Flagstaff road trip!

Attention: residents of Phoenix. It is hot, still hot. You’ve still got time this Labor Day weekend to head up to Flagstaff, which may be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town.

In fact, it may be easier to list the places that aren’t dog friendly in Flagstaff than those that area — especially in downtown, historic Flag, where there dogs in all the best places.
dog friendly flagstaff

Shopping in Flagstaff with your dog

You know how sometimes stores say they are dog friendly but you get a way-different vibe once you and poochie get inside? In Flagstaff, they offer genuine hospitality for dogs. There’s water bowls, dog treats and even resident dogs in the stores. Check out the art galleries along San Francisco street for a lot of love for dogs as well as dog-related art.

biffs bagels flagstaff

Dining with the dog

For breakfast, hit Biff’s Bagels, which is named after a beloved pet and has photos of everyone else’s dog on the wall. For lunch, wow — so many choices. Charley’s on Aspen and Leroux has a great dog-friendly patio. Or Mix.  Or Macy’s. Or Mother Road Brewery. Or any others from our fine list.

roxy at tuthill fairgrounds

Hiking with the dog

You don’t have to be a super wilderness person to enjoy a hike with your dog. There are a lot of mild trails out there — which is especially nice since you and the dog may not have been as active during this hot summer season. Altitude change can also affect breathing for you and the dog.

There are several dog-friendly park trails throughout Flagstaff. Just have a leash and plenty of water.

 

  • Wilson Meadow at Hart Prairie:  A hike that can go as short as you want it to go. Wilson Meadow offers plenty of romping room and a pond to swim in (That’s for the dog; not you).
  • Griffith Spring Trail: Another short hike that allows your dog to wade in a creek.

Drinking with the dog

After a hard day of shopping, dining and hiking, it’s great to kick back with an adult beverage. Your best friend can come into the bar with you as long as the fine establishment doesn’t serve food. And that’s why we can get great scenes like this one at Hops on Birch:

dog in bar, Flagstaff AZ

Summer exercising for your dog

Vida on treadmills -- shes available for adoption

It still is hot out there and the dog is getting antsy with no exercise. What’s a good way to get her moving during the brutal Phoenix summer?

Try a treadmill. You know, that machine stationed in your bedroom that you use as a clothing rack.

Your dog can get a chance at some real activity by logging some time on the treadmill.

Dogs love their time on the treadmill, says Lost our Home Foundation, a Tempe-based animal rescue group. LOH uses their treadmill to give their adoptable dogs a chance to burn off some energy, keep trim and remain in better spirits while they wait to be adopted.

How to get the dog used to treadmill exercise

Gina Page, who oversees LOH’s treadmill program, says hundreds of dogs have stepped on the treadmill and gotten the hang of it immediately.

LOH uses a regular human treadmill — in fact, Gina loves the program so much that she donated a used treadmill to the foundation. Some dogs immediately take to the machine. Others need “treat motivation” to get on the machine, she says.

“Once they get going (whether they needed a treat or not)  it is like an epiphany.

LOH always starts dogs off with a slow pace, like half a mile an hour. Once the dogs become proficient, they get them going on a  faster clip, usually around two miles an hour.

Once dogs get used to this summer exercise

After a few weeks of consistent training, LOH’s dogs log 10 to 20 minutes.

Specially trained volunteers watch the dogs on the treadmill to make sure they moving at a comfortable speed.

LOH always has a person around to supervise the dogs and make sure they are not left unattended. They never tether dogs to the treadmill. And they leave water close by so dogs can get a big drink after their workout

Longtime LOH shelter dog Vida, a seven-year Boxer mix who is all sweetie, loves her time on the treadmill. Vida is LOH’s longest resident and she just needs a house with no other animals and a family who likes to walk.

 

Would you like to volunteer? LOH always is looking people to help “walk” the dog on the treadmill.

 

 

Play (dog) baseball!

dog days at Arizona Diamondbacks baseball in Phoenix
Photo courtesy of Arizona Diamondbacks baseball

Baseball is back and that means you can have a hot dog with your dog at an Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix this season.

Last year, the Diamondbacks became the first of any kind of baseball team to offer an entire dog-friendly seating area through its Dog Days of Summer promotion. And because many of those games at the PetSmart Patio were sell outs, they are expanding it Mondays this year.

That means you can take your dog to 12 Sunday afternoon games and eight Monday night games at Chase Field this summer.

