Rescue Dogs Take Over ABC’s The View

On the August 3rd, 2017 episode of The View, rescue dogs from the BARC Shelter in Brooklyn were the stars, along regular co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, Sarah Haines, and Jedediah Bilah.

Bill Smith of BARC introduced several adoptable pups of an assorted mix of breeds that would be suitable for all kinds of families.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC's The View

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC’s The View

BARC’s mission is “to provide a safe haven for abandoned animals and to find permanent loving homes for them. While in our care, we provide them with quality food, shelter, medical attention, and the love they deserve.”

Check out the website for The View to see all of the dogs featured on the episode.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

The View has long been an advocate for rescue dogs. They feature an annual episode “Mutt Show” also featuring dogs available for adoption from shelters across the U.S.

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View's "Best In Shelter" episode

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View’s “Best In Shelter” episode

Jill Rappaport, a long-time animal activist, has made several appearances on the show. She highlights dogs and is an advocate for adption; hosting her own NBC Special “Best In Shelter“.

 

First Impressions Of The 14-Piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clippers

I recently have thought about doing some more of my own pet grooming to save the money and time I spend bringing Dexter to the big box groomer. I figured I would give grooming a try to see if I could do it at home. I even built a grooming table!

With that, I needed clippers to complete the experience. Wow. Searching Amazon for clippers is overwhelming! There are so many brands and price ranges to choose from. I knew that the clippers would be an investment. I was going to spend over $50 or so to have him groomed, so I knew the clippers I purchased would start in that range. If I groom him once, I break even. If I groom him twice, I’m saving money. I also wanted clippers that would last, that were designed for animal fur, and had good reviews.

My Clipper Purchase “Must-Haves”:

  • Investment-grade
  • Reliable
  • Designed for animal fur
  • Good reviews

Clipper Purchase “Nice To Have”:

  • Made In The USA
  • Cordless

I spent several hours reading reviews on various clippers and had it narrowed down to a pair by ConAir or Wahl. I found a chart at the bottom of the page that showed Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu under the column of the Wahl 9590-210 Corded/Cordless clippers. The model number of the unit shipped to me was 8552, but the picture and the specifications matched exactly to the listing.

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At the $50 mark they were close to where I expected price-wise, from a very reputable company with a long track record making clippers, designed for animals, AND as a bonus, were Made in the USA. The fine print says they are made in the USA from domestic and imported parts. I’m inclined to think that most of the parts are imported and the kits and/or clippers are assembled here, though I don’t have confirmation either way about the parts origin.

The clippers have over 1200 reviews on Amazon, and four stars, so I think I found my clippers.

I liked the fact that they came as a kit. I had originally put a comb and scissors in my shopping cart but when I realized the kit came with both of those, I removed them. As it appears, I could start grooming right away when they arrived.

This set fit all the requirements, I bought them, and two days later they showed up. Amazon Prime shipping is great.

I made this video of the unboxing when the package arrived.

The Kit includes these pieces:

  • clippers
  • charging cord
  • hook and loop cord wrap
  • blade guard (attach the the blades while in storage)
  • #1 – 1/8″ (3mm) blade comb (red)
  • #2 – 1/4″ (6mm) blade comb (purple)
  • #3 – 3/8″ (10mm) blade comb (blue)
  • #4 – 1/2″ (13mm) blade comb (orange)
  • 5ml vial of blade oil
  • cleaning brush
  • 6″ scissors (total length – 2 3/4″ blade length)
  • 7″ plastic finishing comb
  • rigid storage case
  • instructional DVD
  • also included is an instructional manual
14-piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clipper Kit contents

14-piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clipper Kit contents

When I had the clippers in-hand I was able to get a better look at the quality of the product. The star in this kit is the clippers, and they stand out clearly. The construction is solid and they feel study. The body doesn’t feel ergonomically designed, but the clippers are comfortable to hold for the entire grooming session. The dimentions are approximately six inches tall, 1.5 inches deep, and two inches across. They weigh 8.3 ounces.

Preparation of the clippers was simple. They came fully assembled and the only two steps were to charge the clippers for 24 hours before use (by plugging in the included power adapter) and applying a few drops of the included clipper oil between the blades.

