Building Off Leash Reliability

I think we all strive to have a well enough mannered and obedient dog that at any point we could decide to unleash them and let them roam free with ease knowing they will come back at our call. The truth is, this type of skill in your pet takes time, dedication, patience, and most of all trust. There definitely are ways to make this happen for you and your pet but some things to keep in mind. According to whole-dog-journal.com they have some words of caution. There is no way to guarantee the safety of your dog off leash. No matter how long and hard you train your pet, when outside there are unsecured areas that can always cause a chance of their instincts or desires to lead them into a path of danger.

Lets face it, our environment is unpredictable and there is always a chance of running into another dog, large bang noise, or something else that may frighten or harm them. Knowing these dangers why train them off the leash? There will always be unforeseen moments were the gate may be left open or they dig a whole large enough that they can break free. Time spent off leash gives our dogs physical and mental exercise, keeping them healthy and happy. The key to training off leash is to practice whenever possible in safe and secure locations like a large field away from traffic.

Incorporating off-leash training into your daily activities can help you and your dog prepare for off-leash adventures. Your dog will learn to respond to you everywhere, all of the time. Offering big rewards for good behavior when you and your dog play, walk, feed, or just hang out is going to reinforce the positive behavior. So whip out those bacon treats and have fun!

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Dogs in the Wedding

Whether it’s the proposal, engagement photos or a walk down the aisle your pup is a crucial part of your life and your big day won’t be the same without those paws. Our dog missed the proposal due to some aquatic features my fiancé chose for our proposal, but you better believe she will be in every other part of the wedding.

Proposal: Everyone knows the classic puppy proposal, tie it to the collar, puppy rushes in she squeals and yells yes! Well if you’re not looking for the same old song and dance feel free change it up. First teach your puppy to fetch a ring shaped box, yes we know slobber is a factor here but if you’re reading this that’s probably not an issue. Take her and the dog on a hike to one of your favorite trails and at the most scenic spot available have your dog fetch the ring and get that knee dusty!

Engagement Photos: If you are thinking of including your dog in your engagement photos, make sure to check first with your photographer. Not all photographers have experience with animals, but I’m sure they will be open. We planned ahead for our trip by making sure to bring plenty of treats, poo baggies, and a dog whistle. We also had some fun and made an announcement sign for her to wear. The treats come in handy to keep your dog’s attention and position them for photos. The whistle is to get your dog to look at the camera, luckily for us our photographer had an assistant who was able to help. And lastly the poo bags are for courtesy.

The Day: Just as a guest or as your flower pup, the wedding day has many opportunities to showcase your quirky family. Personally we have decided to get our dog a flower crown and have her walk down the aisle with another wedding guest. We also considered having her be the ring bearer and or a bridesmaid.

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Should Dogs Wear Clothes?

Yes! I mean look at how CUTE they are! I tried to give this answer to my Fiancé, but he wasn’t going for it… So I got to thinking, should they? They do have all that fur and what not. Well it turns out the folks over at www.petmd.com had a similar question. The way they see it is your dog may have fur, but not all dogs are adapted to winter conditions the same. Short/Thin haired and smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Grey Hounds and Terrier Breeds would benefit from some extra warmth on those cold nights. Beware however; larger breeds such as Siberian Huskies, St. Bernard and Malamute have been genetically adapted to winter conditions and would be very uncomfortable or overheat.
 
Now as far as for when it’s not winter I say go for it! As long as you are making sure to dress the animal appropriate for its weather situation a little fashion won’t hurt. My dog loves to wear shirts and dresses so much that she even drags them out of the dirty hamper! Have fun with your dog, it’s 2014 and everything has the right to look fabulous!

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Exercise

Exercise can be your best friend for man’s best friend. The simple fact about your dog is that it has lots of energy and needs an outlet to release said energy, because if not your going to have a terror on your hands. According to WWW.ASPCA.COM you can avoid many common behavioral issues with your animal by giving them a constant exercise routine. Animals and children alike get bored and will most definitely act out if you do not allow them the chance to release energy. The avenue in which they find to release this energy comes out in digging, barking, biting and other bad habits.
 
This does not mean just leave the dog in the backyard and hope he does laps. Just because the dog has a yard to play in does not mean they will exercise on his or her own. This also doesn’t mean that you need to be the most athletic person. There are very fun and creative ways to help your dog exercise. Obviously there are the classics like playing fetch, rope pull, and jogging but consider using rollerblades so that your dog can run free. Or try food puzzles in which the dog must interact with some sort of puzzle to gain access to food. Keeping your dog mentally and physically in shape will make for a much happier and loving home.

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Treats

If your like me you love to give your dog treats. I may spoil her from time to time, but there is a preferred way to giving dogs treats and probably a healthier one. According to www.cesarsway.com the first thing to keep in mind when giving your dog treats is that they should be used in to reinforce calm and submissive activity. Rewarding your dog while in an excited state rewards unruly behavior that can cause issues down the road. Your dog’s nose caught the sent of those treats from about 25ft away and is already breaking down the ingredients by the time you say shake. You will want to show extreme patience with your dog and not give them the treat until they are no longer excited, as they will be confused and start to search for what to do to receive the treat. Once they have reached a calm submissive state, reward them with the treat.

