Bye Flealicia! How to Prevent and Treat Fleas

February 19th, 2020

Bye Flealicia! Fleas are rotten little creatures hated by humans and dogs alike. These prolific parasites measure between 1-2mm, and only live between 7-14 days. That may not sound like a long time, but they can turn your life into a nightmare during their short lifespan. Fleas multiply like crazy and females can lay 50 eggs per day! These buggy vampires survive by feeding off the blood of people and animals. Pet owners who have experienced a flea infestation will tell you how awful it is, especially if the fleas take to dining on the human members of the household as well. Fleas flourish year-round and can fool you by remaining dormant for months only to show their ugly faces with a new infestation when you least expect it. Read on to learn how to prevent these blood suckers from calling your dog home, and how to treat them if they turn up at your door.

A Pound of Prevention

The most effective flea treatment is prevention. Between medication, pet hygiene, and keeping your home clean, you’ll be much less likely to have a flea battle. Oral preventative medications are a great way to keep your dog flea free as they are fast acting, mess free, and effective. Many flea medications also prevent worms and ticks! You can purchase several options such as Capstar and Advantus over the counter, while you’ll need a prescription for others such as Comfortis, Trifexis, and Sentinel. Speak to your vet about which medication is right for your pooch. Practicing proactive hygiene is an easy way to create an environment that isn’t flea friendly. Bathe your dog every month with a flea shampoo (especially if they are outdoors or around other dogs). Make your home unappealing to fleas by vacuuming and mopping regularly, and by washing bedding every week in hot water. There are tons of natural home flea repellents such a diatomaceous earth and lemon spray that are fantastic at keeping fleas at bay. And though we are clearly dog folks around here, don’t forget to treat any cats at home for fleas as well! Fleas are equal opportunity offenders, and would love to hop between your dog, cat, and you!

Kill ‘Em All! How to Treat Fleas

If you find fleas on your best friend, act quickly to stop them from infesting your home.  You should monitor your pet daily for 2 weeks using a flea comb to make sure he is flea free after treatment. After those 2 weeks, monitor your dog weekly. Even if you don’t have evidence of fleas inside, it’s a good idea to implement some home remedies to keep them from moving in. You can spray your home with an herbal flea repellent and vacuum after sprinkling baking soda over your floors. Wash all your bedding in hot water to kill any lurking fleas, eggs, and larvae. If you have determined that you do have fleas in your home, it’s time to bring out the big guns. You may want to use a home fogger or powder treatment to end the infestation. Keep in mind that these treatments do contain toxic chemicals, so please keep children and pets away until it’s safe. You may also consider hiring a professional pest control technician to come in get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Flea Bites Bite

If you or your pet was unlucky enough to be bitten by fleas, it will become clear very quickly. Symptoms like itching, burning, raised red bumps and even skin infections (yikes!) are common among both dogs and people after experiencing a flea bite. People are most commonly bitten on their feet and ankles, while a dog can experience a bite anywhere on its body. Some dogs are even allergic to flea saliva, which exacerbates their symptoms and can result in extreme itching that lasts for weeks. What can you do for yourself and your best friend after being bit by a mean old flea? For your dog, start by given him baths with a skin soothing shampoo. You can also add some cornstarch into the bath which will temporarily relieve itching. If your dog’s symptoms do not improve, you may need to take a trip to the vet. They will be able to prescribe topical medication such as hydrocortisone, or a steroid injection to stop the itching. For human flea bites, try not to scratch them! Scratching makes itching worse (for both dogs and people) so do your best to resist the urge. You can apply an anti-itch topical medication like calamine lotion to soothe the skin, as well as aloe or diluted tea tree oil to reduce burning. Antihistamines such as Benadryl relieve itchiness, though these medications should be taken for a short period of time. Now that you’re armed with flea fighting knowledge, we hope you protect yourself and show no mercy!!!

Happy Howlidays! Gifts for your four-legged BFF’s

December 23rd, 2019

Happy howlidays dog lovers! Holiday shopping can be ruff (pun intended)… Fighting crowds at the mall, wrapping presents, and finding just the perfect gifts can leave you reaching for some spiked eggnog. Your dog is definitely a gift worthy family member and surely wouldn’t want you stressing out over what gift to give him. If only dogs were better at dropping hints about what they’d like to receive, right?  And what if the dog in your life already has an overflowing toy box?  Keep reading for easy and unique dog gifts that will make tails wag well into the New Year.

