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Congratulations, your puppy is now reaching adolescence! During these “teenage years” you can expect your pup to be a bit of a handful, but she’ll emerge as a full-grown doggy adult before you know it and you will miss these silly puppy days. She may be a bit awkward physically as well, as she reaches her adult height well before reaching her adult weight. Her appetite is likely to fluctuate along with her changes in height and weight. Both physically and behaviorally, this can be an age of inconsistency, but with the proper guidance and training, your puppy will settle into her adult body and temperament.
Much like human teenagers, adolescent pups use their newfound sense of independence to test their limits, which sometimes means acting out. While there may be occasional lapses in your puppy’s behavior, your reactions should remain consistent, firm and most of all patient. You may see further tests of dominance and ranking in the home around this time. Some misbehavior is normal as your dog explores her dominance in the pack, but it is important to continue to be firm about where she ranks in the hierarchy.
By now, your puppy should have lost all her baby teeth and grown a full set of adult teeth. Her last teeth to fall out will be her upper canines, or “fangs.” You will need to continue to provide approved chew toys at least until all of her adult teeth have come in, although many dogs enjoy chewing on toys well into their adult years.
A puppy that has not been neutered will reach sexual maturity around this time and begin exhibiting sexual behaviors, such as mounting in male dogs. This is normal behavior, but can be minimized by spaying or neutering your dog before they reach maturity.
During the last stage of puppyhood, a puppy’s energy level skyrockets, and her need for activity goes up along with it. Keep her mind and mouth busy with sturdy toys and plenty of play. This can be a demanding time for puppy parents, especially if they did not establish boundaries with their puppy earlier. Try not to let your puppy get bored or leave her alone for too long, as this could lead to unwanted behaviors like chewing up the furniture or investigating the trash, especially at this age. Though it can be exhausting, this can be a very fun age with your pup and you should be sure to enjoy every minute!
Patience is key during this last stage of your puppy’s development, and so is practice, practice, practice! It may take a while to see results in your puppy’s training, but if you stay persistent, you will have a very well-behaved adult dog before you know it. Soon your furry friend won’t be a puppy anymore—but she will always be your baby.
San Francisco is one of the most puppy-friendly cities in the country; in fact, the city has more dogs than kids! Because of this, you’re sure to find plenty of places in the city to spend with your four-legged friend. We’ve rounded up some of the best dog-friendly parks, restaurants, bars, hotels and other spots in San Francisco!
Places to Walk
San Francisco has plenty of parks, trails and beaches to offer where your pup is welcome. One such place is Crissy Field, where your pup can play with other dogs on the beach. The off-leash area allows pups to splash in the calm waters, but access to the Wildlife Protection Area is prohibited. Another dog-friendly beach, Baker Beach, offers off-leash play north of Lobos Creek, as well as stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Park is one of San Francisco’s most dog-friendly parks, with four off-leash areas to choose from. It’s a popular place for pups to come with their owners, so your furry friend won’t be alone. At Land’s End, your leashed pup is welcome to hike on this beautiful trail with views of the rocky California coast.
Places to Eat and Drink
Hungry for a bite to eat but don’t want to leave your precious pup behind? Thankfully, there are restaurants and bars in the city that happily accept four-legged friends. Formerly known as “Stray Bar,” Holy Water in Bernal Heights is a local favorite that welcomes pups of all kinds through its doors. Toronado is another Fido-friendly bar, open from 11:30am to 2am daily, but we recommend you don’t bring your pup here on a busy night. Swing by Park Chow with your pup and sit outside on the lovely patio while you enjoy some quality dishes. Your pup can get a water bowl, too. For a lazy weekend or eventful weekday with your best pup pal, Park Chalet Coastal Beer Garden offers one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco for dog owners. The restaurant is the perfect social spot for pups and their people to listen to live music on their big, green lawn out back.