Now that we know how to start with our treats lets look into what we should give our furry friends. Keeping in mind that treats for humans vary greatly from dog treats, the menu for Fido may not be what you expect. The experts at
www.cesarsway.com have suggested such delicacies as beef trachea, liver bites, and beef tendons. While www.petmeds.com gives our inner hipster some alternative choices introducing a list of vegetarian treats your dog can enjoy; top of the list: apples (without seeds), blueberries, and frozen bananas. Whatever it is you decide to feed your dog remember to check the ingredients, if you can’t pronounce or recognize what goes in there you may want to make a different choice.

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Vaccination

Vaccination

Vaccinations are one of the best ways you can ensure a long healthy life for your dog. This doesn’t mean you need to get every vaccine there ever was, but it is a good idea to discuss vaccinations and your animal specifically with your veterinarian. That being said, The American Animal Hospital Association published a list in 2006 of core vaccines that are recommended for every dog:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Rabies

These are the core vaccines the American Animal Hospital Association believes are most important. They are ranked with such importance based upon risk of exposure, severity of disease and transmissibility. These diseases have devastating effects and should be prevented if possible. Not all of these core vaccines are enforced legally so, once again, speak with your veterinarian for the best guidance.



Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Dog Breath

Most pet owners will brag about how cute their puppy is, but very few are boasting the same confidence when it comes to Fido’s breath. Dog breath is a very common issue for pet owners; we would like to offer some helpful tips on how to combat death breath! Taking your dog to the groomers is great for a deep clean, but there are steps you can take to help prevent/maintain your pup’s dental health.
 
First lets cover the most common causes of bad breath for dogs. According to
www.1800petmeds.com the following are the main causes of bad breath:
 
  • Bacteria and food particles stuck in pet's mouth
  • Diet
  • Eating disorder (eating feces or garbage)
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Tumors in the mouth
 
Now on to prevention! Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem strange at first, but remember just like human’s dogs also experience plaque and tartar build up that can cause periodontal disease. If you’re not into the assisted living feel, you can still help fight build up by giving your dog dental sticks or bones. Chewing on things like bones and dental sticks help scrape the surface of your dog’s teeth removing build up. Once again, these suggestions are for prevention and maintenance and do not eliminate the need to schedule regular teeth cleanings with a professional.


Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

FLEAS!!

There is an unfortunate myth that dogs should only have flea protection during the hotter months. If you are waiting for warm weather it may already be too late. Remember, a clean dog is a happy dog. This means that giving your pup regular scrubs, as in once every 4 weeks or so, and keeping up on flea prevention medication is the best route. We at Happy Dog use a more natural approach that is pesticide free and includes both tea tree and eucalyptus oil. There are several types of flea protection and it is best to discuss your options with your vet, but we have found the prescription Comfortis to be an effective brand. Comfortis is taken in pill form once every 30 days. If a prescription is a little too much, you may want to consider a topical like Frontline and Advantage. However you decide to treat/prevent fleas please protect those fur babies all year long. If you see one flea, there is an army brewing that will soon engulf your home.

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Grooming 101

We constantly get asked how often your dog should come to us and get professionally groomed. Of course, every dog is different.... It’s always great to take your active dog out to play by going to the beach or parks. After all the running, jumping, swimming and barking they are going to need a good grooming. If left dirty too long your pup could develop skin issues, make sure to treat them at home with specialty shampoo and conditioner or schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you are planning to maintain your pup at home in between grooming appointments we suggest using shampoo from Tropiclean.com.

For the prince and princess:

Short haired breeds for example: Pugs, Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, Bull Dogs

These breeds require low maintenance but should be groomed every two months for a deep clean.


Medium to long hair breed for example: Bichon frise, Shih tzu, Maltese, Poodle and "Doodle"

These pups MUST get groomed once per month by a professional groomer. If these dogs get wet and not blown dry they can become severely matted over night. Most of these breeds should be seen twice per month to be groomed properly and to maintain a healthy coat and most important skin! All of our grooming includes: Blueberry facial, specialty shampoo and nourishing conditioner

Call our shop to schedule an appointment today!

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist

Our Furrst Post

Our Goal:

We are a mom and daughter business that prides ourselves on treating everyone’s dogs like our own! We absolutely LOVE every set of paws that enters our salon and are confident you’ll feel comfortable leaving your pets in a safe environment where they can run and play freely. When you visit our salon, we want you and your fur babies to have a PAWS-itive experience while also knowing that Doug the Pug is lavishing in spa quality treatment. We believe strongly in our motto: “A Clean dog is a happy dog!”

Our Story:

Meet the Owners: Julie and Michelle

Before I started Happy Dog I was working as an insurance broker for 4 years. I found myself unhappy in my current position because I was working 40+ hours a week and always away from my dogs. I wanted a career that would allow me to be with my dogs everyday so I decided to open up my own mobile dog grooming business. I was so excited to finally be doing something I truly loved, a chance to be passionate about doing business while sharing my love for animals. I was blown away with the amount of loyal customers who shared my passion and was humbled by the number of new clients that were consistently calling. So much so that I could not keep up on my own, so I asked my daughter Michelle to join me on this adventure! At the time she was a full time college student pursuing her goal of being a dental hygienist. I knew this was asking a lot of her but I was so thrilled when she jumped on board and was blessed to see she’s a natural. After four years in our mobile truck business had expanded so much that we decided to open up our shop. I wanted a location that would allow us to have more employees and of course so I could bring my pets to work everyday. Since then, Michelle and I have been power partners in this business and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our strong family bond makes it easy to work together because we balance each other out and we value our mother daughter relationship. Here we are now, the Happy Dog Pet Salon you have grown to love!

Written By:
Megan Spencer
Blog Artist