Subscription boxes: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Subscription boxes for humans have been blowing up over the past few years. FabFitFun, BoxyCharm, Winc, and Loot Crate have been introducing customers to unique products at deep discounts on a monthly or quarterly basis. Whether you’re interested in makeup, horror films, wine, or even spices, there’s a subscription box out there for you. Thankfully now your dog can get in on the action and receive their own surprise packages! Companies like Bark Box, BullyMake, PupBox, and Pooch Perks are curating subscription boxes that contain unique items your dog will love. The pooches in your life will be excited to receive a special delivery every month filled with new treasures.  You’ll love watching them discover their new favorite treats and toys long after the holiday season is over!

Make It Personal: Custom Gifts

While it’s true that most dogs can’t read, we think they will still love getting a personalized holiday gift! Thanks to websites like Bad Tags, Etsy and Amazon Handmade, there are thousands of dog toys, beds, clothing and ID tags that you can customize specifically for your best friend. Heck, you can even get a custom pet painting of your dog to put over the fireplace! We love the creative possibilities with personalized gifts and believe that all dogs (and their people) would love to receive a one of kind present made just for them.

C is For Cookie

Most dog owners know that the fastest way a dogs’ heart is through their stomach. Dogs adore delicious treats, especially ones made from scratch with love. Why not shower the dogs in your life with holiday cheer by baking them some howliday cookies (not to share with Santa of course)! All you need are various holiday shaped cookie cutters and a few ingredients to make a dogs howliday season festive and delicious. Dogs on the “nice list” will love recipes like cranberry cookies, gingerbread men, and peanut butter candy canes.  Ditch the wrapping paper and instead consider gifting your treats in a custom homemade treat jar!

Tech Toys

We bet that you have someone in your life that loves tech gadgets…and it’s probably not your dog. However, that could change when they realize how fun dog-centric tech toys are! Not only will your dog love these gifts, but they can also make your life more convenient and even provide peace of mind. For example, are you worried that your dog isn’t getting enough activity? You both would love the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher and the FitBark activity and GPS tracker. If you want to be able to check on your dog while you’re at work and remotely give them a treat, consider the Furbo Interactive Pet Camera. The GoBone is a roving bone that can be chased and chewed, providing hours of play for your dog while you’re doing housework or running errands. If you have problems remembering to feed your dog, then the Arf Automatic Dog Feeder will take the guess work out of meal time. There are dozens of innovative tech toys that would be a great addition to both you and your dogs life. 

Treat Them Well: Healthy & Delicious Dog Treats

November 5th, 2019

Nothing gets a dog’s tail wagging quite like a slobber worthy treat! We believe all good dogs deserve delicious and healthy treats, but sometimes figuring out what’s best for your pup can be tricky. There are thousands of different options on the market, and many of them contain some not so nice ingredients. From added sugars, corn, fillers, and artificial ingredients, it can be ruff to find a healthy and delicious treat for your best friend.

What Should Be in Your Dog Treats?

When it comes to healthy treats, the shorter the ingredient list, the better. Freeze dried organ meats are always a hit and they only contain a single ingredient such as lamb lung or chicken hearts. Some dogs even go crazy for raw fruits and vegetables (that’s you Labradors!)!

If that’s the case, just be careful not to overdo it to prevent, ahem, less than ideal #2’s. Just as you look at the ingredients in your groceries at the supermarket, it’s important that you start eyeballing what’s in your pet’s food and treats. The less processed, the better! If an animal protein is not the first ingredient listed, put it back on the shelf. That’s a good indicator there are too many fillers.

If your dog has food sensitivities, try a more exotic animal protein like venison, kangaroo, rabbit, or wild boar. Even ostrich can be a delicious alternative! For treats with multiple ingredients, look for healthy additions like pumpkin, blueberries, apple, banana, cranberry, carrots, and zucchini. They add fiber and other nutrients to keep your fur baby in tip top shape. Lastly, it’s also important to purchase treats that were manufactured in the USA, as the FDA regulates pet food quality and standards.

What Ingredients Should Be Avoided?

As with human snacks, there are unfortunately a ton of unhealthy dog treat choices on the market. Be on the lookout for chemicals and preservatives like BHA and BHT, which can cause kidney and liver damage and are known carcinogens. Corn, wheat and soy should also be avoided. They are nutritionally worthless fillers that contribute to canine obesity and diabetes.