Places to Stay
Need a dog-friendly place to lodge while you’re in town? There are several to choose from, but we’d like to share a couple of our favorites. Right by Crissy Field, the Inn at the Presidio makes a great choice for boarding with your pup. For an added $40, the hotel will accommodate your room to suit you and your furry friend. Plus, there’s even a bowling alley! At the Argonaut Hotel, each pup can join you for an extra $50, with “no size restrictions or extra charges,” according to the hotel’s website. This dog-friendly hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf is iconic for its coastal feel and under-the-sea theme. They also boast nearby recreational areas for you and your pup to enjoy.
Places to Ride
Before planning your route for the day, it’s important to know which public transportation services are welcoming to your pup. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) line allows dogs in carriers to ride with no extra charge. To get to places the Bart line doesn’t cover, you can take Muni, which is short for the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Pets on Muni can ride in a carrier during non-peak hours for a fee equal to the fare of its owner. When using the rideshare services Uber and Lyft, the acceptance of four-legged passengers is completely up to the driver. “Once you request a car, you can call the driver and ask if they allow dogs in their car. Lyft will refund any charges if you have to cancel the car” (7×7).
The most populous city in Texas is Dallas: home to many a cowboy, cowgirl and cow-pup. Luckily, Dallas welcomes city slickers of both two and four legs to participate in much of what the city has to offer. Below are some of the best dog-friendly places to check out while in Dallas, Texas!
Bark Park Central: This 1.2 acre off-leash park features a younger crowd of dog owners and hip artwork for you and your pup to enjoy.
White Rock Lake Dog Park: Bring your dog to the popular White Rock Lake Dog Park for its separate play areas and plenty of open space to roam free by the lake.
Meadows Foundation Dog Park: This off-leash park is frequented by a community of familiar faces in the neighborhood. Open every day, visitors appreciate the park for its homey feel and well-kept play areas.
Central Dog Park: The Central Christian Church owns this park and provides special features you won’t see in other dog parks, such as fans and misters for temperature control and a dog washing station to clean up after a day of fun in the grass and dirt.
NorthBark: This place is 5 acres of puppy fun! There are separate play areas for large and small dogs, water fountains, a secure fence and of course, the beautiful lake.
Katy Trail Ice House: Cool down from the nearby trail with some beers on the outside patio, and a water bowl for your pup.
Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar: With “dog” in the title, you know this place has got to be Fido-friendly. Dogs are not only welcome on the outside patio, but with their very own menu, they don’t have to go hungry watching you dine at the table!
Lee Harvey’s: While this bar is dog-friendly Monday through Friday, Sundays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. are “Dog Days” with Happy Hour prices.
Mutts Canine Cantina: With a name like this one, it’s no surprise dogs are allowed. The menu has a section just for your pup to enjoy, and dog lovers can purchase memberships for access to the restaurant’s exclusive dog park. That’s puptastic!
The Joule: The luxurious Dallas hotel features a modern, artsy atmosphere and allows your four-legged friend to stay with you at no extra cost.
Omni Dallas Hotel: At the Omni, you and your pup can feel like royalty with its year-round pool and spa, as well as convenient dog-walking space right outside.
Hyatt Regency Dallas: Four-legged guests at the Hyatt are treated just as well as human visitors. Your pup will receive a letter of welcome upon arrival, as well as his own water bowl and bed delivered to the room.
While the phrase “best family dogs” instantly recalls a couple of popular Retriever breeds, there are fantastic family dogs in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We know that adding a dog to your family is a big decision, and with so many different options out there, deciding on the perfect breed can be a challenge. To make your research a little easier, we’ve put together this list of some of the best family dogs around!
Each of these breeds has its own distinct personality, but they are all social and adaptable pups that do well with kids. For some families, small dog breeds are the most appealing and appropriate choice. They are portable, take up minimal space, and you don’t have to worry about them knocking over your youngsters. They also eat less, which can save on food costs and amounts to less cleanup!
For others, it’s comforting to have a sizable companion who makes you feel safe (even if she’s ultimately a lover, not a fighter). You may think that owning a large dog means you need to have a large space for them to roam, but you might be surprised. There are big dogs fit for all kinds of different living situations, it’s just a matter of getting to know them!
