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Are you a Good Pet Parent?

September 9th, 2015

How many times have you seen or read about the horrific treatment of dogs, cats or other pets by their “owners”? I have and unfortunately, its sad to say that its been way too many times. But did you know there is more to being a responsible pet parent than just not abusing your pet?
Take the time to research the pet you want and the different breeds. Make a list, look at your families wants, lifestyle, activity level and the area that you have to offer your new furry family member. There are many options for pets. So taking the time to properly select one that will fit your family will prevent any regrets and the need for a wonderful pet ending up at the shelter later on.
When you chose to adopt, rescue or even “purchase” a pet from a breeder you are agreeing to take care of that pet for its full life. Just like having a child, you cant “trade” your child for a new model so why should you think that your pet can be traded for a younger or different “model” years later. Dogs are pleasers, all they want to do is make their owners happy. So why shouldn’t we treat them in the same loving and caring way.
Fulfilling your pets needs comes in many forms. Keeping your pets up to date on their immunizations is a must. This will not only protect your pet but any pet that they come into contact with. Whether you live in the city or the country, all of our pets are exposed to wildlife. These wild creatures can carry diseases that can be spread to our pets even with non-confrontational encounters. AND, making sure that your pet is regularly groomed. Regular brushing and bathing will help reduce and may prevent fleas and ticks from making a home on your pet. If your pet has longer hair, daily brushing and monthly trims are necessary to maintain a mat free coat and reduce the chances of skin issues.
If you have no intentions of breeding your pet then you should have them spayed or neutered. The most obvious reason is for their health. But a bonus to this is that they are less likely to roam and it will calm more hyper pets. There are a countless number of unplanned litters every years, we can help reduce that by simply spaying or neutering our pets.
Even if your pet is an “indoor” pet you should have him or her microchipped. Accidents can happen, pets can get spooked and slip out the door at a moments notice. Take the time to have your pets chipped, and then remembering to keep the information up to date on the chip is very important. On a daily basis we are seeing pictures of lost pets on Facebook and other social media sites.
If your pet is left outside take the time to make sure they have constant access to fresh water. During the day they need to have access to a cool shaded area. Chains can be dangerous, so if you do tether your pet, please make sure that the chain is not heavy and pulling around the dogs neck. In addition take extra time to assure that the pet can not get tangled around something and restrict their access to their water and food. Especially take the time to assure that they can not hang themselves.
Kennels are great, but they should not be used as a holding cell for any dog all day long. If you do need to crate your pet during the day then make sure that they get a good walk prior to being crated. Then, when you get home take Fido for a long walk, at least 30 minutes if not longer. Retrievers, for example, are balls of energy, so if they are able to find ways to utilize that energy outdoors they may take it out on your furniture.
Using a dog trainer for unruly pets can be one of the most responsible actions a pet owner can take. This will not only assure that Fido will learn proper manners, the owners will learn how to redirect the energy in to a positive outcome. This will make for a much better living environment for both pets and parents.
Finally, one that many pet owners forget. Ask yourself this question… Do I scoop? Being a responsible pet owner includes taking the time to pick up after your pet and properly disposing of their waste.
IF you are thinking of getting a pet or already have a pet, join us September 26 and 27, at our 3rd Annual Dirty Dogs Extravaganza, for seminars, microchip and rabies clinics, games, certifications, food trucks and more.

Travel Pet Savvy

September 3rd, 2015

Traveling with pets is becoming more and more popular. Today’s dogs, and even some cats, are vacationing thanks to friendlier airlines, safety innovations, pet-friendly hotels, resorts, campsites, and restaurants with outdoor dining privileges.

Here are a few tips to aid in a more pleasant travel experience with our furry family members.

Traveling by plane in most cases, it safe for your pet, if your vets give the OK. Animals accustomed to traveling in a car, going out on walks, and who are socialized tend to travel very well depending on their personalities.

Traveling internationally or even crossing state lines in a plane requires a health certificate from your vet. Additional ways to prepare: Make sure vaccines (especially rabies) are up to date and have an ID collar with a tag – even a microchip. Traveling with a Service Dog or a Support Dog that will be inside the plane cabin? Make sure that you contact the airlines at least 90 days in advance to allow enough time to secure the proper documentation needed by your travel date.

