And Like People, Different Dogs Have Differing Oxygen Needs
By Maria Morrison
Some people need oxygen at 5,000 feet above sea level, but by about 14,000 feet, oxygen can be required. Although people get the needed oxygen, their pets might not. For those who can’t bring their dogs flying at high altitudes due to the lack of oxygen, pilot and dog owner Eric Coburn of 4 PAWS Aviation came up with a solution.
Four years ago, Coburn had the idea to create a line of items for dogs that fly, mostly at high altitudes. His solution is an oxygen cone for our canine passengers.
Throughout two years of testing, Eric Coburn concluded that, overall, there are two categories of dogs, snoot-nosed dogs, like Poodles or German Shepards, and pug-nosed dogs, like pugs and boxers. The different types of dogs needed oxygen at different altitudes. Snoot-nosed dogs needed oxygen at about 10,000 feet, while pug-nosed dogs needed oxygen at about 8,000 feet. Coburn found out about this difference, but he didn’t know why it happened. When he took his data to Perdu University in Indiana, they confirmed the tests, but supplied limited answers. With lots of research, Coburn learned that most, if not all, pug-nosed dogs were bred for fighting. In dog fights, the digs aim for the throat or the Achilles Tendon. To protect the throat, these dogs, through adaptation, developed a flap of skin over their respiratory system, causing them to have more trouble breathing. The dog oxygen cone is a big help for these types of dogs.
With over 200 oxygen cones in service all over the world, the oxygen cone is a proven success. It goes easily around a dogs neck, and has a 7 foot long cord that attaches quickly to a oxygen tank or bottle. The oxygen cone fits like a dog flea cone with clear plastic on top and plastic sides with ventilation holes. The cone’s flow rate is 60% of the flow rate that a humans is, but it is all the oxygen a dog needs, with a constant flow going to the animal. The military and law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and search and rescue are all looking into the 4 PAWS Aviation products, which include earmuffs, goggles for brightness, and comfort shirts that prevent anxiety attacks, all for dogs.