Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Join the celebration! Pet Tech is the first International Training Center dedicated to developing and providing premium CPR, First Aid & Care programs for pet parents and Pet Care Professionals. We are proud to announce our 15th Annual Pet First Aid Awareness MonthTM and we welcome all pet lovers to participate.

Pet First Aid Awareness Month emphasizes the importance of education and training and being a caring, conscientious, responsible and loving pet parent and Pet Care Professional during April and all through the year! Our theme for this year’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month 2014 (April 1-30) is “Don’t Learn By Accident…Let’s

Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Visits!”

Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or suddenly take ill. This includes home care and when necessary veterinary help. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean the difference between life and death; temporary and permanent disability; and expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care. It is estimated that 1- out-of-4 more pets could be saved if just one basic skill or technique was applied before receiving veterinary care.

Along with our ongoing message, this year, we want to emphasize prevention and the importance of being proactive in your pet’s health. Don’t Learn By

Accident…Let’s Prevent 1 Million Pet ER Visits is about taking the initiative and being prepared with the skills and knowledge to eliminate preventable accidents.

Together with our Partners we are “Improving the Quality of Pets’ Lives, One Pet Parent, One Click and One App and one eBook at a Time.TM” Our message, as always, will highlight the importance of learning the necessary skills of CPR, first aid and care for our four-legged, furry, family members. Now, thanks to technology we can have access to the information when we need it whether we are at home, hiking in the woods or on vacation.

This year we would like to highlight our online training and eBook series.

Our Pet First Aid Awareness Month Campaign will include international, regional and local events that will make an impact on pets all over the world. Help us convey our message! This e-kit is full of information and ideas on how you can participate and help pets and pet parents everywhere.

By joining together we can make a difference! We have included some promotional ideas and suggested guidelines for a successful event. Now it’s our turn to show our appreciation to all the pets in our lives for the joy and love they unconditionally give us everyday! 

Published in: on April 3, 2014 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Tips for Selecting a New Family Pet

Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake Offers Three Tips for Selecting a New Family Pet

As more and more parents choose to get pets for their children, local professional pet sitter Trisha Stetzel recommends families give careful consideration to choosing the best possible pet.

Demographic surveys of pet owners sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) show that families with children are more likely to own a cat, dog or other type of pet. With pet ownership at an all-time high and continuing to grow, many parents in the Clear Lake area are likely to welcome new pets into their homes this year.

While having a pet offers many positive benefits for children, Trisha Stetzel, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake, encourages parents to choose wisely when selecting their family’s next pet.

Stetzel recommends families consider the following questions before deciding on a new pet:

1. What type of pet is best for your family? While dogs and cats are still the most popular species, more households than ever before own small animals, reptiles and fish, according to 2013-2014 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey. For families with small children or very limited time to care for a pet, animals like hermit crabs, fish or even snails may be better options. Families with smaller living spaces should think carefully before bringing in a larger dog (or even a puppy) that would require room to exercise frequently. For these families, cats, cage pets or aquarium-based pets may be more ideal. Families with fenced-in backyards and/or ample time for walking and play are best suited for more active dogs. For families seeking a dog, retrievers, boxers and collies are often noted as ideal breeds for children.

  1. What is your budget? Caring for a pet is a financial obligation, so it is important for families to consider how much they are able to invest when deciding on a new pet. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates the average costs a pet owner will incur within a year range from less than $300 for fish or small birds to more than $1,000 for dogs, cats and rabbits. These estimated costs include food, veterinary care and miscellaneous items like collars, leashes, litter boxes and crates. The age of the pet can also play a factor in anticipated expenses. For families with dogs, many find older dogs to be more “budget friendly” as they do not require the training and house-breaking items that puppies require. However, depending on the pet’s health, older dogs could also incur more veterinary expenses—so it’s important to consider the pet’s needs, age and health when budgeting.

3. Who will take care of the pet? Families with older children may be able to teach about pet care and responsibility by having the children take on tasks like cleaning the litter box or feeding the fish. Parents with small children who require a lot of attention may need to consider if they have the time to devote to a puppy or other pet that requires frequent exercise or care. For parents who work long hours or juggle multiple family responsibilities, easier-to-care-for pets like fish or reptiles may be the best options to offer their families the joys of pet ownership without the time commitment required for caring for other pets like dogs, cats or birds. Families with limited time can also benefit from the services of a professional pet-sitting service like [Your pet-sitting business name]. Professional pet sitters can offer a variety of pet-care services for parents working long hours or when the families travel out of town and are unable to take their pets.

