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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.

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month!

Besides October being a spook-tacular month, it is also the national adopt a shelter dog month! This first started in 1981 when there were a growing number of dogs in shelters. This event was founded by the American Humane Society, and is sponsored by the American Society Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA). 

Obviously the best way to celebrate this puptastic event is to head to your closest dog shelter and adopt yourself a best friend! Click here to find some pups in shelters near you! Or if you are close to us here at Shaggy Shack Pet Resort, click here to visit the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society website.

If you are unable to commit yourself to adopting just yet, don’t worry, you can still help! Volunteer at a dog shelter, donate to local shelters, or just post on your social media to promote awareness!

After Care for Your New Furry Friend

So you’ve picked up a sweet dog from the shelter, now what?

Well make them feel at home of course, and get them plenty of chew toys! Also, make sure your doggy has a place of its’ own, they will need a safe space to go to, especially in a new environment. 

Get Fido set up with a veterinarian for all of their regular visits, and possibly make an appointment soon after bringing them home to make sure your pup is in good health.

One more thing to do- pamper that puppy! Bring your new found friend in for the best experience in dog grooming! Let your dog feel bright, shiny, and really clean by receiving a premium service from our elite team! Click here for more info on dog grooming services Shaggy Shack has to offer.

We hope you enjoy national Adopt-a-Dog month, and we wish you a Happy Howl-oween!

5 Helpful Hints to Encourage Your Dog’s Good Behavior

Wow, thank you for coming here to read what we have to say! Now see, doesn’t that feel good? That was a little positive reinforcement for an action you took. It is no different with a dog’s behavior! Actually, it’s easier reinforcing good behavior with your puppy. 

Dogs need positive feedback to encourage the behaviors you like to see. When behaviors are rewarded, they become more likely to be repeated, and then just the natural way of living. 

We have here a few suggestions to help get you comfortable with, and in the routine of giving your dog the positive encouragement it needs!

“I’m a good boy!”
  1. Dogs are very food-driven creatures (shocking, we know). Using a treat, or a healthy snack from the kitchen when your pup does something right is an excellent start! If you are unsure what snacks in the kitchen are dog-friendly, don’t worry we have you covered! Click Here for some snacks do’s and don’ts.
  1. A simple “Good boy” or “Good girl” goes a long way! Even if your pup is lounging in their bed or on the couch, letting them know it’s good to relax will help calm them in the long-run. There is no need to over-do it here. Just let them know once with a light pat or belly rub will do just fine.
  1. Play a quick little game! Games are very similar to giving your dog a treat. When your pup does a good job at anything, playing a game will make them happy (and you) and your dog will associate that with the good behavior you are trying to reinforce!
  1. Take your dog outside! How much does your pup like to go for a walk, like really? When your dog exhibits good tendencies take them outside for a walk, or just to sniff around the yard. This is very helpful when potty training a new puppy as well!
  1. Last, but certainly not least, give your pup some quality one-on-one time. Some affection goes a long way with just about any living being you encounter, and your dog is included! You can even make your pup work for it a little first. Ask him to sit, or lay down, then give him a real good cuddle!

When using positive reinforcement, it won’t take long to keep up your dog’s good behavior and turn those into just a normal way of living for them. It is usually good to get a solid headstart with training by taking your dog to a dog training course. If you are in the Puyallup, Graham, or Spanaway areas, Click Here to look at training courses we have available to help get you and your dog on the right path to a whole lot of positive experiences together. Now, who’s a good boy? Yes you are.

Dog Training: Top 7 Reasons To Start Today

Sometimes we think that maybe we don’t actually need to train our dogs, we know what we are supposed to do right? But then later, come to find out, we were wrong. Dog training is more than just your basic sit, stay, good boy! Dog training is extremely beneficial for both your dog(s) and you! 

It is extremely important to learn the right way to communicate with your dog. That is a main reason why dog training is so common. Dogs do not communicate the same way that you or I do. But, if you still need some convincing, here are the top 7 reasons for you to start obedience training today.

Top 7 Reasons To Start Dog Training:

  1. Managing your dog is so much easier! 

When your dog has had proper basic obedience training they are more easily controlled. When I say controlled I mean their behavior. The right training can help your pup be more well behaved and it is easier for you to manage what you can expect from them! Chasing the cat down the road stops here!

  1. Your dog will be more friendly and welcome wherever you go!

If your dog is trained, and most likely going to sit to greet people or lay on the floor the two of you will be more welcome in most places. A misbehaving dog is more often than not going to have to wait outside most places you go.

3. You will build a better bond!

Dog training classes give an opportunity for you and your pup to connect with each other. Over the course of a four or six week class you both will feel a better bond, helping create a pawtastic friendship!