What you get at the baseball game

Dog Days offers a semi-private space with all the comforts for four people and one dog. You get All-You-Can-Eat hot dogs, soda, water, popcorn, peanuts, and chips. There’s also dog-friendly ice cream.

Dogs can also run around and play in Chase Field’s outdoor and indoor (air-conditioned) dog park.

In addition to having sellout games, the Dog Days of Summer were a success in another way: onsite adoptions held during the event allowed 58 dogs to find forever homes.

Check out the schedule if you are interested in taking the dog to the D’back ball games.

Does your love of dogs and baseball go even farther? Many teams in the National League West are sponsoring dog-day events. You and the dog could hit the road to catch a game in cooler place this summer.

Check out this list of dog-friendly games across the country

See you at the ball field!

Frozen dog treats so delish

Next week, summer returns to Phoenix with a predicted 106-degree boom. Why not plan ahead and whip up some frozen dog treats (and maybe some for yourself)?

Here are some yummy, easy DIY recipes for you and your little buddy, they range from one ingredient nibbles to complicated (ok, three-item) delish treats.

frozen dog treats
Very simple treats

  • Frozen green beans, sweet potatoes (both great sources of fiber for Fidos)
  • Frozen pieces of fruit
  • Frozen chicken bouillon cubes (use low-sodium bouillon if possible)

frozen dog treats
Frozen watermelon treats

Watermelon is a good source of Vitamins C and A, potassium and magnesium for dogs. But canines can’t handle the seeds or rinds.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of  watermelon (seedless, or if not, then remove the seeds)
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut water
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)

Directions:

Put all three ingredients in a blender and puree. Pour the liquid into some ice cube trays and freeze.

sanka enjoying frozen treat

Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats Recipe

Makes 30-40 Cubes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups yogurt, plain
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions:

  1. Melt peanut butter in microwave for about 30 seconds
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a blender, mixer or food processor and mix well (until smooth)
  3. Pour into ice cube trays or Popsicle trays.
  4. Freeze until firm.
  5. Pop out of the tray (you’ll need a knife) and let your dog enjoy this frozen treat!

Let us know how these work for you or if you have any frozen treats you love to give to your dog. Want to go out for some treats – we have you covered.

Enjoy and stay cool!

Ice Cream for Dogs?

Hey, dogs and their peeps: What’s better on a hot summer night than to go out for ice cream?

We’ve got three great places in metro Phoenix that offer something extra special for the dogs in your life.

dog in car ready to find ice cream in phoenix
But first a warning from the Surgeon General (doggie version): Ice cream can cause trouble for some dogs’ tummies. They can’t tolerate the lactose and just like humans, the sugar is not good for them.

So ice cream should be a rare goodie.

Nonetheless, these three local businesses have whipped up some special frozen treats for our four-legged friends. Take a look:

Disclaimer: The Beagle went with me to all three places. She loved devoured every single item. Beagles are like that – your dog may not love them as much. But I doubt it.

dog enjoying frozen treat hot summer night in tempe

Aloha Yogurt, Tempe

What they have: Talk about going all out. The yogurt shop’s owners have dogs and wanted to create some cool creamy treats for them. Think yogurt with peanut butter or yogurt with bacon and cheese.  Served in a cup.

What we also love: Aloha is in a cute little shopping area where you can easily walk around and let the dog enjoy a post-treat stroll.

dog enjoying frozen treat in central Phoenix

Az Pops, Central Phoenix

What they have: Pup pops! A nutritious combination of sweet potato and oatmeal whipped up into a frozen treat.  Served on a stick

What we also love: AZ Pops’ Pup Pops aren’t dairy based and have all natural ingredients. And you can get something tasty and nutritious for yourself while you are there.

dog enjoying frozen treat glendale kinda ice cream


Papa Ed’s Ice Cream, Glendale

What they have: Frosty Paws! Delicious in a cup – the original dog “ice cream”

What we also love: Papa Ed’s has a large grassy area out front where your dog can just attack the ice cream in a cup. It’s also in the middle of downtown Glendale’s cute antiques area so there is plenty of places to walk to. Bonus: Papa Ed’s helps put on Dog Days of Glendale every year so they are super-dog friendly!

Still not interested in taking the dog for a drive? Worried about the intestinal repercussions of your dog having ice cream? Don’t worry because….

Next week: Three yummy dog treats designed to cool off your dog!

