Summer Grooming Guide

Lucy makes sure to get groomed every 4 weeks in the summer to keep her comfortable!
Lucy makes sure to get groomed every 4 weeks in the summer to keep her comfortable!

Summer is upon us all of a sudden! This hot weather is great but it can be hard on our dogs in a number of ways: from the risk of heat stroke and burnt paws on hot days to the shedding, pests and allergens that are a part of the summer warmth. There are a number of ways regular grooming can keep your dog cool and comfortable for the summer!

Regular bathing is a great way to combat allergies for both your dog and your family! By washing your dog they will carry less allergens into your home and less will sit on their coat bothering them. At Bubbly Paws we always have hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs and people that are sensitive to added color and fragrance in their grooming products.

We see a lot of dogs that love getting dirty at the dog park or on weekends at the cabin. While swimming is great exercise for dogs, getting wet frequently can lead to hotspots, skin irritation and matting. Bathing your dog will remove mud, sand, lake or river water on their coat and can help prevent irritation but it is equally important to blow dry your dog after bathing. Blow drying has a number of great benefits in the summer including helping to prevent hot spots and skin irritation from moisture staying on a dog’s skin and coat. Blow drying is also beneficial to prevent matting that can quickly get out of control on dirty and damp coats. It's also a great idea to brush your dog before letting them swim to help keep their coat free of matting.

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It is FURminator season for sure! I have seen a ton of dogs that are shedding intensely. You can always upgrade to the FURminator shampoo, conditioner and brush whether you are doing self-service or full-service baths and grooming. The FURminator helps keep dogs cool by getting rid of excess undercoat and helps keep your home free of shedding hair. We get asked whether labs and other double coated dogs would be more cool if they get shaved but we do not recommend it. Dogs use their coats to regulate their body temperature and protect them from sunburn, in addition it can be hard to predict how a double coat will grow back after being shaved. Our staff can help you decide what the best method to keep your dog cool this summer.

Dogs that require grooming often get shorter cuts to keep them comfortable in the summer. Our wonderful groomers can give your dog a cool summer cut to make it easy to keep them from getting overheated and make it easier to maintain their coats when they are swimming and playing outside. Our staff can recommend the best style and products to keep your buddy looking and feeling great this summer. You can set up an appointment with any of our amazing groomers here.

If your dog has a very short coat or a short summer haircut they can be susceptible to sunburn. Light colored dogs are especially at risk for sunburn so protect their delicate skin! And of course make sure your dog stays well hydrated when having fun in the sun! We sell water bottles that make it easy for you to take along water and a bowl on any adventure.

This spring has been a bad one for ticks! We recommend all dogs be given flea and tick preventative and remember that Bubbly Paws is a flea and tick free zone so alert our staff right away if you see any pests on your pet. Remember to wait 48 hours after applying topical flea and tick repellent to bathe or groom your dog.

Ask our knowledgeable staff and groomers if you have any questions about how grooming can help you make the most of summer with your dog!

Winter Survival Kit

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I love Minnesota, our state has so much to offer. But in January and February I start to get a little tired of the cold weather and the snow.   Our groomer Jessica helped me pick out a few things to help keep your pooch comfortable and healthy in these harsh winter months.

Winter can be very drying on our skin, and our dogs. Detanglers help moisturize their coat and ease brushing out snarls and keep static in check. Jessica's favorite is Pet Head's Fur Ball, I really like HappyTails Rough to Smooth and recommend FURminator's deTangling spray as well. To protect sensitive paw pads from ice, slush and salt use a foot protectant. Musher's Secret is an amazing product. It is all natural, dense wax that is also breathable. It is used by professional mushers in the most extreme conditions and does great for our city dogs paws! We also have a few other paw rubs made by Cain & Abel and HappyTails but all of them are safe if your dog decides to lick them off. FurButter is an intense coat conditioner for when your dog's coat gets very dry or damaged.

