Local business makes oxygen more accessible to our pets


Rring the doorbell of Aeronics Inc. and Tucker, a golden retriever just months away from his 2nd birthday, will greet you at the door with a bark.

Every day is a day to bring your dog to work for Mark Spitz, owner of Tucker and co-founder and COO of Aeronics, a manufacturing-focused Bloomfield company oxygen more accessible — especially for pets.

Spitz, along with Aeronics co-founder and CEO Blake Dubé, launched their lead product, Pawprint Oxygen, in 2019. The 10-liter cartridge of medical-grade oxygen allows pet owners and veterinarians to administer care to dogs and cats whether they are at home or on the go.

Although oxygen therapy is certainly not new to veterinary medicine – it is commonly used to relieve respiratory distress that can result from conditions such as feline asthma as well as congestive heart failure, laryngeal paralysis and l Collapsed Trachea in Dogs – Pawprint Oxygen is the first to do the treatment simple for pet owners to administer. About the same size as a water bottle, it can also be used to help transport a pet to a veterinary hospital more comfortably. Unlike traditional oxygen tanks, it can be sent directly to pet owners who have a prescription.

“Every vet has a horror story of [a] patient in respiratory distress that he had to send in the car and tell him to drive fast — or that he had to consider putting a big, dangerous tank in the car, and he doesn’t want to do that,” Dubé says.

Although neither Dubé nor Spitz are veterinarians, they got the idea for Pawprint Oxygen from a vet they rented a house from after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. The two were developing at the time oxygen cartridges for people with respiratory illnesses. Dr. Joni Sarakon, a veterinarian for over 25 years, heard about their project and encouraged them to develop a pet product instead, saying it would be an unmet need.

Spitz and Dubé worked with Sarakon and Dr. Sean Smarick, an emergency room veterinarian, to create a product that would be easier for veterinarians to use than traditional oxygen tanks while meeting a patient’s medical needs. pet. To ensure the product is used as intended, pet owners must first obtain a prescription from a veterinarian which will determine the amount of oxygen an animal receives.

“Those two there [Drs. Sarakon and Smarick] really helped us formulate that into a product that was do the right thing for vets and pets and things like that. It’s not just a product you can buy on Amazon,” says Dubé.

Sarakon, who has used Pawprint Oxygen in his clinic and sent it home with patients, says an animal’s behavior changes the moment the oxygen mask is placed on its face.

“Sometimes they just close their eyes and they’re so relieved that they don’t have to struggle to breathe. It brings so much comfort to the animal,” she says.

A box of Pawprint Oxygen costs $30.

Dubé and Spitz have introduced Pawprint Oxygen to more than 3,000 veterinary clinics nationwide, and more than 3,000 people have ordered it for home use. Their goal is to provide Pawprint Oxygen to all 30,000 veterinary clinics in the United States, as well as educate all veterinarians on how to use the product for effective treatment and transportation of pets.

Dubé says he expects Pawprint Oxygen to “grow a lot this year,” with plans to add more employees to Aeronics’ team of seven.

But despite the fast pace of the business and the boxes of oxygen cartridges stacked on the ceiling of the office, Tucker keeps calm.

“It’s less stressful when you can just pet a dog,” Spitz says.

Gladys T. Hensley