogs and small mammals like hamsters or guinea pigs. Big Paw Pet Care also offers a “PAWsitive” approach to dog training with both private and class room style dog training. And as Orlando’s best resource for Pet First Aid and CPR training, you can learn skills that may save your pet’s life taught by our PetTech Certified Instructors.

Pet First Aid Month: Pet Wellness Assessment

In our Pet Tech First Aid Classes we show students how to perform a Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessment. It’s a systematic method to set a baseline for your pet’s everyday health. The more you know about your pet’s body, normal bumps and lumps, the better prepared you will be if something abnormal appears.

Remember: Early detection means early intervention.

It is also a good bonding experience for you and your pet. You should be able to touch all parts of your pet without them becoming nervous or agitated. Doing regular Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessments makes your pet comfortable with being touched and helps your pet be more comfortable being examined by the veterinarian.

The Assessment

IMG_2301Starting with your pet’s snout, check for any abnormal discharges or cracking in the nose, tenderness in the muzzle. Move on to the eyes- do they appear? Are they tracking together?

Next, its time to inspect the mouth, teeth and gums. Look for swelling, smells or odors. Followed by the head, skull, neck, spine and skin. Do you know what the signs of mites or infection may be? Chest and ribs should be free should be free of lumps, easily feel the ribs under the coat and breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy.

Move each of your pet’s legs independently to see if there’s any wincing or pain, they should move fluidly with no interruptions. Move on to the stomach and genitals. Giving slight pressure to the abdomen, check for signs of bloat. Do you know the seriousness of bloat and how it should be handled?

Finally, we’re at the tail. It should have a full range of motion, but don’t push your pet’s tail beyond it’s normal range.

Celebrate Pet First Aid Month: Take A Class

There you have it! A wellness assessment for your pet that’s easy, thorough and repeatable. The assessment is intended to find irregularities in the coat, skin, lumps or bumps that may have changed since your last assessment.

If you’d like to learn first hand how to complete this Snout-To-Tail assessment, sign up for our one of Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR or PetSaver classes today. It’s fun, interactive, informative and most importantly – hands on.

3 Reasons To Avoid Rawhide

In our Pet Tech First Aid and CPR course we cover many aspects of your pets daily life to promote a safe, healthy environment for your pet. During our section on choking management, the discussion inevitably turns to chew toys and treats. As pet sitters, we encounter all types of products visiting our clients at their homes. Some are relatively safe when used with supervision, others are dangerous from the outset and should be avoided. 
 
The one item that always falls into the danger category, even under close supervision, is rawhide. 
 
What Exactly Is Rawhide? 
 

pet sitter“Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. To make them more appealing for dogs, some rawhide treats contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings.” (Source: Pet WebMD: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog)

 
Why Avoid Rawhide? 
 
1. Choking: Chunks of soggy, yet firm hunks of rawhide can easily be swallowed by your dog. These flat pieces of semi-rigid, processed flesh can swell when they become wet with saliva. They can lodge in your dogs throat, blocking airways and cause choking. In most instances of choking by a dog, the cause most often is rawhide (more than handballs, small tennis balls and other chew toys).
 
2. Turn Stomachs Into Knots: Some dogs, especially puppies, cannot digest rawhide. Being a processed form of animal skin, it doesn’t remotely resemble the organic nature of prey food that a dogs body is able to digest. Moreover, some dogs are allergic to rawhide and may vomit or have loose stools after consuming it. And going back to point one, if your dog is able to swallow a piece of rawhide, but vomits, it doesn’t mean it won’t become a choking hazard on the way back up. 
 