Of course, size isn’t the only factor to consider. Ultimately you need to find a pup that fits your family’s lifestyle, activity level, and overall tastes. Is your new best friend waiting in the list below?
1. Labrador Retriever
The Lab just might be the ultimate family dog. Labradors are social, easy to train, and loving companions. They adore kids of all ages and have the energy to play all day. Labs adapt quickly to any situation, which is what makes them such a dependable addition to the family. As long as your Labrador can exercise daily, she’ll be a breeze to live with.
The Poodle’s intuition mixed with the Bernese Mountain Dog’s loving nature make the Bernedoodle one of the best dogs for kids of any age. Possibly the ultimate playmate, this goofy pup is up for anything her family wants to do. Though her energy is boundless, she is easy to train and wants to make you happy. The Bernedoodle is social and adaptable, meaning you can take her anywhere and trust her to behave.
3. Golden Retriever
The fact that she is so patient with children is likely why the Golden Retriever is one of America’s favorite dogs. Goldens are family oriented and happy to be part of the fray. They are athletic enough for an active family but don’t mind lounging around the house either (as long as they get their daily walk). Mostly these social pups just want to be with their loved ones. They have an even temperament and make friends with humans and pets anywhere they go.
4. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are energetic and athletic breed with couch potato tendencies. They are sturdy enough for any type of activity, from hiking to playing ball, and get along well with other pets and kids of any age.
The Dachshund makes a devoted snuggle buddy and a potential jogging companion. These pups are cheerful, energetic, and easily adaptable pets. Despite their small size, they make excellent watchdogs. But beware, if you miss your Dachshund’s walk she may take it out on you by digging a hole in your yard!
The social and eternally goofy Havanese is one of the best family dogs out there. While she does appreciate some outdoor playtime, your Havanese is content just to be by your side. She is highly trainable and loves to be the center of attention. Your Havanese is likely willing to learn all kinds of tricks in hopes of receiving a treat!
7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Affectionate and friendly, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along with everyone and doesn’t mind going with the flow. Her versatile and accommodating nature makes her one of the best dogs for kids! She is just as happy to lounge around at home as she is to accompany you on a morning run, or a trip to the park!
8. Yorkshire Terrier
The scrappy Yorkshire Terrier makes a devoted pet and a reliable watchdog. Your Yorkie won’t mind if you’re always on the go, as these busy Terriers are happy to accompany you anywhere: kids’ soccer matches, carpool duties, grocery shopping, she doesn’t care! She are fragile and may be impatient with young children but makes a loving companion for families with older kids.
9. Great Dane
The ever-patient Great Dane can be very sedentary, and thus adapts easily to living in small spaces, and even apartment buildings. As long as she has the opportunity to stretch her legs a few times a day, she will be happy. Danes are renowned for their patience and kindness with pets and kids of all ages; thus they make great family dogs.
10. German Shepherd
For more active families, perhaps the intelligent and courageous German Shepherd is a more apt choice. This energetic pup will gladly accompany you and the fam for a run, walk, or a hike. Their impressive trainability and patience with children are what makes them one of the best large dog breeds for families!
11. Bernese Mountain Dog
If you’re looking for a large dog breed with more moderate energy, the Bernese Mountain Dog is hard to resist. As long as you have the space to accommodate a 120-pound eternal puppy, life with your Berner will be a breeze. She is eager to please, fun-loving, and incredibly gentle with those smaller than her.
12. Siberian Husky
Known for her endurance and athleticism, the Siberian Husky will have no problem keeping up with a family that is always on the go. She’s a pack dog, so the bigger the crew, the better, as far as she’s concerned. She can be stubborn when it comes to training, but her affection for children makes her one of the best family dogs out there for active households!
This fun-loving hybrid breed has boundless energy and a sweet and social personality. As long as she has plenty of opportunities to work off her energy, the Labradoodle makes an easy going, docile pet for just about any family. She is easy to train, and bonds quickly with her people. She’s happy to go anywhere, or do anything, as long as she can be with you!
