Finding a way to dress her rescue dog’s injured leg inspired this animal-loving entrepreneur to design a line of innovative bandage products for dogs and cats.
Rescue dogs are often special needs dogs. Jennifer DiGrazia learned this the hard way when she saved two badly neglected blind dachshunds a few years ago. Having spent their lives unloved and uncared for, banished to the corner of a basement, the dogs were naturally frightened of everything, and rehabilitating them was a difficult and sometimes heartbreaking job.
“Maddy, the boy, developed a festering sore on his front leg that he constantly licked and gnawed at till it was raw,” says Jennifer. “He wouldn’t let anyone touch his leg long enough to treat and bandage it. My kids and I had to work as a team to bandage him up, only to see him frantically tear it off again within minutes.”
Desperate for a solution, Jennifer put her thinking cap on. “I guess it’s true about necessity being the mother of invention, because I exhausted every possibility, from human products to the standard cohesive pet medical wraps,” she says. “Then I got an idea. At the pharmacy, I grabbed a package of diapers and disposable training pants. I went home, and began cutting out the Velcro-type stretch fasteners and stretch side panels. With needle and thread, I began sewing all the pieces together to make a bandage.”
It took her only seconds to put the new bandage on Maddy, who amazingly accepted it without trying to tear it off. “He wasn’t afraid of it and it didn’t seem to cause him any discomfort,” Jennifer says. “I guess if the diaper companies did all that research to find the most comfortable materials and technology for babies’ tender skin, it only makes sense that this was the most non-invasive and comfortable bandage for Maddy. Once I saw how well he took to it, I realized all dogs should have them.”
Jennifer founded PawFlex Bandages in 2010. The Brooklyn, New York-based company makes bandages designed specifically for animal legs, tails and joints, as well as the Medimitt, a medical bandage for paws. The bandages are available in sizes ranging from XS to XL. “They’re nonadhesive ‘all in one’ (wound pad attached) super-stretch fur-friendly bandages that are also soft, breathable and water resistant,” explains Jennifer. “They’re easy to apply, adjust and remove.” The bandages grip the animal’s hair or fur without sticking to it, making them painless to change or take off.
Along with developing some new bandage designs and other products to be released this fall, Jennifer expresses her love for animals in additional ways. “I’m involved in dog rescue and active in spreading awareness to end animal cruelty. All I want to do is help dogs and other animals. What I enjoy most is knowing my products will help heal dogs, and that I’ll eventually be in a financial position to help out the neediest of rescues and shelters.”