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.


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!

How to better communicate with your groomer

Like bows and bandannas? Let us know so we can make sure your pup goes home with them!
Like bows and bandannas? Let us know so we can make sure your pup goes home with them!

I love seeing all the adorable haircuts our groomers give dogs all day. I so admire the skill, patience and care that our talented groomers put into every grooming client. We work so hard to give dogs the hairdo their owners like for them! Communicating what sort of look that you want for your dog can be tricky so this blog is all about how to ask for what you want and so you and your groomer can better understand each other and get the haircut for your dog that you desire!

One of the first questions we ask most clients is how much length we are taking off your dog’s coat. A puppy cut is a great basic cut for many breeds but it just indicates that the hair all over the dog (legs and body) will be the same length: no fancy patterns. Whether you want about half off, an inch of length or trimmed close to the skin be specific.

We often hear “don’t make him look like a poodle”. While we understand you probably don’t want a big top knot and pom poms on you pup’s feet, there are many different cuts that poodles get and many different ways they can look after grooming. While we might be able to get an idea of what you don’t want it’s more helpful to know what you DO want your dog’s cut to look like.

Bringing in a photo is a great way to show us the style you are looking for but it is not perfect. If your dog is an adult and you bring in a puppy photo we won’t be able to make them look the same as when they were young (as much as we wish we could!). Dog’s coat texture changes as they grow up and there is just no way to get that fluffy puppy hair back on an adult dog.

Speaking of coats: the hair type and texture can affect how a haircut looks. What may look great on one dog might look a little different on another dog because of these differences. Even purebred dogs of the same breed can have a lot of variation in coat type. Our groomers can help advise you if the cut you want is possible with your dog’s coat.

Variations in coat texture are especially noticeable in designer and mixed breed dogs. While we love teddy bears, doodles and all American mixed breeds there are not breed standard cuts for any mixed or designer bred dogs. This means we don’t have a starting point to reference when we talk about the look you’d like for your pup so we might ask a few more questions to get an idea of what you would like. Our groomers groom many many mixed breed dogs and love them!

Most importantly if there is anything you’d like different about your dog’s haircut let us know right away. The best time to fix or adjust a haircut is within 48 hours of when your dog was in for grooming because they will still be clean and brushed out well. While we strive to make each cut what our clients want sometimes a dog’s coat condition prevents us from leaving the coat as long or setting the pattern that you might want. Ask your groomer if spending more time brushing at home or more frequent visits might help get the look you desire.

The low down on spring shave downs

Birdie's winter coat had seen better days but with a short trim she looks and feels fantastic!
Birdie's winter coat had seen better days but with a short trim she looks and feels fantastic!

While we may still have frigid temperatures, spring is definitely on its way. This time of year it is especially difficult to keep your dog clean and their coat in good condition. The months of snow can wreak havoc on curly coats in particular. The snow and slush constantly wetting dog’s legs and drying is a recipe for bad matting. This time of year we often see non-shedding dogs that had longer haircuts over the winter needing to be shaved down. While it can be a drastic change to see a dog go from a long shaggy coat to a very close trim we think it is often the best solution to tangled coats this season.

Matting can be a serious health concern for non-shedding dogs if it gets out of control. While it’s normal for tangles to grow behind the ears and around the collar, during the winter they can easily form on a dogs legs, belly and anywhere that gets snowy or damp. When dogs have longer winter haircuts they can also hide down in the coat next to the skin and are difficult to see during normal brushing. While it may seem like the best thing to do would be to leave that long coat until the weather gets warm it is often better to get rid of a matted coat as soon as possible. Tightly matted hair restricts blood flow to the skin, retains moisture and is the perfect growing conditions for all sorts of bacterial and fungal infections as well as a sponge for dirt and allergens. You and your dog will be happier and healthier without all that hair.

Sometimes I think of March and April as “slush months”, the hardest time of year to keep your dog clean and keep them from bringing mud, dirt and wet snow into the house. Long hair can make this even more difficult! It is so much easier to keep your dog and house clean with a shorter haircut. They wash and towel off so much quicker and pick up less dirt and debris on walks.In addition, you can get the jump on brushing out a shorter coat and if you start a habit of brushing your dog every day when it is easy for both of you, you can have a summer of easy, hassle-free grooming.

