Archive for the ‘NYC’ Category

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15 May 13

LymeAid, for pets & people ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 7pm a different kind of pet benefit event is hitting the roof top of Toyota of Manhattan – LymeAid!  It is not a drink, but the drinks may be green at this pet and human party.  What is this event you ask?  LymeAid is a first of it’s kind dual fundraiser for and Stray from the Heart animal rescue and to raise awareness about the awful Lyme Disease that both people and our pets often contract.

While the disease is serious – LymeAide promises to be a fantastic time with music, dancing, pet celebrities (human and the four legged kind!), scrumptious food and cocktails, raffles, photo booth, pet vendors, and so much more!  Click here to see all the details and RSVP.

This event all got started because of pet industry expert, Nikki Moustaki of Nikki Knows Pets, who herself has a serious case of lyme disease for over 2 years now.  Nikki wanted to raise awareness about the disease and help two organizations that are close to her heart at the same time.

Nikki Moustaki

Living on Long Island, many of us have known dogs with lyme disease, and people too, but no one I knew had severe cases like Nikki has. (Nikki lives in NYC and Florida). I have even known a few dogs that have contracted the disease over the years – but were treated and recovered well.   But ticks are everywhere and as dog owners that are out and about with out pups we need to be more diligent in checking our dogs for ticks and even oursleves.  I interviewed Nikki about her illness and the upcoming LymeAid event:

LIPetPlace: When were you diagnosed with Lyme Disease?
Nikki: I was bitten by the infected tick in early February, 2011, and was finally diagnosed after 17 doctors in November 2011. Some people wait years for a diagnosis, so I guess I’m “lucky” in that way, but the infection had already reached my brain, and it’s very hard to root out from there. Most medicines can’t cross the blood/brain barrier — most organisms can’t either, but Lyme is very sneaky and can drill right through the barrier into the brain. One morning I woke up paralyzed on my left side, blind, and unable to speak. The symptoms can be that dramatic, or they can just be brain fog and aches and pains. Some people end up in wheelchairs. It’s a horrible illness.
LIPetPlace: Do you know where you picked up the tick?  Was it in Florida or somewhere else.
Nikki: I was traveling with Pearl [her dog] from Florida to NYC, walking her in lots of shrubbery along the way, so my best guess is that I picked up the tick in the Carolinas, but I have no real way of knowing for sure.
LIPetPlace: Your case is more of an extreme example of Lyme’s is that correct, or we just don’t know enough about it?
Nikki: My case is a very typical case of Neurological Lyme. Lyme is a debilitating and often deadly disease. It affects every organ in your body. The symptoms are wide ranging, all are horrible, and most people have multiple symptoms at one time. For example, at my worst I had over 30 symptoms. I honestly thought I was going to die in my sleep every night when I went to bed, because I just knew that someone who felt as badly as I did could not possibly wake up in the morning. Then I’d wake up and actually be upset that I woke up, because I was so sick I wanted to die. Fortunately, I found a Lyme Literate Physician (there are very few) and he has saved my life. I’m still sick, but this disease takes patience and a variety of treatments over a long period of time. There are people far sicker than me, and people who get better faster. It’s a complex disease that’s not very well understood at this time, believe it or not. I encourage everyone to watch the documentary, Under Our Skin, if they want to know the truth about Lyme and why it’s so difficult to diagnose and treat.
LIPetPlace: What do you suggest to people and pet owners as a preventative so they don’t get bite by a tick, but still live their lives?
Nikki: I recommend tick protection on all animals. For humans, there is clothing that’s treated with a natural chemical that will repel ticks. Do tick checks on your loved ones when they come indoors from walking in the grass or hiking. As for me, I’m scared of grass now, and bushes, and weeds! You wouldn’t catch me camping or hiking for a million dollars. That’s how horrible and devastating this disease is for me, and for most people who don’t catch it in time to eradicate it.
LIPetPlace: This is the first LymeAid event, I have never heard of anyone doing an event for Lyme Disease before.  In raising awareness about the disease through the event what else do you hope to accomplish?
Nikki: During the month of May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month, there are several benefit events across the country, but I think that we are the first dog-friendly Lyme event. Dogs get Lyme too, and it’s important for pet parents to learn about this illness as well. I know for a fact that I got my infected tick from my dog Pearl.
LIPetPlace: and last one…What are you looking forward to most at the benefit?
Nikki: I want to say that I’m most looking forward to the cupcakes! But I can’t eat cupcakes because of my strict ‘Lyme Diet,’ so I guess I’m most looking forward to seeing all the doggies and listening to the amazing entertainment that we have lined up, including the band, Damn Glad and the Presidential Inaugural poet for 2013, Richard Blanco. The event is catered, we will have an open bar, lots of fun things to do and see — it’s going to be a blast!