Sugar is another big no-no and is being added to many dog treats to make them more “palatable”. You can easily avoid these sugary treats by opting for ones sweetened naturally with fruit. Meat by-product is nasty stuff that you certainly wouldn’t want to feed to your best friend. Many dog treat companies use the leftover and undesirable parts because they are inexpensive. Meat by-products include eyes, hooves, feet, beaks, feathers, brains and hair. Yuck!

Made With Love: Homemade Treats

If the way to your dog’s heart is through their stomach, then baking him treats from scratch is the purest act of love! These delicious, healthy and easy recipes will get their tails wagging for more, and you’ll know exactly what quality ingredients they’re eating. Bone Appetit!

Peanut Butter & Bacon Treats

High Value Training Treats

Pupsicles

Oh My Gourd, It’s Fall! Outdoor Adventures with Your Pup

October 9th, 2019

OMG = Oh, My Gourd! We know it can be hard to say goodbye to summer, but we have a secret: Fall is the BEST season if you’re a dog lover! From frolicking in leaf piles, Halloween costumes, and pumpkin spice everything, read on to find out how to make the most of the season and embark on some fun outdoor adventures with your pup!

Outdoor Adventures

Fall is the best time of year to take Fido on an outdoor adventure! Before the weather turns cold why not do some camping, hiking, or fishing with your pup? Before you embark, make sure to search Bring Fido for trails and campgrounds in your area that allow pets. And don’t forget to bring food, water, emergency supplies, and blankets! You’ll love admiring the gorgeous fall leaves and your dog will have a blast playing in them. For an outing the whole family will enjoy, visit a local pumpkin patch or apple farm! Many of them are pet-friendly.

Dogoween

Is there anything cuter than a costumed dog? We don’t think so! No matter if it’s a ghoulish Greyhound, a princess Pug, or a Catahoula cowboy, dressed up dogs show off your creativity and your dogs furr-sonality. There are a ton of off the rack costumes available this time of year, or you can go the DIY route and create a costume from your own imagination! Check to see if your town has a dog Halloween event such as a parade, costume contest, or fundraiser for a local dog park. Also considering hosting your own Dogoween party with friends and family. If your dog has a comfortable costume, he would love to tag along trick or treating with the kids!

Pumpkin Time

One of the best parts of fall for us people is cozying up to a pumpkin spice latte…while also eating a slice of pumpkin pie and carving a Jack-O-Lantern! Why not include your dog in all the pumpkin goodness? Pumpkin is not only delicious, but tremendously healthy for your pooch. It packs a nutritious punch with beta-carotene and vitamins E, C and B, and also boasts a healthy amount of dietary fiber. Pumpkin is great for your dog’s digestive health, keeping them regular and helping with any loose stool issues they may be suffering from. Make your pup’s day by with their very own puppacino! Simply serve them 1/3 cup canned pumpkin with a dollop of whipped cream on top. You can also make these easy DIY Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats, which will have your dogs tail wagging all the way through Autumn. Happy adventuring!

Pawty Time: Dog Park Fundraising

September 11th, 2019

Whether you’re raising money for a brand-new dog park or would like to make improvements to an existing park, there are tons of fun ideas for dog park fundraising! All pet owners want a safe place for their pups to socialize and the right kind of event can rally an entire community.  Here are some ideas sure to get tails wagging and people smiling…and donating!

Costume Contests

“Use the Force, Luke!”

What’s better than a dog in a costume? Lots of dogs in costumes! No matter what time of year, costume contests are a fun way to get involved and dress their pups in wild outfits. You can monetize the contest by suggesting a donation upon entry and giving away prizes donated by local businesses. Add to the excitement by inviting notable people in your community to judge!

Dirty Dogs!

“Splish splash I was takin’ a bath!”

Ask any pet parent, and they’ll tell you bath time can be a challenge. Not many of us like to get sudsy with our dogs, even though we love having a clean pooch in the house. Why not capitalize on this and include a dog wash at your event? Contact mobile groomers in your area and ask them if they would like to volunteer their services or be an event sponsor. This idea is of course geared for warmer months, so nobody gets the post bath shivers!

C Is For Cookie

“I’ll be the official taste tester”

One thing that humans and dogs have in common is our shared love of food! We can’t get enough chocolate chip cookies, and our pups go bananas over liver and other stinky treats. Please everyone at your fundraiser with goodies for humans and dogs. This gives you two sources of revenue for your new park! You can either call on talented bakers in your organization or recruit human and dog bakeries to donate. Make sure to keep the dog and people treats separate to avoid any unexpected vet bills!

