Winter Safety Tips

Yep, winter is here. As with any change of seasons, it brings a different set of dangers for our pets.

Vehicle Safety

Watch for antifreeze leaks. Its sweet taste attracts dogs and cats, very poisonous, and the bright green color is a DEAD giveaway. It cleans up easily with soap and water.

Outdoor cats looking for warmth frequently sleep on car engines. Banging loudly on the hood before starting your engine should rouse them.

Leaving your pet in your car while you shop at the mall is like leaving them in a refrigerator. The car retains the cold and your pet could suffer from hypothermia. A great way to gauge the interior temperature of your vehicle is with a temperature window cling. Easily sourced on Amazon. On the flip side, you do not want to leave them in the car with the engine idling. A couple of years back,  a Long Island, NY man went into a Cool Beans for a cup of coffee and left his car running. His dog knocked the gearshift into drive and proceeded to go for a ride. He ended up IN the business next door. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

The Great Outdoors

Animals that spend a lot of time outside need more food. In particular, a higher protein diet is required.

The very young and the very old have little tolerance for the cold weather. Provide them with outerwear for both body and feet.

According to the ASPCA, more dogs are lost during snowstorms than at any other time. They can lose their scent, become disoriented and lost. Remember, a well-identified dog has a greater chance of returning home.

Use pet safe ice melt. When that is not possible, or you are unsure of what is being used; wash their feet BEFORE they get a chance to lick them.


Insects will be coming into our homes for the winter. Watch for spider and insect bites and familiarize yourself with the signs of anaphylactic shock. Insect traps are baited with something tasty, so keep them out of your pet's reach.

The Holiday Season is in full swing.


The most common holiday plant is the poinsettia. It is toxic. Keep it out of reach of your pets. Both Pet Poison Helpline ( and the ASPCA ( has a database of toxic plants and phone apps.

Chewing on electrical cords can cause cardiac arrest. Tripping on electrical cords can cause broken body parts and sudden blunt force trauma. (OK, maybe more of an issue for me.) Dogs chasing after something have been known to be dragging a Christmas tree behind them after a cord was snagged on a paw.

Glass ornaments pose a problem for those pets that confuse them with tennis balls.

Garland and tinsel is a particular problem for cats. Remember; never pull it out of your cat, as there may be an ornament hook at the other end.

Pine water is poisonous to pets. Fertilizers and pesticides will leach out into the water bowl.

Holiday Food and Drinks

Alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, coma and death.

Coffee, tea and other caffeine products contain theobromine. It is toxic and affects the cardio and nervous systems.

Ham, fat trimmings and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.

Cooked bones can cause intestinal obstruction and lacerations of the digestive system.

Stuffings may contain sage, onions, mushrooms and raisins.

Too many sweets can cause obesity and diabetes. Artificial sugars cause a fatal drop in blood sugar, especially xylitol.

Holiday snack trays may contain macadamia nuts and grapes.

Chocolate contains theobromine.

A list of the most common people foods that cause problems for pets is found at both Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA’s website.

 PRO TIP: Broccoli can cause digestive upset and VERY gassy pets. You may want to keep that to a minimum unless you want your guests running for cover. Of course, if your guests have overstayed their welcome, then broccoli is the way to go.

You also want to provide your pets with a quiet place during the holiday parties. Even small gatherings can be stressful for them.

Cold Injuries

Cold injuries are caused by extreme or prolonged exposure to low temperatures. The most common areas affected are the tail, ears, paws and scrotum. A snout to tail assessment is always a good idea after coming in from the outdoors. Check for ice and salt in the pads and for any signs of frostbite or hypothermia.

The skin can become swollen, red and very painful. In later stages, it can become hard and pale. Additional signs of frostbite and hypothermia include shivering, slow or shallow breathing, lethargy, decreased heart rate and gums either pale or bluish in color.

If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, you should first make sure the pet is out of the cold. DO NOT RUB THE AFFECTED AREA. The frozen ice crystals in the skin can lacerate the skin cells. Contact your vet for rewarming instructions. This is very important so that you can prevent further pain, stave off infection and minimize the possible tissue damage.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.


©Mary Oquendo Spirited Dog Productions


Halloween Safety - It's That Time of the Year Again

It's that time of year again.

The sooner the kids come and relieve me of the candy in the house, the happier I will be. While I am more concerned with my candy consumption, there are real dangers for your pets.

Provide a safe place for your pet away from the door. It can be very confusing for them. The constant ringing of the doorbell, all the strange looking people, along with the screaming for candy, can be confusing and scary to your pet. Under these circumstances, your frightened pet may pose a bite risk.

