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Dangers of Hiking with Your Dog

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have an abundance of places to go hiking, whether it be for just a day, or multiple days; is this safe for your dog however?

Sure, all the fresh air, new smells, and loads of exercise sounds wonderful for you and your pet, but there are still a few dangers to anticipate before you decide to bring Fido along.

Below we have some of the dangers of hiking with your dog listed.

Wild Animals

If you are native to the Washington state area, and enjoy hiking in the Mount Rainier area, there are a couple of wild animals you need to keep your pets away from.

Dogs are very easy targets for large wildlife, and they may not be such a great companion on a multiple-day hike. Boarding your dog before a big adventure like this would be their safest bet, for more info click here.

Bears- Black bears are native to Mount Rainier and other areas of Washington. Bears generally will try to avoid people, but if you and your pet were to encounter one at close range it could be a deadly situation.

Cougars- These cats are also referred to as pumas, or mountain lions. They mostly hunt at night, which would make overnight hiking trips with your dog very dangerous.

Remember if you are hiking with your dog they will not stay away from dangerous animals- such as the ones mentioned above- and can potentially get themselves hurt/killed.

Parasites and Diseases

Whether you are hiking up a mountain, or through a forest, there will be bugs and germs! Some of these can be very harmful to your pet.

Ticks and Mosquitos- Ticks can transfer lyme disease to your dog, which can be a real danger. Mosquitos can very easily transmit heartworm disease as well. You may want to think twice before bringing your dog in areas where you can find these buggers. Unfortunately we have them all over the Pacific Northwest.

Poisonous vegetation- In all the beautiful foliage you hope to see while hiking, many of these plants can be dangerous to your dog. If you do bring your pet hiking with you, keep a close eye on if they are trying to eat anything they are not supposed to.

Contaminated Water- Clean drinking water is very important for you and your dog! If your pet gets into a contaminated stream they can contract parasitic diseases that will need very immediate medical attention.

If you plan on going on a hike for several days, the best option may be to board your dog somewhere safe like Shaggy Shack, contact us here.

We hope you found the article informative, and be sure to tag us on Instagram on your next day hike with your pup @shaggyshackpetresort!

And a Happy Halloween from all of us here at Shaggy Shack!

Fall Season Tips For Your Dog And You

The fall is everyone’s favorite season, even your dog! Making sure you and your pup are prepared for what autumn brings is important for their safety, and your peace of mind.

Below we have a list of tips, tricks, and things to look out for to keep your pet safe and happy!

What to Watch Out For:

  • Walks in the dark: With daylight becoming less and less throughout the season, your morning/evening walks will most likely be in the dark. Consider using a reflective collar/leash, or even a vest on your pet so they are more visible to drivers.
  • Wild Mushrooms: We all know as the temperature starts to drop wild mushrooms grow everywhere here in the pacific northwest. Wild mushrooms can be very toxic to dogs, so try to keep them away from that nasty fungi!
  • Cold and Flu Meds: Most medications for cold season can be very harmful for your dogs. Acetaminophen can cause liver failure, or the body to lose oxygen. Decongestants can cause kidney and liver damage, and in high doses can cause seizures or even death. It’s best to keep all medications out of reach of pets.
  • Antizfreeze: Getting our cars ready for the colder fall/winter months is very important, but also can be dangerous to our pets! Antifreeze is actually sweet to taste for dogs and cats, and they won’t stay away if they get into it. If a large enough amount is consumed it can lead to kidney failure and/or death. So, keep your coolants up and away from your little furry friends!

Helpful Hints:

  • Coat Care: Much like the spring time, fall season for your dog means more shedding! Dogs shed their summer coat to prepare for the winter, where they grow a thicker coat to keep them warmer in the cold months. Make sure to regularly brush your pets to alleviate massive amounts of dog hair in your home.
  • Outdoor Dogs: Is your dog outside most/all of the time? If the answer is yes, you need to prep for some colder, wetter weather. Here in the Puyallup, Tacoma, and Seattle area we get our fair share of rainy days. If your dog is outside a lot, be sure to have a safe place for your dog that is sheltered from the elements. And lots of warm dry blankets!
  • Halloween Parties: While you’re out eating spooky foods, drinking potions, or out trick-or-treating, your pup may be home feeling anxious. If your dog is not able to come with you, consider maybe daycare or boarding options. Check out our boarding options here and our daycare options here.

We hope you found our fall season tips for your dog helpful, and be sure to tag fall photos of your dog on Instagram @shaggyshackpetresort.

Have a pawsitively spooky season!