Ruff Raffle

Wine for the win!

A dog themed raffle or silent auction is a great way to get fundraiser attendees to open their wallets for your dog park. For a silent auction, you can offer goods and services (dog walking, grooming, photography, pet massage, etc) donated by local businesses and sponsors. It’s a good idea to have items at different price points so anyone can participate regardless of budget. Gift baskets are also a popular choice, and they can be filled with gourmet food/wine, pet-specific products, event tickets or spa/hotel getaways.

Hot Car Hero: Dog Rescue Tips

August 8th, 2019

Imagine this scenario: You’re walking down the street on a hot summer day, and you see a dog locked in a hot car. How you can tell if they might be in distress? What can you do to help? Summer temperatures can skyrocket leaving dogs susceptible to irreparable organ damage or even death. Read on for tips on rescuing a dog in distress.

Reach Out For Help

A dog left in a hot car can suffer from organ failure or death in as little as 15 minutes. Without knowing how long the dog has been left in the car, you’ll need to take quick action. Before putting on your super hero cape, reach out to animal control and law enforcement. If there are nearby shops or restaurants, have them make an announcement asking if anyone has left their dog inside a car. Many dog owners are simply unaware of how hot it gets and that announcement may get them quickly outside. Stay with the car until help arrives.

Drastic Measures

Did you know that only 28 states have laws prohibiting dogs being left in hot cars? Of those states, only 11 have granted legal authority to Good Samaritans to use any means necessary to save an overheated dog. If you have made every attempt possible to find the dog’s owner and the authorities can’t arrive fast enough to intervene, use your best judgment about saving Fido. The next steps might be actually breaking a window. Many people view saving a dog’s life as a moral obligation, even if they have to break the law to do so. You may want to find a witness who will back up your judgement just in case.

Post Rescue Treatment

Once the dog has been rescued, they need to have their body temperature lowered quickly and safely. First, get the dog into an air-conditioned building or vehicle. Call the closest emergency vet to let them know you’re en route, and provide cool water to drink. If you have enough water, pouring it over the dog can help too – as long as it’s not ice cold. You may also place the dog in front of an electric fan and place cool, wet towels on the dog’s stomach and chest. The sooner you can cool the dog down and get him to an emergency vet, the better their prognosis will be. Hopefully, you’ll never have to step in rescue a dog in distress but if you do, we thank you!

New Kid on the Block: Tips for introducing a dog into your family

July 29th, 2019

Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an adult dog, nothing is more exciting than bringing a new furry friend home! If you live with other dogs, remember that first introductions matter. How you introduce your new dog to your established pack can have a lasting effect on their relationship. These tips are designed to help integrate your new pup to the pack in a way that will reduce stress for everyone (human and canine alike).

Find Switzerland: Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Ground

Before making introductions, bring home an item that smells like the newbie for your established dogs to sniff. Maybe it’s a toy, or a piece of clothing that your new dog has been in contact with. By smelling the new pup first, your current dogs can familiarize themselves with their smell and recognize it when they are all introduced! Arrange their first meeting at a neutral location. By meeting somewhere like a dog park or a Sniffspot, nobody will feel like their territory is being threatened, and their first interaction is more likely to go smoothly.

Leash all the dogs meeting each other, and walk them together with about 10 feet of spacing between. This helps to get them used to one another without the stress of a “forced” meeting. Once the walk is done, take the pups to an open area and let them sniff each other for a few moments leaving the leashes on and loose. Remain upbeat and positive through the whole introduction process. Lastly, reward them like crazy so they associate the new dog in their pack as a good thing. If you see any type of aggressive or fearful reactions, separate them and get each dog to focus on the person they are with. You can try another introduction later and be sure to always end on a positive note!

There’s No Place Like Home

Once the dogs have met on neutral turf, it’s time to bring your new pooch home! This can be a pretty scary experience, so to help make things easier on him, bring him home to an empty house (get a friend to watch your other dogs for an hour or so). Also, put away any food, toys, and bedding that belongs to your other dogs. If you have adopted a puppy, be sure to puppy proof your home!  Bring Fido in on a leash, and spend some time walking him around the house and yard so he can get familiar with his new home.