New rules for hiking with dogs in Phoenix

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Starting in July, people can no longer hike in the Phoenix mountain parks and preserves with their dog if the temperature is 100 degrees or more.

Under the pilot program, which went into effect July 1 and runs through Sept. 1, someone who disobeys the rule could be cited for a Class One misdemeanor, be fined up to $2,500 and receive up to six months jail time. Phoenix officials say they will emphasize the educational aspect of the program and not the punitive measures.

Off limits Phoenix trails

In addition, the city has made Cholla Trail in central phoenix off limits to dogs altogether. Too many dogs have been off leash or in danger for heat distress on that particular trail, city officials say. Also, many people didn’t pick up after their dogs either.

Cholla, Piestewa Peak and Echo Canyon trails are Phoenix’s no-dogs-allowed trails. Anyone with a dog on Cholla trail faces the same fines and punishment as those who hike with their dogs if it is more than 100 degrees outside.

Phoenix officials said they have been more reports of dogs being in distress on the trails during this really hot summer. Already this year, six people have died on trails and there have been anecdotal reports of dogs dying but there are few statistics to back that up.

Heat is deadly for dogs

The city of Glendale reported in 2011 that three dogs passed away on trails. The only way the city knew about those deaths was because the fire department was called to help the dogs. “For everyone incident reported, we believe there are dozens of animal fatalities that we don’t hear about,’’ said Sue Breding, Glendale spokeswoman.

For many, it is really a matter of educating people how dangerous the Phoenix summertime heat is to pets. The Arizona Humane Society says it receives up to 50 calls a day during the summer for animal rescues and investigations and up to half of those involve no shelter or water for animals outside.

 

 

Stay-cations for you and your dog

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Is it time to sneak away with the dog to a Phoenix or Scottsdale resort and take advantage of some of their summer deals?

Does it get to 120 in the shade in Phoenix? Heck yes!

Happy Dog Phoenix has already done the homework for you; we have a handy-dandy list of pet-friendly resorts in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Sedona.

But beware: It pays to do some homework beforehand. Some resorts say they are dog friendly but what they really mean is “We are friendly to the extra bucks you must fork over to us to have your dog stay with us. Have a stale dog biscuit on us.’’

We randomly selected seven Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson resorts and checked on their sites or called their staff to figure how much it really cost to have the dog stay there.

Resorts were selected by placing a list of resorts in the path of our assistant, Miss Beagle, and having her walk over the piece of paper. Names closest to where she walked were selected. Science, that’s how we roll, at HDP.

 

Name Fees Weight restrictions for dogs Limit on number of dogs
The Boulders $100 flat fee 75 pounds
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess $25 fee per day None None
FireSky None None None
Hotel Palomar None None None
Loews Ventana Canyon $100 fee None None
Omni Montelucia $100 fee per dog 30 pounds None
Wigwam Resort $25 fee per dog per day None None but if you leave the room, you must kennel the dog

 

Some resorts say they charge deposits. But what they mean to say is that they charge non-refundable deposits, which is just the same as a fee.

But some places seem genuinely happy to have dogs there. They offer special beds, treats and lists of nearby dog-friendly places.

At Hotel Valley Ho, for example, pets stay free, with no restrictions on number or weight of dogs. Dogs’ swag bags include treats, a double-sided bowl for water and food, clean-up bags, and a ‘Pet in Room’ sign. The hotel’s grounds are great for a stroll and it is close to the Arizona Canal for a longer walk if weather permits.

Just remember to ask some questions before selecting a resort and all of you, including Fido, can have a great break from the summertime heat. See you all for cocktails!

 

 

Buzz on Summer Cuts

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Are you tempted to give your dog a buzz cut for the summer?

Phoenix temperatures have been at an all-time high and we are all looking for a way to keep our dogs cooler in the summer.

But back away from the clippers!

It’s tempting to get out the extreme scissors when you look at your long-haired Golden Retriever but actually that longer hair helps keep your dog cooler. The hair helps block the heat and regulate your dog’s temperature at the skin level.

“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”

Your dog’s coat also prevents her from getting sunburn and bug bites and helps protect her from skin cancer, according to Murray.

It’s totally OK to give your dog a “summer cut’’, a trimming to make her hair more manageable and that is a job best left to professionals. Summer cuts can also help reduce the amount of natural shedding that your dog and your house are experiencing.