Tips and Tricks to Help You Groom Your Pet

With the world still not quite back to normal, it’s hard to figure out the right way to groom your pet. Do you take them to the pros every couple weeks? What is safe for you to use at home? Do you actually need to groom your cat?

All are valid questions, and we are here to answer them!

Besides just keeping your pet clean, there are other advantages for doing some at-home grooming. While grooming your pet you can check for any unwanted pests (such as fleas or ticks), you can see if there are any new cuts or scrapes you weren’t aware of, and it also helps create a bond between you and your pet!

Below we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you help your pet with their personal hygiene.


  • Remember to always brush out or comb your dog before giving them a bath! This makes it easier for the shampoo to fully clean their coat and reach down to the skin.
  • It’s also good to clip their nails before bathing as well, just make sure to stay clear of the quick otherwise you will be dealing with some blood and your pup will have a sore paw! If you are uncomfortable clipping your pup’s nails, click here to find out more about our grooming services.
  • Make sure to regularly check your dog’s ears and eyes for any goopy mess hanging around, and give them a helping paw and clean it out for them. Use a damp cotton ball for around the eyes and the most outside part of their ears. Talk to your vet about better ways to clean the sensitive inner-ear areas.
  • Get your dog on a teeth cleaning schedule! Start them off getting used to a toothbrush or a fingerbrush. Put some toothpaste on the brush and let your pup lick it off. Slowly ease into the actual tooth brushing, and make sure your dog is comfortable with it.
  • Bonus: If your dog is a breed that requires more special attention with their coat type, having a regularly scheduled grooming appointment with a profession might be best for you. For more info click here.


  • Short-haired cats should be brushed about once per week, while long-haired cats should be brushed 2 or 3 times per week.
  • Daily teeth brushing helps remove plaque from your cat’s teeth. Just make sure to ease your cat into this habit, it will be uncomfortable for them at first.
  • Check your kitty’s ear about once a week, by gently wrapping them in a towel and folding their ears back. Healthy ears look pink and have no odor. If you notice anything unusual be sure to call your vet.
  • To help avoid too much wear-and-tear clip your cat’s nails every couple of weeks. Just be sure to avoid the quick!
  • Bonus: a quick tip to remember while grooming your pet cat, be quick, quiet and calm.

7 Things to Consider Before Taking Your Dog Hiking

As the sun is out more, and temperatures start to rise, what better way to spend time with your dog than with a beautiful hike? There’s nothing better than the great outdoors, fresh air, and having your happy little sidekick along for the adventure!

There are a few things to consider before you embark on your journey however.

Below we have a list of some precautions to take before hiking with your pup, and a few tips for during the hike as well!

  1. If your dog is still quite young, or a senior, they might not be up for the challenge of a hike. Dogs that are too young/old may lack the strength and stamina to do long, steep hikes. Also, their immune systems are more compromised, and being exposed to the unknown can lead to a trip to the vet clinic.
  2. Dogs that have not received proper training will have a harder time following your commands on a trail. There are many new smells and sights to see, which can make your dog listening to you all the more difficult.
  3. Make sure to bring enough water for both of you! It is easy to remember water for yourself, but your little furry friend will need water as well! There are plenty of options for portable dog bowls to easily carry with you on your hike.
  4. Your dog’s vaccinations should be up-to-date before you go hiking. Making sure all vaccinations stay updated will help protect your pup from diseases encountered out in the wild. It is also a good idea to make sure your pet is protected from fleas and ticks. Lucky for you Shaggy Shack offers flea treatments with grooming services. Click here to find out more.
  5. Build up some stamina! If your dog is new to hiking, start with a smaller, easier trail and move up from there. No one is ready for a marathon without some training! This is a good way for you to build stamina as well.
  6. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash, even if they are off-leash trained. If your dog is off a leash they could scare other hikers, get injured out of your line of sight, or damage native foliage off trail.
  7. Bring some doggy essentials! Be sure to pack a water bowl, dog snacks, poop bags, a compact first aid kit, a towel, and an extra leash just in case!

If you find a trail you are wanting to hike that is possibly too much for your pup, you can always put them in daycare! In daycare your pup can run around and be social with other dogs, so they will still be having fun! For more information on daycare click here.

We hope you have fun adventuring in the wild with your dog, and be sure to tag us in your hiking photos @shaggyshackpetresort on Instagram.

Homemade Dog Treats

While the country is uncertain when we can get back to our normal lives, let’s try some new things at home that’s good for us and our furry friends!

Treats are pretty much a must-have in all dog households, and they can be a bit spendy (especially now). Have you ever considered homemade dog treats? Well today is the day!

Below we have a couple dog treat recipes, and they can be very simple, and not expensive to make! So let’s get creative in the kitchen, and have some fun with our pups!