3. There Is WHAT In Rawhide?: Rawhide is not a food, but a highly produced byproduct of the food industry. And the details can be downright gruesome: 
 
Removing the hair from hides often involves a highly toxic recipe: sodium sulphide liming. A standard practice is to procure rawhide in the “split lime state” as by-products from tanneries, facilities that top the list of U.S. Superfund sites. In the post-tannery stage, hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide. And that’s just one step.
Other poisonous residues that may show up in rawhide include arsenic and formaldehyde. Even dog skin is a possibility. [sic] Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” (Source: http://thebark.com/content/dangers-rawhide-dog-chew-toys)
 
 
A Better Chew “Toy”
 
The fact is for dog owners, you need to supply your pet with something to chew or else you’ll end up with chewed furniture and chewed shoes. Unfortunately there’s not one perfect solution for all pets and pet owners. So we recommend several items for dogs who need to satisfy the need for chewing: 
 
pet sitter1. KONG brand chew products (unstuffed) 
2. Nylabone brand chew products can be safe as long as you select the size appropriate for your dog and they are not consuming pieces bigger than a grain of rice
3. Deer/Elk Antlers or Raw Beef Bones: Depending on your comfort level with raw bones, both beef bones or antlers can be a long-lasting product for your dogs to chew. However, some dogs have been known to break teeth on these types of products, so check with your vet on your dogs dental condition before offering these to him. 
4. Bully Sticks are an all natural, safe alternative to rawhides. 
 
It’s important that you never leave your dog by themselves when chewing a chew toy or bone. Supervision is always required. Additionally, after each chew session you should wash the item with hot water, and a mild soap, as you would your pet’s food dishes, to avoid bacterial growth and contamination. 
 
For more advice on safe pet products or advice, feel free to call us anytime at 321-345-PETS (7387)

Pet First Aid 2013

Pet First Aid Classes: Saving Even More Pets

We’ve had a great year with our Pet First Aid and CPR classes. We started off this year by helping pet owners like you earn a Pet CPR and Pet First Aid certification to care for their own pets in the event of an emergency. As the year progressed we were able to help local pet-businesses, pet sitters and pet boarding facilities earn certifications for their staff.

Most importantly we were able to roll out special Pet First Aid classes to support the missions of local pet charities like Pookie’s Rescuefest and the SPCA of Central Florida. We’ve raised over $1000 for the SPCA of Central Florida. With the economy still in the dull drums pets are still being abandoned at an alarming rate. Your support has helped ensure a second chance for hundreds of local pets.

Our final class of 2013 will benefit the SPCA of Central Florida. We’ll be holding it in the Community Room of the SPCA’s Orlando location near the Mall at Millenia. Space is EXTREMELY limited and fills quickly at this popular location. Please remember, even if you register online your space is not reserved 100% until your payment is made.

To register now, please click the date below:

Sun Nov 17 – 12:00 PM at SPCA Orlando – Benefiting the SPCA

Big Paw Pet Care is proud to offer classes benefiting the finest pet charities in Central Florida. If you have a charity group or rescue that would like to offer a unique and valuable fundraiser to your supporters please contact nick@bigpawpets.com to discuss the options we have for you. Get Pet First Aid and CPR certified today!

Visit our Pet First Aid page to learn more.

3 Steps For Treating Pet Seizures

Pet SeizuresMany of us that have pets who suffer from seizures or epilepsy.  They can be common in certain breeds and the seizures can also present themselves in many different forms.  However, most of them can be characterized as a jerky motion involving paddling of the legs and fully body spasms.

Knowing your pets health and understanding their diagnosis if they do suffer from seizures is also important.  If your pet has a seizure for the first time or, it lasts longer or, looks different are very important factors that should not be dismissed and are also sure reasons to take your pet to an animal hospital or your veterinarian for further evaluation. Seizures can also be a result from head trauma, poisonings, heat injuries such as hyperthermia as well as many other causes.

If your pet does suffer a seizure, there are 3 Steps to keep in mind to help them through it.

  1. NEVER put anything in the pet’s mouth!  You don’t want to compromise their airway and may now have made the situation worse.  On top of that, if you cherish your fingers, it may also be a good idea to keep them out of your pet’s mouth.  With that said, the good news is that it’s a lesson you have many times to learn, namely 10…
  2. During the seizure, reduce external stimuli such as lights or sound.  Make sure they don’t injure themselves on nearby furniture or if they are in close proximity to a staircase, make sure the don’t fall down the stairs.
  3. Like in any other emergency, keep calm and don’t panic.  Your pet is very much in tune with your energy level so if you stay calm, it will help reduce you pet’s stress too.