Poodles are great family dogs because they are intuitive and loving. Your Poodle will know when it’s time to run and play and when it’s time to settle down. The Poodle is one of the easiest dogs to train due to her exceptional intelligence. This social pup needs lots of exercise to burn off her excess energy, but she’s not picky about what form it comes in!
When you’re considering adding a new canine friend to your family, it’s essential that you find a pet that will adapt well to your lifestyle. If you and your furry friend like the same things you’re bound to live much more harmoniously and enjoy more activities together.
If you live an active lifestyle, it only makes sense that you’d love to bring home an energetic canine pal! If you’re on the hunt for a hiking or jogging partner who can keep up with you, you’re in luck because we’ve compiled this list of active dog breeds just for you! Take a look! Perhaps your new bestie is waiting!
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever may very well be the best dog for an active family. These upbeat pups are playful and enjoy any activity as long as they get to do it alongside their loved ones. Your Lab will happily accompany you on a run, spend a day frolicking at the beach, or play ball in the backyard. As a bonus, this friendly breed is easy to train so you can rely on her to be on her best behavior anywhere you may go together!
2. Siberian Husky
These mischievous pups are always up for an adventure and will seek one out on their own if presented with the opportunity. They have a joyful, friendly demeanor and are natural athletes. Huskies love to run, and make great jogging partners, and are one of the best dogs for hiking due to their enviable endurance. Because they were bred to be sled dogs, they have a tendency to pull when on a leash, but this behavior can be corrected through training. On the flip side, the pulling can come in handy when your own energy begins to wane!
Don’t let their size fool you, the Beagle is one of the most energetic dog breeds of all. Originally bred as a hunting hound, a Beagle will happily follow her nose anywhere it may take her. She particularly enjoys interactive activities where she can put her tracking skills to use, but she will be happy to accompany you on a walk or a hike. Always keep your Beagle on a leash because if she catches an intriguing scent there’s no telling where she might end up!
Springy is a fitting word to describe this active pup: they love to jump! Your Boxer will proudly leap in the air to catch a flying ball or frisbee, and then do a few victory laps around the yard to congratulate herself! A Boxer dog makes an excellent running and hiking buddy, but she can easily overheat in high-temperature climates. Always pack plenty of water for your Boxer!
The extroverted Schnauzer is always up for anything! She may be small, but her energy knows no bounds. This spunky breed loves going for walks, playing ball, and learning new tricks. The Schnauzer makes a devoted companion who will never leave your side… unless her prey drive kicks in telling her to chase something, which is why she must be kept on a leash when in public!
6. Australian Shepherd
Traditionally a herding dog, the Australian Shepherd is happiest when she has a job to do, ideally outdoors. This breed needs plenty of exercise each day, ideally a run, a hike, or an intense ball game. If you’re interested in agility sports or obedience competitions, your Aussie will make an exceptional competitor as she is eager to please and easy to train!
7. Doberman Pinscher
The vivacious Doberman makes a loyal and seemingly tireless exercise companion. They are an intelligent breed and love interactive activities like obedience or agility training, where they have the opportunity to exercise their mind as well as their body. If these type of competitions aren’t your cup of tea, no worries, your Dobie will happily join you for a run or a hike (or two), each day!
8. Border Collie
The concern with owning a Border Collie won’t be whether she can keep up with you, but rather the opposite. Her uncapped energy levels are what make her one of the very best dogs for running. If you’re considering training for a marathon, your Border Collie will support you every step of the way… literally! These agile, intrepid pups also make excellent hiking partners, even on challenging terrains. Border Collies are all about the thrill of the chase, so they don’t typically make great fetch partners.
This hybrid dog is intelligent, social, and a natural athlete. Aussiedoodles have easy-going personalities and are generally up for anything that involves spending time with their loved ones. They need a considerable amount of exercise to prevent them from becoming destructive, but they aren’t picky about the type. Your Aussiedoodle will happily play ball, accompany you on a long walk, or go for a jog! They are social pups and tend to make friends easily, which makes it easy to take them anywhere!