The event’s Presenting Sponsors are:
Click here to see all the amazing companies that are donating product to the swag bag, who will be there as vendors and much more.  Tickets are $20 per person (in advance) $25 at the door, and if you or you dog wears any shade of green – you will receive raffle tickets!
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12 Apr 12

Pups take over NY Auto Show ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Charlotte Reed & James Bell going over the features of the Chevy Volt.

When you think of the New York International Auto Show, the first thing that comes to your mind probably
is not dogs –and is more likely what the new concept car is.  But this year on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Chevrolet,
in celebration of National Pet Day, teamed up with pet expert Charlotte Reed to talk about safety for our pets while
traveling and versatility for pets in their vehicles.

With many pooches on hand, some even famous in the NYC area, like Cubby and Porscha from ‘Doggie Moms,’ the dogs were ready, willing and able to try out the different Chevy models and all they have to offer our pets.

Cubby (white dog) and friends check out the car!

According to a 2011 AAA/Kurgo survey, nearly six in 10 respondents said they had driven with their dog in the automobile at least once a month in the past year.  But the question is, was the dog on their lap or properly secured in a doggie seatbelt or in a crate?  At the Chevrolet National Pet Day, both Charlotte Reed and James Bell, who is GM’s Head of Consumer Affairs, took us on a tour of different vehicles had to offer what works best for our four-legged friends.

“From subcompact hatchbacks to full-size SUVs, Chevrolet vehicles today provide plenty of choices to meet the needs of owners and pets of all shapes and sizes. To avoid stress, do your homework in advance and make note of your specific pet’s needs and review safety features,” said Charlotte Reed, a pet lifestyle expert.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for finding a pet-friendly vehicle:

Safety features. According to the 2011 AAA/Kurgo study, three out of 10 pet owners admit
to being distracted while driving. One in five admits to driving with a pet in their lap. The
Chevrolet Equinox, for example, has lane-departure warning systems, stability and traction
control and forward-collision alerts that help heighten driver alertness to possible danger.
Owners can reduce distractions by keeping pets restrained in the back seat with a dog seatbelt or in a secured pet carrier.

Hannah being with her doggie seatbelt on.

Exterior and interior features. Look for vehicles that are wide, tall and slightly square at
the back. This will make it easier to get pets and pet equipment into and out of vehicles.
Cargo room and additional cup holders are useful to stow pet food, water and accessories.
The Chevrolet Traverse crossover sport utility offers best-in-class roominess and class-
leading cargo space. It has flexible and fold-flat seating, as well as a rear cooling system

Talking OnStar capability for a Pet Emergencythat is ideal for pets on a hot summer day.

In-vehicle technology. The Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse and Tahoe SUV offer power lift-gates that make it easier for pets to access the vehicle. They also have fold-flat seats offer more space for transporting pets and crates. Additional safety and security technology such as remote unlock, vehicle location and crash-detection services from OnStar can provide
live help at a touch of a button during pet-emergency situations.

So the next road trip you take with your pet, even if it is just to the local dog park, think safety first (dog seatbelt, crate, secured pet carrier), and look for a car or sport utility that will suit you and your dog’s lifestyle.

Charlotte Reed, James Bell

Chevrolet at NY Auto Show, 2012

Testing the pet ramp

Blade, one happy pup checking out all the rides!


Hannah the model pup for the day!

Charlotte Reed & James Bell, NY Auto Show, 2012

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14 Jun 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

Pet Sitter Summer Safety Tips

Pet Sitters and dog walkers typically enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer bring, and this is especially true this year, after a harsh, cold, snowy winter that seemed like it would never end. New York is definitely a place with extreme temperatures on either side of the mercury, and this spring has already seen temperatures reaching above 95 degrees.

On these extreme days with high heat and humidity, it’s important to make some changes in your pet’s daily routine with your pet sitter. For example, if you’re high energy dog usually gets an hour walk or run at the dog park, consider splitting the visit between inside and outside time, allowing your pet, and walker, to cool down from the heat. Keep a doggie water bottle next to the leash for your walker to take with them on the walk, and feel free to leave a bottle for the human as well.