After some time, you can let him off leash to freely explore but keep an eye on him at to make sure he’s not getting into anything he shouldn’t. That’s directed at you, Labradors! After he’s finished the tour, bring your other dogs home and re-introduce them out in the yard first. Even if they’re getting along, keep food and toys separate for the first several days as mingling these items can trigger territorial aggression.

Make sure your new pup isn’t feeling overwhelmed by giving him alone time from your other pets. This could mean time in another room, a crate, or on a solo walk with you. Also be sure to monitor each dog’s body language for the first week to make sure everyone is having a positive time and not displaying aggression or fear. If things between your pack are tense at first, no need to panic! Experts say that it can take up to a month to work out the kinks of their new relationship. If you do notice any signs of aggressive behavior, keep periods of interaction brief. Halt any escalations with a firm, consistent command and then separate them for a short period. When they behave well together praise them equally.  You can also bring in the help of a dog trainer to aid in the transition. With time, training, and praise, your new and established dogs will create a new pack hierarchy, and have their own very special bond!

Dog Behavior: The good ,the bad and the weird

July 22nd, 2019

Even though dogs are our best friends, it’s time to recognize something. They are total weirdos. Dogs are infamous for some very strange behavior like sniffing butts, humping legs, chasing their tails, and eating poop. There’s no doubt that you’ll recognize some of the wacky traits listed below, so let’s figure out the logic behind some of our best friend’s more quirky dog behaviors.

Butt Sniffing

“Hello? Anyone home?”

Butt sniffing may seem crazy to us, but it’s a source of *very* valuable information for your pup. Unlike humans, a dogs’ primary sense is smell. Their little snouts are about 100,000 stronger than our human noses. They can even smell from each nostril separately! Think of butt sniffing as dogs exchanging business cards with each other; their anal glands excrete scents that hold key information that is instantly translated through scent. Just by a brief butt sniffing session, your dog can find out their new friends’ gender, health and reproductive status, temperament, and what foods they eat regularly.  So rather than be grossed out the next time you see your dog and another dog greet each other with some butt sniffing, be amazed at how much they’re learning about each other!

Dining on Doo Doo

Oh, the shame!

Poop eating is truly the most bizarre and yuck inducing behaviors a dog can exhibit. The worst part is that after they’ve indulged, they usually want to lick your face – ugh! Thanks, but no thanks! What on earth would compel your cute, beloved, snuggly friend to eat poop? The scientific name for this disgusting phenomenon is coprophagia. A recent study by veterinarian Benjamin Hart at the University of California discovered that 16% of dogs are habitual poop eaters, and 24% of dogs are rare to occasional poop eaters. Poop eating is normal in puppyhood, but if the behavior is not addressed it may carry on throughout a dog’s entire life. There are health issues that could prompt a dog to eat feces such as poor digestion and plain old hunger. If a dog has poor digestion, the food may come out in a very similar way to how it went in, prompting a dog to have dinner, version 2.0. Parasites can also take nutrients from their food, so Fido may opt to eat anything he can get his paws on to feel full. If you suspect your dog is eating poop due to a health condition, contact your vet right away.

Tail Chasing

I’m gonna get you…someday!

Tails are just plain entertaining for humans and dogs alike! For a playful pup, seeing a fluffy tail (even one that’s on his own body) may just be too fun to resist. Often chased, though seldom caught, tail chasing is usually just a dog burning off excess playful energy.  It’s like your dog is twiddling his thumbs! Tail chasing can be a genetic predisposition in breeds such as German Shepherds, Bull Terriers, and Dobermans. Just like us humans, dogs can develop obsessive compulsive disorders. One common display of OCD is wait for it, compulsive tail chasing. If you notice that your dog seems fixated on chasing his tail rather than playful, seek help from a canine behaviorist. They can use behavior modification training and anti-depressants (if necessary!) to help stop compulsions.

Humping

Get a room!