Two things to keep in mind with these recipes:

Do Not use peanut butter that contains the ingredient Xylitol. This ingredient is extremely toxic for dogs. There are plenty of peanut butters without xylitol in it so don’t worry.

Uncooked flour is not good for dogs, so do not feed your pup any uncooked treat dough if it contains flour.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats:

  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Combine all 3 ingredients in a medium sized bowl. You may need to get your hands in there for the final mixing.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll out your dough to ¼ inch thickness
  4. Use bone shaped cookie cutters, or if you don’t have cookie cutters use a small drinking glass upside down to make shapes!
  5. Place treats on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, and watch your pup enjoy!

Homemade dog treats can be a great way to motivate your furry friend to learn new tricks on an agility course here in the Spanaway, Puyallup, or Tacoma areas! For more information click here!

Peanut Butter and Applesauce Cookies:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups quick-cook oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼-½ cup olive oil or coconut oil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Combine all ingredients well, you may need to use your hands in this
  4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too crumbly this is where you would add the oil (a little bit at a time)
  5. Roll out dough to about a ¼ inch thickness
  6. Use cookie cutters to cut out your treat shapes, or simply roll dough into small 1 inch balls
  7. Place on cookie sheet about ½ inch apart
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned
  9. Let cool for about 5 minutes before your pup gets to enjoy!

Another great utility for these homemade dog treats is to use them for training courses! Be sure to pack a snack bag for your pup before you head out to your next training session. Haven’t taken your pup to training classes yet? No problem! Click here to find out more about training courses Shaggy Shack has to offer.

We hope you enjoy baking in the kitchen for your pup! If you do try out these recipes make sure to take a picture, and tag @ShaggyShackPetResort on Instagram!

Activities For You and Your Pup While Practicing Social Distancing

Staying at home lately has not been everyone’s favorite pastime, but our dogs are loving it! Extra cuddles, walks, and play time is just what social distancing has in store for our furry friends. 

Maybe you’ve walked around the block more times than you can count, but we have got a list of other activities you can do for and with your pup!

Outdoor Activities With Your Dog:

  • Backyard Treasure Hunt! One of the most used senses of a dog is their smell! Dogs’ noses can pick up smells way better than us humans! A great way to play with their natural instincts is with a treasure hunt. Scatter food, or healthy treats, in your backyard and just watch your pup have a hay-day!
  • Go for a hike! Get outside for a few hours with some fresh scenery, and new smells! Hiking with your dog provides good exercise, a peaceful environment, and an opportunity to tighten your bond. 
  • Long walks! Go a little further than just a lap or two around the block. Take your pup on a new route everyday for your walks together and explore your local area! 

Inside Activities With Your Dog:

  • Make your own treats! Spend some time in your kitchen baking homemade treats for your furry friend. There are plenty of easy recipes on Pinterest, that usually involve peanut butter and applesauce! Or if you are looking for human foods that are good for your pup as well click here.
  • Scavenger hunt! Try hiding treats throughout your house for your dog to find and keep them occupied for a period of time. Just make sure not to hide anything in your couch cushions, unless you were planning on getting a new one anyway.
  • Stairway/Hallway fetch! Throw your pup’s favorite ball up the stairs or down a hallway to give them some exercise. This will also help get some of their energy out so your furry friend keeps from getting stir crazy!
  • Extra snuggles! Social distancing and quarantine is perfect for getting some extra snuggle time with your best friend. There’s no such thing as too many snuggles!

These are only a few activities you and your dog can do together. Be sure to get creative and have fun!

For those of you who still go in to work (or even if you just want to go adventure on your own), Shaggy Shack is still open for daycare services, click here to find out more.

We hope you all stay safe and healthy out there, and be sure to give your pup some extra love while we have the time to do it!

Are Bugs Toxic For My Dog?

With spring coming upon us soon we will see flowers, have longer days, and of course bugs, but which ones are toxic to your dog? Now, don’t get us wrong, there are many little insects out there that are perfectly harmless to your furry friend. However, there are a few to look out for here in the Spanaway, Puyallup, and Tacoma area. 

Below we have a short list of bugs that are toxic to your dog, and also a few that can be harmful but not deadly. 

Insects Toxic to Dogs:

Monarch Caterpillars: While it is highly unlikely your pup will be munching on one of these bugs, the effects can still have some serious cause for concern. The main cause of the toxins from this caterpillar is from milkweed, the plant monarch caterpillars eat before they change into a butterfly. Milkweed poisoning can cause: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, seizures, tremors, and can lead to death

Stink Bugs: These insects were given the name for their nasty odor they emit when feeling threatened or crushed- seriously yuck! They may be stinky, but they are not toxic to your pup. If too many are munched on at a time there can be some side effects such as an upset stomach, or in more serious cases a bezoar in the stomach (a hard mass). If that is the case be sure to take your pup to the vet, surgery may be necessary.