Consider leaving the air conditioner on for your pet during the day, which your sitter will also surely enjoy after being in the heat all day. It’s also important to leave instructions on how to use an air conditioner in your house or apartment, and what settings you prefer. You should leave it up to your sitter’s discretion if the air needs to be left on for your pet.

If you are leaving for vacation, keep an eye on the expected weather for the day. Just because it’s a nice cool morning, doesn’t mean you can leave your pets outside until the sitter comes for the next visit. (Also note that NYS law requires any pet left outside to have proper shelter, fresh water and in some areas cannot be tied up for more than 3 hours at a time). Several years ago, on a particularly humid day, I was informed that the client left her dogs (English & French Bulldogs) in an outside enclosure, and I would find them there when I arrived for the first visit of a pet sitting that I was doing for the week. When I arrived, I was horrified to see that one the English bulldogs lying down, not moving, and upon closer examination not breathing either. He had died from heatstroke. This case was also the impetus for me becoming a Pet First Aid & CPR instructor so I could help teach people how to prevent death and injury to their pets. After all, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in pre-senior dogs and cats, and this was certainly one of those cases.

If you hire a sitter to care for your dog on the 4th of July, let them know how your pet may react to the loud noises, or where they may be hiding in the house. Limit the amount of time they stay outside, and allow your sitter to turn the radio or television on for your pet if they feel it will help. Keep a leash handy also if the dog is normally just let in the yard by your sitter – leashing the dog during a time of year that fireworks may be occurring nearby is a safety precaution. Some dogs can be so terrified they will find anyway to get out of the yard and run for cover – simply having the sitter leash the dog and “walk” him in the yard will really help the dog from bolting.

Keeping your pet sitter in mind, as well as your pet, can make for a happy, healthy, and safer summer for all. Enjoy the season!

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04 May 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

We all have read stories about how much pets can help disabled humans – from seeing-eye dogs, to therapy dogs, to the simple act of reducing our blood pressure by petting a cat or dog. What happens when the tables are turned and the pets are the ones who become disabled? Every year since 2006 we celebrate National Specially-Abled Pets Day on May 3rd to show case the amazing ways our pets and animals adapt that may have become challenged due to disease, birth flaws or injuries and develop greater senses and abilities.  I like to think we can celebrate them everyday!

Being a professional pet sitter since 2003, I have seen, worked with and helped clients with pets that are Specially-Abled over the years.  It is inspiring and touching to see the lengths people will go to give back to their pets. Take the story of an adult male German Shepherd owned by a 110lb. woman in Bayside, NY.  When his bone cancer became more aggressive and started spreading, there was no choice but to amputate one of his hind legs. A specially made harness was needed to help to lift up and support his rear while walking.  The client dedicated herself to helping her best companion to learn to walk again.  The dog was depressed in the beginning and didn’t want to walk, but she stuck by him. She actually began to work out to gain more strength in her upper body, and worked with her dog every day. We would come midday while she was at work to continue the routine of motivation and lifting him up to get his first few steps started. Through her hard work, compassion, and dedication, after only a couple of months he started to enjoy walking again. He was no longer depressed, loved to sit outside on the porch and even played ball.

I have also seen how pet lovers will not hesitate to bring an already disabled dog into their lives – especially ones who are blind or deaf. My staff and I have had the pleasure of learning how to care for these pets, and we are happy to go the extra mile to assist them in their care and help their owners too.  With a deaf dog or cat, it’s still our habit to talk to or call out to the non-hearing dogs, learning to tap on the floor so they know there is someone there, (they can feel the vibrations), and using a lot of visual cues.  Each dog has their own unique visual cues – just like human sign language.

For blind dogs, besides using a lot of audio signals, we let the dogs use their nose to approach and smell us before we use touch. It is amazing to see their ability to adapt to their environment. Once they get used to the layout of a room and house, they can navigate it without any hesitation.

Animals have a spirit and determination that never ceases to amaze me – and the kindness of people amazes me as well. With all our pets do to try and please us, it’s great to see people giving back to them – they deserve it!  After all, pets are considered part of the family these days and sometimes are treated better.

Shanna, lost her leg to cancer - lived until a happy, healthy 12.5 years as a 3 - legged wonder dog, inspiring people everywhere she went!