All dogs benefit from a good brushing, and you don’t have to be a pro to do that. It’s important to select the right kind of brush for your dog’s coat. By brushing your dog regularly, you can strip out loose hair so air can circulate against his skin. Regular and thorough brushing also prevents mats, which are not only painful but also trap heat and moisture and can result in skin infections.

So, to recap, your dog just has to be well-groomed for the summer. No skinhead-look needed!

 

Dogs and Swimming Pools

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After an extraordinarily mild May in Phoenix, it’s getting to be that time of year when we all start enjoying the pool, dogs included!

It’s important to remember, however, that Fidos with their wonderful senses of smell can get into what we use to clean our pools, so keep those chemicals in a locked, safe place.

Pool chemicals, including chlorine tablets, muriatic acid and brominating tablets, are generally safe once they are diluted in the pool. But in their purer form, they are corrosive and if swallowed by your dog, can result in severe life-threatening ulcers in the digestive tract.

Also be careful if you are mixing chemicals in a small, confined space, that you don’t let the dog in the area; they could develop respiratory problems from inhaling the chemicals floating in the air. And wipe away any spills since some agents have a sweet odor to them and could attract your dog’s attention.

Once you are all ready for swimming, just know that dogs’ eyes, noses and ears are more sensitive than a humans’ and as such they may be more susceptible to chlorine’s effects. Rinse off and dry your dogs after they swim in the pool to reduce any risk of skin allergies caused by exposure to chlorine.

Many people believe that chlorine is the culprit behind dogs’ ear infections but actually it’s just moistness that can be harmful, according to the American Kennel Club. To prevent infections especially among floppy-eared dogs, give the ears a quick wipe down after pool time, they suggest.

Make sure your dog has plenty of drinking water so she is not tempted to keep drinking that chlorinated or salty pool water. Yes, we know, easier said than done when it comes to directing your dog to a proper water bowl. Exhibit A: The bathroom water bowl (aka toilet).

Overdoing it on the saltwater can cause your dog to have vomiting and diarrhea. The condition can become worse and cause seizures, depression, in-coordination and brain swelling.

As a precaution, check to make sure your dog is not experiencing red eyes, trouble breathing, and throat or stomach pain. It’s a good practice, in general, to have your vet’s number on speed dial. And another great resource to have just in case is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Available anytime, their number is (888) 426-4435.

With a swimming pool at hand, summer in Phoenix can be bearable and sometimes downright pleasant for you and your dog. Just take a couple precautions and enjoy your summer!

 

 

Fools for Pools

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Warmer weather means pool time for us all, even for your beloved dog.

Is this the summer you capture your dog’s love for water by experimenting with some underwater photography?

California photographer Seth Casteel really sparked a trend with his totally interesting –and sometimes eerie – photos of dogs underwater.

Here are some tips if you are interested in trying out capturing your dog as she struts her stuff in the pool. (Of course, if she hates the pool and all things water, just set this one out):

  • Swim skills: First off, make sure you can be agile in the water by brushing up on your swimming and diving skills. Nothing ruins the mood of a photo shoot like having to call 911.
  • Waterproofing: If you are using your Iphone as your camera, make sure you have a waterproof case. The pros highly recommend Lifeproof.
  • Shooting blind: Unfortunately, with underwater photography, you can’t see your screen most of the time, nor can you use the on-screen shutter button. Just wing it.
  • Lighting: Try shooting different times of day for different types of lighting. During the day, sunlight can provide reflections and/or direct light on the object or person you are photographing.
  • More lighting: Play with using a flash or strobe. Put your camera in forced-flash mode when taking close-up photos. An external strobe can be a great way to improve your underwater photos.
  • Lens: Experiment as much as you can with the factory lens; macro and wide-angle lenses are especially useful if you are looking for close-up detail.
  • Shutter speed: If your dog has a lot of pep in her step, adjust your shutter speed to be able to catch up with her. Casteel goes with a minimum of 1/250th of a second.
  • Positioning: Put yourself no more than six feet away from the dog in order to reduce blurring. Try getting low and shooting at eye level with her, instead of photographing her from above.
  • Be patient: Especially in the beginning, you are going to be taking a lot of photos that just won’t be very good. Keep trying – the pros easily take up to 20 shots with only one panning out.

If after reviewing all these tips, you think it may be just too much trouble, don’t worry. We have you covered. The man himself, Seth Casteel will be in town May 22 to do some champion photographing of dogs underwater. Here’s the info