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Madison Dog Blog

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Learn more about our pet services by reading our weekly articles.

By Doghaus University, Aug 6 2017 04:34PM

Five Ways Professional Grooming Can be Helpful for an Older Dog

If your dog is getting older, you might be reluctant to do as much activity with them as you used to in order to keep them from unnecessary stress. One routine stop you should keep up is periodic trips to professional groomers. Routine grooming can be a relief both for your dog and for yourself, with helpful assistance for your dog that you won’t be able to do from home. Here are five ways professional grooming can specifically help out an older dog.

1. Make Grooming Easier for Your Dog

While you might take care of much of your dog’s grooming from home, as they get older, routine care can become harder to keep up with. It might be harder for your pooch to jump into the tub for baths and they might struggle with certain aspects of keeping fur and nails maintained at home. Groomers have equipment designed to make the process that much easier for your older dog. Anything that you can do to make life easier for an older dog is worth it, including professional grooming needs.

2. Catching any Health Concerns

While groomers aren’t a substitute for vet check ups, groomers can inadvertently catch any physical changes or issues from assessments they might make while grooming. Changes in weight, fur loss, and bumps or growths on the skin are all things that groomer might see or feel and report back to owners. An all-over assessment of your dog periodically even in a grooming scenario can help you and your groomer catch any abnormalities indicating an older dog may need to get into the vet for a screening.

3. A Little Help With Sensitive Areas

Dogs need grooming help in general, but this can compound in a dog’s older age. Dogs may be less able to self-groom areas such as paws and under the tail. As dogs age, they might have more trouble with their ears, eyes, teeth, and gums as well. While some issues may require medical treatment, many times periodic professional grooming can keep older dogs from troubles that can come from irritated areas. Sometimes it can be hard to clean delicate areas and your dog might act out by snapping. A professional groomer will have the tools and know-how to get your dog back up to speed without too much agitation.

4. An Extra Helping Hand

If your older dog is heavier or isn’t as agile as they once were, there might be grooming procedures that having two sets of hands available can make a huge difference. You can either be there to steady your dog or leave your pooch in the hands of professionals that can bring in a little extra help while cleaning or bathing. If your dog requires additional assistance when it comes to routine grooming, don’t chance this at home by yourself. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently injure your dog or yourself because you can’t handle your dog’s needs from the aging process on your own.

5. Keeping Routine

Just like people, as dog age, it is important to keep them agile and social. By keeping regular grooming appointments, they will be able to see other people, get out of the house, and also see other dogs. If you have established a relationship with a local groomer, it can be healthy for your dog to be social around others that they know and trust. This will keep them active and curious with the world around them.

Professional grooming can have benefits for dogs of all ages, but when it comes to older dogs, this can directly relate to health-related issues and quality of life. If your older dog needs a little more assistance with grooming or needs additional support, don’t try to keep this up on your own. If you are looking for a professional groomer for your dog, contact us to help your older dog look and feel their best.

By Doghaus University, Aug 2 2017 07:43PM

How to Groom Matted Pet Hair

If you have a pet that, even the day after their pet grooming ritual, manifests matted clumps of hair, it can be frustrating. Some dogs are more prone to mats in their fur than others, and if you have a breed like a Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, or any other dog with long fur and heavy shedding, they will need to be groomed frequently or you will end up with a matted ball of fur. However, is there a way to prevent mats?

Causes of Matted Dog Hair

Most commonly, mats occur in areas of heavy friction including by the tail or collar area as well behind the ears and in the armpits where the legs and body rub together. Sometimes if they have long hair on the feet, mats can occur just from the act of walking. Of course, if you let a dog go ungroomed for long periods of time, even if they aren't prone to mats, they can occur.

How to Prevent Mats

You know what they say, the key to dealing with mats is to not let them occur in the first place. If you are trying to prevent matted dog fur, then you need the right tools for the job. Preventing mats is all about regular brushing, but you need to do it with the right brush. What you need is a wire brush as well as a spray bottle of water. By gently wetting the fur beforehand, it allows your brush to better detangle and reduce friction on the dog hair without hurting your dog.

However, brushing technique is also important. Most groomers will use the gentle line brushing technique. This process involves brushing small sections at a time by pulling up an area of the fur away from the skin and brushing it so that it pulls away from the dog's body. By going through the process of lifting, brushing, and then smoothing down it allows you to find and deal with any tangles that are hidden under the top of the coat. If you just do the top layer, you are likely missing a number of small tangles that are turning into mats quickly after each session of brushing. Depending on the dog breed, you may need to do this every couple of weeks or even every could of days.