10. Jack Russell Terrier
One of the ultimate active dog breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier was bred as a hunting dog and relishes time spent outside. Her personality is bold and brave, and she’s anything but dainty. Her agility and high energy make her an exceptional hiking buddy, as she loves clambering over logs, climbing rocks, and exploring! If you’re more of a runner, no problem, she can easily keep up!
Puppyzona had the pleasure and privilege to help grant another wish with Make-A-Wish Oregon! Every year, Macy’s hosts a Believe campaign with Make-A-Wish, encouraging people to write letters to Santa. For each letter received, Macy’s donates $1 to grant wishes for children battling critical illnesses. As part of the program, we were able to assist with a special in-store wish granting!
Mabel is an 11 year-old girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her only wish was to have a four-legged best friend who would would stick by her side. Once Make-A-Wish Oregon knew Mabel wanted a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, they reached out to Puppyzona to help find Mabel’s perfect companion.
After searching for the right puppy, Mabel and her family finally decided on an adorable Yorkie named Jasmine! Once Jasmine received her nose-to-tail vet check, we began to make special travel arrangements for her to get to her new home with a personal Puppyzona Chaperone.
On a beautiful afternoon at the Clackamas Town Center Macy’s in Oregon, Mabel was surprised to meet her new best friend, Jasmine. It was a magical moment wonderfully captured by Monroe Photography. Thank you, Make-A-Wish Oregon for helping us to spread love and cheer this holiday season!
PUPPYZONA is honored to be a part of yet another wish granting! This time, we were able to work with the Central Florida chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation. We were excited to hear from Make-A-Wish Central Florida, as we were recently able to assist with a Beagle wish for same chapter. Once we heard about Rebekah’s wish for a Toy Poodle puppy, we immediately started on making her wish come true!
Rebekah Walsh is a 10 year old girl living with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Her wish was to hand select her very own Toy Poodle from a litter of puppies. While she was unable to do so physically, we were able to digitally send her videos of puppies from the same litter to choose from. She was very excited to be able to pick out her new best friend this way!
After spending some time watching videos of cute and fluffy puppies, Rebekah made her final decision of an adorable, apricot female Poodle puppy named Krista! Her family was so excited to be a part of the selection process as well. Once the selection was made, Krista’s breeder worked on getting her nose to tail health check completed and delivered Krista to Florida on his own in an in-cabin flight. Once Krista was in Florida, she was driven to Palm Coast, FL and was hand delivered to the Walsh family by our Public Affairs Coordinator.
The Walsh family was ecstatic to meet Rebekah’s new best friend, and just in time for the holidays! Rebekah was so happy to meet Krista she did not know what to say, she simply held Krista close to her in silence. Rebekah’s mother, Donna, hopes this puppy wish will teach Rebekah big girl responsibilities as she grows up.
Since Krista has been with the family, she has brought so much joy; not only to the Walsh family, but to their community as well. The Walsh family brings Krista with them to fellowship church meetings; she even attended a community event in which families bring home cooked meals and sit and ate with the homeless. Rebekah and Krista have become inseparable!
If you follow along on our puppyzona Gives Back journey, you know we absolutely love working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation! When we were contacted by the Oregon chapter about another opportunity to grant a puppy wish, we couldn’t wait to help!
The Make-A-Wish Oregon team reached out about an 11-year-old girl named Ashley who was awaiting a kidney replacement. Ashley has been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD); ESRD occurs when chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced state, and the kidneys are no longer able to work as they should to meet the body’s needs.
Ashley’s only wish was for a puppy, and not just any puppy, but a cute, little Yorkie puppy that could jump on her lap and provide endless cuddles and kisses. Well Ashley, your wish is our command! After viewing several adorable Yorkie puppies available, Ashley picked out Samantha- her perfect four-legged companion.
Ashley’s wish granting was planned as a surprise at a location in Beaverton, OR; however, given Ashley’s risk amid COVID-19, the special delivery was changed to an intimate, socially distant in- home placement. Although the wish was granted in- home, it made for a memorable moment for Ashley and her family!
Thank you, Make-A-Wish Oregon for giving us the opportunity to spread puppy love! Wish granted!