The trend nowadays is against sedation unless significant risks for pet injury exist. Sedation can cause the pet to feel unstable and cause more fear. Cats tend to fly pretty well because they are usually allowed in the cabin in a cat carrier under the seat.


Preparations for international travel with pets can be complex and there may be extensive planning. Double check with the airlines and your destination’s consulate to make sure you have the most up to date information about the papers you are required to bring. Many documents for international travel require the signature of a certified USDA veterinarian, which adds an additional step. Pet travel companies, like www.travelpets.com remove a lot of the guesswork. It’s very tedious to have to do the work yourself. You would have to start six months ahead of time.


Traveling by car is of course the easiest, but still require a bit of planning for longer trips. Have your dog always wear a specially designed dog seat belt or dog car harness in front and back seats. This can prevent any accidents that he may cause you as well as sustaining any injuries if there is an accident. Always ensure adequate ventilation. Never let your dog put its head outside the window, as this can lead to ear and eye injuries. For cats, provide a good carrier, a place to sleep, and a safe place for the litter box. Make sure they cannot escape if the doors or windows accidentally open.


Some innovative products make boating and sailing with your dog reasonably safe. There are dog life vests, if they do fall overboard, you can pull them up. Dogs can also use puppy pads and artificial turf products for elimination. Your pet can get acclimated fairly easily, but do that well ahead of time.


Basic Tips for any travel. Make sure your pet is well groomed (not itchy or dirty). Take along some comforts of home – bed, blanket, toys, and litter box. Rather than buying new types of food, carry your pet’s familiar food from home when practical. Carriers should be big enough for standing and turning around, with room for food and water. Place absorbent towels on the carrier floor in case of accidents. Have a pet first aid kit for emergencies.


Always be prepared and have safe travel….


August 27th, 2015

Have you heard the saying “A pet just a pet”? Pet is defined as: an animal that is kept for amusement or companionship. Well, I pampered my companion, so why not pamper my pooch. I pamper my Golden Retriever Taylor. On our daily journey to the shop, yes, I said our, I stop by every morning to purchase an Iced Mocha for myself and Taylor gets 2 strips of bacon. At night I let him sleep in the bed with me and by all means he leads me when we go for walks. Those big brown eyes look up to me as if saying “Mommie, I love you… now lets go have some fun”

I even give my fur-baby blueberry facials, sweet brown scrubs and paw massages. Where do I draw the line? Well, the way that I look at it, if it makes him happy and I am happy then why not have some fun doing it.

Lets face it though, he spoils me as much as I spoil him. Taylor helps me to relieve my daily stress. When I take him for walks, throw the ball or even just sit with him on a rainy day and brush him. He enjoys the attention and I get to think about nothing but making him happy.   It brings me a great sense of accomplishment when I see how the simple things make him smile. Besides, spending time with your pets can give you a chance to get your mind off the negative and give you the self-confidence to get through the day.

For those days when you want to head out for a little pampering you can also take your pet for his or her own “Spaw day” at a salon dedicated just to pampering your canine companion. I’ve seen dogs (of course), cats, rabbits and the latest, and most recently Flower and Rose, 2 cute little Guinea Pigs in our shop for day of pampering. Pampering isn’t just giving the extreme things like expensive clothing, facials and massages, its keeping them free of fleas, ticks and other irritants. After all it is the healthy thing to do but it can also be fun for the whole family. A nice family outing that includes spoiling Fido is fun and in the end you have a nice critter free coat that smells simply kissable.

I also think that dogs want to be pampered in other ways like going on a long walks. They want to be allowed to chase the squirrels. They want to go where they can play with other dogs so they can sniff and dig around. That’s what they like.

They don’t want to be isolated and alone. Company is vital; the sight of me putting on my shoes sends Taylor to the top of the steps or in front of the garage door blocking my way out.   He looks at me with the “Am I coming too” look? I take him with me as many places as I possibly can. All of my friends welcome him in, he is of course part of the family. He even has his own play dates with Max.

