Mother's Day? Already?!

So… I have a confession. Austin’s flash flooding has had me obsessively checking the weather and I can’t help but to be excited that summer’s around the corner. Mother’s Day just slipped my mind this year. If you’re anything like me you’re scrambling for last minute plans. Don’t worry though! We have the perfect solution.

This year, give the dog mom in your life a gift that’s better than flowers. Treat the lady who balances work, life, and park time to a clean dog and let her know how much you (and your furry family member) appreciate her.

After that, take her to one of the many Mother’s Day events our city has to offer!

Dog friendly:

Other stuff:

And if none of those will do, don’t forget we also sell e-gift cards. One click and you’re done!

While I’m running through Whole Foods at the last minute for a bouquet of flowers and a Mother’s Day card, you’ll be giving mom the gift of a clean pup! Then they can just cuddle on the couch for the rest of the day—which is probably what she really wants anyway!

First day of SPRING (cleaning)!

Have you spent the beginning of 2019 “Tidying Up” your house? If so, have you tackled your pet supplies yet?

Follow Marie Kondo’s advice and first gather all your pet toys & supplies together.  Look at what you have all at once. Now, you’ll be ready to clean, donate, and purge!

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Toss:

  • Get rid of any toys that are falling apart. Look for choking hazards and throw things away to protect your loved one(s).

  • You should also throw away any toys that have seen better days. Sun-bleached or chewed up toys have done their duty. You can “thank” them and put them in the trash.

  • Anything that still stinks or looks awful after you try to clean it should also be put in the garbage bin.

Clean:

  • Hard toys/plastic toys can be scrubbed with dishwashing soap and hot water. You can also run them through the dishwasher without detergent for extra germ killing. (note: make sure you don’t have any dishes in that load!)

  • Rope toys can also be run through the dishwasher or microwaved for a minute to kill germs.

  • Stuffed animals can be thrown in your washing machine and dryer. If they don’t last through a machine cycle, they should be tossed for safety!

  • Natural toys like rawhides cannot be cleaned, so be sure to supervise the use of them and toss them when they’ve been used.

Give Away:

  • If you’ve bought a toy that never gets used, consider passing it along to another dog!

  • Bring new or gently used dog toys to any Dirty Dog from March 22-28 and receive 10% off all services. All toys will be donated to Austin Pets Alive to help relieve the stress and boredom that can affect shelter dogs and their ability to find their very own forever home.

Dog-friendly SXSW tips for Austinites and Guests

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If you live in Austin and you haven’t rented out your abode for the next few days while South By Southwest descends on the city, you might be wondering where you can go to enjoy the festival with your pooch. Dedicated dog-owners may have even brought their dogs to town with them to attend the event!

A couple of things to consider if you think you want to take your dog around town with you to check things out:

  1. Be certain that your dog will be able to deal with all the sites, sounds and possibly a random clown on a unicycle--you never know what you might come across during SXSW and only the most chill of pups will actually enjoy themselves.

  2. Make sure to pack all the necessities for a day on the go-- things like a collapsible water bowl, poop bags, treats, etc. A doggy backpack could be awesome for this adventure--they can carry their supplies AND yours!

  3. Remember that on a normal day, most dogs spend the majority of the day sleeping, so make sure you’ll be able to run your dog home if they become overwhelmed or super tired. Dogs get grumpy, too.

Once you’ve checked off those things, here are some spots for both Austinites and tourists to mark on your “must-do” list:

  • Take a stroll down “Dirty Six”. Sixth Street will have lots of music to hear and people to see.

  • Extend your walk across the Congress St. bridge to South Congress Ave. Tons of hotels in the area are pet-friendly, so you’ll find like-minded folks and you might be able to hear some performances as you wander down the street.

  • Shake Shack on South Lamar has Pooch-inis and ShackBurger dog biscuits, so you’ll want to duck in for a little reward if your puppy has been behaving well.

  • Anywhere with a patio will be a good spot to stop with a pet to people watch, including:

  • If you want to escape the crowds downtown, here are a few places you should go for a bite or a beer that are outside of the throngs:

Of course, if your dogs are like ours and would prefer to hang out with other pups just playing or if you’d like a little dog-free time to explore, we’re here for doggy daycare and boarding! Just tell them they’re going to doggy camp while you go unwind, guilt-free, while we pamper your pup! It will be a win/win for everyone!