We have a huge selection of sweaters and jackets for dogs. RuffWear makes some of the warmest and sturdiest jackets. Their Climate Changer is made of the softest polar fleece to keep your dog warm in dry conditions but when it is raining, snowing or sleeting the K-9 Overcoat is the way to go. It is wind and water resistant with a fleece lining and tough polyester shell to keep body heat in and the weather out. All of RuffWear's jackets have hidden but easy to use buckles, snugly lined zippers and integrated reflective piping to increase visibility.

Here's wishing you and your best buddy a warm and safe winter!

Daylight Savings and the Joys of Fall

I took Nova on a walk to enjoy a lovely day on Lake Nokomis.
I took Nova on a walk to enjoy a lovely day on Lake Nokomis.

This fall has been one of the most enjoyable I can remember. The mild temperatures and stunning fall colors have made the Twin Cities a wonderful playground for pups and their people! We had an amazing turn out for Woof N Treat and raised so much money for Pet Project Rescue! The busy fall season is winding down but not before our Daylight Savings Spectacular and now is the perfect time to get ready for the inevitable arrival of winter.

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I hope you will join us Sunday November 2nd for our Trim-a-Palooza. Every year on the days after daylight savings begins and ends we do a walk-in trim event. We offer half-price nail treatments and $5 face, sani or foot trims. If your pup need a few areas trimmed or just a good nail grind it is the perfect time to get that taken care of. We have a ton of fun and stay very busy so there may be a short wait but we always are able to accommodate everyone who shows up. Stop in between 10am and 4pm at either Bubbly Paws location to take advantage of this awesome deal!

While we might like getting an extra hour of daylight in the morning next week it is important to remember to be safe for evening walks with your dog. It becomes increasingly difficult for drivers to see pedestrians during the dark after work and evening hours. Please be safe by wearing reflective gear or lights while you walk your dog and avoid using your phone so you can keep eyes out for drivers. If you need reflective gear for your dog ask a staff member at Bubbly Paws: we have a wide variety of reflective collars and leads to help keep you and your buddy safe and visible.

Here is a tick found just this week by one of our groomers.
Here is a tick found just this week by one of our groomers.

I have loved this mild weather but there is one concern I need to share: pests! Because of the warmer temperatures ticks and fleas are still active. Please use flea and tick preventative for the months of October and November, some vets recommend using it year round. Our groomers have found a few ticks in the last two weeks so protect yourself and your dog!

I hope to see a ton of my bubbly friends Sunday for our special! Get prepared for winter with a nice trim and new reflective gear to keep comfortable and safe. All our best from our pups to you and yours!

Toxic Treats

Keenser and Frank are happy to know that our treats are safe (and delicious)!
Keenser and Frank are happy to know that our treats are safe (and delicious)!

There have been reports of toxic dog treats making dogs sick for quite a while. The FDA reports that more than 1,000 dog deaths have been linked to jerky treats made in China. Here at Bubbly Paws we want everyone to be safe and NEVER carry any treats made in China. We try and source all our treats from companies that make them in the USA. We take the time to try all the treats to make sure our pups love them before they hit the shelves. We do have a few bully treats made from grass-fed beef that are produced in South America but we are always vigilant to provide the best and safest (and yummiest!) treats we can find.

If you have questions or concerns about any of our treats please send me an email at lill@bubblypaws.com.

Dog Shower Gifts

Goodies before getting wrapped up in a gift bag!
Goodies before getting wrapped up in a gift bag!

Here at Bubbly Paws we consider our dogs a part of our family and we know our customers feel the same way. We go above and beyond to give your pooch the best possible care during the self- or full-service grooming because family members deserve to be treated as such. I know a lot of my friends are dog people and a lot of the dog people I have met through Bubbly Paws have become friends. When my friends adopt a new dog I feel like my family grows a little and like a baby shower I like to give my friends new dog gifts. A close friend recently adopted a puppy and since it is her first dog I wanted to make an extra special gift bag for her. Here are a few of the essentials for a new puppy I got together for her:

Poop Bags! If you work with dogs you see a good deal of dog poop and learn the best way to clean it up. Of all the baggies I've come across these are the best! They are biodegradable, easy to open, plenty big and strong. I have never had one rip or fail and I really like the ones with handles for easy tying.

