Archive for the ‘dog daycare’ Category

The Benefits of Dog Daycare

September 30, 2012

While we humans may appreciate an idle day from time to time, nobody likes to be truly bored. We go a little stir crazy, wandering around looking some something—anything—to do. Sometimes what we decide to do is a little self-destructive, like eating when we’re not hungry, or taking on some project that only makes a huge mess.

Now imagine, if you will, that you are left at home alone for eight or more hours a day with very little or nothing to do. Sure, you could watch TV, or read a book, or nap, but doing those things over and over, day in and day out? Sounds a little crazy-making, doesn’t it?

Yet, we expect our dogs to stay at home alone while we are at our jobs all week, to entertain themselves with the toys left for them or to nap the day away—and we expect them to do it without misbehaving. Sure, many if not most dogs are perfectly able to do that. They are complete angels while we’re away: they hold their potty or use only a designated area, they don’t chew things up or become otherwise destructive, they don’t drive the neighbors crazy with incessant barking. They’re great dogs! But even though they might not be causing any trouble by being there, great dogs deserve to get out of the house too.

Insert doggy daycare.  A canine day care facility isn’t just for the “trouble children” who cannot be left at home alone; doggy daycare owners and attendants love to see your sweet angels too! And, assuming your dog likes other dogs, your fur-child will love to be there. Instead of sleeping or being otherwise sedentary all day, your dog can enjoy running around and socializing with other dogs and the human attendants present. They can play fetch, play tug-o-war or engage in a friendly wrestling match with another dog who’s just as happy to be there.

Doggy daycare can do so much more than that as well. Many, like the Muttley Crew, have grooming facilities attached where your dog can enjoy (HA!) a convenient bath while you’re at work or running errands. The attendants can also make sure your dog, if needed, sticks to a regular diet or feeding schedule, and receives any medications he or she might need. At the end of the day, your dog returns to you happily worn out and you don’t have to worry about how to handle a furry ball of energy when you would rather relax in the evening; neither do you have to worry about coming home to any disasters.

It is well-known that particularly in today’s economy, though it may be recovering, adding an extra expense may be cause for some hesitation. The benefits of doggy daycare, though, are more than worth the expense. A well-socialized and well-exercised dog is always, always, always a happier dog. They suffer from fewer nervous or destructive habits, are able to adjust more easily to any unexpected changes in their daily routines, are more physically fit and are far less likely to develop annoying or even potentially dangerous behavioral issues.

We all love our dogs very much and want to give them the best care possible, but it’s often very difficult for many of us to make time in our schedules for really working with our dogs to socialize and exercise them. This is why doggy daycare is such an excellent solution. It allows our dogs to vent excess energy, to maintain socialization with other dogs and with humans, which gives you a happier, healthier dog whose company you can truly enjoy during your off-time—a worthwhile investment, indeed.


Cleaning Up!

October 7, 2010

Dogs can be messy things even if you only have one of them, so imagine how hard it is to keep things clean with fifty of them! As I like to say to our clients as they see their fully housebroken pet lift their legs on any vertical surface that is handy… “they love indoor plumbing!”.  Dogs not only have that keen sense of smell that lets them pick up any small trace of scent left by the dog before them, but many feel the need to pee on everyone elses pee. Both male and female dogs can not stand for any spot marked by some other dog to stand. They must let everyone else know that THEY WERE THERE TOO!

One pooper sets off a storm of poopers. Just as you clean up one mess, you turn around and there are 10 more…this all happens in a matter of seconds! They get it all out until the next round starts… or until the next pet comes in the door!