Brown Recluse Spiders: This creepy crawly isn’t just a problem for us humans, they can cause fatal effects on your dog, and quicker as well. The brown recluse spider has a poisonous bite that causes the tissue at the site to die. Besides this, the bite can cause serious illness or death for your pet. This spider has been found in the Pacific Northwest, and Washington especially!

Insects Harmful to Dogs:

Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are known for being a little pesky, and we all know how itchy those darn bites can be! While dogs can also get the occasional obnoxious bite, there is a little more to worry about. A bite from a female mosquito can transmit heart worm to your pup through the site of the bite. A full grown heart worm can be up to 12 inches long, which can cause some major issues. Consult your nearest vet in the Spanaway area to learn about preventative measures.

Fleas: These little guys are a fast-multiplying pain in the tail! It only takes 21 days for one flea to turn into 1,000! While fleas cause itching, scratching, and just general irritation, they can also bring about tapeworms to your dog. Lucky for you, Shaggy Shack can do easy flea treatments for your pup, click here to find out more about our grooming flea treatments.

Bees: While bees usually won’t cause major problems with your pet, you can almost always count on some kind of reaction. Have you ever seen a pup’s face after eating a bee?! They almost look like a cartoon. The worst thing to worry about with bees and dogs is if your dog could be allergic to them. If you are unsure and your pet has been stung, take him to the vet to avoid anything more than just some swelling.

If you are worried about your pet getting into any of these bugs while you are gone at work, there is always daycare for your pet here in Spanaway. Shaggy Shack offers daycare 7 days a week, with trained staff to keep an eye on your pets. Click here for more information on doggie daycare.

We hope you and your pets enjoy the outdoors and the spring weather coming our way, just make sure to pay close attention to things your pup is munching on out there!

Behaviors to Look for in Your New Puppy

Living with a new puppy is such a wonderful time. There’s puppy breath, sweet cuddles, and loads of playful fun! But, sometimes we forget there can be a little more to it.

 Puppy behaviors are important to pay attention to; some are normal, while others require a little more training.

We have put together a short guide on some normal puppy behaviors, and some to keep an eye out for. 

Normal Puppy Behavior

  1. Chewing: When your little guy chews or mouths on things this is completely normal. All dogs have an urge to chew, and chewing is good for tooth health! Just make sure they chew on their toys or bones.
  2. Barking: This is how your puppy communicates with you! Barking can let you know if they need to go potty, are hungry, or need a little attention. Now we know you don’t speak dog, so it may take a little while to decipher what your pup is trying to tell you. Just be patient with yourself and your new puppy.
  3. Separation Anxiety: When your puppy is young, crying when alone (even for short periods of time) is a defense mechanism to keep them safe. As your pup grows older the crying will subside.

These were just a few behaviors that can seem worrisome, but are actually quite normal. 

Below we have a list of behaviors that should be corrected at an early age, and may require some training.

Undesirable Puppy Behavior

  1. Jumping: Puppies will jump on you to get your attention, this starts very early on. To help curb this behavior, push them off while sternly stating “off” and turn around to ignore them until all four paws are on the floor. If your pup knows the sit command use it here as well. 
    • If your puppy does not have any training, maybe look into some training courses near you. If you are in the Spanaway, Puyallup, or Tacoma area click here to find out more on training courses.
  2. Biting: While some biting is considered normal, say if your pet feels threatened or needs to protect themselves and their territory, other times the biting is just too aggressive. Sometimes your pup will bite to show dominance, and they need to know who the leader of their pack is. By socializing and training at an early age your pup’s biting will be under control. One way to socialize is to have your puppy in daycare a couple times a week, where they can play with other dogs! Click here to find out more about daycare.
  3. Timid/Shyness: Puppies can be somewhat shy, and unsure of everything going on around them. Shyness can turn into scared behavior in adult dogs. One way to help with shyness is to exercise your puppy! Go for walks frequently, around the same time each day to keep a good routine. Another way to exercise your pup is to take them to an agility course. Lucky for you we have one here in Spanaway, click here to find out more!

New Dog, New Year, Now What?

You and/or your family has a new puppy in the home from the holidays. He’s cute, and cuddly, but what do you do with him now?

After the new puppy sensation starts to wear off, it’s time to start making sure the doggo feels safe and secure in your home. And of course you want him to feel at home as well!