Make sure that your pet is identified with readable tags and update your microchip company with current information. Many pets escape out the ever opening front door. Shelters see an increase in their numbers during Halloween.

Veterinarians and Animal Poison Control also see an increase in the number of pets as a result of poisoning and intestinal obstructions because the pet helped themselves to the Halloween candy you left within their reach. Most Halloween candy contains chocolate, artificial sugars, and wrappers.

Pets can knock over the lit candles in pumpkins causing a fire, chew on strung lights, choke on small ghoulish decorations, and poison themselves with fake blood and glowsticks.

If you must put a costume on your pet, remove all chocking hazards. In adition, watch for discomfort and blocked vision.

If you must take them trick or treating, put flashing LED's or lighted collars so cars can see them too. Look for signs of stress and exhaustion. They are not nearly as excited as the children are to go door to door. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I do not want to ruin my holiday because my pet was injured, lost, or caused injury to another.

Written by Mary Oquendo,

New England Grooming Show And GEAF

New England Grooming Show Is This Weekend!


The Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund (501(3) c IRS registered non-profit) is still receiving applications for those affected by the hurricanes and wildfires. We have given out over $10,000 so far in monetary donations. Plus thousands in products and equipment. 

We could not do this without your help and that of the generous vendors.

But we can only help to the tune of what is in our coffers. 

Help Us Help You

You never know when tragedy could strike your area. 

We have lots going on at the New England Show in Sturbridge, MA.

  1. Have lunch with Ellen Ehrlich on Ellen. Ellen possesses a vast knowledge of information in almost any category for groomers. One on one time with Ellen is invaluable. You must be present at the drawing to win Lunch On Ellen.
  2. We have gift baskets to raffle with some pretty awesome stuff. 
  3. Spirit is ready and willing to share his kisses at the Kissing Booth. He prefers cash. IMG_5345

Come visit us at the GEAF booth to learn more about how we help groomers in need. 


* PS We take cash or make a donation at


Changes In A Pet's Behavior

As groomers, we see client's pets on average every six or so weeks. I feel this is the perfect amount of time to notice something that owners may miss because owners see their pet's everyday.

What may be a minuscule difference in behavior when seen on a daily basis, will appear huge to a groomer who has not seen this pet in weeks. 

Many times a change in behavior is one of the early signs of an underlying medical condition. Early detection means early intervention.

Some examples of change in behavior:

  • Brownie was a sweet, lovely Shih tzu.I could do anything to this boy. On one occasion he was snappy.Very snappy.I called the owners to come pick him up and reschedule him. Brownie's owners informed me that the day before their home was burglarized and the intruders terrorized Brownie. The owners thought a change of scenery with someone he loved would be better than staying at home. Brownie was suffering from PTSD. We stopped grooming and let him just hang out with us while the owners cleaned up the mess at home.The following grooming, he was back to his normal self.
  • The opposite of Brownie was Princess. Princess was a handful. We nicknamed her the "Pterodactyl." She could fly and nail you at the same time. Except for one groom is which she was very complacent. In case you're wondering, I finished that groom. It was the only time in her entire life (15 years) that she was a pleasure to groom. I mentioned it to the owners and they had her vetted. Turned out to be the beginnings of a problem for which she was treated.
  • Casey was also a very good boy for grooming. He was a large golden retriever. He always was very social. So when he looked a little withdraw and cautious around his legs, we told the owners that it wasn't like Casey not to be wagging his tail the entire time he was here. Owners started Casey on some joint supplements and by the next groom he was back to normal.

So, the point is, don't ignore subtle changes in the behavior of the pets we groom.None of these changes in any of these pets were notices by the owners.The longer a health issue goes undiagnosed, the less likely there will be a full recovery.



Online Cats And Products Workshop

Proudly Presents A Back From Trade Shoe Special


If ancient Greece had Facebook, I imagine a conversation such as this would have happened.

Antonia: We shouldn't be using this face lotion. There are studies that say it contains high quantities of lead and could cause serious medical conditions down the line.

Ursula: I've been using it for years. It does a wonderful job of hiding blemishes and I don't see anyone dropping dead after applying it.

At one point it was industry standard to use flea dips. For that, thank the groomers who raised the alarm.

💎 Want To Cut Through All The Noise And Find Out What’s Safe For Cats? 💎

Instead of listening to groomers go back and forth on the subject, what if the information came directly from veterinarians such as Dr. Justine Lee (DVM, DACVECC, DABT- a double board-certified emergency critical care specialist and toxicologist) or Dr. Chris Bessent (Certified in Veterinary Herbology and owner of Herbsmith, Inc.) or Faith Thanas (Aesthetician and co-owner of AromaCat.)