To keep things clean and smelling good as well as keeping things sanitary, takes a lot of work. Especially when we have such a strong commitment to the environment and not wanting to use anything that may be toxic to pets  (as well as people). The way we do it is to use earth and pet friendly products. For cleaning up solid waste we use poop bags made from corn starch. They decompose fairly quickly when exposed to water or other elements. We then use a cleaner that I make myself to spray on the area and wipe it clean with washable towels. The cleaner is composed of teatree oil for killing fungus and then mixed with Listerine. Yes…good old fashioned Listerine. The active ingredients are Thymol (make from the herb thyme) this kills most germs and the 24% alcohol made from corn gets the rest. The mixture not only kills fungus and other germs but smells great! The best part is that this mixture can be sprayed right near the dogs without any worry of them getting ill from side effects of exposure to chemicals. You can literally spray the stuff in your mouth. It may taste terrible but it won’t hurt you!

We use recycled plastic bags for most of our trash-cans. All cleaners that we  use on a daily basis from our toilet bowl cleaner to our  window cleaner, are eco-friendly as we can get. We recycle all of our plastic and any paper that we use.

Many dog daycares and groom shops use paper towels and bleach. Both are so bad for our planet and very hazardous to use around the pet. We do use bleach at night to soak all water bowls and toys to fully sanitize them. We also use a viruside in our mop water and wall/kennel spray at night to make sure we get as many nasty germs as possible. This is only done once all pets are out of the building. You have no idea how these chemicals can affect a dog. They have delicate sinus tissue that can be damaged by things like chlorine, which when mixed with just plain old water makes makes it even more dangerous, not to mention the fact that bleach mixed with ammonia (urine) can be deadly to pets and people.

Understand though, that no matter what you do or a kennel does to kill all germs. Many are airborne. Some dogs may have an illness and  can be asymptomatic so you have no idea that they are a carrier. Some vaccines only cover a small percentile of the variations of a certain virus.  I’ll discuss illnesses that can occur in pets no matter what one does in a later post.

Walking The Dog

July 20, 2010

As a dog daycare operator and groomer for 30+ years, I have found that many clients feel that just daycare is more than enough exercise for their dog, and sometimes it is. However, large breed dogs need at least 30-45 minutes of good solid exercise a day. The best form of exercise for a dog is walking. This not only keeps a dog in good physical shape, but it also helps  with behavior issues. I see dogs on a daily basis that are destructive in the home or have truly serious behavior problems that could be cured by a daily walk. Most of the aggressive behavior that I witness at times could also be completely fixed by that daily walk.

Walking your dog not only burns off excess energy, but helps you bond with your dog. You get a chance to become the leader in training your dog. It will help in setting boundaries that are so important for dog training. Your dog will more than likely meet other people and other dogs during your walk which will be a great chance to work on social skills. It will give you, the owner, a time to work on leash corrections. This, in turn, will lead to being more at ease with other dogs. New people too!  The best behaved dogs…especially larger breeds,that I see, are the ones who get a daily walk.

A good link for dog walking info and training can be found at

Walking helps digestion as well, which builds a strong immune system. This is helpful in house breaking too. If your dog is on a schedule for relieving itself, it will have less or no accidents in your home.

So get out there and walk your dog. they will love you even more for it!!!

Itchy Feet

July 7, 2009

Good day, this is Nova once again writing about all things DOG.

Today is about why dogs lick their feet and what you can do about it.

Dogs do not have sweat glands like humans.  (One exception is the American Hairless Terrier, which has sweat glands all over its body and cools itself by evaporation — just like people.) Dogs have glands between their pads on their feet that act a whole lot like human sweat glands.

In a dog suffering from an allergy, the sweat glands in the feet secrete histamines. The feet itch, and the dog will lick and chew its paws to try to relieve the itching. So if your dog is licking the bottoms of its feet, it probably has an allergy to something.

Something in the dog’s diet is most likely the culprit–usually corn, soy, or wheat. Putting your dog on a grain-free diet will usually stop the chewing. And of course, a diet free of grain is really better for the dog! Try changing the diet for a few weeks. Ask any of the good people at The Muttley Crew to recommend something for your dog. (They helped get me on a new food and it really helped me with some stomach problems I was having.)