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IT'S A GO!

The NEW South Lamar Location Opens TODAY!

Inspections are passed, tubs are installed and the beds are fluffed-- it looks like we're FINALLY ready to open!

We still have a few details to finish but we're excited to get going. As soon as we catch our breath, we will send out more detailed info and talk about some upcoming plans we have for the space. Thanks so much for your patience!

(click on map for directins)

(click on map for directins)


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To celebrate, 

boarding and daycare will be 50% off through the Labor Day weekend

(at the South Lamar location only). 

We're doing our version of a "soft opening" and that just means that space will be limited while we make sure all the kinks are ironed out. 

Go here to fill out a request (and other paperwork if you haven't boarded with us before), and we'll contact you ASAP to let you know if there are still spots left. 

Last minute road trip? Why not???


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the finish line is in sight!

If you’ve been wondering what has been going on with the NEW   S. Lamar location, you aren’t alone! Without going into all the gory details, let’s just say: we now understand all the horror stories about people trying to open a business! It turns out, we have just been EXTREMELY lucky  for the last 15 years. 
 

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This is the 9th time we’ve completed a “finish out” on a location, and generally, it’s taken about 2 months or so.  Next Friday will be 7 months since we signed the lease on this new space. However, just last week, things finally turned in our favor and we now find ourselves singing:

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If all goes as planned (HAHA!), we will be open at the new location this Thursday August 30th. If you are interested in bringing your pup for daycare or boarding, you will need to  fill out some paperwork & schedule an evaluation here: NEW CUSTOMERS

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Of course, if your pup has stayed with us before, we already have all your info on file so you can just make a reservation and select whichever location you'd like to visit.

We will update daily until then so check back here or on social media! 

Thanks so much for your patience~
xoxo
Blair & Alesha & the entire Dirty Dog Pack

snow day!

Based on the ever-so-slightly-panicked behavior of the local news crew, Charlie has decided that tomorrow, January 16th, 2018, all of our shops should be closed. We totally agree.

Check back tomorrow for updates!

Stay safe and warm and snuggle up! 

~The Dirty Dog Crew

p.s. Click on Charlie's to watch a 10 min compilation of dogs in snow. Some will make you wince, most will make you smile but ALL will make you glad we live in Texas! 

show us your dirty dog (and save 50% off self serve baths)!

Possum actually  falls asleep  during his baths. His eyes are trying to convey how annoyed he is that I woke him up to take his picture! 

Possum actually falls asleep during his baths. His eyes are trying to convey how annoyed he is that I woke him up to take his picture! 

Next time you're scrubbing the yuck off your pup in one of our shops, snap a picture and post it on our Facebook page.

Simply show the post from that day to our crew member at check out and you'll get 50% off your self-serve bath! 

*cannot be combined with other offers

*discount is only good on the price of self-serve bath

*offer ends June 4th, 2017

The Best Dog Breeds for Your Personality

By: Amber Kingsley

There’s a reason that they say dogs are man’s best friends (or women’s, for that matter). Dogs exhibit an incredible range of different personalities, just like human beings. That being the case, there are definitely dog breeds that match up with certain people better than others. Can you imagine Paris Hilton with a pitbull instead of a pomeranian? No? Neither can we.

 

What kind of dog should you purchase if you’re trying to find a truly compatible companion? Well, it depends. Are you playful or serious? Surly or stylish? All of these are going to have a certain bearing on the right kind of dog for you. To help you make your decision, we’ve put together a quick list of different dogs for different people. Take a look through our suggestions, and see if it helps you narrow down your search for the ideal furry friend.

Pit Bulls: not just for tough guys

We might have been a bit unfair to pit bulls earlier with that Paris Hilton jibe. While it’s true that these animals have developed a bit of a rough reputation, there are plenty of people who maintain that they’re not as dangerous as many people think. Actually, pits tend to be prized more for their loyalty and energy than for their aggression, and the American Pit Bull Foundation posits that incidents involving pit bulls speak more to the characters of their owners than those of the dogs themselves. While it’s true that pits make tough and stalwart companions for bikers and other folks with thick skins, they’re also wonderfully dedicated companions for adventurous couples and new families with energetic children.

