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!
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Most senior dogs do not demand the time and attention that a younger dog does and are satisfied with casual walks and cuddling.
- Old Dog, New Tricks
Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed.
- Companionship For All
Senior dogs make wonderful companions for everyone, especially senior people and busy professionals.
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Austin Bully Butt Rescue and Yard Bar organized the first annual Bulldog Halloween Spooktacular & Dog Costume Contest. 100% of the proceeds went toward the medical care of Austin Bully Butt Rescue rescued English Bulldogs.
We were happy to provide nail trimming for donations to go to this worthy cause.
We shared more photos from the event on our Facebook page.
Love-A-Bull hosted its 8th Annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day Festival at this year’s NEW venue, Rosewood Park. The festivities included a dog walk around the park ( approx. 3/4 mile), demonstrations by training groups, and for the children the Pit Crew Therapy Dog teams hung out, waiting to be read one of the kids favorite books.
This year an incredibly generous donor made Chloe’s Clinic it possible. Chloe’s Clinic offered vouchers for FREE spay/neuter (redeemable at Emancipet), vaccinations, and microchipping which will be done on-site.
Dirty Dog Self-serve Dogwash and Grooming enjoyed spending time with all the Pit Bulls and other breads that came out to show support for the efforts. We shared more photos on our Facebook page.
Dogtoberfest Austin is an Austin based, 501c3 non-profit organization, created for the purpose of instilling awareness about dog rescue, as well as raising much needed moneys for local dog rescue organizations. This group has no paid staff and all proceeds benefit local dog rescue organizations. Over the last eight years, Dogtoberfest Austin has raised over $215,000 for our beneficiaries. For the sixth year in a row, Dogtoberfest Austin at the Domain was named "Most Awesome-ist Pet Related Event" in the Austin Pets Directory Annual Readers Poll.
Dirty Dog Self-serve Dogwash and Grooming was happy to be present for this event and be visited by so many of our wonderful regulars. We shared more photos on our Facebook page.
Join Love-A-Bull for its 8th Annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day Festival at Rosewood Park in Austin, TX! We are excited for this year’s NEW venue, as its location is right in the heart of East Austin. Rosewood Park has ample space for vendors, activities, demonstrations, as well as lots of shaded areas to catch a break from the heat!
Dog Walk: This year’s festival will start off with a dog walk around the park ( approx. 3/4 mile) to get all the dog wiggles out and will end where all the festivities begin! There will be multiple vendors, including dog and people apparel, kid’s activities, dog treats, food trucks (come hungry!), Love-A-Bull merchandise and much, much more!
Entertainment: There will be demonstrations from Sit Means Sit Austin (Trick Training), Zoom Room Austin (Agility Course) and Officer Mullenax and K9 Peaches! Peaches was pulled into the Love-A-Bull program after being found as an injured stray and she has now become part of the 1st K9 team for Troy, TX. Love-A-Bull’s own training team will be hosting small groups of basic obedience for you and your dog to participate in.
Chloe’s Clinic: Thanks to an incredibly generous donor, we are thrilled to be hosting “Chloe’s Clinic”! Chloe’s Clinic will offer vouchers for FREE spay/neuter (redeemable at Emancipet), vaccinations, and microchipping which will be done on-site. If you know of someone that has a pup that could benefit, send them our way and look for the big Chloe’s Clinic sign.
For Children: The Pit Crew Therapy Dog teams will be hanging out, waiting to be read one of the kids favorite books. There will also be coloring books for the kids to use and take home that tell the story of one special Pit Crew pup, Mocha. Outside of “Kiddie Corner”, Rosewood Park host a large playscape for children to burn some energy on.
Find out about the efforts across the country and locally HERE.
We had a great time at this year's Strut Your Mutt. The fundraising festival included interactive games and activities for dog owners, dogs, and whole families! We love to see our customers at the events and hear feedback.
Here are some other furry visitors to our booth:
Strut Your Mutt participating network partners were:
- Austin Pets Alive!
- Bastrop Animal Rescue
- Central Texas Feline Rescue
- Georgetown Animal Outreach
- Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, Inc.
- Helping Hands Basset Rescue
- Holly's Hope Rescue
- Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions
- PAWS of Austin
- PAWS Shelter of Central Texas
- Pflugerville Pets Alive!
- Pug Rescue of Austin
- Reunion Rescue
- Shadow Cats
- Texas Husky Rescue
- Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary
- Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter
- Wimberley Adoption Group & Rescue
Written by Amber Kingsley
A friend of mine, a veteran of the military, shared this mantra with me, “Take care of your feet, because your feet take you everywhere.” I always remembered that fact and for us humans, it can often be associated with many types of medical issues, particularly those that are connected with a number of conditions like diabetes and circulation problems, since our lower extremities are the furthest from both our hearts and brains.
In another chapter from my personal adventures associated with my beloved canine companions, during the dog days of summer, in the quiet suburb neighborhood where I live, I always walk my dog with bare feet during the hotter months. Although my neighbors tease me about this relentlessly, my mind tells me that, if the sidewalk or asphalt is too hot for MY FEET, it must most certainly torture my dog’s sensitive little paws. Anyone who has ran quickly across a hot beach with no shoes can certainly relate to this circumstance. OUCH!
The same is true for our pets, especially dogs, whose paws propel them everywhere in life. Taking care of these delicate extremities is vitally important for their mobility, health and overall welfare. When they have issues with these tissues, sometimes they can chew, lick and irritate these sensitive areas, which only makes the matter worse. Here’s some ways to watch and protect the paws of our beloved four-legged pets:
Paws Don’t Come With A Preventative Care Manual
Although there’s no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to preventative care, there are some steps that we can take to help our pets with better paw protection:
- Trimming their nails is a daunting task at best, but taking some preventative measures when you’re a DYI kind of pet owner is essential. Consider taking some of these steps to prevent excessive bleeding from cutting too close to the quick.
- Check your dog’s footsies regularly for signs of irregular abuse, cracking, peeling, redness, swollen areas and other areas of possible irritation and infection. Consult your veterinarian if these problems look serious or you see limping and excessive licking, chewing or favoritism, which can complicate matters.
- Some dogs that have anxiety problems, or they are particularly stressed for some
reason, others are aging with arthritis and other muscular conditions can be more prone to issues with their legs and paws. Again, see your veterinarian for solutions and relief that go beyond the “cone of shame.”
- In extreme climate conditions, both hot and cold, pet owners should resort to protective devices such as booties, to protect their pets from unnecessary harm from the elements.
- Younger dogs that are more fast moving and are therefore particularly vulnerable to paw injury and abuse, especially on rough surfaces. They should be monitored more closely and watched for signs of increased wear-and-tear that can occur with higher incidences with these more active individuals.
There’s another idiom for the care of feet and delicate paws that that goes along with our human endeavors that goes, “Take care of your feet because they’ll carry you for life.” Extend the years you spend with your pet by ensuring their paws, legs, heart and soul, will be with you for life. Both yours and theirs.