If your dog needs to be shaved down this spring, don’t fear! Remember all the benefits that come with an easier to maintain coat and start brushing right away if you want your dog’s hair to grow out to a longer length. It is also important to remember that humanity should always come before vanity: a short cut might not be your favorite but think of how much better your dog will feel without that long, tangled hair weighing them down. The best way to get the haircut for your dog that you’d like is to have their coat in good condition. Daily brushing at home and regular appointments with your groomer will keep you both happy and keep matting at bay.We suggest regular grooming every 6-8 weeks to help keep the hair in good condition.

Next time on the blog: how to best communicate with your groomer to get the haircut you’d like for your dog!

How to make self-service easy for you and your dog

Even though she does not look so happy, this Newfie puppy will be good for her bath since she has had lots of practice!
Even though she does not look so happy, this Newfie puppy will be good for her bath since she has had lots of practice!

I've been asked a lot recently about how to get the most out of our self-service wash and tips and tricks to make it easier on both you and your pooch. Here are my secrets to a successful visit to Bubbly Paws!

1) Start with a "dry run": If your dog is uncomfortable in new situations, gets nervous or is just plain young or new to you its great to come in without plans to actually do a bath. Bring a pocketful of your dog's favorite treats and come in during a quiet time (weekday mornings are great). You and your dog can look around, your dog can get treats and check out our selection of toys and goodies. When you come back to do a self-service bath your dog will remember how much fun they had last time and you will know your way around the store.

2)Take advantage of our shampoo and towels: We dilute our shampoo to make it easy to use but it also means you want to make sure to use enough. Be generous when shampooing your dog, take your time and work up a good lather before rinsing. Use a lot of towels too! We will bring you as many as you need so a thorough towel dry will make blow drying easier on you and your dog.

3) Happy Hoodies, use them: We provide ear covers for dogs during the drying process. Covering their ears muffles the noise of the drier and keeps the air from tickling their ears. While some dogs don't care for the ear covers, they can really help dogs that are afraid of the drier. Having a few treats is never a bad idea as well.

4) Ask for what you need: Our staff are always nearby if you have a question or if there is something that might make self-service easier for you. We know a lot of little hints that can make you and your dog have a better time.

5) Practice makes perfect: Nothing makes giving your dog a bath easier than if you both know what to expect. We always recommend starting early and often to get your dog accustomed to being bathed and groomed. After your first visit both you and your dog will be more comfortable in Bubbly Paws and you will know exactly what you need to do a great job.

If self-service sounds like a chore don't fear! Our groomers have the experience to give your dog the best grooming around with a gentle touch to boot. Whichever option is right for your dog never worry about leaving the mess with us!

Winter Survival Kit

photo (1)
photo (1)

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.


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!

The right time to start grooming your puppy

Coco has been a regular at Bubbly Paws since she was a tiny puppy. When she was ready for her first big grooming she was calm and comfortable allowing Mallory to give her a great cut!
Coco has been a regular at Bubbly Paws since she was a tiny puppy. When she was ready for her first big grooming she was calm and comfortable allowing Mallory to give her a great cut!

Every dog needs to be groomed, at least a little. We love seeing new puppies (who doesn't?) but it is even better to see young dogs get regular nail trims and baths so they start a lifetime of grooming on the right paw. I often get asked when you should first get your dog groomed and the simplest answer is soon after they have their vaccinations up to date enough to make other trips in public, usually around 10 weeks old. Many dogs do not require regular grooming so as long as bath time and nail trims are done in a positive way a few times during their puppyhood they grow up being calm and comfortable with normal healthy grooming chores. However, if you have a breed that requires grooming it takes a little more planning to make sure your puppy has the best chance at being positively accustomed to grooming.

