Have you ever thought about oxygen masks for dogs? What began with a heartbreaking news report wound up turning into an effort to equip firefighters with lifesaving breathing apparatus designed for pets dogs, in particular.
After hearing of a tragedy that led to 9 animals being lost in a house fire, Pam Knibbs who was at that time working with Earth Options Pet Products formed the initiative “Happy Dogs Legacy.” After achieving a modest “gofundme.com” goal for dog breathing kits for their local BC firefighter units, her website launched and picked it up from there.
Happy Dogs Legacy and Wag’N O2 Fur Life
A company that Happy Dogs Legacy worked closely with was Wag’N O2 Fur Life. Wag’N O2 is a company that is an educational public safety business that provides pet oxygen masks to first responders and reaches all over the North American continent. They’ve been in the business of selling pet oxygen masks since 2008.
Their goal has been to place at least 1 pet oxygen kit in every EMS or fire department in every station across North America. Needless to say, this company goal and Pam Knibbs efforts fit like a glove.
Though Happy Dogs Legacy has been dispersed, Wag’N O2 is still in operation, fabricating oxygen masks meant for dogs that are sold in kits- most often sold in bulk orders. For anyone interested in joining their efforts, you can see what they’re doing over at petoxygenmasks.org.
Oxygen Masks for Dogs
A lot of people aren’t aware that at times, even our four-legged friends need additional oxygen intake under certain circumstances. A perfect example is a story that prompted Pam to get into action herself. (Click Here to read the story that touched Pam’s heart enough to get things in motion.)
Oxygen masks for dogs are specifically made to cover the snout of a dog so that they can properly inhale the needed oxygen into their lungs. Rather than a cup-shaped facemask with a bump for the nose as we may be used to at the hospital, masks meant for dogs are shaped like a cone.
The cone shape is what makes the most sense, as that’s the natural shape of the dog’s snout. Another difference between human oxygen masks and those meant for dogs is that there are different-sized cones, rather than what we use- adjustable straps and so forth.
There are several different cone sizes to accommodate different-sized breeds. Most available kits that can be found include multiple-sized masks.
The opening of the cones is fit with a rubber seal, which helps to close out external air and at the same time, helps to keep the dog’s mouth shut. Natural breathing is meant to be done through nostrils, and the cones are designed to promote nostril breathing only.
Due to the design of oxygen masks for dogs, there are no straps attached to the cones. Unlike humans, dogs are typically not left alone to their own devices when attached to masks, or they are under sedation of some sort, so straps are not necessary.
Thanks to the good intentions and hard work performed by Happy Dogs Legacy back in between 2016-17, there are a lot of oxygen masks for dogs equipped in dozens of first responder stations across British Columbia.