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08 Apr 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Pet Products and Celebrities

Once again Charlotte Reed, celebrity and pet product expert of Pet Socialite Events hosted a fabulous event on Tuesday, April 5th in New York City.  The Better Health and Wellness Pet Product Showcase event not only included some of the coolest new pet products this pet professional has seen in a long time, it was also host to many celebrities in attendance.  “I decided to do this showcase on Better Health and Wellness, because as more and more people are concerned with their own health and wellness, they are now looking for healthier, better, more organic and green products for their pets,” stated Charlotte Reed.

Charlotte Reed and Beth Stern

Charlotte Reed and Beth Stern

One of the first new products, I was really wishing had been invented while my other dog was still living since she always seemed to get minor cuts and scraps while playing, running, or on hikes is the PawFlex™ Bandages. I used to have to keep rolls of bandage, tape and gauze in the medicine cabinet – just in case – and this will solve that in an all-in-one simple solution, fantastic!  PawFlex is the first disposable, non adhesive stretch duel hook fastener bandage system designed specifically for our pets. Based in Brooklyn, and created by Jennifer DiGrazia, CEO of PawFlex – because of their beloved blind dog Maddy that she rescued, read more about it here.

PawFlex bandage2

Each bandage design has been specially created for a specific problem area regarding wound care as well as for distinct characteristics that has made past bandages less than adequate.  Also, each individually wrapped PawFlex bandage has a wound pad already attached, making it the first and only “ALL IN ONE” bandage for dogs.

There are currently four PawFlex designs ready for market with several more designs waiting to follow. Each design ranges from sizes XSmall to XLarge.  They will be soon available in local pet retail stores and vet offices.  Jennifer said, “they would also like to eventually be able to donate to small rescue groups and shelters.”

To prevent a little dog or puppy from falling off a balcony, your deck, through a slotted fence or baby gate – this next product is not only for safety, but pretty cute and very functional too.  Puppy Bumpers® originally called “Condo Collars” were invented by Ann Price in order to keep her own dog from getting through a baby gate.  The patented Puppy Bumpers® have been endorsed by dog trainers, veterinarians and other dog professionals as a non-aversive way to keep dogs safely inside a fence.

Puppy Bumpers

Ann Price of Puppy Bumpers showing Sonja Morgan of The Real Housewives of NYC

Did your pet just have surgery and is now a wearing a dreaded plastic e-collar and bumping into everything with it?  There is a better solution, the Trimline™ Recovery Collar.  Made from a specially designed fabric that is water resistant, non-allergenic and non-toxic, the Trimline collar easily slips over a pet’s head stays in place thanks to a drawstring design and is strong enough to withstand chewing and clawing. You also don’t have to worry about your pet bumping into things with the hard plastic e-collar with this new Trimline Collar – my dog would sometimes get stuck in doorways with the old big plastic e-collar on and scratch and dent furniture or walls – this won’t happen with the Trimline Collar.

My dog Max modeling the collar!

It is also folds, which is great to keep in a first aid kit in your car and one in your home.

The collar is an effective, flexible, collar for use with cats and dogs during grooming sessions or experiencing injury, surgery and trauma restraint conditions. It allows the animal to eat, drink and sleep in comfort while providing a barrier to the treatment area for licking and biting. It is soft, lightweight and easily applied with a simple drawstring design.

Then there was gym equipment made specifically for pets call FitPAWS which are like human fitness balls.  By looking at these you could see why they would be beneficial for pets with arthritis, that need physical therapy, and for pet enrichment and fun!  One may think a dog wouldn’t know what to do with the products, but all the dogs that were there hopped right on and seemed to instinctively know what to do, it was quite amazing.  One pit bull mix was having a blast it was very cute to see him on the equipment.  There was also a pet gym set up, that Charlotte Reed designed with pet health, activity and stimulus in mind and had FitPAWS equipment a doggie treadmill and more.

FitPAWS Gym Equipment

Going green – there were also a few different pet products that are honoring the green, holistic, organic and keeping local movement.  From very cool, unique and fantastic designed cat scratch posts, bed by Imperial Cat; to green dog beds by Molly Mutt – a dog bed duvet using your own old laundry for the stuffing of the bed; a brand new line of interactive pet toys and products that are safety tested to children’s toy standards by SafeMadePet™ and a local Long Island company; to lavender scented, made from corn, clumping cat litter by World’s Best Cat Litter; and grain free pet treats and raw pet food made from locally farmed products ingredients by Pawgevity™.

There will be a few other pet product reviews on products that were at the event coming up, right here on – look for them soon!

Cubby, celebrity dog from Doggie Moms!