At the beginning of May, we were contacted by Make-A-Wish New Jersey Wish Coordinator Jessica Daniels in regard to an 8-year-old girl living with intractable epilepsy. Her only wish was to have a puppy. Naturally, we jumped in to assist to find a pup to match the child’s wish description!
During the Make-A-Wish approval process, mom sent a whole paragraph to Make-A-Wish as to why her daughter wanted a puppy. Due to her condition, she is non-verbal, thus, communicates in other ways. It will be wonderful for her to have a companion and more responsibly. She will be able to work on motor skills while spending time with her new companion. They are very excited at the thought of a new four-legged family member!
The family was pretty open in regard to the breed they were looking for. They ultimately narrowed it down to miniature Poodle, miniature Labradoodle, or Boston Terrier. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to four legged companions for emotional support. As a result, there has been an increase in the demand for puppies all across the nation! With that, our puppies available for selection were limited.
Low and behold, Make-A-Wish Coordinator Jessica and our PuppySpot team member came across Teddy the miniature Labradoodle! We sent photos and information over to the family and they immediately fell in love with the child’s soon to be best friend!
Upon Teddy’s arrival, this little girl was visibly overcome with joy and wanted nothing more than to hug our PuppySpot team member who delivered Teddy. Of course, due to safety precautions and social distancing policies we had to settle for smiles and tears of happiness!
Teddy the Labradoodle is setting into his new home and loves the endless hugs and kisses from his new sister! They have been playing nonstop!
If you follow along on our PuppySpot Gives Back journey, you know how much we love working with the various chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In June, we were contacted by the Make-A-Wish team in Metro New York. They were working with a 13 year old girl named Nicole in Brooklyn, NY wishing for a new four-legged, furry best friend. Of course, we agreed to assist in every way possible to make her wish come true!
Nicole is currently battling a blood disorder and all she wants is a new best friend to stick by her side through all of the ups and downs. She has always wanted her own puppy to take care of and shower with affection. She’s looking forward to taking walks and running around with her new pal. According to her family, Nicole is fully understanding of the care that goes into the grooming and handling of her new puppy. She is super enthusiastic about the breed and has been reading books about how to take care of her puppy. To say Nicole is fully prepared to take care of a puppy would be an understatement.
Once we found the puppy to match Nicole’s dream wish (a cream colored Toy Poodle), we initiated our process to get Sir Winston home! After receiving his nose to tail vet check and acquiring his first class flight to New York, Sir Winston was ready to meet his new best friend!
One of our wonderful PuppySpot team members had the absolute pleasure of delivering Toy Poodle puppy Sir Winston (now named Blue) to Nicole. Upon arrival, the whole family was overcome with joy and excitement. They were so appreciative of our PuppySpot team member, they even invited her in for food- at a socially acceptable distance of course!
We hope Blue and Nicole spend endless hours together going on walks and becoming best friends! We are touched to be able to help grant her wish.
Something as superficial as your dog’s hairstyle may seem silly and unimportant, but choosing a professional groomer should be a high priority. Depending on your dog’s breed and hygiene needs, they could be visiting the groomer as often as every 4-6 weeks, so deciding who will be responsible for keeping your pooch clean and primped requires some research. Here’s a quick checklist to run through before getting your pup’s hair done:
- Get a Referral – Begin by asking friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Trusted reviews are invaluable.
- Check Prices – When you start calling local groomers, ask for a full rundown of their services and prices. For example, some groomers include nail clippings or other grooming services in their regular grooming packages and others do not, so it’s helpful to know exactly what’s offered. Many groomers’ prices depend on the size and breed of the dog as well, so be sure that you aren’t comparing prices for a Maltese to prices for a Golden Retriever!
- Take a Tour – Before booking your pup’s first appointment, you’ll want to visit the facility and observe the activity. Take mental notes of the setup, lighting and cleanliness level and make sure you’re comfortable with the environment. You’ll also want to check to see if the kennels are large enough and separated for dogs and cats. Watch to see if the groomers handle their pups in a caring and professional manner and ask the staff administrative questions such as what type of records they keep and how much advance notice is required for scheduling.