The really pampered pooch isn’t one who wears snowboots to the park (Taylor wasn’t fond of his so he gave them to Divot). Nor is it the one who sleeps on a “Cleopatra” chaise longue (handcrafted in Milan). The real pampered pooch is the one who spends lots of time with its owner, hanging out, and being part of his or her very own “family-pack”.

Again, I ask, do I have a spoiled pooch? You bet your sweet paws I do.

Canine Influenza

July 21st, 2015

Q: What is canine influenza?
A: Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs that is caused by an influenza A virus. In the U.S., canine influenza has been caused by two influenza strains. The first strain reported in the United States, beginning in 2004, was an H3N8 influenza A virus. This strain is closely related to the virus that causes equine influenza, and it is thought that the equine influenza virus mutated to produce the canine strain. In 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was caused by a separate canine influenza virus, H3N2. The strain causing the 2015 outbreak was almost genetically identical to an H3N2 strain previously reported only in Asia – specifically, Korea, China and Thailand. In Asia. This H3N2 strain is believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus  – possibly from among viruses circulating in live bird markets – to dogs.

Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine influenza virus—a mild form of the disease and a more severe form that is accompanied by pneumonia.

  • Mild form — Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days. They may also be lethargic and have reduced appetite and a fever. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose may also be observed. Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the traditional “kennel cough” caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.
  • Severe form — Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.

Q: Are all dogs at risk of getting canine influenza?
A: Because this is still an emerging disease and dogs in the U.S. have not been exposed to it before, almost all dogs, regardless of breed or age, lack immunity to it and are susceptible to infection if exposed to the active virus. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and nearly 80% show clinical signs of disease, though most exhibit the mild form described above.

However, the risk of any dog being exposed to the canine influenza virus depends on that dog’s lifestyle. Dogs that are frequently or regularly exposed to other dogs – for example at boarding or day care facilities, dog parks, grooming salons, or social events with other dogs present – are at greater risk of coming into contact with the virus. Also, as with other infectious diseases, extra precautions may be needed with puppies, elderly or pregnant dogs, and dogs that are immunocompromised. Dog owners should talk with their own veterinarian to assess their dog’s risk.

Q: Do dogs die from canine influenza?
A: Fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from infection with canine influenza virus have been reported in dogs, but the fatality rate is low (less than 10%). Most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.

Q: How widespread is the disease?
A: The first recognized outbreak of canine influenza in the world is believed to have occurred in racing greyhounds in January 2004 at a track in Florida. From June to August of 2004, outbreaks of respiratory disease were reported at 14 tracks in 6 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and West Virginia). Between January and May of 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 tracks in 11 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). The canine influenza virus has been reported in at least 30 states and Washington, DC.

The H3N2 strain of canine influenza virus had been reported in Korea, China and Thailand, but had not been detected outside of those countries until 2015. In April 2015, an outbreak that started in Chicago was determined to be caused by an H3N2 strain that was genetically almost identical to the one one in Asia.

Q: Is there a vaccine?
A: The first canine vaccine for H3N8 canine influenza was approved in 2009, and there are several H3N8 canine influenza vaccines available. At this time, there is not an H3N2 vaccine available in the United States, and it is not known whether the H3N8 vaccine will offer any protection against the H3N2 strain. Canine influenza vaccines are considered “lifestyle” vaccines, meaning the decision to vaccinate is based on a dog’s risk of exposure. Dog owners should consult their veterinarian to determine whether vaccination is needed.

Q: How is a dog with canine influenza treated?
A: As with any disease caused by a virus, treatment is largely supportive. Good animal care practices and nutrition assist dogs in mounting an effective immune response.

The course of treatment depends on the pet’s condition, including the presence or absence of a secondary bacterial infection, pneumonia, dehydration, or other medical issues (e.g., pregnancy, pre-existing respiratory disease, compromised immune system, etc.). The veterinarian might prescribe medications, such as an antibiotic (to fight secondary infections) and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (to reduce fever, swelling and pain). Dehydrated pets may need fluid therapy to restore and maintain hydration.  Other medications, or even hospitalization, may also be necessary for more severe cases.

Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to humans?
A: To date, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people.

Q: Is canine influenza virus transmissible from dogs to cats, horses or other animal species?
A: At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of H3N8 canine influenza from dogs to horses, cats, ferrets, or other animal species. The H3N2 strain, however, has been reported in Asia to infect cats, and there’s also some evidence that guinea pigs and ferrets can become infected.

Precautions to prevent spread of the virus are outlined below, in the answer to “I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?”

Q: Do I need to be concerned about putting my dog in day care or boarding it at a kennel?
A: Dog owners should be aware that any situation that brings dogs together increases the risk of spread of communicable illnesses. Good infection control practices can reduce that risk, so dog owners involved in shows, sports, or other activities with their dogs or who board their dogs at kennels should ask whether respiratory disease has been a problem there, and whether the facility has a plan for isolating dogs that develop respiratory disease and for notifying owners if their dogs have been exposed to dogs with respiratory disease.

As long as good infection control practices are in place, pet owners should not be overly concerned about putting dogs in training facilities, dog parks, kennels, or other areas frequented by dogs.

Q: My dog has a cough…what should I do?
A: Consult your veterinarian. Coughing can be caused by many different medical problems, and your veterinarian can examine and evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. If canine influenza is suspected, treatment will usually focus on maximizing the ability of your dog’s immune system to combat the virus. A typical approach might include administration of fluids if your dog is becoming dehydrated and prescribing an antimicrobial if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

Canine influenza virus can be spread via direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs are coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to them. Clothing, equipment, surfaces, and hands should be cleaned and disinfected after exposure to dogs showing signs of respiratory disease to prevent transmission of infection to susceptible dogs. Clothing can be adequately cleaned by using a detergent at normal laundry temperatures.

Q: I manage a kennel/veterinary clinic/animal shelter/dog day care center. How do I keep canine influenza out of my facility, and if it does enter my facility, what should I do?
A: Viral disease is usually best prevented through vaccination. A vaccine against H3N8 canine influenza has been available since 2009. It is considered a “lifestyle” vaccine, which means that the decision to vaccinate a dog against CIV is based on the risk of exposure. A veterinarian should determine whether vaccination is needed based on related risks and benefits, and should administer these vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to planned visits to dog activity and care facilities (e.g., kennels, veterinary clinics, dog day care centers, training facilities, dog parks). This differs from “core” vaccines – such as distemper, parvo and rabies – that are required for all dogs, regardless of lifestyle.

Vaccination against other pathogens causing respiratory disease may help prevent more common respiratory pathogens from becoming secondary infections in a respiratory tract already compromised by influenza infection.

Routine infection control precautions are key to preventing spread of viral disease within facilities. The canine influenza virus appears to be easily killed by disinfectants (e.g., quaternary ammonium compounds and bleach solutions at a 1 to 30 dilution) in common use in veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and animal shelters. Protocols should be established for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cages, bowls, and other surfaces between uses. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are unavailable) before and after handling each dog; after coming into contact with a dog’s saliva, urine, feces, or blood; after cleaning cages; and upon arriving at and before leaving the facility. (See “I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?”)

Animal care facility staff should be alerted to the possibility that a dog with a respiratory infection could be presented for care or boarding. If a dog with respiratory signs is presented, staff members should inquire whether the dog has recently been boarded or adopted from a shelter, has recently participated in dog-related group activities, or has been exposed to other dogs known to have canine influenza or kennel cough. The dog should be brought directly into a separate examination/triage area that is reserved for dogs with respiratory signs and should not be allowed to enter the waiting room or other areas where susceptible dogs may be present.

Dogs with suspected canine influenza virus infection discovered after entry into the facility should be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian. Isolation protocols should be rigorously applied for dogs showing signs of respiratory disease, including the wearing of disposable gloves by persons handling infected dogs or cleaning contaminated cages. Respiratory disease beyond what is considered typical for a particular facility should be investigated, and the investigation should include submission of appropriate diagnostic samples. (See “What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza?”)