Terriers: excellent sidekicks for urban professionals

If you don’t necessarily have the time to take a larger dog out to the park every other day, you might want to opt for a smaller and more manageable breed. Norwich Terriers, for example, make playful and intelligent pets that are also apartment friendly and fairly easy to groom. Better yet, they can get by without too much exercise, meaning that you won’t have to feel guilty for leaving them at home while you’re out at work. Of course, every dog needs to be taken outside regularly, but terriers are much easier to fit into a busy schedule than many other breeds.

Beagles: a wonderful kid friendly starter dog

Maybe you’re less interested in a dog whose personality you can match, and more interested in a dog who can match whatever circumstances you place it in. If that’s the case, you’ll want to look at beagles, who are well known for their friendliness and adaptability. Beagles find ways to thrive in a variety of different environments, making them flexible companions and particularly good dogs for children (let’s be honest—no one is less predictable than a child). If you’re not sure about the right breed for you or the people you love, a beagle is a safe bet.

Keep in mind: every dog is still a dog

No matter what kind of dog you choose, remember that they all have certain needs: they should be well fed, well rested and clean at all times. Take good care of your doggie, and you’ll find the relationship rewarding—whether it’s large or small, loud or quiet, a lover, a fighter, or both.

Top Ten Reasons to Adopt An Older Dog

  1. Love and Loyalty!
    Chances are good that by adopting an older dog, you have rescued a wonderful, loving canine from an untimely, unfortunate and unwarranted death. An older dog can sense that he or she was saved and will be eternally loyal to his or her new “forever” family.
  2. Ease Of Transition
    Older dogs are mellow, relaxed and ready for a new home. They are past the puppy chewing and destruction stage and usually come with basic training.
  3.  No Huge Lifestyle Change
    You don't need to worry about puppy proofing your house and constant training. And older dogs let you get a good night's sleep!
  4. Stress Relief
    Studies have shown that animal companions can decrease blood pressure levels and reduce stress. Older dogs enjoy leisurely walks, which will encourage you to exercise for even a few minutes on your busiest days.
  5.  No Surprises
    Unlike puppies, older dogs are full grown and their personalities are completely developed. When you meet with your dog, you will know what kind of wonderful, loving canine he or she is and will always be.
  6. Doggie Wisdom
    Older canines have learned many of life's lessons. They know, for example, that shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing.
  7. Calmness
    Most senior dogs do not demand the time and attention that a younger dog does and are satisfied with casual walks and cuddling.
  8. Old Dog, New Tricks
    Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed.
  9. Companionship For All
    Senior dogs make wonderful companions for everyone, especially senior people and busy professionals.
  10. Save A Life
    Senior dogs are often the first to be euthanized in area shelters. Passed over for cute and cuddly puppies, they often have little chance to be adopted.

Adapted from the Senior Dogs Project site.  To learn more about the pleasures of older dog adoption, please visit the Senior Dogs Project.

Winter 2017: Severe Weather and Canine Safety

By: Amber Kingsley

According to The Weather Channel, after ringing in the New Year, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding began in eastern Texas and waged a war through many southern states in early 2017. Parts of the Gulf Coast recorded 4-10 inches of rain over the first weekend of this year and significant flooding was reported throughout the region.

The aftermath of these severe storms left six people dead in its wake, including four in Alabama, one in Florida and another fatality reported in Georgia. These sudden and deadly storms are certainly cause for concern, but what are some ways we can keep our pets safer this winter?

BEFORE

Be prepared, just like the beloved Boy Scout’s motto and make sure your disaster relief/readiness package includes enough fresh water for both you and your pets. This should contain enough food (and treats) for them as well. The same goes for their medications, extra blankets, dry towels, anything to keep all of us safe and warm in the event of an emergency.

Be aware of the rules and regulations for local shelters, especially since some of them don’t allow pets. Find out where nearby pet-friendly locations are there for us before it's too late. Don’t wait until the last minute to find a safe place to stay that allows our four-legged friends.

Stay updated and be ready to move in an instant if waters begin to rise or storms become an impending danger. If you have a dog that’s particular sensitive to thunderstorms, similar to fireworks and sirens, consider a natural solution, such as Bachs Rescue Remedy. Have this on hand to keep them calm before the storm and it can help keep them calm during the calamity.