- Bring Vaccination Records – Most groomers will require immunization records for rabies, kennel cough and other infectious diseases before accepting new dogs into their salon. It’s also worth noting that spayed and neutered dogs tend to be calmer, less hyperactive, and therefore more tolerant of grooming.
- Speak Up about Any Special Circumstances – Before you drop your pooch off to get his or her hair done, make sure your groomer understands any health conditions to be aware of – whether it is dry/flaky skin or something more serious like hip dysplasia that would require extra gentle handling.
- Say Goodbyes Quickly – Many dogs, especially those who display anxious behavior, have a difficult time with grooming. A long, drawn-out goodbye can make the experience worse for a socially anxious pooch, so don’t make it a big deal. There are also a few preparatory things you can do at home to get your pup more comfortable with the experience. Brush your dog often and give a reward after each brushing session.
If this all seems to be a bit much, just know that when you pick up your best friend, he will look “pawfect” with a shiny coat, fresh smell and maybe even a bandanna or bow in her hair to boot!
If you’re on a budget and looking to save on what can be costly professional grooming appointments (especially if your breed requires a cut every 4-6 weeks or if you have multiple pets), DIY grooming may be right for you. The keys to successful at-home grooming are time and preparation. So, if you can commit to the idea that the process can be time-consuming, and that you’ll need some basic, necessary tools in your “home salon,” DIY grooming can be done by following these 5 simple steps. And get the camera ready – nothing is cuter or funnier than a soapy, wet pooch.
Begin the process by gently brushing your dog from head to tail. Be sure to choose the right brush. For instance, if your dog has a long, thick or difficult to manage coat, you’ll need a detangling brush. If Fido has soft, oily hair, a bigger bristle brush designed to remove excess oil may be necessary. Take your time and do your due diligence in removing all debris and locating all matted knots that need to be cut out. You’ll quickly notice which areas will require the most of your attention.
As you get ready to bathe your dog, reassure him with a sweet, encouraging tone. Many dogs get skittish in and around water, so now is a good time to offer comfort if needed. It’s best to wash your dog in a sink or shower with a nozzle/spray attachment for easy, comfortable access and control. Your dog will do best in lukewarm water (a damp, cold dog will shiver). Choose a baby or pet shampoo made for sensitive skin to be safe. If your dog has dry, flaky skin, you’ll want to buy a moisturizing shampoo. If your dog may have fleas, you’ll need a flea-specific shampoo. Lather your pup up well and be careful to avoid his eyes and mouth. After washing the body, clean eyes and ears with a warm cloth only. Towel dry with a large towel and try to remove as much excess water as possible.
You’ll need to purchase a pair of special grooming scissors from a pet store or online. Never use regular scissors on your pet! For an even cut, you’ll need the blades sharp and cut at a blunt angle. Always be extra careful around the face and in hard-to-reach areas like the belly, bottom and feet. And remember to clean up all the fallen hair so you don’t see it tracked all over your home afterwards.
Drying your dog’s hair the right way can also be the scariest part of the process for your pup! The only way to get your dog’s hair completely dry and free of that awful “wet dog smell,” is to use a hair dryer but the mere sound of the blower can often make your dog want to run in the opposite direction. To speed up the process, ask a friend or family member to help hold your dog in place while you dry your anxious pup. Brush your dog’s hair simultaneously while using the dryer for the optimum soft, fluffy coat.
You did it! And your pup not only survived, but now looks fresh, clean and more adorable than before! Celebrate with hugs, kisses, treats and verbal praise. That way, Fido associates bath time with positivity and well-deserved rewards./li>
After your first DIY grooming session, you may think twice about doing it again, but remember – it gets easier with practice! Your hard work as a stylist is not only a cost-saver, but also provides other benefits. Grooming your dog yourself gives you total control over how your dog is handled (rather than entrusting a stranger) and offers your dog the familiar environment of home where he can be less stressed and have a more relaxed experience. Rest assured that the more you do it, the more of an enjoyable experience it will be…for both you and your dog!