Pets bring such joy to families’ lives,” notes Stetzel. “Considering your needs, budget and availability can ensure you select the perfect fuzzy, feathery or scaly new addition to your family.”

Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake is a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters. To learn more about Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake, visit or call 866-342-4625. To learn more about PSI, visit



Published in: on March 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Humane Pest Control Options

Another excellent article by Dr. Coates

Humane Pest Control Options


One of the great joys of becoming a veterinarian is the diversity of jobs that are available to those doctors who choose to “think outside the box.” Even for those of us who pursue a relatively traditional veterinary career focusing on (or writing about) private practice, opportunities occasionally pop up that are decidedly outside the mainstream, like the one that I’m just finishing up with now.

The practice that I currently work for focuses on end of life care — particularly veterinary hospice and in-home euthanasia. As part of this work, I have become very familiar with euthanasia techniques and the updated AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals that were released in 2013. As if this focus was not odd enough in and of itself, it recently got me involved in a panel that looked at and rated the relative humaneness of a wide variety of rodent control measures.

People who appreciate and choose to share their lives with pets tend to have an overall fondness for animals, but speaking from experience, that fondness doesn’t necessarily translate to the “vermin,” for lack of a better word, that invade our living spaces. Don’t get me wrong. I like mice and rats. I’ve owned mice myself and am a vocal advocate for choosing rats as pets over hamsters and gerbils (they’re much friendlier and less likely to bite). That said, I certainly don’t want the rodents who frequent my neighbor’s “compost” heap (in truth, it’s just a pile of rotting garbage) to decide to overwinter inside my house.

I understand the need for rodent control, but I suspect that like many consumers, I want it done in the most humane way possible. I can’t go into the details of our panel’s findings since they haven’t officially been released yet, but here’s the gist of what we determined.

  • The most humane rodent control measures available are the electronic repellants. They work by emitting high frequency sound waves that are so annoying to rodents that they avoid the areas where they are in use. Several of these products have been tested on dogs, cats, rabbits, etc., and have been shown to have no effect on these species, but of course they shouldn’t be used anywhere near pet rodents.
  • The least humane rodent control measures are the poisons (e.g., brodifacoum, diaphacinone, chlorophacinone, warfarin, and bromethalin) and glue traps. Both of these options produce prolonged and severe suffering in affected animals, and have the strong possibility of directly or indirectly having a serious adverse effect on non-target species (e.g., cats, dogs, birds of prey).
  • Falling in the middle are the other lethal-control measures. Some are superior to others, however. Electronic mouse and rat traps seem to work quickly enough that suffering is minimized, as do certain snap traps. Contrary to what you might think, some of the old school wooden snap traps seem to perform the best.

A type of home rodent control that the panel didn’t evaluate is one that I have personally found to be very effective — cats. I can’t say they’re especially humane, at least during the “elimination” phase of control, but I suspect their continued presence is an effective repellant for many rodents.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Published in: on October 28, 2013 at 6:58 am  Leave a Comment  

3 Easy Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Great article from!
3 Easy Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Pet Advice

Dogs, primarily with flappy ears, are prone to ear infections.   If you can clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis, it can help prevent ear infections and/or illnesses associated with the ear. Some dogs have very little ear buildup and simply need their ears wiped out occasionally. Other dogs need thorough ear cleanings every week or two. Inspect your dog’s ears regularly and talk to your vet about your specific dog’s needs.

You can do the following to clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis.

Ear Cleaning Supplies

Below is what you need to clean your dog’s ears at home:

Ear cleansing solution: Look for a high quality ear cleaner recommended by veterinarians. You can also make a homemade ear cleanser (for dogs without major ear issues) by mixing one part table vinegar to two parts water. Make sure to avoid ear cleansers that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these can cause irritation.

Cotton balls, cotton pads or gauze squares

Cotton-tipped applicators

Tweezers (for dogs with too much hair in the ear canals)

A towel or dish cloth

Getting Started With Ear Cleaning

Ideally, you should clean your dog’s ears in your bathtub or outside.  The cleaning will cause your dog to automatically shake his head and the ear debris and cleaner can end up on your walls and possibly you!  That is yet another reason to have a towel handy for you and your dog.

Before cleaning your dog’s ears, take a look inside them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, that hair may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers or tweezers.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

1,         Begin by holding your dog’s ear flap up and squirting a few drops of cleanser on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. If using homemade solution, get a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe with a tip that is about an inch long.  Then, you should gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Do not use an excessive amount of pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.