WARNING STAGES & DURING

Now we’ve been warned about the possible destruction of an upcoming storm, consider taking pets to a place that’s much safer and outside the path of this upcoming weather pattern. Is there a spot that’s a few miles away (yet still nearby and not in the floodplain) where there’s a friend, relative, family member or other place where your pets may be stay and be much safer until the storm has blown over?

If you’re dug in and believe you’re going to stay, make sure your environment as safe as possible and be ready to move in a moment’s notice. This includes:

       Having animal carriers, leashes and collars with ID tags ready and waiting

       Carrying and keeping all their paperwork in a Ziploc ® baggie that’s ready to travel

       If you must leave pets or other animals behind in an area that you believe is safe, be sure to include waterproof contact information on where you can be found.

THE AFTERMATH

Once the dangers from rising floodwaters seem to have subsided, cleanup efforts begin. But many continued threats can still occur once the storms have passed and waters have begun to decline.  These can include carcasses of rodents and other nuisance animals that could be carrying potentially dangerous or diseases washing up in many unexpected areas.

Dogs and cats are particularly drawn to the scent of these types of problematic pests and they should be kept away from them at all costs. While diseases like rabies have been largely controlled for the most part among our pet population, these animals can still carry other illnesses and problems that can affect our pet companion population.

Long story short, before, during and after, with all the different problems that these type of tragedies can present, the lives of our animals are more important than our possessions. If you have the choice to grab something that’s precious to you, remember pet’s can’t be replaced, but property and pictures are just “stuff” and not a part of your family. 

How to Socialize Your Dog

Socialization is the process of exposing dogs to new environments and situations. It helps them to feel more comfortable when encountering new things, animals, people and experiences. It is important to socialize your dog so you can share the best quality of life together. Dogs are the most receptive between three to twelve weeks old to new experiences, but there are several ways to socialize them no matter their age.

Walk your dog daily or as frequently as possible. Dog walks are great opportunities for your four-legged friend to see and possibly meet other dogs and people.  It is a great way to practice proper behavior when and train them on new situations. Walking your dog on a regular basis will also allow them to work out their energy to make them calmer and more submissive.

Don’t pull back on the leash or yell at your dog if they bark or increase the excitement level while making your dog associate the experience in a negative way. Maintain a calm-assertive energy with a quick tug of the leash sideways, or touch. 

Recipe for Easy to Make Homemade Doggie Treats

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup melted bacon fat
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand until dough forms. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add more bacon fat or water if the dough stays too stiff.

Roll out onto a floured surface, to a thickness of just under 1/2-inch. Cut into 1x4-inch bars and transfer to a cookie sheet. Poke divots into the bars and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the oven off, flip the treats, and place back in the oven until cool. The recipe makes 2 dozen treats. 

Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Dog Friendly Trails in Austin

We recently shared a few of our favorite dog friendly spots in the Austin area for National Take A Hike Day. Check these out HERE

We have a few more we enjoy that would like to share in or near the Austin area.  

Shoal Creek Trail- Built in the early 1960s, the trail is the city's oldest. The trail surface varies from crushed gravel, compact dirt to concrete.  The trail passes through Pease Park and Duncan Park with the combination of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. 

Homestead Trail Loop- Homestead trail is a 3.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Austin, TX that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.  Must cross lower falls to access trailhead. 

Riverplace Natural Trail- The trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked road located near Austin, Texas that features a lake. The trail may be difficult for some due to elevation and the amount of stairs.

 

 

National Take A Hike Day is November 17th

National Take a Hike day is observed each year on November 17th.  With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there is no lack of opportunity to take a hike. Being one of the dog friendliest towns in the country, there are limitless outdoor options in Austin that include taking your fur baby along for day excursions.   

Take a nice hike and use #NationalTakeAHikeDay to post on social media.

Hiking can burn between 400-550 calories per hour.  So take a snack, bring your best buddy, and enjoy the fresh air in your favorite Austin scenic spot.  Here are a few of our favorite dog friendly spots in the area:

Dog hiking

Butler Hike Trail

 

This one is a 10-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake, stretching from MoPac on the western edge to Pleasant Valley on the eastern edge. This wide, flat trail passes numerous Austin landmarks, including Zilker Park, the Long Center, and the towers of downtown.