If your dog is prone to matted hair, it may also be beneficial to consider trimming away the extra long hair in easily matted areas. This is the reason that you see so many shaved Poodles since they look fine with a short coat and it dramatically cuts down the mats that they have. However, you don't need to shave the whole dog, but merely trim down the hair around their haunches or in their armpits. If your dog isn't one of the breeds you typically see shaved, like a Cocker Spaniel, you will definitely want the help of a professional dog groomer when trimming them so that their coat still looks natural and not like a completely chopped up mess.

Dealing with Mats

While there are shampoos and sprays to help untangle mats, there is sadly no magic potion out there. If your dog has developed a mat, only good old-fashioned elbow grease can get it out. You need to untangle the mat using your fingers, gentle tugging until it comes loose. Of course, snipping it off with a pair of scissors is easier, but again, that can ruin the integrity of your dog's coat, depending on where the mat is located.

However, there is no question that the easiest way of dealing and preventing mats is to take your dog to a professional pet groomer. They have not only the skill, but all the tools to make sure that mats are a less common occurrence. If you are in the Madison area and need grooming for your matted dog, contact us today.

By Doghaus University, Aug 2 2017 07:41PM

What to Do When Your Puppy Hates Grooming

Whether you break out that brush at home and your otherwise happy, friendly puppy runs for the hills or you get to the groomer and they just straight up refuse to go in, if your puppy hates grooming, then this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Dogs need grooming to stay healthy and to maintain that luscious fur that we love to touch. Like all things, good grooming habits begin in puppyhood, and if your puppy already hates to be groomed, the struggle is only going to get harder as they grow.

Finding Out Why They Are Scared

When a puppy runs away once you get that brush out or doesn't want to go into the groomer's, there is a reason for it. This is a display of fear, anxiety, or stress. The first thing you should do is make sure that this is not because of a physical condition. When your puppy has an ear infection or inflamed joints, the act of brushing and washing may actually be hurting them. As you will note the one moment you clip too far on their toe nails, after they remember that something hurts, they never want to do it again. This is why they cower and run.

If your puppy checks out in good health, the next likely culprit is the equipment that you or your groomer is using. Wire brushes may be awesomely efficient at removing shedding hair, but they are also pretty good at pulling your dog's hair or scratching the fragile skin underneath their coat if they are brushed too vigorously. Typically, this is the real issue, since the brush and the way they are brushed can end up painful and they no longer want to do it.

However, one final suspect is the experience they get while grooming. If you or your groomer is constantly wrestling with them or yelling at your puppy, it isn't going to help an already stressful situation. This is why groomers have harnesses so they don't need to wrestle, but that still doesn't mean it is much fun.

What to Do If Your Puppy Hates Grooming?

If your puppy is having a hard time with grooming at home, then it may actually be worthwhile to go try a professional dog groomer. They are trained to care for dogs and the really good ones will make it a fun experience for them. However, this doesn't mean you should completely give up on grooming your puppy at home. Instead, you should focus on making it a less stressful experience. Switch to a softer brush or try brushing more gently. When it comes to bath time or the dreaded nail trimming, don't wrestle with them, but rather try to make it a fun experience for them. After the initial painful experience, it will take some time to earn back the trust of your puppy, but it can be done. You just have to be willing to put in the effort to train your puppy so that they love the way that you groom them. It is hard, but possible.

However, if your puppy already hates their groomer, it may be best to try another service. Many dog groomers just hire teens for extra help, and they don't know much about giving the dog a good grooming experience. However, there are many dog groomers that take a dog's needs very seriously. If you are in the Madison area, you've lucked out! Doghaus University not only provides dog daycare and pet sitting, but we specialize in caring dog grooming as well. Contact us today to learn more about how we care for all your pup's needs.

By Doghaus University, Jul 15 2017 05:57PM

Pet Sitting Tips: Peeing Outside The Litter Box Can Be A Sign of Bigger Problems

Cats are mysterious animals. If someone has a cat, though, and that cat suddenly stops using the litter box, that's a sign there may be serious problems beneath the surface. Maybe the cat is still peeing in the general vicinity, but sometimes it's nowhere near the box. Once or twice might have been an accident, but after that you have a definite pattern. Instead of being upset that the cat has decided to forego using the proper bathroom, take a moment to ask, "what are they trying to tell me?"

The cat can't speak English, but if you read between the lines you might be able to figure out the message they're trying to send you.

Peeing Outside The Litter Box: Is It A Sign of a Problem?

Before you read too deeply into your cat peeing outside the litter box, the first thing you should do is take a look at the box itself. If the box isn't clean, it can be a lot like going to a porta potty that's overflowing. Sometimes all it takes to get your cat to start using the box again is to scoop it out, and clean it up. Emptying the box entirely, rinsing it clean with a hose, and putting in fresh litter is also a good way to make it feel hospitable for your cat.