Treats! New additions of the four legged kind can always use some training to get used to being in a new family, even when adopting an older dog. I love small wet treats for training that are easy to eat and the right size that you don't feel bad giving them a handful during a training session.

Chew toys! Puppies in particular need to keep their mouths busy with appropriate toys so they don't destroy shoes or other things. I love toys that are tough and have a place to stuff in a treat. This provides excellent entertainment for a dog while teaching them what they are supposed to chew on.

Antler chews! These have gained a ton of popularity recently. Antler chews are good for sensitive stomachs, last a long time and great for dental health. I think they can be used to help crate train a dog by giving them something safe and engaging to enjoy while kenneled.

My friend happens to be a fan of micro-brewed beer so I made this gift beer themed with some treats and a bottle of dog beer. A nice Bubbly Paws gift card is the final touch for a perfect new puppy gift! I hope she and the puppy enjoy all their goodies!

Cold Weather Pet Safety

Shop dog Dolly loves playing in the snow!
Shop dog Dolly loves playing in the snow!

We Minnesotans are used to the cold winters but over the next few days we are going to have record cold temperatures. This extreme weather can pose a risk to our pets, just like high heat in the summer. While dogs have fur coats to keep them warm most inside dogs do not have thick enough coats to keep them warm outside for long periods. The most important thing to do in this weather is keep your pets indoors as much as possible. Some health conditions can be aggravated by the cold like arthritis so keep a close watch on your pet and if they are shivering, seems anxious or weak contact your vet right away. The salt and ice can be hard on your dog's paws so protect them with our Winter Paw Treatment or booties and make sure ice does not accumulate on your dogs paws. Also be sure to wipe off their feet when you come in from a walk to remove the salt so they don't lick it off. Antifreeze and de-icers can be deadly for pets so keep them away from common winter chemicals. Trimming the hair on your dogs' legs and feet can also help prevent them tracking in snow and ice (may we recommend a professional to do it :). If you'd like more information about keeping your pet safe this guide from the American Veterinary Medical Association is great.

Frank is fine with the cold but Lois has to wear a jacket!
Frank is fine with the cold but Lois has to wear a jacket!

When coming in for self-service baths please make sure to leave extra time for drying, we want our customers to be clean and safe! Stay warm out there from all of us at Bubbly Paws!

Vacation Preparation

DSC05470 I have been excited about the opening of our St Paul location for quite a while. It's been a ton of fun and hard work getting everything planned and prepared for the opening. While the focus is on opening the new spa I hope that it will continue to be business as usual over in St Louis Park. Stop by Paws on Grand to get the first look at the new Bubbly Paws!

As much work as opening a new store is, Franklin and I are also getting ready for a vacation. We love to visit extended family in Michigan and relax by the lake. There are a few things we can't live without in the hot summer months and in particular when we are spending most of the day outdoors or in the water.

We love the Flea the Scene spray that is a combination of sunscreen and insect repellent. Though Frank is always kept on flea and tick preventative it keeps the worst offenders off and prevents itchy bites. Swimming is a great low impact exercise for older dogs and Frank loves to fetch so we must have a floating Orbee ball from Planet Dog. Stunt Puppy's Dry Collar is great for lakeside fun as it never gets smelly or holds water and wipes dry in an instant.  After all that fun nothing says Northwoods like an antler chew. These are great for vigorous chewers as they are difficult to break or split and gentle on dogs with sensitive stomachs.

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While we will miss all our Bubbly friends, Franklin and I are excited for a little R&R before the excitement of the opening of Bubbly Paws St Paul Dog Spa!

Happy Independence Day!

photo I hope you and your pooch have some fun and relaxing plans for the 4th of July! Just a reminder that we will be closed Thursday July 4th in observance of the holiday. We will reopen for normal hours on Friday the 5th.

While the 4th of July is a great time to celebrate and have fun outside in the beautiful summer weather it can be a stressful time for your pet. The noise and lights of fireworks can be especially scary. Take extra care to leash and secure your dog in case they get scared and try and run away. If your plans involve being outside all day use a pet safe insect repellent and sunscreen. Remember that alcohol and insect repellents for humans are unsafe for dogs. Here are more tips from the ASPCA.