Q: What diagnostic tests will tell me whether a dog has canine influenza? What samples do I send? Where do I send the samples? How do I distinguish between canine influenza and kennel cough?
A: There is no rapid test for the specific diagnosis of acute canine influenza virus infection. Nasal or throat swabs from dogs that have been ill for less than 4 days may be sent to a diagnostic laboratory for testing. Your veterinarian may also offer other testing, such as an in-house test to detect influenza types A and B.

Antibodies to canine influenza virus may be detected as early as seven days after onset of clinical signs. Convalescent-phase samples should be collected at least two weeks after collection of the acute-phase sample. If an acute-phase sample is not available, testing a convalescent-phase sample can reveal whether a dog has been infected with or exposed to CIV at some point in the past.

For dogs that have died from pneumonia or other conditions in which CIV is suspected, additional diagnostic tests are available to your veterinarian through reference laboratories.

Q: I work in a kennel/animal care facility. What should I do to prevent transmission of influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs?
A: Canine influenza is not known to be transmissible from dogs to people. However, caretakers can inadvertently transmit canine influenza virus from infected dogs to susceptible dogs by not following good hygiene and infection control practices. To prevent spread of canine influenza virus, caretakers should take the following precautions:

  • Wash hands with soap and water (if soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner):
    • Upon arriving at the facility
    • Before and after handling each animal
    • After coming into contact with animal saliva, urine, feces or blood
    • After cleaning cages
    • Before eating meals, taking breaks, smoking or leaving the facility
    • Before and after using the restroom
  • Wear a barrier gown over your clothes and wear gloves when handling sick animals or cleaning cages. Discard gown and gloves before working with other animals.
  • Consider use of goggles or face protection if splashes from contaminated surfaces may occur.
  • Bring a change of clothes to wear home at the end of the day.
  • Thoroughly clean clothes worn at the animal facility.
  • Do not allow animals to “kiss” you or lick your face.
  • Do not eat in the animal care area.
  • Separate newly arriving animals from animals that have been housed one week or longer.
  • Routinely monitor animals for signs of illness. Separate sick animals from healthy animals, especially animals with signs of respiratory disease.
  • There is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza virus from dogs to people. However, because of concerns about diseases that are transmissible from dogs to people, in general, it may be prudent for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons to limit or avoid contact with animals that are ill.



Rolesville Christmas Parade

April 6th, 2015

Scooping Etiquette

April 2nd, 2015

We’ve all stepped in dog poop at one time or another, whether it’s on the street, in a park or even on our own lawns. As we scrape it off our shoes, we mutter a few choice words about people who are too lazy or irresponsible to pick up after their animals.

Dog waste that’s improperly disposed of is more than just a disgusting nuisance. It’s unhealthy for people and other dogs, and it’s also bad for the environment. Curbing your dog (aka picking up his poop) is an ordinance in most cities now, although a lot of people still don’t do it – and that makes all dog lovers look bad.

Reasons to scoop poop
• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant. And this doesn’t come from folks jumping on the “green” bandwagon; this classification was made nearly 20 years ago.

  • The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that pet waste can spread parasites – including salmonella, tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.
  • Un-scooped poop can be washed into storm drains and wind up in distant rivers and streams.
  • Dog poop is a team player and likes to get together with harmful bacteria like E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria. These can cause intestinal illness including cramps and diarrhea, and even kidney disorders.

Safe and clean pickup

  • Always pick up your dog’s waste, even if it’s in your own yard or in a wild area where people don’t often walk. Use a scoop, as it keeps your hands safely away from the waste. Pooper scoopers come in portable sizes that are perfect for walks, or opt for a scooper with a long handle for your yard.
  • Instead of using plastic bags, which don’t break down in landfill, you can purchase biodegradable poop bags such as BioBag (biobag.ca) in which to dispose of the waste. These are eco-friendly and easy to use. Biodegradable waste bags are made from renewable sources like corn, contain no chemical additives, and decompose naturally when exposed to the earth.
  • Another option is to hire a company that will come to your house and pick up the poop in your yard. Poop scooping companies are a safe alternative because they disinfect all their equipment, shoes and tools after each visit. That way your lawn will be clean and ready for outdoor activities.
  • Once picked up, the bagged waste can be placed in the garbage, or you can separate the waste from the bag, flush it down the toilet, then dispose of the biodegradable bag. Or, believe it or not, you can compost it.

