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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!

Santa Is Coming To Town!

Shaggy Shack Pet Resort Presents:

Free Photos With Santa!

Sunday Dec 1st

Sunday Dec 8th

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Come join us here at Shaggy Shack for free photos with Santa! Bring your pets, and create memories you will keep forever! Santa will be here on Sunday December 1st and 8th from 10 am to 1 pm. We look forward to seeing you to celebrate this wonderful holiday season!

*Check in at the office

9 Tips For A Special Thanksgiving with your Dog

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where everyone is looking forward to the food, and that includes your dog! We have come up with a few safety tips, and helpful hints for what foods your dog can enjoy with you. We want Thanksgiving with your dog to be special for everyone, and safe!

  1. Be sure not to give your dog any uncooked dough! Yeast in uncooked bread dough can cause serious harm to your pets. When cats or dogs have yeast, they can become “drunk” from the alcohol released when yeast is consumed. Thanksgiving with your dog shouldn’t include an emergency vet visit.
  2. Sweet potatoes are great for dogs! You can share your sweet potato dish with your pets, as long as there aren’t any marshmallows on them. Marshmallows have an ingredient called xylitol which is harmful to dogs (some peanut butters contain this ingredient as well).
  3. If you are worried about your dog’s manners when company comes over, consider a basic training course. When the big day comes, you and your pet will feel less anxious, and more laid back with some boundaries set. Click here to check out Shaggy Shack Pet Resort’s dog training courses!
  4. Do not feed your dog any turkey bones! Poultry bones are more likely to splinter, especially after being cooked, and can be dangerous for dogs. This does not mean don’t give Spot any turkey however. Just make sure there are no bones in the meat before feeding to your pet.
  5. While on the topic of turkey, keep any of the “extras” you find inside your turkey before preparing it to be cooked. There is typically a heart, gizzard, and liver tucked inside of whole birds. For the heart and liver you can chop these up and cook them as a tasty snack for your pet. The gizzard takes a little more work, you need to cut it open and remove all of the pebbles and such before cooking.
  6. Pies are always a staple of Thanksgiving, especially apple pie and pumpkin pie. Save some of your fresh pumpkin, or pumpkin puree for your pup! Pumpkin is great for their digestive system, and dogs love it! Also you can save a few apple slices for them! Just make sure there are no seeds.
  7. Plan on serving some veggie dishes as well? Pass Fido some carrots and green beans! Carrots have tons of vitamins and fiber, and are actually a good snack for dogs with cancer. Green beans also have loads of fiber and vitamins, but are often cooked with onions. Be sure not to feed any dishes with onions to your pet!
  8. While everyone else is enjoying their feast, prep a small dish with all of the tasty dog-friendly dishes you’ve created so you can enjoy Thanksgiving with your dog!
  9. If you are planning an out-of-town trip, and your dog is not invited, be sure to look into boarding. Shaggy Shack is open everyday for boarding, and the staff is carefully trained to keep your dog safe, happy, and well taken care of. Click here for more info on boarding with Shaggy Shack.

Here’s a bonus tip: use some of your unwanted leftovers for your dog’s dinner! Pass the turkey, but hold the onions and mushrooms!

Everyone here at Shaggy Shack wishes you all a Pawtastic Thanksgiving with your dog!

5 Ways to Have a Dog-Friendly Halloween!


Halloween should be fun for everyone, including your dog! Throw a spooky celebration, and keep it dog-friendly with these helpful hints:

  1. Doggie Costumes! Dressing up your pet can be fun for everyone. Make sure whatever costume you do choose for your pup is comfortable. Your pet’s costume shouldn’t be too tight, or have any accessories that are easy to grab hold of.
  1. Boo’s and Don’ts of Decorating! When decorating your home for Halloween make sure to keep your pet safe. A candle certainly smells nice, although dogs enjoy the warmth and light from them. If not placed in a safe enough place a dog can end up burning themselves, or starting a fire. Try using LED candles around your home and in your jack-o-lanterns. 
  1. Pumpkin Picking! Let’s face it, your dog loves going for walks with you, so why not have him tag along to find that right pumpkin? He will love being outdoors, all the new smells, and getting a little dirty! Plus, you can pick out a small pumpkin for your pup to chew on! Pumpkins are good for dogs, as long as there is no mold on them.

Click here for a more detailed list of vegetables and fruits that are good for your pup!

  1. Trick-or-treating? Is trick-or-treating dog-friendly? Well there are a couple things to ask yourself before determining that. Is your dog able to be around large crowds of children without feeling anxious? Has your pup received adequate training to listen to your commands? How does your dog do on a leash?

If some of these questions leave you feeling unsure, trick-or-treating is probably not dog-friendly for your pet.

Click here to find out more on some basic training classes to get your pup more ready for this social holiday!

  1. Dog-Friendly Parties! If a Halloween fright fest is on your calendar, check with the host before bringing your dog. Or if you are the one throwing the party let your guests know all ghouls allowed!

If you plan to attend a party where there are no dogs allowed, consider boarding your pet for the evening. Click Here for more information on boarding with Shaggy Shack Pet Resort!

There you have it, 5 ways to keep Howl-oween spooktacular for everyone! Stay safe on this witchy holiday.