Bubbly Paws carries both a pet safe bug repellent and sunscreen combination spray as well as Thundershirts which can help anxiety from fireworks. If you want a cute treat for your dog to have we have cookies, ice cream and doggie beer to treat your best buddy!

Have a fun and safe holiday!

Gear to get you active for Spring!

The weather is warming up and all the snow is melting so Franklin and I are so excited to get outside and have fun. We collected a few things that will make it easy to get out and have fun with your dog. photo (4)

It's no secret we love Stunt Puppy products and the Stunt Runner lead is a great tool to walk, jog, or run with your dog. It straps around your waist (or a light post if you need coffee after your work out) and has a bungee section to minimize stress on you and your dog if they happen to pull on the lead.

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After your run you and your dog should drink plenty of water. OllyDog makes a great water bottle with a detachable bowl so you can pour your pooch a drink while you get one. Made of BPA-free plastic it is sturdy and streamlined.

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If your dog gets messy at the dog park or likes to swim, roll or splash around get a collar that repels water and smell. Dublin Dog no-stink collars are tough and good looking. They have a solid buckle and come in sizes for small to large dogs. They wipe clean with no fuss and don't hold on to scents.

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Happytails makes great all natural grooming products. Must-haves for summer are the Itchin' for Relief and the Flea the Scene sprays. Itchin' for Relief soothes irritation and hot spots on your dog's skin. Flea the Scene is a 3-in-1 spray that protects your dog from sunburn, repels insects and conditions the coat. Both of these sprays are safe even if your dog licks them off.

The best part of spring is the relief of getting outside after the long winter. Have fun, be safe and don't be afraid to get dirty!

Ear Cleaning 101

There’s a reason ear cleaning is always included in our spa services and I try to encourage people who are doing self-service baths to clean out their dog’s ears when they are finished. This prevents infection that could be caused by any moisture that gets in a dog's ears during a bath. Dogs with drop ears (ears that hang down to cover the ear canal as opposed to ears that stand up and expose the ear) are especially prone to bacterial or yeast infections because air does not circulate to dry the ears naturally. Regular cleaning is a great way to prevent this.

Ear cleaning is pretty simple and like any grooming routine your dog will be a willing partner if you use positive reinforcement and repetition so your dog is used to having his or her ears handled. First wet a cotton ball with ear cleaner. Hold your dog’s ear and push the cotton ball into his ear while maintaining a hold of your dog’s ear and the cotton ball. Pull the cotton outward, taking dirt, debris and buildup out of his ear. Alternately, you can squirt ear cleaner into your dog's ear, massage into the ear and ear canal and use a cotton ball to remove excess cleaner and loosened dirt and debris. Repeat with a fresh cotton ball until the ear is clean, then do the other ear. Be careful not to put your finger or the cotton ball into your dog’s ear canal. Allowing your dog to shake after a bath will also help remove any water or ear cleaner left in his ear. Always clean your dog’s ears after a bath, swimming or getting wet. For dogs with infection prone ears, you can clean them once a week or as often as twice a day as a preventative measure.

We have a variety of products for ear care at home. Cain & Able and AromaPaws both make a great natural ear cleanser. HappyTails makes Ear Clear, a serum to ease itchy, smelly or exceptionally dirty ears. It uses arnica, a widely used analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb and is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. If you have any questions or need a demonstration on how to clean your dog’s ears, please let us know!

Franklin's Fashion Story

Franklin is comfortable and casual in this subtle floral print bandanna.

Whether getting away for a weekend in the country or vacationing at the cabin, Franklin keeps it clean while getting dirty in this Stunt Puppy dry collar, and Roundabout leash.

Keys at the ready and styled to a T, Frank is always dapper in his Newport collar and leash, by Harry Barker, day or night wear for the city life.

When feeling festive Frank dons his holiday sweater, warm in a crisp autumn evening.

All clothes are model's own. Styling by Lill, on location at Bubbly Paws.

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