What if we covered: 

🎉 Why cats are physiologically different than dogs.

🎉 Grooming shampoos, conditioner, first aid products, essential oils, cleaners, and calming agents.


Our clients depend on us to keep their pets looking good, while maintaining their safety and well being. 

💎💎 Join Mary Oquendo in this informative, eye opening online workshop! Mary has been an active advocate for pet safety in the professional pet industry since becoming a pet first aid instructor in 2006.💎💎

💥 Don’t Be Ursula 💥

This workshop’s enrollment will not be limited. 

Date: Sunday, August 13th
Time: 6 PM EST

Just $10 Right Now! (That’s right. A coffee and muffin at Starbuck’s)

Can’t attend the live online workshop? No problem. It will be recorded for future use. 


You'll also get access to our free Private Community to discuss cats and grooming products with other students long after the live workshop is over.

Is Your Insurance Coverage Adequate?

I've been following a couple of posts on Facebook from some very unhappy groomers following denied insurance claims.

They are unhappy because they did not have the coverage they thought they did.

We all get a large envelope with pages and pages of our coverage when we sign up and again when we renew our policies. All the experts recommend we read it, but it daunting and written in insuranese. My eyes start to glaze over when I make the attempt.

Instead, I contact my insurance specialist. An insurance specialist is NOT YOUR AGENT. An insurance specialist is your contact person within the insurance company itself, such as Travelers, Hartford, Nationwide, and so forth.

An insurance specialist can walk you through your policy as it appears in their files.

Bottom line is this.

You are only covered as it appears on their end. It doesn't matter what your agent says. If you are mobile and have different policies for vehicle and business, you need to speak with each insurance specialist.

Suggested questions to ask include (but not limited to):

  1. The details of the animal floater. Under what circumstances is this floater enacted. Many non-industry policies only include death, NOT injury. There will also be a dollar amount limit on each occurrence.
  2. The details of your business interruption policy. What are the exclusions? If you are mobile, does it cover when your vehicle is in the shop for a motor vehicle accident.
  3. What are your deductibles?
  4. Do you have full glass coverage? Thats both mobile and shop.
  5. Is there a limit of your equipment?
  6. For mobile groomers, is the full amount of the conversion accounted for?

This phone call will take about 20 minutes of your time and will save you an inordinate amount of grief in the event you make need to make a claim.

Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid, and Care in Nashua, NH

Are You Ready To Save The Life Of A Pet?

Did you know according to the American Animal Hospital Association that 25% more pets could have been saved if only one pet first aid technique was applied prior to veterinary treatment!

What if you could learn a set of skills that could help a pet by:

  •  Lessening pain from an injury.
  •  Speed up healing of a wound.
  • Reduce cost of veterinary intervention.
  •  Saving their life.


Pets bring us joy and love to our lives and work. What if you knew how to:

➡️ Perform effective CPR. (Studies have shown that only 10% of pets will survive heart attacks unless proper CPR techniques were applied prior to veterinary intervention.)

➡️ Help a pet that is choking on a toy or treat.

➡️ Wrap a bleeding injury to minimize blood loss and begin the healing process.

➡️ Systemically assess a pet for injuries.

➡️ How to put together a pet first aid kit.

 Finally A Comprehensive, Intensive, Hands-on Workshop For Both Pet Owners and Pet Professionals 

In this Amazing 5 hour workshop taught by 2 of the top pet first aid instructors in the country you will learn these skills:

  • Priorities and Concerns of Emergency Procedures
  •  Restraining and Muzzling
  •  Primary Pet Assessments
  •  CPR
  •  Rescue Breathing
  •  Choking Management
  •  Bleeding, Shock, and Fracture Protocols
  •  Poisonings
  •   Insect and Snake Bites
  •  Heat and Cold Injuries
  •  Seizures
  •   Vitals
  •   Pet First Aid Kits
  •  Snout To Tail Assessments


Everybody will have use of a stuffed demo dog to practice these life saving skills on, as well as receive a handbook for future reference. Let’s not forget the frameable certificate to proudly show off your life saving skills.


  Hi, We are Mary Oquendo and Beth Cristiano! We have been teaching pet first aid to thousands of pet owners and pet professionals across the country for the last decade. Let us give you the skills to save your pets. 

 Ready To Save A Life! 

This workshop is limited to 12 participants.

Date: Sunday, July 16th

Time: 10 am -3 pm

Where: The Classic Pet Parlour, 49 Amherst St, Nashua, NH


Just $125 Right Now!