4. Everyone is safer!

Having control of your dog keeps everyone safe. After taking dog training courses your pup will listen to your command, and will listen when you call them out of a busy street!

5. More freedom for you and your dog!

Instead of keeping your pup strung to a leash, or locked outside or in the garage when guests are over, you and your dog have more room to play and enjoy everyone’s company. 

6. Your dog will be happier!

Let’s face it, your dog does not want to make big decisions. Actually, dogs love when you are the one in charge! They want you to be their pack master, so go ahead, show ‘em who’s boss!

7. You will be happier!

Life will be easier with a trained pup at your side; no scolding, chasing after, or apologizing to friends or acquaintances. Just cuddles, play time, and lots of treats being given! 

If you are in Puyallup, Tacoma, or Spanaway and looking to start obedience training, you are in luck! Click Here and check out Shaggy Shack’s Dog Training schedule! Or, if you would like to call for more information, go ahead and Click Here. Remember, if your dog is having a ruff go at being a good boy, dog training will help you both feel like you’ve got perfect pedigrees!

Camping With Your Dog

The Do’s and Don’ts 

Here in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Graham and Spanaway areas, we enjoy quite a bit of camping, and camping with our dogs. With Mount Rainier so close, along with surrounding wooded areas, camping is almost a must! If you’re living in the city of Puyallup or Tacoma, maybe it’s time to get away with man’s best friend.

Now, before you run out the door, just you and your pup, let’s go over a few tips and things you will want to consider when taking your dog camping. Below is a list of basic do’s and don’ts for camping with your dog:

Do check the rules and regulations at the campground. Before taking your dog camping anywhere, make sure the campground is dog-friendly. No need to show up and find out your pup is not allowed! Check campground websites or call and ask.

Don’t forget to check in with your vet before leaving. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on their vaccines, has proper identification (microchip maybe) and possibly has an anti flea and tick treatment. 

Do brush up on obedience. Before adventuring out into the wild with Spot, it is best to solidify any obedience training. You can brush up at home, or click here to call and ask about a refresher class.

Don’t forget to pack doggy essentials! Dog food, plenty of water, a comfy bed, and loads of treats and toys are a must! Also, don’t forget a leash or a long tether and stake. You don’t need your pup wandering into other people’s campsites.

Do make sure to include a pet first aid kit. Just like us, something unexpected can happen to your pet while out in the wilderness. Keep a small first aid kit for that just-in-case situation.

Don’t let your dog become overheated! Being outside of a well air conditioned home can be a little tricky for a dog. They can become too warm if cool water, and a shaded area are not available to them. Also beware of hot pavement or paved trails near your campsite. We don’t need the puppy to have burned paws.

One thing to consider after you return from camping is how dirty everything and one is. Here at Shaggy Shack we won’t wash you up, but if you need help with your dog click here to call and schedule a post-camping groom.

Remember to be safe and HAVE FUN!

Dog daycare is more fun

Doggy Daycare- should you really consider it? The answer is YES! While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend daycare for your pets everyday, it can surely be a positive way to break up the “normal” routine.

While you are at work for 8 or more hours, your puppy can be lonely, getting into trouble, having accidents throughout the home, or feeling some serious anxiety. Daycare for your dog can actually be a solution for all of these things.

Sitting at home alone, without you there to play and cuddle with, your sweet dog will start to feel lonely. Dogs are pack animals as a general rule, so when they are not with their pack it can cause serious bouts of loneliness.
In daycare, your dog will have opportunities to play with other dogs, and even make some new friends! “Don’t worry Mom/Dad, I’ve got friends to play with while you’re away!”

A companion of loneliness is anxiety. Your special puppy has a very likely chance of feeling separation anxiety when you leave for the day. An unfortunate symptom we are all familiar with is trashing the house! A dog who has succumbed to its anxiety can chew through your couch, shoes, trash, or even the walls! Trust us, we’ve seen this ourselves.
The benefit of keeping your dog in daycare is that it will keep your pup stimulated via playing with other dogs in daycare that will keep them out of trouble, and your belongings live to see another day.

Another issue you will run into is accidents. Sometimes you don’t have time to run home and let Fluffy out for a potty break, or sometimes you just need to work late. Your doggies have no idea how long you will be gone, and can’t hold it forever (try as they might).Daycare makes this a non issue for both you and your pup.

Here in the Spanaway and Graham areas there are so many working families with fur babies, and probably need a little help keeping their dogs stimulated while away. Click Here to learn more about our doggy daycare to help spruce up your pet’s routine.
Or if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, and don’t want to worry about Fluffy, Click Here for info on overnight boarding.

Remember, if your dog is having a ruff time while you are away, try doggy daycare; they will have a pawsitively wonderful time!