Statistics say it takes up to three months to get a new pup acclimated to your home.

Below we have a few suggestions to help make the transition easier on everyone!

6 Tips for acclimating your dog to your home:

  1. Show him his potty spot! Take your pup outside often and tell him to go potty. They will learn quickly this is the appropriate spot to relieve themselves. Also make sure to praise them when they do as you ask.
  2. Start training early! The best time to start training your dog is early on. They are more able to learn, and quicker learners. Lucky for you, Shaggy Shack offers training courses for puppies. Click here for more info on training courses.
  3. Give your pup his own space! Dogs need their own space to go to when they are stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. Make sure the space you set for your pup does not move, or get disturbed by anyone else in the house.
  4. Keep a routine! Having a set routine your pup can get used to will help them not be anxious about day-to-day activities. Good things to keep in mind with a routine for your doggie are:
    1. Feedings are at the same time every day
    2. Consistent potty breaks
    3. Same bedtime every night
    4. Taking walks at the same time every day.
  5. Start socializing with other dogs! It is never too early to start socializing your pup with other dogs! An easy way would be to take them to daycare a couple days a week. Your dog will be able to play with other dogs, and learn how to properly socialize. Click here for info on Shaggy Shack’s daycare program.
  6. Let them know who the pack leader is! Dogs are pack animals, and will test their boundaries if you don’t show them you are head of the pack. Once you have established you are the alpha, your dog will respect you, and will more likely listen to your commands.

And of course enjoy the new addition to your family! New puppies are very exciting, and a big responsibility. We hope these tips help you for the next few months while your pup gets more comfortable at home.

Christmas With Your Dog: 7 Ways To Celebrate Together!

We know we just got done telling you how to spend Thanksgiving with your dog, but now Christmas is right around the corner! If you’re wondering about ways to include your pet in all of your festivities we’ve got you covered! 

There are plenty of outings that lead up to the big day, so why not bring good ol’ Spot with you to help break out the Holiday Cheer?! 

  1. Finding your Christmas Tree! Picking out your tree can be such a lovely experience; there’s hot cocoa (or apple cider), the smell of the trees, and just the general excitement of finding that perfect tree. Now think of how excited your dog would be to smell the smells, and go on this adventure with you.
  2. Christmas Caroling! Plan on going door-to-door caroling with a few friends this year? Bring your dog! They love spending some outside time with you, and meeting new people! You can even dress them up to look the part.

If you feel apprehensive about bringing your dog with you out and about because they may not have the right training for it, click here for information on courses we offer here at Shaggy Shack to get you and your pet on the right track!

You don’t only need to go outside to celebrate the holidays with your pup, there are loads of things to do around your home as well!

3. Advent Calendars! Think of how much you, your kids, and/or your friends enjoy advent calendars for yourselves to help count down the days until Christmas. Imagine how much fun it would be to celebrate Christmas with your dog by having one for them as well! You can buy one, or make one yourself, they will love it either way!

4. Rest! With all of the running around, and boisterous holiday cheer, your pet will definitely need some down time. Make sure they have a safe place to go lie down for a couple of hours away from all of the noise. It may be good to have a water bowl in that area as well for them.

Another holiday event can be work and/or friends’ holiday parties. Make sure if your pet is not allowed in they have a safe spot to be looked after. For either just a few hours in daycare, or maybe an overnight stay with boarding, Shaggy Shack can help you out there as well, click here to find out more.

On the big day is where most of the excitement happens! Keep in mind your pet will be almost as excited (and stressed) as you are.

5. Dress them up! Most of us have some sort of holiday outfit we love to wear, why not include your pet? Maybe they can be Santa’s helper, or even a reindeer! Or, if you’re feeling a little more conservative with the outfits, you can do a classy red and green collar to show a little holiday cheer.

6. Christmas Cookies! Santa isn’t the only one who enjoys some tasty treats! Make or buy some special Christmas treats for your pup to spoil them just a little extra on this wonderful occasion.

7. Meet and Greet! So you’ve got Fiddo all decked out in Christmas gear, and your guests will be arriving soon for the roast beast feast. Have your dog with you when greeting your guests. They will love it, and so will he. This also gives him an opportunity to meet everyone on your terms, no surprises!

If your pup is looking a little mangy, and you’re worried about getting him spruced up before your big holiday plans, don’t fret! Our capable staff can get your pup clean and pristine just in time for presents! Click here to call and schedule a grooming appointment today.

Oh, and we forgot to mention, have fun!

From everyone here at Shaggy Shack, we hope you have a holly jolly Christmas!

Happy Holidays!