Updated Client Information Card

This is my client information card. Feel free to copy it, but, of course, change my information to yours.






Home phone__________________________________________________________________________________

Cell Phone___________________________________________________________________________________

Preferred method of contact________________________________________________________________

Name                 Breed             Age       Medical Concerns

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________
  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________
  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Can your pet have a treat? Yes     No

In the event of a heart attack, I authorize Mary Oquendo of Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC  (circle one) to perform not perform   CPR. I hold Mary Oquendo and Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC harmless for these actions.

Signature and Date

In the event of a medical emergency and I can not be reached, I authorize Mary Oquendo and Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC to bring my pet to the closest available veterinarian for treatment. I allow the veterinarian to treat my pet. I will be financially responsible unless Mary Oquendo and Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC assume responsibility.

Signature and Date


In the event of inclement weather or natural disaster, Mary Oquendo and Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC, is entrusted to use best judgment in caring for my pet and will not be held liable for consequences related to such decisions.

I also authorize Mary Oquendo and Pawsitively Pretty Mobile Grooming Salon LLC to assume guardianship over the following pets in my household until which time I can safely take possession of my pets.


Name and breed of other pets

Signature and Date

Veterinarian and Phone Number

Do you wish to be added to a quarterly newsletter that will have seasonal and safety tips as well as an invitation to a free webinar?

Yes   No

Can I use your pets photo in any marketing material such as Facebook and website?

Yes  No

Bleeding Injury Online Workshop

I can remember my first accident. I was a newbie groomer and sliced the tongue of a golden retriever when he licked (yes, licked) my scissors. After the initial freeze, I handled the bleeding in the best way I knew how. Not something, I would do now, only because I know better today.


Have You Ever Zigged When The Pet Zagged When Scissoring? 


We work with live, moving animals. (Some more than others.)

Accidents happen.

If you've ever:

  •  Quicked a nail.
  •  Cut a pad.
  •  Nicked an ear.
  •  Sliced a tongue.
  •  I could go on. You get the picture.


Attending to bleeding injuries quickly will reduce pain and speed healing!

In this Amazing Workshop, taught by a pet groomer and one of the top pet first aid instructors in the country, you will learn:

🌹 Which products are safe to use for both dogs and cats.

🌹 The five skills to stop bleeding.

🌹 Specifically how to attend to ear and pad injuries.

and more!

 I'm Mary Oquendo! I have been in the pet industry since 1999 and a pet first aid instructor since 2008. I have taught pet first aid classes at local and national pet industry educational conferences. 

💥 Ready To Be Able To Help The Pets In Your Care? 💥

This workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Date: Sunday, June 25th

Time: 6 PM EST

Just $47 Right Now!

Plus, there's bonuses!

💙 Ability to review the recording for future use.

💙 Worksheets and Handouts.

You'll also get access to our free Private Community to discuss bleeding injuries with other students long after the live workshop is over.

Salon Sanitation Online Workshop

 Want To Take The Drudgery Out Of Cleaning Your Salon? 


You love your pet grooming business, but hate cleaning up at the end of the day?

Want to change that!

If you've ever:

🎉 Wondered why other grooming facilities always look clean and sparkly.

🎉 Spent hours cleaning and it still smells funky.

🎉 Just closed the door at night and hoped for the cleaning fairy to come before morning.


Improper cleaning protocols may put your clients, staff, and yourself at risk for cross contamination.

Did you know you could cut your time cleaning by:

️ Instituting routines and checklists.

️ Knowing which products (including natural options) are more effective than others.

️ How to spot a possibly contagious pet and send them home!


 Finally An Easy To Understand Salon Sanitation Workshop 

In this Amazing Workshop, taught by a pet groomer, you will learn:

🌹 4 ways to reduce cross contamination in your facility.

🌹 What are the health concerns you need to be aware of as a groomer.

🌹 How to compare and decide which products to use.

🌹 What are effective natural options.

🌹 How to choose the method and schedule that works best for you.

and more!


 Hi, I'm Mary Oquendo! I have been in the pet industry since 1999. I’m a firm believer in continuing education and evolving my business to meet the ever-changing demands. Ever since I took a field trip to other salons as a student, I realized the importance of a clean shop. 

 Ready To Step Up Your Game? 

This workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Date: Wednesday, May 24th

Time: 8 PM EST

Just $47 Right Now!

Plus, there's bonuses!

💙 Ability to review the recording for future use.

💙 Worksheets and Handouts so that you can continue to evolve your own shop plan.

You'll also get access to our free Private Community to discuss sanitation with other students long after the live workshop is over.