Garbage in, garbage out
Dogs that eat poor quality diets full of synthetic additives, and/or that take a lot of medications, will produce waste containing chemical toxins, thereby adding to environmental pollution. One way to help the planet (and your dog!) is to feed him a natural whole-foods diet and keep his immune system healthy enough that he doesn’t need drugs.

For details on Composting dog poop check out our website at www.dirtydogsspa.com
When I first started researching this topic, I assumed like most people that composting dog waste was a dangerous idea. However, after digging further and speaking with people in other countries (I lived abroad for many years where composting and recycling is taken more seriously than it is here), I found there are many sources, including the Department of Agriculture, that confirm composting dog poop is a realistic option – if it’s done properly.

Do not just start dumping your dog’s waste into your compost bin – you need to use a method that will safely and reliably destroy all the pathogens in the feces. It takes time: the finished compost needs to cure for up to a year before you use it. Even then, to stay on the safe side, compost that includes dog waste should not be put on gardens growing vegetables, fruits or herbs. However, it makes an effective and safe fertilizer for lawns and flower gardens.

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service offers an extensive do-it-yourself guide to safely composting dog poop.

ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/AK/Publications/dogwastecomposting2.pdf to access it.

  • Cityfarmer.org (Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture) also provides step-by-step instructions on how you can compost your dog’s poop.
  • Doggie Dooley (doggiedooley.com) is an in-ground animal waste toilet that allows you to dispose of dog poop safely. It basically uses an ecofriendly non-toxic powder (full of bacteria and enzymes) that turns the waste into a liquid that the ground can absorb.
  • Some worm farms sell worms specifically for the purpose of eating dog poop in a yard composter. The waste must be mixed with other compostable materials like dried leaves in order to make it more attractive to the worms, and to add carbon that helps the waste break down.
  • If you use biodegradable bags to pick up your dog’s waste, these may also be added to the compost because they will break down naturally. BioBag states that microorganisms will eat the dog waste in the biodegradable bag when in compost and exposed to air.

Picking up your dog’s waste and disposing of it in a safe and eco-responsible way plays several important roles. It keeps your yard and neighborhood healthy, it lightens the load on landfills, and it helps people look more kindly on dog lovers everywhere.



Happy Mew Year for Cats

January 2nd, 2015

Any cat owner will tell you that cat consider themselves to be far far superior to us mere mortals. They most certainly feel entitled and deserving of all that life has to offer, so why not have a Happy Mew Year Day for Cats Day just for them?


Like the hugely inferior human version of New Year’s Day, it is on this special day that our feline companions can paws (get it?) and consider the ‘mewness’ of the brand new season and all of the purrfect possibilities it holds. Perhaps this will be the year their people start feeding them tinned food instead of dry? Maybe that tomcat next door will make his move? Will the useless dog realise that the cat is king in this house? All these questions and more can be pondered by our furry kitties today while they go about their normal business of looking aloof and disinterested. After all, don’t you know that cats rule and dogs drool.


The History of Happy Mew Year Day

Happy Mew Year for Cats Day was created by wellcat.com so cats could have their own little celebration for New Year’s. And why not indeed? Cats are graceful, regal and all around fabulous, so why shouldn’t they have their own version of New Year’s?


How to Celebrate Happy Mew Year Day

Many animal-related holidays are done in fun but they can also help raise awareness about the millions of unwanted, unloved, neglected and abused pets that end up in animal shelters across the nation, spend months or even years there, and are eventually put to sleep for lack of funds to keep them alive. So if you havent got your own perfect feline ruler yet, its time to take action now!