Sometimes, though, it is something in the environment that the dog is allergic to. Grass, mold, pollen, or even fleas can cause the itching to start. If this is the case an antihistamine such as Benadryl or Claritin can be effective in relieving the itch. That’s right… just plain old human Benadryl. It’s best to try and get the dye-free type. Give the pet about 1/2 of a human dose (for a small dog–a large dog can take somewhat more). Just remember that, just like with people, it can have side effects such as making your pet sleepy or agitated.

A good oatmeal bath can also help. Remember to soak the feet in the tub for at least 5 minutes. Sometimes just running cool water on the feet can ease the itch by making the blood vessels constrict and making the swelling go down.

Sometimes a dog will lick so much that they cause bigger problems such as yeast infections of the skin. Symptoms of a skin infection include a yellow discharge from the pores of the skin and a darkening  pigmentation of the skin. Or the infection may show itself as a brown or reddish tinge to the color of the coat on the feet.  Yeast needs to be treated by special shampoos containing an anti-fungal. Soaking the feet in a Betadine solution can also help.

Some breeds, such as the English Bulldog or French Bulldog, have more problems than other breeds with yeasty feet. They can also have problems with yeast getting in the folds of their faces. Keep these areas dry and clean as much as possible. Always remember to bathe your dog in cool to tepid water so as not to exacerbate things. Hot water will only serve to irritate any skin problem further.

Chronic skin licking can cause long term problems as well. If your dog continues to lick a certain place over and over again they can get what is called a lick granuloma. The constant friction and moisture from licking make these deep sores very hard to heal and to deal with. An infection of the skin can result. If your dog is licking and licking a spot for hours on end, day after day, take them to the vet to help diagnose the problem. They will usually give you some sort of antibiotic cream and a E-collar. You’ve probably seen E-collars; they’re those things that look like a satellite dish around your dog’s head! They may make your dog look funny for a few days  or weeks, but they keep the dog from being able to irritate the spot. Using such substances as Bitter Apple or similar things do not work. They may keep your dog away from your new shoes, but no topical substance will stop the frantic licking that some dogs experience.

Licking can also be the result of anxiety. Some dogs lick to calm themselves and it turns into an obsessive behavior. This can also cause lick granulomas. If your pet shows signs of anxiety speak with your vet.

Older dogs lick to relieve pain such as aching from arthritis in the feet or wrists. They will lick any joint area that hurts–in the same way that humans rub their aches and pains, dogs lick. Your vet may prescribe an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or Rimadyl.

If your dog is chewing at the base of its tail, it’s usually one of two things: fleas or an impacted anal gland. Your groomer will be able to help you with either one of these problems.

So, in closing, watch those feet. If your dog is chewing or licking, there is a reason for it.

Why Dog Daycare

May 30, 2009

Hello.  This is Nova, the trusted reporter for The Muttley Crew. I spend my days here at Muttley’s doggy daycare. I simply love it.

Many people wonder why my person pays for such a service.  I certainly  feel she gets her money’s worth and more. Let me explain.

People ask why dog day care is such a good thing. Let me start by saying that dogs are social creatures. They love the company of other dogs. Dogs  form long lasting friendships, just like people do. If a particular dog hasn’t been in for a while, when he comes back, all of his friends will run to greet him. They sniff him all over to get an idea of what he’s been doing lately and then … off they all go, running together and playing with joy.

You would be surprised at some of the unlikely friendships that result. We have an Akita mix who is best friends with a Puggle, a Rottweiler mix, and Sheltie.  Then there’s the smaller dog, Bella, who just loves the biggest dogs in the place. She can easily keep up with the biggest and fastest guys out there!

Dogs learn behavior from other dogs more quickly than they learn from humans.  There are certain dog behaviors humans just can’t imitate. The best behaved dogs are usually the ones who have other dogs to show them how they should behave.