2.         Before your dog can shake his head, begin massaging the base of your dog’s ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smooshing sound.  By massaging the ear, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds, you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.

3.         Once your dog has a good shake, use the cotton or gauze and your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it. You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges.   Remember, that you should never put the cotton-tipped applicators into the ear any further than you can see as it can cause damage to the eardrum can occur.

If your pup’s ears still seems dirty, try to repeat the process. Then, move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off.   Then, of course, reward your dog with treats for his or her great behavior and you can be rewarded for a job well done!

Published in: on September 14, 2013 at 7:24 am  Comments (3)  

The Tongue Does Not Heal All Wounds

Another great article!

The Tongue Does Not Heal All Wounds


Have you ever heard someone say that pets should be allowed to lick their wounds because saliva has healing properties? Veterinarians run into the notion all the time … typically after a dog or cat has been brought to the clinic with a wound that is getting worse rather than better after being licked.


Like many old wives tales, there is a modicum of truth behind the idea that licking can be beneficial. When an animal is wounded and does not have access to veterinary care, licking removes foreign material from the injured tissues. Also, there is some evidence that saliva does have antibacterial properties, so licking might help prevent or treat infections under these circumstances.


It makes sense for a wild animal to lick its wounds since no other options are available, but it does not follow that owners should therefore allow pets to do the same. This is particularly true in the case of surgical incisions.


Before, during, and after surgery, doctors go to great lengths to prevent wound contamination and infection including:










  • shaving the site to remove hair
  • scrubbing the area multiple times with two different types of antiseptics
  • covering the surrounding areas with sterile drapes
  • using sterile equipment
  • cleaning our hands and wearing sterile gloves and gowns
  • donning masks, booties and hair covers
  • keeping surgical suites impeccably clean
  • suturing the wound to keep it closed as it heals
  • prescribing antibiotics, pain relievers, and anti-lick devices as necessary


When a pet licks a surgical incision, he is introducing contamination, not removing it. In the case of non-surgical wounds, I don’t care if a pet licks a few times before treatment is initiated, but once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and medications started, the downsides of licking once again outweigh its benefits.


We now have lots of options available for keeping a pet’s mouth away from its wound or incision. Traditional Elizabethan collars work for some individuals, but others find them too annoying and clunky. See-through varieties are available, as are bulky collars that can prevent animals from turning their heads to reach many parts of their bodies. Body wraps and bandages (including some that emit a mild electric charge when licked) are widely available. Deterrent sprays can also help, but should never be applied directly to a wound. Spray the surrounding skin or use them lightly on an overlying bandage.


While we’re on the topic of bandages, a well-applied, appropriate covering that is checked regularly and replaced as needed can speed healing. But when used incorrectly, bandages do more harm than good. They can cut off circulation and lead to tissue death, become soiled and promote infection, and simply hide the fact that a pet’s wound needs attention. I generally do not recommend that owners apply bandages unless they have been taught the correct way to do so by a veterinarian who is familiar with the exact nature of an animal’s wound.


If one form of lick deterrence fails, try another. Keeping a pet’s sutures in place and preventing infection as a wound heals are well worth the effort.



Published in: on August 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hose Water Can Get Hot Enough to Burn

Hose Water Can Get Hot Enough to Burn


Dr. Coates is on vacation this week, so we’re revisiting some of our favorite posts from past summers. Today’s post is from summer 2012. 


Here’s a new summertime threat I had never thought of before — dogs being burned after being hosed off with scalding hose water. Ten such cases were recently reported in an articlepublished in Veterinary Dermatology.


All of the affected dogs had second or third degree burns along their backs after being exposed to hot water from a garden hose that was laying out in the sun. “Third degree” describes a severe burn that damages both the skin and its underlying tissues. Second degree burns involve the superficial and deep layers of the skin.


Cases occurred from May through August in Texas, Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina. The burns were not always apparent until several days after the incident and some resulted in significant scar formation. I’m not sure we need a specific name for this condition, but the authors propose that we use the phrase “garden hose scalding syndrome (GHS).”


According to the July 2012 issue of Veterinary Medicine, the pathologists conducted their own experiment to test whether or not hose water could actually get hot enough to cause second or third degree burns. They filled black and green rubber garden hoses with water and set them out on the grass for two hours in temperatures between 89 and 94° F. The water collected from the hoses reached 120°F. Imagine how much hotter the water might get on a truly scorching day. The Burn Foundation reports that in people, hot water causes third degree burns:


…in 1 second at 156°

…in 2 seconds at 149°

…in 5 seconds at 140°

…in 15 seconds at 133°


I’ve been keeping a hose out on our back patio to water plants this summer and have been surprised a few times at how quickly the water inside heats up. I always let it run for a bit before watering the plants, figuring that they’re not built for those temperatures. The same can obviously be said for canine and human skin.


So even though it may seem like an obvious recommendation, make sure to flush the scalding water out of the hose before you turn it on any living creature.



Dr. Jennifer Coates



Image: Thinkstock

Published in: on August 6, 2013 at 1:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Beat the heat and keep your best friends safe!

From Houston Pet Talk – thank you!


Summer Tips:
Beat the heat and keep your best friends safe!

With such hot days this summer and many more to come, be sure your pets are staying healthy and happy with a couple reminders from us at PetTalk Headquarters…

- Make sure you have water available for your pets at all times.
- Never leave your pet in a car even with the windows down.
- Don’t leave doggy outside, even in the shade your pet can overheat.
- If your pet has short hair, be sure to use sun screen on exposed areas!
- Be alert and watch for signs of heat stroke:
  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake

AllMyPets Total Wellness

Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 1:06 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s National Pet Preparedness Month!

Thanks to PetHub for this great article!


Click here to learn more!

June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and PetHub is proud to partner with American Humane Association to help provide tools and education for pet parents to help them prepare for the worst and protect their pets.

For a limited time, you can pick up one of our brand new NFC-capable Tap Tags at an incredible price, and also get an Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Guide for Pets from The Preventive Vet!

In addition…a portion of every sale will benefit American Humane Association and their Red Star Rescue Team, who is right now on the ground in Oklahoma, helping displaced pets from the recent string of devastating tornadoes.

Fetch! Pet Care of Clear Lake
AllMyPets Total Wellness

Published in: on June 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hurricane Season is Here!

This great article provided by HSPCA!

Are You Prepared?

Protect Your Pets/Livestock During a Hurricane

Share this story with your friends 
and let them know you support The Houston SPCA!
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The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and runs through November 30th.   The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an extremely active season with a 70% chance of 13 to 20 named storms.  Approximately 7 to 11 of these storms could become hurricanes. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is urging pet owners to prepare for disaster!  Houston SPCA President Patricia Mercer says the best way to protect your family is to have a plan in place before disaster strikes.

Photograph each pet and store these pictures with other important documents in sealed/waterproof plastic bags.  Make sure that all animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations.  All dogs and cats should wear collars and identification tags with current information.  Mercer says, “It’s also a good idea to include the name and phone number of a friend OUTSIDE the greater Houston area in case local phone service is not functioning immediately following a disaster.”  Dogs should wear nylon or leather collars only.  Never place tags on training collars or choke chains.  Cats should wear a breakaway/safety collar.

The Houston SPCA also encourages families to pack a portable pet disaster kit to include food, water, medication, vaccination records and cleaning supplies.  Make sure your pet has a safe traveling carrier that has been labeled with your emergency contact information.  You should plan on enough supplies for at least two weeks.  Take your pet’s favorite toy or blanket with you to help minimize his/her stress. 

If you must evacuate, take your pet with you!  If conditions are unsafe for people, they are unsafe for pets.  Pet owners should identify an evacuation route and make temporary housing arrangements before a storm hits.  This often means finding a boarding facility or animal shelter out of the evacuation area and in the area where the family will be staying. 

It is particularly important to plan for horses and other farm animals.  Their size, shelter and transportation needs make planning crucial.

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why Does My Dog Dig from





Why Dogs Dig and What You Can Do About It

Before you start scolding, find out what your dog is up to and how you can redirect that energy.

  |  May 29th 2013  |   6 Contributions

There are many reasons dogs create unattractive holes in your backyard — unattractive to you, anyway — though one of them is not to irritate you, as many people seem to mistakenly believe. Here are just a few reasons your dog is trying to make it to China before you get home from work (followed by how a little training can change that):

  • It’s FUN.
  • They are pretty sure they smelled a mole or some other varmint down deep, and they feel it is best to dig to be sure.
  • They are bored and unsupervised.


Trinket decided to help me with the gardening.


  • They are hiding a yummo treat to save for later munching.
  • Dirt tastes good to some dogs. Don’t be surprised. Some dogs like the taste of dog poop.
  • They are harking back to their wolf ancestry and creating a denlike space for themselves.
  • They hate your garden design skills and want to surprise you with a makeover.