Breeds that require grooming are anything non-shed, hypoallergenic breeds from Bichons to the biggest doodles. These breeds need to be groomed on a regular schedule for their whole lives. Bubbly Paws offers a great deal with our Puppy Package, for puppies' first groom before they are 6 months old. We offer such a great deal because we believe grooming should be a low stress and fun activity for your dog and the best way to do that is to start early and make the first grooming a good one. In the Puppy Package we get all the good healthy necessities done, like a bath and nail trim and hope to get some more trimming done but we play it by ear. If the puppy is doing great maybe we'll get an all-over haircut done but if the puppy is stressed or too wiggly we focus on using positive reinforcement on calm behaviors and offer breaks for play time and to let out some energy before getting back to business.

Puppy coat is so soft and lovely, it's hard to see it go when they start growing up. You may want to keep your Wheaten terrier's puppy coat until they are 9 months old but it might not be the best thing for your dog. Unless you are brushing your dog thoroughly everyday that puppy coat will matt when the adult coat starts coming in. Nothing is more stressful for your dog and our groomers then having to shave down a matted dog that has never been groomed before and that has all the energy a 9 month to year old dog might have. It's much better to plan regular grooming (even just a bath and brush out or a little trim) every month or two and part of everyday to brush your dog. By preventing tangled fur you can prevent your dog from having to be shaved and keep that soft puppy fluff as long as possible.

Shadow had his puppy's first groom at 4 months old and was so well-behaved Jessica was able to give him an all over trim!
Shadow had his puppy's first groom at 4 months old and was so well-behaved Jessica was able to give him an all over trim!

We work hard everyday to make grooming fun and we (and your puppy) hope you do too!  Grooming is offered daily at both our locations.

Flea and Tick Season is Coming

Don't let these creeps make a meal out of your pooch!
Don't let these creeps make a meal out of your pooch!

It's no secret I'm not a fan of winter. I don't like the cold, snow, ice or any of it except that we get a break from the pesky insects Minnesota is known for. It may not feel like spring is really here yet, but the temperatures have warmed up enough that it is time to prepare for flea and tick season. The increased temperatures mean all the creepy crawlies are coming back and it's better to be ahead of the game. Fleas can cause skin irritation, flea dermatitis and spread tapeworms in addition to being a major discomfort to you and your pet.   Ticks can spread over a dozen diseases and can also cause infection at the bite site. Like most health and wellness concerns for our pets (and us) prevention is the best medicine. There are so many great preventatives on the market. Talk to your vet to find the best option for your dog and start it when they recommend (usually April or May in Minnesota though some vets recommend using a parasite preventative year round).

These are the types of ticks you may find on your dog.
These are the types of ticks you may find on your dog.

Once your dog is on flea and tick preventative medicine check regularly as your pet can pick up pests before they are killed. Fleas can be caught from wild animals or eggs laid in the environment (even your backyard). Ticks are often found in long grass and wooded areas, although I know many dogs that have picked them up at local dog parks. Regular bathing and grooming your dog is a great way to get a look through their coat for any unwelcome pests.

The life cycle of the common dog and cat flea.
The life cycle of the common dog and cat flea.

Bubbly Paws is a flea and tick free zone so make sure you are covered before coming in. If we find fleas on your dog we will ask that you take your dog home ASAP. If there is a tick on your dog let us know and a Bubbly Paws team member can remove it, dispose of it properly and clean the bite area. Stay protected with good prevention and enjoy a summer free of worry about pests on your pet!

Spring Forward Special


Every year when daylight savings ends we have a fun day of walk-in trims and savings on nail treatments. I am especially excited to have our St Paul store get in on the action this year! It's always a blast and we get to see so many of our friends get tidied up just in time for the weather to warm up. It's really nice to have your dog's feet in particular cleaned up this time of year; whether it's just a nail grind or your pup needs a paw trim and winter paw treatment, these little things go a long way to help your dog's feet stay clean and comfortable.

Stop in to either store Sunday March 9th between 10am and 4pm and get sanitary, foot and face trims for $5 each. Nail trims and nail grinds are 50% off ($5 nail trims and $7.50 nail grinds). Winter paw treatment is still available too! No appointments needed but give yourself a little time as there can be a wait. Self-service baths are available as usual until 5pm. We hope to see you and your best buddy there!