Stay safe until the pet seizures to run their course and have a plan before you take action once they have passed. Most importantly, be prepared to contact your vet as soon as you and your pet are safe.

How To Prevent Pet Poisoning

Preventing Pet PoisoningAccidental poisoning is one of the more common reasons pets visit an animal hospital. Often, people tend to forget that like kids, pets are inquisitive especially in the younger years.  Careless handling and storage of cleaning supplies, pool chemicals and other household items can lead to very bad consequences. If you’re a pet owner, it’s a good idea to think about safety proofing your home to prevent pet poisoning. Below are some ideas to consider when going through your home.

When saftey-proofing your home for a pet, think about all the different types of ways poisons can enter your pet through a few different routs.  Many poisons can be injected, absorbed, ingested or inhaled. If you’re a cat owner, it may not be enough just placing dangerous items on a higher shelf or cabinet.

Also consider the geographical environment in which you live.  Different regions have different flora and critters that could be dangerous for the pets.  Animals such as snakes, frogs, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, fire ants and wasps are to name a few. Pest management is very important to ensure your pooch doesn’t go sniffing around the home of one of these animals.

If you’re a cat owner, you may want to check regularly to see that webs and spiders have been removed from your shed. Living in Florida, you may come across black widows spider. Cats are especially sensitive to the bite from a black widow and can loose 30% of their body weight in the first 24 hours after a bite.

Always be aware of your surroundings and know the different resources you have at hand in case of an emergency.  Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect a poisoning and induce vomiting only if you are advised to do so by your vet. If you can, get a sample of the vomit for analysis to determine the exact type of poisoning.

Signs and symptoms of a poisoning may not appear instantly as in an anaphylactic reaction, where the body swells and constricts breathing. So keep monitoring your pet as you safely transport them to an animal hospital or your veterinarian. Keep in mind that in an emergency, making a call to the vet and asking them for advise is the absolute best thing to do.

Windermere Pet Sitter Warns: P&G Pet Food Recall

Pet Food Recall

The Procter & Gamble Company has voluntarily recalled specific lots of dry pet food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. These lots were distributed in the United States and represent roughly one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of annual production. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.

The effected brands include both IAMS and Eukanuba dog and cat foods.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

For more information please visit the Proctor and Gamble website.
photo credit: laffy4k via photopin cc

Pet First Aid & CPR: Help Your Pets & Help the SPCA

We’re very excited today to announce two special Pet First Aid and CPR certification classes.

photoThe classes themselves will train you in the same procedures for treating bleeding, choking or applying CPR. But these classes are special for one simple reason: all proceeds will be given to the SPCA of Central Florida.

The SPCA of Central Florida was established in 1937 with the purpose of educating the general public about the responsible human behavior towards animals. Since then their vision has been firmly established: to no longer be needed.

The SPCA only accepts surrendered pets and that makes them responsible for nearly 300 pets every single week. By years end they will have had more than 15,000 animals in their care.

But the SPCA’s responsibilities don’t end at re-homing pets. They offer a food program for low-income or unemployed pet owners, with food delivered right to their door. They offer low-cost vet service in their clinic, summer camps and of course training classes. That’s where Big Paw Pet Care comes in…

This summer we’ll be offering a couple of classes, one in SPCA’s Sanford location and one at their Orlando location by Millenia Mall. All proceeds from the class will go to the SPCA as they continue their mission.

If you’d like to join us for one of these classes, please visit the Pet First Aid Training page of this website to register.

If you’d like to make a donation to the SPCA of Central Florida or maybe even volunteer, please visit: http://www.ohs-spca.org/

Orlando Pet Sitter Lists Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs and Cats

Summer is here and most likely you and your family are spending more and more time outside. Many of us spend time in the yard or out in parks. With Florida’s diverse plant and flowers it’s important to keep in mind what your dog or cat may be allergic to or could even be poisonous to your pet.

poisonous plants for petsLilies Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Sago Palm (pictured to the left)
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Azalea/Rhododendron
Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

Oleander
All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cyclamen
Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

For more information on poisonous plants to animals or for a complete list of poisonous plants please visit www.aspca.com