Newsletter: October 2019

Table of Contents

The Water Bowl is paws down the best monthly newsletter for pet professionals. We provide editorial on current events in the dog walking and pet sitting world, review gear and gather interesting information from around the web.

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  • Providing K-9 dogs with better care
  • Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your dog
  • Robot dogs have arrived for the masses
  • Meet the man who calls labradoodles “Frankenstein’s monster”
  • There’s now Amazon for dogs (of course there is)

Safety First. Our Pups In Blue

Simpsons Dog

Noticing a lack of protocols when it came to K-9’s injured on the job, Dr. Maureen A. McMichael, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine at the University of Illinois, decided to lead the effort to create them.

"Emergency medical personnel are well-trained in all aspects of prehospital care, but few are trained to apply their knowledge to canine patients," she said in a special report published in the medical journal Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. "Our goal is to help them adapt their training to also serve the needs of law enforcement K-9 patients."

Along with a team of veterinarians, emergency medical services, and canine handlers, Dr. McMichael was able to identify shortcomings in the way EMTs approach canine care and developed a series of protocols for them to follow, which include:

  • EMS personnel will receive canine-specific training. McMichael found that “even the best-trained dogs sometimes bite their handlers or others in moments of distress or confusion. With a maximum bite force of 800 pounds per square inch, the dogs can severely injure anyone nearby.” By providing proper training to those providing emergency services, the canines can be kept calm and everyone will feel more safe. EMS personnel should also learn how to take a dog’s vital signs, learn where to make an intramuscular injection, and how to adapt a human oxygen mask to a dog's snout when necessary.
  • Handlers will use a basket muzzle for their own safety. Dr. McMichael recommended that a dog's handler immediately place a basket muzzle on an injured dog before anyone attempts treatment. As noted in the article, some treatments, such as naloxone, which counters exposure to powerful opioids, can cause unconscious dogs to wake in a frantic, aggressive state. Using a basket muzzle will ensure that handlers and EMTs do not get bitten.
  • EMS personnel should create relationships with vets and specialists. Dr. McMichael acknowledges that “it's strange for emergency medical personnel who normally treat humans to think about things like muzzles and other equipment designed for dogs, or to figure out how to administer drugs or diagnostic tests to dog. That's why we suggest they get preliminary training, establish relationships with emergency veterinary clinics, develop a list of facilities and their locations, and have on hand the phone numbers of emergency veterinary contacts they can call in the event of a serious K-9 injury."

Although the article notes that there is no official record-keeping when it comes to law enforcement K-9’s that are injured or killed on the job, reporting varies from department-to-department.

"These dogs risk their lives to protect the public and their human law enforcement handlers," McMichael said. "As more states sponsor legislation to improve their access to critical care, we also need to step up to make sure that the system is prepared to meet their medical needs in their moment of crisis."

Happy Halloween. Keep Your Dogs Safe This Halloween


Halloween can be a great time of year for kids, but stressful and even dangerous for dogs. Spooky decorations and costumes mixed with streets and sidewalks full of sugared-up children can create fear, anxiety, and agitation for our furry friends. To help your dog navigate the frightful holiday in a way that creates more calm for your pup, follow these simple tips:

  • Keep Your Dog On Leash. With so many people out and about on Halloween night, it’s best to keep your dog on leash to help them navigate the crowds. This is especially important if you are dealing with an anxious dog and want to maintain control or avoid conflicts with tiny humans and other dogs.
  • Make Sure They Have ID. Even with your dog on leash, it’s important to keep their updated ID tags around their necks in case they get spooked and run off. If you typically remove their collar once you’re back inside, consider keeping it on for the evening if you plan on having trick or treaters at the door. Should your pup sprint out of the house, someone will be able to return them to you thanks to the ID tag.
  • Don’t Let Them Near The Candy. Candy is a major no-no for dogs. Chocolate can be toxic and other types of sweets can cause major digestive issues, which are no fun for anyone to deal with. If your dog accidentally gets into the candy stash on Halloween, keep a close eye on them for 24 hours. Should they start exhibiting troubling symptoms, bring them to the vet.
  • Choose A Costume Wisely. If you’re going to dress up your dog before taking them out for a walk, be sure that it’s both practical and comfortable for them to walk around in. You don’t want them to get tangled up in their costume, chew on tabs, tags, or strings that hang off of it, or exhibit bad behavior because they are uncomfortable.

If you plan to take your dogs out in costume on Halloween, we would love to see a picture! Send us photos directly via email at or post it on Instagram and use the hashtag #scoutastichalloween

Blurbs. Curated Content from the Interwebs

  • Robot dogs are here. We think dogs are pretty wonderful as living, breathing animals, but for those who also want a robot dog, your dream is finally coming true. Spot, designed by a company called Boston Dynamics, will be commercially available by the end of the year and will cost you as much as a car. Let’s just hope Spot isn’t part of the robot uprising that is inevitably coming.
  • Are labradoodles “Frankenstein’s monster”? Just in time for Halloween, The Washington Post interviewed the man who introduced labradoodles to the world back in 1989. Feeling regret about creating “the spark for a proliferation of poodle hybrids that he claims has run amok with irresponsible breeding causing health problems,” he has drawn strong criticism from labradoodle lovers all over the world, including this one.
  • Big Brother is watching...your dog. As a behemoth e-commerce site, it was only a matter of time before Amazon found a way to collect data on pets as well as humans. Amazon recently announced a new endeavor called Fetch, which will help you keep track of your dog via a small device you can put on their collar.

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