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.


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!

Pest Season!

dog Warm weather is finally here and we are all so excited to get outside. Before we get ahead of ourselves it's important to remember to give your dog the proper pest preventatives. Heartworms are a deadly parasite spread by mosquitoes. Your vet can prescribe monthly preventative chews to protect your dog. Flea and tick preventative is also very important. I've heard many reports of ticks found after trips to dog parks and wooded areas already this year. These simple preventative measures will keep your dog and your family safe from pests. Remember that Bubbly Paws is a pest free zone and if you find a tick or flea on your dog notify a staff person right away. Have fun in this warm weather and keep pest free!

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.

photo (2)

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.

photo (3)

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.

photo (1)

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!

Holiday Grooming

Jessica is our groomer and she is excellent. She has a natural understanding of dogs and has been grooming for five years. I get to watch her work all day and see her interact with all her client dogs as well as her own dogs so I always feel confident recommending her. All of us at Bubbly Paws ask her for help and advice with difficult grooming questions because of her talent and experience. We normally book up about two weeks in advance for grooming appointments. Around the holiday season we are even more busy than normal. We still have openings before Thanksgiving so call or email now to ensure your dog is clean and looking good before company comes to visit. We are also happy to book appointments in December so you can avoid the rush and get your dog groomed for the holidays at a time that is convenient to you. If you mention my blog post when making an advance holiday appointment you can get $5 off the cost of your groom or free nail grinding


We will be offering more full-service baths before the holidays as well so if your dog does not need any hair trimming we are happy to do the work of getting your dog fresh and clean! Call us at 952-657-5300 or make reservations online here.

Halloween Safety

I am so excited for our Halloween party Woof N’ Treat! I hope to see all of our friends and their dogs in costume and having a great time but Halloween can be a dangerous time for pet so I thought I would take a moment to remind everyone of a few safety tips before our big party.

It is common knowledge that chocolate is bad for dogs and cats so keep candy out of their reach. Even non-chocolate candy can be dangerous to pets, Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is very toxic to animals and wrappers can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Pumpkins are non-toxic to pets (pumpkin is actually a great treat for dogs) but make sure carved pumpkins with candles are out of the way so they can’t be knocked over by your pet.

Trick or treater’s can scare pets, from the constant doorbell ringing to the scary costumes so on the night of Halloween is it best to keep your pets in a separate room away from the front door. Make sure your pets have current tags on in case they get spooked and escape.

I am so excited to see all the dog costumes on Saturday but make sure to try on your pet’s costume before the costume contest to make sure they will tolerate wearing it. The costume should not restrict your dog’s movement, block their vision or obstruct their hearing or breathing. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they don’t chew or eat parts of their costume.

I wish you all a safe and happy Halloween and hope to see you and your dog at Woof N’ Treat!

Here are a few links to more pet safety tips:

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!

Spring Grooming Boom

We have been filling up all of our grooming appointments almost two weeks in advance currently. I know it can be frustrating when your dog really needs to be groomed and you can't get in when you would like but we are doing our best to accommodate everyone. One of the things that makes Bubbly Paws so great is that we have a small staff and know our clients personally, dogs and their humans. We want to take our time and make grooming low stress so the job is done well and to everyone's satisfaction so we don't book too many dogs each day. We allow time for them to get personal attention and so they never have to sit in a kennel before grooming begins. We have also had an influx of clients from other grooming salons so please keep this in mind when you would like to make your next grooming appointment. We hope to see you and your dog soon!