That last was to see who is paying attention! Now that I have you, I want to share a sad story that illustrates why humans with our bigger brains need to teach our dogs not to dig — or, if we can’t do that, at least we can show them where they are allowed to dig. 

My husband and I bought our first rural property with high hopes of enjoying the quiet country life. Within two months, our new, five-acre rural life was shattered by the sound of gunshots, followed by the yelping of one of my beloved German Shepherds.

I had talked the local shelter onto letting me pull a handsome, young German Shepherd named Zeke on the day he was scheduled to be euthanized. They believed he would bite. I wasn’t a professional trainer yet, but I had been around Shepherds all my life, and I knew I could trust this gentle soul. I was right; he was a gentle giant. 

A few weeks after getting him home, Zeke’s right eye started to cloud up. The vet took X-rays and told me that he had buckshot in his eye. I called the shelter and asked if they had any additional information about him, since was an owner surrender. It turns out that Zeke had a liking for raw chicken, and his “loving” owner tried to teach him to stop that behavior by unloading buckshot into Zeke’s head. When that failed, the brilliant man dumped him at a high-kill shelter. 


My dear departed Zeke, who incurred a neighbor’s wrath by digging out onto his property.


Zeke loved other dogs and fit right in with my other two German Shepherds. He took a special liking to my current foster dog, a little Jack Russell mix I named Pogo for her jumping abilities. It turns out that Pogo had another skill I was unaware of: digging.

My first night alone in our new home (my husband was out of town at his grandmother’s funeral), I came home after dark from a long, stressful day at the office. I drove up to the house expecting to be greeted by my dogs. They had a doggie door and could roam the five tightly-fenced acres during the day.

No dogs were in sight. I grabbed a flashlight and started looking for them, calling frantically and running around our property still in my work heels. My pantyhose got ripped on trees, but I didn’t care; I was in a panic to find my dogs.

I saw the neighbor’s car lights. I heard him shoot his gun twice and then heard what I knew was Zeke yelping twice. And then, silence. Suddenly my other dogs, including Pogo, were at my side. Zeke wasn’t with them. I knew he was dead.


A sand box — not the beach — will let your dog dig as deep as he wants. Dog writes his name on beach by Shutterstock


I knew my neighbor had a goat pen, so I called the sheriff. He came last to my house to let me know that my neighbor wouldn’t press charges against me, which he could have because the pet goats had more rights as livestock animals than did Zeke.

The neighbor dumped my bloodied dog over the fence. I found him there the next morning as I was trying to figure out how the dogs got out of our secure yard. Near his body, I saw the hole. Pogo had dug out, and the other dogs had followed her. She dug another hole for them all to come back (all except Zeke). 

I spent the next year paying the neighbor back in small, vengeful ways. I threw dog feces over the fence nearly every day, right where he dumped Zeke. I added cactus and even shovelfuls of fire ants. I cursed him and I hated him. But what I should have been doing is ensuring that Pogo nor any other foster dog could ever dig out of my property again. 


Trinket digs to China, looking for critters.


Here’s what I now know about digging. I share these tips with you in hopes of saving others the same heartbreak I experienced:

  • A bored or unsupervised dog is more likely to dig than a well-exercised dog. My dogs do not stay outside — even with a highly secured fence — unless I am home.
  • Know your breeds. Pogo was a Jack Russell mix, a sturdy, tenacious breed of dog put on the planet to hunt fox … and to burrow into the earth.
  • If you have a committed digger, build her a sandbox and teach her that is the spot to dig if she wants to. Bury frozen treats only in that area to encourage her digging in the sandbox. 
  • Don’t give your digger dog treats he can’t eat in one session, to stop him from burying them to eat later. 
  • If your dog digs because he is anxious that you are not with him, hire a qualified canine behaviorist. 
  • Never punish digging, especially if you find the hole hours after the dog did his artwork. When you do catch your pup in the act, redirect him back to the appointed sandbox.

I miss Zeke a lot. I failed him and Pogo by allowing an escape to occur. Since that night, I’ve never had another dog get out of my property, and I’ve fostered more than 400 dogs. It was a painful lesson, but I learned from it.  

If you have a digger, it’s up to you to redirect your dog’s behavior to an activity that you do approve of. Don’t delay — and don’t believe your dog will outgrow his favorite activity. I urge you to be proactive. I don’t want to hear another story as sad as what happened to Zeke and me. 

P.S. My neighbor finally moved away. He never could figure out how so many fire ants ended up on his property or why he had so much dog poop by his fences. 

Read more on training by Annie Phenix:

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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