Of course, mother dogs are the first ones to show how the pup should behave in certain situations. The same dynamic works in a larger pack of dogs.  One or two will establish themselves as the dominant(s) in the group. Now, don’t get me wrong–the dominant dog rarely, if ever, uses physical contact to establish dominance. It is just the way a certain dog carries themselves, and in other subtle clues humans might normally miss. These dominant dogs will usually stop any sort of scuffle between others even before it starts. The “boss” dog will usually hang back and make sure all is going well with his or her pack. And the more submissive dogs are happy to have someone leading and caring for the pack! Dogs love to have someone, canine or human, to lead the way.

Dog that are left home alone all day can get bored… and when a dog gets bored they can quickly become destructive. They might chew up shoes and furniture, dig in the garbage can, or even scratch holes in the walls! A dog that gets plenty of exercise and socialization will be much less likely to act in such a way.

Dogs need doggy friends, just like humans need human friends. And you reap the benefits when your dog is at home, happy, peaceful, and sleeping from a busy, fun day at daycare.

Hello world!

March 1, 2009

We are The Muttley Crew:  Portland’s Finest Dog Grooming and Doggy Daycare.  We are located at 806 NW Murray, Portland, Oregon 97229

Our Phone numbers are: 503-626-8212 or 1-866-muttley and our Website is

Our day care is very different than most.  We take in a very limited number of dogs on any given day.

Our daycare sees the same pets on a regular schedule. The dogs develop deep bonds with each other and often pick out one or two buddies to team up with.  David, who supervises the daycare area, is every dog’s best friend. They just love the guy!

We encourage our clients to bring their pets in on a set schedule.  Dogs thrive on consistency . They love to see the same friends on a regular basis. It’s not that they can’t develop new friendships — they certainly do.  But they also really like to see that one special friend.

Our grooming salon is second to none.  Our three groomers have a combined 60 years of experience.  Two of our groomers are CMGs (Certified Master Groomers).  We all can groom ANY breed to breed standards, but each of us has a specialty!

Our retail area is currently in expansion.  We sell only 5- and 6-star rated foods.  Most are grain-free, free range foods made from human grade products.  We do not sell any food products from China.  Most of our treats are also grain free and made from free range meats with no rendered products.

We are committed to making this a safe, healthy  fun place for your pet. We encourage you to stop in for a visit!

Introducing Nova

February 28, 2009

Hello, my name is Nova. I’m a black Standard Poodle and a regular guest here at  The Muttley Crew, where I am treated like the queen that I am.

The staff at The Muttley Crew asked me to write their blog.  I’m so glad they chose me!

In my blog entries, I will give my advice on such topics as the importance of getting groomed– even if you don’t enjoy your bath!  I’ll also be discussing pet foods and nutrition, flea problems, and daily life here at The Muttley Crew

The Muttley Crew is located in Portland, Oregon, very close to the Nike Campus.  The Staff here are the nicest people.  The owner, Jeff, is one of my favorite people.  He always has time to give me a good pat no matter how busy he is.  I love hanging out with him … he spoils me and lets me come into his office and stay there while he works.

David, who manages the day care area, is also one of my favorite people.  Even though I am a Standard Poodle, he lets me sit in his lap.  Out in the daycare area I kind of “oversee” things.  I don’t like it when the other dogs get too wild.  I help David by letting the other dogs know when to settle down.  They know to listen to me. It’s good to be the Alpha Dog!

Next there is Martine.  She is my personal groomer.  Martine always makes me look so nice.  My coat looks just like velvet when I’m finished with my grooming.  She’s a number one dog stylist!

The other groomer is Lori. She is a CMG (certified master groomer).  Lori makes everyone she grooms look great!

Bryce and Cassie are the bathers.  They always get me and all the other pets nice and clean.

Brittany runs the front desk and our retail area. She sure knows a lot about pet food!  Last but not least is Damian.  He does a little of  everything.  If you call in the afternoon, he’ll be the one who helps you out.  Damian always gives me a good pet whenever he sees me.  He’s always tossing balls for us to play with and gives us all hugs.

Every week I’ll be dishing out my wisdom and advice.  So, check back and see what we’re up to.