Every Gift Has a Story

When Keith and I first discussed having me write for the Pampered Pooch Playground blog, he shared, “Every product we sell has a story." I always enjoy a good story, so that made me curious. A couple weeks ago, I met Keith at Bubbly Paws to learn more. One thing I enjoy most about talking to Keith is his passion for dogs and his customers. He believes in promoting local and regional products, and in giving his customers unique options. Many of the products he offers actually came about in a sort of random way. For example, both Bubbly Paws and Pampered Pooch Playground use shampoo and conditioner from Top Line Canine Care. Originally created by owner Todd Pearsall for horses, the products were formulated to soothe and revitalize. Todd is a local guy who brought his dog to day care at Pampered Pooch Playground. After a while, he asked Keith if he would try his Top Line Equine Care products. Keith liked the shampoo and conditioner so much, both Pampered Pooch Playground and Bubbly Paws were the first to offer the line for dogs and to use them for dog washing. The conditioner is a personal favorite of mine--it smells great and leaves Leo’s Goldendoodle hair very soft. I especially like that the smell lasts about a week after Leo gets washed. Now that’s good stuff!

Bubbly Paws also offers Treat Smart™ dog snacks by Lincoln Bark. This company is owned by a couple out of Chicago, Illinois. Their snacks are made by hand and baked in small batches for freshness. Top Line Canine Care and Smart TreatsThey contain no wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, additives, artificial colors, or flavors. But they are packed with nutrition. As their website says, they “are loaded with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, all 9 amino acids, age-defying antioxidants, are gluten free and contain more calcium per ounce than milk." Keith met the owners at a dog show, was impressed by the quality of the chewy nuggets, and brought them to Bubbly Paw so our dogs could enjoy them, too. Because they are chewy, they make great treats for training. Since the treats contain human-grade ingredients, Keith has even sampled Treat Smart nuggets himself. He says they taste pretty good!

Bubbly Paws also offers a variety of collars, leashes, and sweaters for your dog. During our visit, we decided to dress up Leo in his first sweater, just for fun. I’m a fan of argyle (much to my husband’s dismay), so when I saw the green argyle, he had to try it!

Leo sporting some argyle

Then we added a collar with argyle and skulls plus a leash. You can just see a little of the collar above the sweater. Very stylish! Go to Bubbly Paws and have fun trying different things on your dog. The people who work there are nice and will help you with ideas. All you have to do is ask.

I saw a random fact quoted recently in an article, about 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets. Will you be one of them?

Winter Workouts

Winter is officially here, and although there isn’t the usual snow on the ground, it’s cold outside. Last week, the Climate Prediction Center released an updated winter outlook for December, January, and February, predicting below average temperatures and a good chance of a wetter than average snow season for Minnesota. So, that means the days are short, the cold is here for a while, and the snow is coming—-perhaps with a vengeance. The hibernation that comes with winter can make us feel cooped up with cabin fever. For our canine friends, we must make the extra effort to help them expend their energy so they can be well-behaved. Below are a few ideas that may help.

  • Make the most out of each walk.In order to help Leo burn more energy while

    on our shorter winter walks, he wears a vest with two side pockets—a weight vest of sorts. In each pocket, I add bean-bag weights in half-pound increments, up to ten percent of his body weight. For Leo, that’s a total of three pounds. This helps him burn extra energy, even though our walks are shorter. (Leo’s vet confirmed that this was safe. The key is to make sure the vest fits properly so there is no rubbing or slipping.)

  • Let ’em play! A day of play each week at doggy day care, like Pampered Pooch Playground, can leave your dog tired and well-behaved for an extra day. This also helps take some of the pressure off of you to be the only source of physical and mental exercise.
  • Mental workouts are just as important as physical workouts. Training classes, such as agility training at The Canine Coach, are a great way to socialize, exercise, and challenge your dog.
  • Socialize with your dog at Dog Days at the Dome. The Metrodome is open for doggy fun and socializing from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, Tuesday, January 31, Thursday, February 9, and Tuesday, February 28. It’s just $5 per dog (with up to two people), and free parking is available.
  • Go to a dog park—indoors! Have you heard about Ruff House, the Canine Social Club in Edina? There are five membership options to fit your schedule. The most flexible options include access 24/7.

What do you do to help manage your dog’s energy during winter? We’d love to hear from you.

*** Blog post by Birgitta who is a Pampered Pooch Playground customer.  Read more about her by clicking here. ***

Get Social