Of course, if you do, then this is the perfect time to spoil your cat with fish and all sorts of other cat delicacies, but if not… Help reduce the amount of pets euthanized waiting for their “furever” home by adopting an abandoned cat! As you’re welcoming in the New Year into your life, won’t you consider opening your heart and your home to a new four-legged friend as well? Cats can serve many purposes around the home—they are natural, avid hunters, so they can easily resolve any mouse invasion problem you might be experiencing quickly an, well, with pleasure. cats are also just plain fun to have around the home—they’re the perfect mix of both fun and silly. They chase shadows and the light of flashlights. They always seem to know the right time to cuddle, when you’re feeling sad or lonely. They’re graceful and beautiful and just a pleasure to watch. They groom constantly, making their fur silky smooth to the touch… There are so many reasons to adopt a cat into your home! So if you haven’t done this yet, go down to your local animal shelter today and find the kitty that’s been waiting there fore you for weeks or even months, and take her home! Nothing beats the gratitude of a cat, guaranteed! You may have all sorts of New Year’s resolutions that may or may not work out, but adopting a cat is something you will never regret, and the cat will never forget.

Riding in Cars With Dogs

January 2nd, 2015

by Colleen Paige
Driving around town with your dog can be a fun experience for both of you but it can also be a stressful and dangerous one too. My dog lives for the times when I ask her if she wants to go for a drive. However, not all dogs like the car but most of them must endure trips to the vet and the park. There are many things to keep in mind and prepare for before you get on the road, especially with a new dog, as you may find it very difficult to concentrate on driving, especially if your dog becomes car sick or nervous, jumping back and forth.

As a former paramedic in busy Southern California, I responded to many an accident caused by driver distraction due to pets in the vehicle. It’s very sad when a dog or cat never even makes it home to their new life because they didn’t survive the accident. What’s obviously worse is if the person lost their life as well when all of the tragedy could have been prevented with a single dog harness.

There are many simple, inexpensive ways of keeping you – and your dog safe in the car. Regardless of the fact that many dogs like riding in the car, they still are not safe from other irresponsible drivers. At just 10 M.P.H. if you must stop quickly due to an animal or person in the road, your dog faces the risk of flying through the windshield and at the very least, suffering broken bones from being thrust into the back of the seat or hitting the dashboard. If you allow them to ride in your lap, even resting on the edge of the window, they can be crushed between you and the steering wheel in a sudden stop or an accident, as well as being ejected from the vehicle into oncoming traffic. To this day, every time I see a dog riding in the lap of a driver and often hanging out of the window, my heart stops and all I can do is say a prayer for both the driver and the dog.

There are many good safety harnesses and crates available today which prevent this kind of injury to your dog. If you cannot afford a safety harness, you can always loop the leash through the seatbelt to confine the dog from moving around, possibly causing you to have an accident and keeping him safe from ejection if someone else hits you. I love my seat Hammock Seat Protector from Bergan, found here http://www.bergandirectdelivery.com/seat-protectors/hammock-seat-protectors as it is the best investment I ever made in terms of a travel safety accessory for my dog. Not only is it ruggedly durable, it is waterproof and while she is harnessed for safety, this prevents her from falling off the seat if I have to stop suddenly, therefore giving her more room to roam on her harness than she would have without it. You may need to let it air outside for a few days before you install if you are sensitive to odors, as mine had a strong smell that bothered me and I assumed it would bother my dog. Once I did that there was no odor at all. If you do not purchase a safety hammock such as the one I use, make sure you put down a towel prior to take-off so that if you hear your dog vomiting, it will be no big deal and you can just ignore it until you get home. Another thing that is helpful is to NOT have a car full of screaming children with a nervous dog. This can make a dog very car sick and behave in a way that he normally wouldn’t, putting children at possible risk of bite injury.

The best approach for the drive home is to have another adult or an older child with you to hold and comfort the dog. Make sure you have water and doggie treats if you have a long drive home and will be in the car more than 30 minutes. After 15 or 20 minutes, pull over and offer the dog some water and a treat. Then talk to him and pet him in a reassuring manner. A squeaky toy might also be a refreshing sight. This will help to take the dog’s mind off his anxiety and redirect his attention on you until you get home safely. Weather permitting, rolling down a window closest to your dog will also help distract him and assist with limiting any nausea, as he will be distracted with   smelling the air around him.