If you're regularly scooping the box, though, and it's as clean as such things get, then peeing outside the box could mean something else according to Pet MD. Watch your cat, and observe their behavior. If they're peeing near the box, for example, ask why they aren't getting inside. Older cats, particularly those suffering from arthritis, my find that getting into the box is hard work. If that's the case with your pet, try taking off the swinging door, or the lid, and seeing if that makes them more likely to pee in the box. You may even need to change the kind of litter you're using, especially if your cat finds the kind you have uncomfortable on their paws.

If the box is clean and your cat has no physical problems getting into the box, that's when you need to consider other options. For instance, has there been a lot of stress in your cat's life recently? Did you move, rearrange your house, or adopt new pets? Do you have a new significant other, or a new addition to your family? Cats can adjust to changes, but stress and anxiety may make them pee outside the box. They could be marking territory, but they could just as easily be acting out. So take some time, and try to calm your cat's anxiety. Play with them, give them some catnip, or just take a few hours to spend with them.

Unfortunately, peeing outside the little box can also be a sign that your cat is ill. Something like a urinary tract infection, more commonly referred to as a UTI, can make a cat less likely to use the box. Kidney problems, diabetes, and any other condition that makes your cat feel off their game might result in them peeing somewhere other than the box. If you've tried everything else you can think of, but they still aren't using the box, it might be time for a visit to the vet to make sure there isn't something going on with your feline friend's health.

Even if we've a cat for years, that doesn't mean we always understand why they do the things they do. If you need advice in discerning your cat's behavior, simply contact us today!

By Doghaus University, Jul 9 2017 08:52PM

Why Choose Dog Haus University's Pet Day Care?

At Dog Haus University, we understand that dogs are so much more than pets. They come into your life, warm your hearts, and truly become part of the family. We also know that no one likes leaving their fur babies home alone when they go to work. While there's nothing your dog loves more than spending the day with you, at Dog Haus University, we offer the next best thing. Our pet daycare provides the perfect opportunity for you to give your dog a day of fun and attention when you can't physically be there with them.

One is a Lonely Number

Dogs are pack animals. They're very loyal to and dependent on their human parents for attention and affection. No dog likes to be alone, to feel abandoned. That's what makes doggy daycare so great. Your dog gets to spend his or her day playing with other dogs and receiving loving attention and belly rubs from friendly staff until you're available to come pick them up. Your dog will always miss you, but they'll have a much better day surrounded by staff that genuinely care about them, and other playful pups, than they would if they were home alone.


You're a puppy parent, and much like regular parents, you worry about your baby. You want your fur baby to be safe, cared for, and protected at all times. It's only natural to feel concern creep up into your mind when you're not there to look after them, but you can quiet your doubts and fears when you bring your pup to Dog Haus University because we go out of our way to ensure your dog is well cared for, constantly supervised, and 100% safe at all times. Your dog won't spend one minute unsupervised. Our trained staff members are there with your dog from the beginning of the day all the way until the moment you pick them up. We even go the extra mile to ensure your dogs receive the best possible care by training all of our staff members in pet CPR. Our facilities were also designed for maximum security and protection. Your pup has no chance of getting outside unless he's taken there for play time. There are two doors separating the indoor play area from all outdoor areas to ensure no one slips outside by accident. During outdoor play time, all dogs are surrounded by 6ft tall fences. Even the best jumpers won't be able to vault over that.

Exercise is Important

Just like us, dogs need exercise and mental stimulation to remain healthy and happy. If they spend their days lounging around with nothing to do, they'll grow weary and bored, and that will start to take its toll on their mental state and physical health. At Dog Haus University, we make sure your pet has plenty of activities to keep their mind and body active. Don't worry though, we won't exhaust them. We know that as much fun as playing is, rest is equally important, so we do allow for nap times as well. Play time and relaxation time are split equally depending on your dog's energy level. We don't want to wear the dogs out, but we do want them to use up that energy and have a fun, playful day while they're in our facility. Our play areas are designed to be extremely comfortable, with rubber flooring inside and astroturf outside. We even provide pools for the pups to splash around in during the hot summer months. The pools are always cleaned with pet disinfectant to ensure that your dog stays clean and healthy.

At Dog Haus University, we understand that your pet is your world. We do our very best each and every day to give your dog an experience that we would want for our own furry family members. We provide a report card for each and every visit and are happy to go over your dog's day from start to finish when you pick him up. There's not a moment that goes by when we don't know exactly where your dog is and what he's up to. We're there from the moment they walk in until the moment you pick them up, and we enjoy every second of it. If you're looking for a safe environment with staff that is both knowledgeable and has a true passion for dogs, please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to meeting you and your furry friend soon.

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