While charging, there is not a status light or progress indicator to tell you what state the clippers are in (charging or ready), or how fully charged the battery is. I put the clippers on to charge at 10am the morning before I used them, and unplugged the unit at 10am the following day. The clippers do not have a charging cradle to hold the clippers during charging (the cord goes directly from the wall into the unit). The manual says you will get a minimum of 30 minutes of full-speed clipping from a full charge. During my hour-long session using the clippers I did not notice the blades slowing down or becoming less powerful.

Cleaning the blades after clipping was equally simple. Simply hold the clippers with your thumb pushing the blades away from the top of the unit and press the blades into your other hand. The blades are held solidly onto the unit by a friction fit so no screws or tools are necessary to remove them. Using the included brush, sweep away the sticky fur bits. The small bristles do a great job getting into the tight nooks in the blades. Replace the blade guard and wipe the outside of the unit with a damp cloth.

Removing the blades for cleaning

Press thumb forward on the Wahl 8552 Pro-Series Pet Clipper blades to remove for cleaning

The clippers can be used either cordless or, if the battery drains, you can safely operate the unit by plugging it into the wall. Dexter weighs less than 30 pounds and the amount of time spent clipping him was short, so I can’t comment on the performance while plugged in. The manual does say “Should you need to use the clipper in corded mode when the battery is fully discharged, it is best to charge clipper in “OFF” position for several minutes before use. During use, you may notice a decrease in blade speed. This is perfectly normal. The clipper will still perform adequately in corded mode with a fully discharged battery”.

Speaking of batteries, the rechargeable battery in this unit is user-replaceable. Wahl provides instructions in the manual. The manual states that the battery should last between three to five years before replacement is necessary. The illustration in the manual shows two-AA sized batteries, but I haven’t opened the unit to see a model number or other specifics. There is a local battery dealer in the area and they are usually able to match whatever specifications I need; you may have one locally too.

Two of the other essential parts of the kit are the scissors and the finishing comb.

These pieces are adequate, at best. The scissors were sharp and felt good on my fingers but the quality felt very low. I would use them again but they will be one of the pieces I replace. There are so many scissors to choose from, including all-steel construction and specialty lengths and finishes that are both more durable and higher quality than these.

The next addition to my grooming supply chest are finishing scissors to give a softer edge to groomed fur than the harsh, straight edge that flat scissors use. Additionally, you can add curved scissors to help shape contours especially around the face.

Equally disappointing was the comb. Yes, it is required if you don’t have any grooming supplies at home already, but the included comb is very thin and didn’t stand up to mild fur resistance before bending. I didn’t end up using the comb at all, preferring to use one of my own instead.

The four blade guards are molded to help you cut to a defined length. They are very sturdy and fit solidly onto the blades. I tried to do some shaping around Dexter’s “armpit” and shoulder without the guards and accidentally sheared off patches of fur, leaving some bare spots. The guards are strongly recommended even for experienced groomers so you maintain a consistent length all around the coat, and in my case, the guards served to protect Dexter against unsightly and potentially dangerous cuts from my untrained hand.

The DVD is divided into six sections:

  • Introduction
  • Clipper Maintenance
  • Dog Preparation
  • Tips and Techniques
  • Pet Trims
  • Poodle Pet Trim

The Pet Trim section goes through the technique for all types of dogs, as well as techniques for grooming specific breeds including poodles, Schnauzer, Terriers (Airedale, Irish, Lakeland, Welsh and Wire Fox), and Spaniels (Cockers and Setters). The paper manual included also covers grooming other types of animals including beef cattle and horses.

The Pet Trims section of the DVD (and many more) are on the WahlHomeProducts YouTube channel in this playlist. The videos are somewhat dated, but the techniques are still applicable today. There are also several user-created videos on trimming specific breeds available on YouTube by doing a simple search.

Wahl Pet Trim DVD Screenshot - Grooming A ShihTzu

Wahl Pet Trim DVD Screenshot – Grooming A ShihTzu

In my opinion, the most valuable part of the manual is the section entitled “Wahl’s Guide to Foolproof Animal Clipping“. With any other product, I would have expected basic maintenance and care instructions in the manual, Wahl goes beyond the basics to give you the knowledge how to use your new clippers right away.

The basic steps in Foolproof Animal Clipping are:

  1. Brush the dogs coat.
  2. Bathe the dog. Brush and hair dry after bath to remove tangles.
  3. Acclimate your dog to the clippers.
  4. Follow the illustrated instructions to clip the various regions of the dog.
  5. Blend the short and long sections of dog fur.
  6. Final Clipping. Apply desired cosmetics and finishes (bow, bandanna, etc…)
  7. Clean the clippers.

Wahl has a mail-in service where they will sharpen your blades. There is a voucher printed in the manual for you to complete and return with the blades. They charge a nominal fee (as of Aug 6, 17 that is $6.95 and includes return shipping) and you can order different sets of blades on the same voucher.

This a link to the A4 sized manual, but it is not identical to the one included in the kit.

Overall, I am a huge fan of these clippers. They feel great, the kit included everything I needed to get started grooming my dog. The ancillary products (the scissors, comb, and case) are of decent quality and they serve their purpose, but I will be upgrading them in the future. I was pleasantly surprised by the completeness of the manual. I believe that Wahl has set me up for success with this product and this kit.

Dog grooming table header

I Built A DIY Grooming Table For Small Dogs, And You Can Too! Here’s How

This month I have been looking back and how much it costs to maintain Dexter. He is a great dog, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

Being a Shih Tzu/Terrier, he requires regular grooming which ends up being the most expensive part of his upkeep. Approximately every six weeks I take him to the big box store for his appointment. This routine there include: a bath, brushing, a cut, nails clipped, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned and plucked. Its quite a process for him, and for me. The people who work there are great, and they always ensure he comes back looking wonderful, but it takes a toll on him. He is in an unfamiliar environment, there are strange dogs coming and going. His breed is ‘alert dog’, so he is constantly on point listening and watching; which makes him come home stressed.

To solve two concerns at once, I though I would try home grooming, first, to save some money, but secondly, to keep him in his own environment, with his pack.

I don’t really have a good place in my house to groom him. Neither the dining room table, the living room coffee table, nor ‘the floor’, seemed like an appropriate place to take scissors to him.

I wasn’t sure where to start, so I did some searching for pre-built tables on Amazon. There are a lot out there! So many features including shelves, non-slip pads, height adjustments, folding or not, the size of the table portion, and how heavy-duty the parts are. It was overwhelming. Also, I don’t need more things in my house. Having a table sitting in the garage or the basement that I will use once every six weeks is a waste of space. Plus, they started around $80.00. At that rate, adding about $50.00 for the cost of clippers, I would need to groom him four times to recoup the cost. I haven’t groomed him once, so I don’t know if I want to commit to four (or more) times!

Then I looked online to see if there are instructions for building your own table. Yes! There are a few good sites with materials required and instructions, but I didn’t want to invest a ton of money into the table. I have never groomed a dog before. Based on the videos I watched, it doesn’t seem too hard, but those could be famous last words. Since I didn’t know if I am going to make this an ongoing thing, I wanted to build a sturdy but inexpensive grooming table that wouldn’t take up much room.

Dexter is about 28 pounds. He is a relatively small dog. He usually fits in the “Medium” category for a walking harness, leash, size of toys, etc… so I knew the table didn’t have to be overly large. Looking at the sizes available on Amazon, and the size of the anti-slip pad I was planning on using, I knew the table would have to be about 24″x36″. I plotted the size of the dog and the table on graphing paper and the fit looked about right.

I realized I had a small, portable workbench in the basement, it is a Black & Decker Workmate “Project Center”. That got my mind going, it has a solid 24″ x 24″ foot print, holes in the surface on the top (I could bolt a larger board to the top as a tabletop), and figure out something for the grooming arm. Using the board bolted to the top would allow me to remove the grooming surface between projects, and re-attach it when necessary. I also wouldn’t need to buy legs, saving on the expense. Voila! A plan was in place!

I needed to come up with the material list of what I would need from the hardware store. I’m a huge fan of Lowe’s. I know whatever I could dream up, they could help me make.

Tools I used to build my small dog grooming table

Tools I used to build my small dog grooming table

Materials I used:

Tools required:

  • saw (I chose a reciprocating saw)
  • drill with 1/4″ bit
  • utility knife
  • crescent wrench for the nuts
  • pen or pencil

Other purchases:

All told, my shopping trip to Lowe’s cost about $30.00 (wood, bolts, and rubber). The rest of the supplies I had at home.

The grooming arm from Amazon cost about $19.00 for a grand out-of-pocket total of $49.00.

One note about the grooming arm. I found instructions here (Youtube video) which I would have eagerly attempted, but when the author started demonstrating drilling holes in the conduit, and using a vice, I knew I didn’t have the setup to do this at my home. Any cost savings of building the arm myself would be lost in purchasing the necessary equipment. While I can understand the value of having a well-stocked shop, it wasn’t what I was trying to accomplish with this.

A note about the plywood. There were several types of wood to choose from. I obviously wanted something sturdy so I went with 1/2 inch oak. It was about $5.00 more expensive than the pine, but it felt much stronger, and I wanted to ensure

The actual construction took less than an hour.

Step One: Cut one foot off the length of the board.

Step Two: Drill the holes used to attach the board to the work bench.

Mark the holes where the tabletop will be joined to the work bench

Mark the holes where the tabletop will be joined to the work bench

Turn over the board and the work bench. Center the workbench on the board and use the pencil to trace around four of the pre-drilled holes in the work bench, marking where the holes will be drilled in the work surface. Drill the holes.

I made sure the board was centered to keep the weight over the legs; improving stability.

IMG_20170729_112345

Centering the work bench on the inverted tabletop

Step Three: Set everything right side up, and cut the truck box mat to fit the grooming surface. The square feet of the mat were enough, but the dimensions didn’t match nicely with the board, so I had to cut two large pieces, and configure two smaller pieces to go at the end. After all the pieces dry fit nicely, apply the spray adhesive to the board and press the mat onto the board within 15 seconds for a solid bond.

Dry fit the anti-slip pieces before gluing them down

Dry fit the anti-slip pieces before gluing them down

My goal was to keep true to the 36″ length. If my grooming goes well, I may upgrade to a real mat designed for grooming; they are designed for 36″ or 48″ lengths. You could opt to cut off the last few inches so you don’t have mis-matched pieces at the end.

Step Four: Feed the bolts up through the bottom of the board and use the utility knife to score the mat; allowing the bolt to pass through. Remove the bolt and insert it from the top (through the mat, the board, the workbench), then add the washer and tighten the nut. Repeat for the remaining holes.

Make sure the bolts are fastened securely

Make sure the bolts are fastened securely

Step Five: Attach the grooming arm. This one bolts on nicely. You can extend the top section to give more height, or remove it and insert the short end into the vertical part to get more coverage across the table. I have done so in this example.

Clamp the grooming arm securely to the work surface. The knob allows you to remove the pole or adjust the height

Clamp the grooming arm securely to the work surface. The knob allows you to remove the pole or adjust the height

Step Six: Add some weight. I put Dexter up on the table and it was sturdy, he wasn’t going to tip it over; but I decided to add some weight across the base to lower the center of gravity, and add some stability. Using the scrap material from Step One, I placed it across the horizontal braces and added the landscaping brick. Another option would be to add something heavier – I had a 40 bag of soil that I could have placed in stead but based on my situation I feel the brick is more than enough.

IMG_20170729_114627

In summary, this table meets my objectives:

  • It doesn’t take up too much room; I can remove the surface and use the workbench between grooming sessions.
  • It was inexpensive. As I mentioned earlier the supplies and arm came in around $49.00. I will also need to buy some clippers, but more on that in another post. Your final cost will depend on what supplies you have at home. The biggest supply expense was the board (which may be readily available to you), and the grooming arm can be built for about $10.00 in conduit (if you have the tools necessary to assemble it).
  • It is safe; the work surface is solid, the base is sturdy and reinforced with the landscaping brick.
Dogs and Dog Products Are The Stars on ABC's Shark Tank

Dogs and Dog Products Swim On ABCs Shark Tank

For millions of Americans, ABC television series Shark Tank series has provided years of entertainment. Whether you tune in to see what new and exciting products are on the market or ‘coming soon to a store near you’, or if you watch just to see how brutally honest the sharks can be; there is sure to be something on each episode to keep you engaged.

Since 2009, the series has featured a panel of investors (namely Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Marc Cuban; along with a few guest ‘sharks’) have evaluated business investment opportunities from every-day inventors and small business owners.

Contestants on the show each stand in front of the judges, explain the business they are in or the product they have invented, and give their best ‘elevator pitch’ as to why they deserve to have the well-seasoned ‘sharks’ invest in their business.
Despite giving up some of the ownership, potential deals are worth millions of dollars in potential sales. Even if no deal is to be made, contestants benefit from the wide exposure they receive when the show hits the airwaves.

Most of the products are intended for human use, like the Squatty Potty device that puts your body in a natural position to aid in toiled use; the Scrub Daddy ‘smiling’ sponge that is stiff or soft depending on the level of scrubbing power required, and the ever popular Tipsy Elves known for their pioneering ugly sweaters.

There are, however, several products aimed at our canine (and feline!) friends that have appeared on the show. Each of them has a unique story of growing their business from nothing to something that has the potential to change lives.

Apollo Peak Wine is wine created to ‘bridge the social divide between humans and their pets. The wine is safe and enjoyable for your dog or cat and made from all-natural ingredients.

Their products come in several varieties including ‘The CharDOGnay, The Malbark, The ZinfinTail, The Doggy Mary, Cherry Blossom Pink CharDOGnay, Canine Pawrier Dog Champagne Chicken and Apple Flavor, and Pawrier Champagne Chicken and Honey Flavor. Check out their selection on their website or Amazon.

Another entrant into the Shark Tank is PetPlate, a pet meal delivery service. Similar to services like Blue Apron or Plated. PetPlate will deliver ready-to-serve Vet and Chef designed recipes which have been made from 100% real ingredients. They use only USDA-recognized suppliers and don’t use animal by-products or rendered meats. Their vegetables are natural and full of nutrients and antioxidants.
It is very simple to get started, all that is required is a quick questionnaire about your dog, and how often you would like deliveries, and from then on, a fresh shipment of meals will show up without worry.

PupBox is another subscription-based service which delivers products to your door which are curated for households with a new puppy. Each month, you receive tips, treats, and toys developed specifically for you puppy’s age and characteristics. All treats and chews are made in the USA or Canada.

One of the unique characteristics of this service is the Training and Development cards that come with the box giving you advice on Puppy Proofing hour home, the How To’s Of Crate Training, and training instructions to keep your puppy’s mind active and healthy. Any new puppy parent or owner knows that introducing a puppy into your home can cause stress and anxiety for both the owner and the dog; so having this monthly delivery can help to build the knowledge and provide the tools needed to make this a fun and enjoyable experience for all.

Speaking to treats and food, TurboPup meal bars were created by Kristina Guerrero after she took an outdoor expedition and realized that her canine hiking companion didn’t have more than treats when he needed a full meal. After lots of testing and perseverance, she created a compact bar using Made In America ingredients. The bars provide the vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s to sustain your dog. They can be fed in place of traditional meals, and are not intended to be treats. Visit their website here or check out the bars on Amazon.

TurboPup recently accepted an offer from ‘shark’ Damyond John and now they are in PetSmart stores across Canada and the United States. The day after the original Shark Tank broadcast, their sales increased by $30,000!

Do you think you have what it takes to face the Sharks in person? Do you have a stellar business that just needs some money and connections to take it to the next level? Check out the requirements and application process here!

If facing the Sharks isn’t your thing, check out these books written by the Sharks themselves to help you sharpen your business smarts:

Tuffy – Ocean Creatures Lobster

If you read a few of the posts here, you will notice that I am on the search for durable toys. While walking around the big box store while Dexter was being groomed, I scoured the toy aisle for a toy that would last. He – a ShihTzu/Terrier Mix (and his new brother – an Australian Shepherd ) are chewers, and they destroy toys like it was their job.

I found the Tuffy Rabbit which lasted a very long time, so I knew I would search for another from this manufacturer. I stumbled upon the Lobster from their Ocean Creatures group.

This toy is made from three layers of material: plastic coating, luggage material, and soft fleece for the exterior. You can feel the weight of the toy; it is substantial considering its size.

Speaking of size, this toy is 4″ high, by 10″ wide, by 15″ long. The only object I had for reference when taking the picture was a dry-erase marker.

Tuffy rates their toys on toughness and uses the “all dog toy category” as a baseline, so a toy with a rating of 1 is a “cheap plush toy”, and 4 is a “sewn nylon toy that claims to be rugged”, 5 is where Tuffy toys enter the rank, and they give the Lobster an 8 which is “long lasting a really durable”. According to Tuffy’s website, the only toys that meed the criteria of 10 (Mega strong, the Tuffest) are basic shapes like bones and circles, and their Octopus and Squid characters. The language of the descriptions on the scale don’t show any hint of objectivity toward other toys, but it gives you a starting point when looking at which Tuffy toy is right for your dog.

The Lobster has two squeakers – one in each of the front claws. Due to the thickness of the material they are enclosed in, they will last longer than the average toy, but are the standard squeaker you find in most toys.

The seams are extra reinforced with webbing, then are stitched around multiple times. There is even cross-stitching across the surfaces of the toy to reinforce it.

The only reason the rabbit (pictured below) failed was because of a lateral seam underneath that came undone, not because of an exterior seam! Once the seam on the rabbit came undone, all stuffing broke loose and it was chaos for a days picking up a lot of stuffing. These toys are crammed to the gills with stuffing. Typically I get stuffing-free toys, and the dogs enjoyed the rabbit shell even after the stuffing was removed.

It has been a few weeks now that the lobster (or “lobsta”, I imagine the dogs pronounce it it with a Boston accent) has been in play and it shows moderate fraying around the claws as the dogs play with the squeakers, but shows no signs of structural damage.

Like the tag says, no toy in indestructible. Be ware of how worn a toy becomes and remove it from play when it could pose a hazard to your pup.

Planet Dog – Orbee-Tough Squeak Ball

With a new puppy in the house, I was looking for a very tough toy; one that can stand up to thousands of chews, stayed fun, and was ‘fetch-able’.

Walking around the grocery store, I found just the thing, the Orbee-Tough Squeak by Planet Dog. This ball has all the characteristics I was looking for, and more.

 

Orbee-Tough Squeak by Planet Dog

It was very quishy so it would be easy on gums and teeth, it had a squeaker (but not overly loud!), it was rated 5 out of 5 in toughness on the packaging, and it was very bouncy and a toy that we can train fetch with. As a bonus, it is Made in the USA, and floats if I ever want to use it on water.

The ball itself is about 3″ in diameter, has a texture similar to an orange, and according to the website, comes in two colors, though the store I bought it in only had one color: orange.

The packaging is easy to remove as it was two, small, plastic hooks (like you would see on a piece of clothing that holds the price and size tag on). The rest of the documentation was a fold-out card made from paper (easily recyclable – one of the core values of Planet Dog).

When I got it home, I gave it a few squishes to make it squeek; tossed it across the floor, and the pup started chasing it right away. He carried it around, and has now ‘claimed it’. He likes following it as I throw it across the room, and it bounces easily, so it catches his attention. When throwing it at the stairs, it bounces back giving him a surprise as it bounces back toward him!

While it is more expensive than other squeaking balls, I like the durability, the Made in the USA quality, the 100% guarantee on it, and the ethics of the company. While it was a bit of a sticker shock at $16.00, the feeling quickly left me as I saw how much fun the dogs were having with it.

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National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day

As the calendar rolls by July 15, we are once again reminded of Pet Fire Safety day. This day is two-fold; 1) how we can protect our homes from fires started by pets, and 2) how we can protect our pets in case of a fire.

ABC television affiliate WIRC’s Amy Lacey interviewed Lt. Jason Elmore from Chesterfield Fire & EMS. Click the image to open a new window with the video.

WRIC Amy Lacey Pet Corner Firefighter Interview

WRIC Amy Lacey Pet Corner

Back in 2009, The American Kennel Club together with ADT Security Services established National Pet Fire Safety Day to raise awareness among pet owners of the fire hazards their cat, dog or other animal could pose at home, with the hope that many of these fires can be prevented.

The AKC and ADT offer these tips:

PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES

  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

The ASPCA offers free window clings which you can order using this link.

The National Fire Protection Association offers this free downloadable checklist to help you prepare for the need to evacuate you and your pet. This is also helpful should you need to quickly leave your home during a fire. Household Pet Evacuation Kit

Always be prepared for pet emergencies with a Pet First Aid Kit.

 

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