Canine Massage Therapy

November 12th, 2014

As a pet owner, I consider Taylor, my 6 year old Golden Retriever, a member of my family. His health and well-being is extremely important to me. Unfortunately, just like people, pets can become ill and suffer from a multitude of physical and on occasions, mental ailments. Some of these are genetic and others are caused by situational or environmental stressors.

Massage therapy can have a positive effect on the whole body. Even more than the most obvious of relaxation and rehabilitation, massage therapy aids in the circulation of fluids throughout the body which assists the joints and muscles flush toxins from the tissues. The results include reduced pain and stiffness, more flexibility and greater range of motion. Massage also increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.

A few of the benefits:

  • Reduces pain and/or discomfort from stiffness, inflammation & muscle spasms
  • Improves muscle tone, spinal/body alignment, flexibility & range of motion
  • Increases energy, concentration and alertness
  • Reduces anxiety and stress; eases emotional traumas
  • Promotes blood and lymph circulation
  • Heightens immune system function
  • Aids in healing from surgery or injury
  • Builds trust, self-confidence and sociability
  • Promotes longevity and slows degenerative processes
  • Massage provides overall wellbeing for your pet. There are MANY additional benefits beyond the ones listed above.

All of the benefits are simply too numerous to list, but the end result is positive to every system of your pet’s body. The recuperative and rehabilitative effects of massage therapy make it ideal for geriatric pets or those recovering from injury or surgery.

For those canines that suffer from anxiety, studies have shown that massage therapy provides enormous benefits to the pet’s psychological well-being. By releasing neurotransmitters and reducing the production of stress hormones, you pet will experience a decrease in anxiety and enhanced sense of well-being.

Don’t overlook the positive results for social and emotional health that a massage provides. Dogs are pack animals by nature and thrive on close contact with each other and humans. Consistent massages can help to build a dog’s self-confidence, sociability and feelings of trust and belonging. These benefits are important to any dog, but priceless for those who have suffered abuse, neglect or other emotional traumas.

Massage Therapy is a holistic form of care. It acts upon the entire body in an effort to restore balance and increase the pets overall wellness. Used in combination with regular veterinary care, massage therapy proves invaluable benefits for your furry family members.

Schedule your session today or contact us to a lesson in how to give your canine companion a “spa day”

Every session will include a full body massage, range of motion exercises and stretching. Our Therapist will meet with you and your pet, review your concerns and medical history and customize a plan especially for your pet. More specific components may be added depending on your pets needs.

The amount of time required to perform a massage and the cost varies by size of the animal. Please make sure your pet is ready for his appointment, as scheduled. This includes going outside for potty breaks and withholding food at least 30 minutes prior to your session.

Initial Consultation & Massage – $45

Your initial appointment will allow us to meet your pet, gather and assess your concerns and create a plan to best meet your pets needs. We will discuss the benefits of our massage techniques and provide your pet with his or her first massage session. Please allow approximately 1 hr. for your first visit.

Massage – Small Pet (under 25 pounds) – $25

Massage – Medium Pet (26-50 pounds) – $40

Massage – Large Pet (51+ pounds) – $55

Note: Additional fees may apply for extremely large pets.

Ask about packages and multi-pet discounts!

The fees listed are for basic massage sessions. Should your pet require more advanced sessions and/or longer appointments, fees may be adjusted accordingly.

A $15 cancellation fee may be applied for appointments not canceled within 24 hours of scheduled appointment time.

There is a 30 minute minimum for all massage sessions and will be adjusted in 15 minute increments for every 25 lbs. We will make home visits, please contact to schedule a time. A travel fee may be applied.


Message Class $275.00* (includes essential oils kit)

Interested in learning some basic massage techniques for home use? Just ask! Dirty Dogs Spa is happy to offer basic instruction for Pet Parents. *Prices and instruction time will vary depending on types and numbers of pets. ***Very basic massage techniques are provided at no charge with each massage session. This tutorial is geared toward those who wish to gain additional knowledge. Group rates are available. This program in no way certifies or entitles participants to perform massage services except for home use with their own pets.


Vote – Best of the Best 2015

July 14th, 2014

Please vote for Dirty Dogs Spa and Boutique for The Wake Weekly Best of the Best!