 

Walnut Creek Park Trails

 

This is 5 miles of mostly moderate shady trails with a few steep sections. Several of the trails cross the creek. This park has an off-leash area.

 

Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail

 

This is a great location with various bodies of water from creeks that run shallow and rapid in some spots, but collects in gentle pools in others with several waterfalls and swimming spots. The 3.5-mile trail crosses the creek in some areas depending on the time of year and recent rains.  

 

Barton Creek Greenbelt

 

Barton Creek Greenbelt stretches nearly 8 miles, making a V-shaped southerly dip from Zilker Park to the Lost Creek neighborhood in West Lake Hills with varied spots of wide and flat or narrow and rugged terrain. The trail is popular with mountain bikers, rock climbers and those who enjoy its seasonal swimming holes.

Share your favorite spot with us on social media and on this blog!

Where and How Far Should You Walk Your Dog

By: Amber Kingsley

The age-old expression “walk the dog,” actually has many meanings that don’t have anything to do with putting your canine on a leash. According to the Urban Dictionary online, it can also be an act of self-gratification that comes from manual labor or an acknowledgement of a request made from someone. But enough trivia, when we are actually exercising our animal, where should we take them and how far should we go with our four-legged best friend?

Obviously, much of this has to do with their age and possible health issues they could have. There is also their size and breed to consider. Think of it this way, walking a mile with a much larger dog, like a Great Dane, is vastly different for a Chihuahua to complete the same distance. Remember, you should always check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is healthy enough for extenuated exercise sessions. 

Dog Walking

Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb for an average healthy dog to walk is about 30 minutes daily. So if the average human walks around 3 mph, if you do the math, you should be walking them about a half-a-mile per day. But then again, younger, more active dogs could go much further and may benefit from longer, more intense exercise sessions.

If you do have a more active dog, you could also break up these sessions up into more than one occurrence, say a 20 minute stroll in the morning followed by a more intensive 45 minute walk in the evening. A smaller or older dog could spend 15 minutes in the am and 15 minutes in the pm with you walking about. This will be beneficial for both of you in terms of exercise, activity and simply spending more time bonding with your pet.

The Great Outdoors

You always want to make sure wherever you walk your dog is safe, even a backyard or garden can present hazards for a pet. Birds, snakes, rodents, and many other different types of wildlife can be problematic for companion animals. Outdoor trails, beaches and other arenas can also be sources of unsafe conditions for dogs. When you are talking your dog out for a stroll, even if it’s an area considered to be an “off-leash” location, the safest place for them is at the end of a leash.

Living In Suburbia

When you live in the suburbs, taking the dog around the block is a common occurrence, and an average city block runs around 750 feet one-way. So if you complete one, large, city block, that’s equivalent to 3,000 feet (750 x 4) and that’s a little less than a half-mile, so you’re probably on track for a good, small, exercise session with your companion if you perform this feat daily.

Dog Walking

 

Weather Permitting

Always keep the weather and temperature in mind when you’re walking your dog. Obviously a hot summer’s day is much different when it comes to their endurance compared to a cold, winter forecast. In hotter times, keep walks shorter and during the hours when the temperature is much cooler, early in the morning and later in the evening.

In colder climates, remember to examine your dog’s feet for signs of distress that come with lower temperatures. In a suburban setting, their feet could come in contact with and retain chemicals such as salt that are commonly used for snow and ice removal. In country areas, check their paws for rocks, dirt and other debris they could bring home with them.

In any event or circumstance, it’s probably a good idea to wash their feet daily and check their paws regularly for possible injury from their walking excursions. Also keep up with your regular veterinary check ups to make sure they’re happy and healthy while walking with you. 

 

Snout By Snoutwest at Shalom Austin

Whether they're your favorite running partner or make the best TV companion on a lazy Sunday afternoon, our canines aren't just wonderful pets, but friends for life. Shalom Austin celebrates the special bond between humans and dogs with Snout by Snoutwest.  Families and their four-legged friends enjoyed a fun-filled day on campus that included competitions, training activities, live music, and information from vendors and dog services.

We were happy to be part of this year’s Snout by Snoutwest. We shared more photos from the event on our Facebook page

Snout by Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest