Deluxe Dog Concierge Logo
Home About Us Services Blog Contact Us
Dog walking San Diego
  We have embedded our blog into this page. If you do not see it, please click HERE and you will be taken directly to the blog.  
Showing posts with label pet health.
Show all posts.

Friday, June 21st, 2013, 03:36 PM | Updated: 06/21/2013, 03:39:25 PM | (Anonymous) [3 Comments]

When I made the decision to start my pet care business, I knew that my work would encompass activities other than dog walking and pet sitting.  This does not mean that both activities aren’t professionally and personally meaningful to me.  Quite the contrary!  They allow me to spend time with dogs and cats, which is enormously gratifying and they are the cornerstones around which Deluxe Dog Concierge is built. 

Simply put, in addition to providing the basic pet care services clients typically look for, Deluxe Dog Concierge seeks to be a credible informational resource for pet parents. 

So it should not come as a surprise that I stepped before a group of 16 older adults and the Program Director at a senior living community in University City/La Jolla this week to present a program on canine health and ways to strengthen the bonds between people and their dogs.  We covered topics including ideal weight range, appropriate food portion size, canine nutrition, exercising your dog, the value of playtime and the importance of physical touch.  Although I was the so-called expert who delivered the program, Dr. Ira Feinswog (a highly regarded local veterinarian) joined me to manage the Q&A session at the end.

What resonates with me most from this experience is having had the opportunity to observe the extremely close relationships between the residents and their pets. Their dogs sat on their laps, by their feet or underneath their chairs on their doggie cushions.  The residents listened intently and their dogs also were captivated by the subject matter.  Good questions were asked and thoughtful remarks were made.  The residents (probably unbeknownst to them) stroked their dogs’ backs, petted their heads and showered them with kisses throughout the hour-long program. 

When it was over, I reflected upon what had just happened.  The residents hopefully benefited from participating in the program.  But with all their life wisdom, they were already doing and reinforcing much of the emotional bonding and pet enrichment practices we discussed.  In this regard, they had something to teach me:  It’s not just about acquiring some new pet health information or learning important “pet facts”; it’s also about doing what comes naturally when a dog looks into your eyes and his/her soul reaches out to you to say, “Thank you for loving me and taking care of me.  You mean so much to me and I am here to look after you too.”  As I left their retirement community and got into my car, I felt so humbled by the experience.  These elders taught this not so old dog the best lesson ever.  

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 01:37 PM | Updated: 06/12/2013, 01:37:14 PM | (Anonymous) [0 Comments]

In my mind, one of the responsibilities that comes with being a pet care professional is taking steps to continuously learn and educate oneself on a broad range of pet care topics.  In preparing for a pet education class I’ll be delivering to elders at a La Jolla retirement community, I delved into the topic of diet and nutrition for dogs.

One point that became readily clear is the need to closely read the nutritional content on all dog food packaging when initially searching for a high quality product for your new puppy or considering switching your adult dog’s current food.  But understand that a cursory look at dog food labels is insufficient; it does not provide a complete picture of an individual product’s nutritional value. 

Dog owners normally have a choice between wet (canned) versus dry food (kibble).  You’ll need to examine the levels of protein, fat and fiber plus the amount of moisture in each product regardless of its wet or dry form.  This information is found in the Guaranteed Analysis section on the food label. 

If you’re comparing a canned food product to a dry food product, initial looks can be deceiving.  While the sheer percentages of crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber might appear to be lower in canned food, this may not in fact be accurate.  To effectively compare the nutritional value of both canned and dry food, you’ll need to convert these items to what is called a “dry matter basis”.  To do this, simply subtract the percentage of moisturereported on the label from 100% (let’s call this result X).  Then divide the percentage of crude protein as reported on the label by this % (X), and do the same for the fat and fiber content – divide the percentage of crude fat by (X) and also divide the percentage of crude fiber by (X).  This will allow you to compare all canned and dry foods on an equivalent basis.  You might be surprised to learn that certain canned foods actually provide more protein than some dry foods even though the numbers reported on the labels would lead you to believe otherwise.

So why is protein so important?  Simply put, dogs require a source of protein (meat) in their diets in order to grow and develop into strong, healthy pets, and maintain this state of well being through adulthood.  Check back with our blog going forward; I am a foodie so there’s more to come on canine nutrition.

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, 02:46 PM | Updated: 06/05/2013, 07:31:52 PM | (Anonymous) [1 Comments]

My recent attendance of a Pet First Aid and CPR course has personal significance beyond its inherent value for my pet care business. 

Since December 2012, one of my Shih Tzus, Lucy has experienced several episodes of a perplexing nature.  Without any prior symptoms, she falls over to one side, stretching out her front legs with her head usually falling back to the floor.  Mostly she is quiet when this happens but will urinate or sometimes defecate.  One time she vocalized loudly as if she were in pain.  These episodes are brief, lasting between 10 – 20 seconds.  Afterwards, she recovers quite quickly and within a minute stands back up, looking at me with her tail wagging.      

In addition to being evaluated by her primary care veterinarian, she has been examined by a veterinary cardiologist and a neurologist.  While diagnostic tests have not lent themselves to conclusive findings, her cardiologist suspects that these are vasovagal episodes or syncope (fainting spells) that may be caused by sick sinus syndrome.   Syncope is caused by a decrease in blood pressure that results from a heart rate that is either excessively fast or slow. 

While her cardiologist does not believe her condition is currently life threatening, he does advise our close monitoring.  Given another episode happened in the past week, we are inclined to move ahead by having Lucy undergo a 24-48 hour Holter monitor test, which might detect an abnormal heart rhythm (possibly the underlying cause).  Lucy has had a rather pronounced heart murmur since her puppyhood, so taking this next step makes sense to us.     

Completing Pet First Aid & CPR training has special significance for me as a pet parent.  While I am obviously concerned about Lucy’s health and well being, I am now able to stay calm and not over-react when one of these episodes occurs.  Specifically, the Pet Tech training taught me how to assess a potential emergency situation with clarity of thought and acute senses of hearing and sight.

Not only was this training invaluable to me as a pet care professional, it also has close to homerelevance as Lucy’s Dad.

Another reason Pet Tech rocks!

Copyright © 2013 Deluxe Dog Concierge
Designed by: Arita Designs