Is your dog being physically amorous with other dogs at the park? How about with inanimate objects, or worse…your leg? What exactly is causing this blush inducing behavior? If you have a humper at home, know that you’re in good company. It’s a common issue, and one that may not need to be addressed. First, it’s important to understand that both male and female dogs hump. Spayed and neutered dogs may hump as well, and though dogs under the age of one are more frequent humpers, many dogs don’t age out of this behavior. The first reason for humping is a sexual impulse. Whether it’s another dog, your leg, or a pillow, dogs will hump any dang thing for sexual gratification. Dogs of both sexes (especially those whom have not been fixed) can begin humping when they start reaching sexual maturity. Female dogs in heat are will hump another dog of either gender to signal mating. It’s vital to spay and neuter your pet to not only cut down on the humping tendencies but prevent successful mating. Usually dogs aren’t emulating mating behavior when they hump. The ol’ bump and grind can be caused by nonsexual arousal (caused by stress or boredom), and play is another reason that dogs hump each other, which should be totally acceptable if both dogs are fine with it. You should intervene if one of the dogs looks annoyed or is being overpowered by the humper. Social dominance is another reason that dogs hump each other. It’s a vital part of establishing the pecking order within a pack, and to test the submissiveness of another dog. If your dog compulsively humps, a canine behaviorist can help find the cause and help calm your little Romeo down.

July 4th: Pet Safety Tips

July 1st, 2019

The Fourth of July is the highlight of summer for many of us. Your dog, however, may not be so enthusiastic about the holiday. Keep reading for some handy pet safety tips!

For many pets, fireworks are terrifying and for good reason! They’re loud and unpredictable. While us humans are having a great time celebrating, our pets only hear explosions and feel scary vibrations. It makes perfect sense that their fight or flight instinct would kick in. Thankfully, there are ways to comfort your dog on the loudest day of the year while keeping them safe.

Fido’s First 4th

Is this your first Fourth of July with a new four-legged family member? Even if you have a confident, social, happy dog, they may be sensitive to fireworks, so it’s best to spend your first holiday together so you can gauge your pup’s response. Being in a familiar, comfortable (and secure!) place will help calm them down if they become scared of the noises. If you notice that your dog isn’t bothered by fireworks, you may be able to celebrate at places other than your home next year.

Stay Home, Stay Safe

If you know your dog is afraid of fireworks, the biggest danger you face is Fido running away from home. 30% of all lost pets go missing on July 4th. If your pup gets spooked, their first instinct is to flee. Thousands of dogs run away every year, so make sure your home is secure; double check your fence line for holes/gaps and close all gates securely. Ensure your dog is wearing an ID tag and is microchipped (with current info!).  If your dog does escape, don’t panic! Start searching for your pup in your neighborhoo and alert your neighbors (social media can be very helpful). Animal shelters are on high alert around the week of the 4th, so be prepared to call local shelters in case your pet has been picked up by a Good Samaritan.

“I’m Freaking Out, Man!”

If your dog shows intense fear around fireworks, don’t leave them unsupervised. Ever. They’re depending on you to keep them safe and will feel so much more comforted by your presence. Give your dog lots of pets, treats and reassurance. You can distract your dog with games, puzzle toys or their favorite bone. One of our favorite options is the Thundershirt; it’s the dog equivalent of swaddling a baby. It has an 80% success rate and the lightweight vest applies mild pressure to help ease anxiety. CBD treats, pheromones, and melatonin can also be helpful anxiety supplements, but try them beforehand to determine which works best. If your pet enjoys his crate, that enclosed space may make him feel especially safe. You can even leave your own blanket or shirt in the crate for added comfort. Turn on the television or play music before the fireworks start to help drown out the noise before they really get going. If all else fails or if you just know nothing else will help, contact your vet who can prescribe a sedating medication to help make the Fourth of July more manageable. Woof!

Woof on the Roof: Rooftop Dog Parks

June 5th, 2019

Bright Parks, Big City!

City dogs may be a sophisticated bunch, but just like their friends in the ‘burbs, they need space to play! A walk through the concrete jungle is fun, but what’s an urban dog to do when the hankering to fetch a ball takes hold? City dwelling dogs are on the rise and apartment communities are catering to them in a big way. Property management companies know that pet friendly amenities are a huge draw for prospective residents. They are catering to this furry niche by offering doggy welcome gifts, events and dog spas. But even if Rex is living the high life in a penthouse apartment, space can be hard to come by. Thankfully, rooftop dog parks are the perfect antidote! They provide a much needed outlet for our furry friends while also giving residents a safe, secure place to relieve their pets 24/7.

Space: The Furry Frontier

Property management companies have to get creative when it comes to offering pet perks. One of the smartest tactics in urban communities is converting underutilized rooftop or terrace spaces into bark parks. We’re often asked about the amount of space needed for a rooftop dog park. The short answer: it depends! Even when dealing with limited square footage, most communities will have room for a pet relief kit and a grooming station. For larger areas, additional amenities like seating, fountains, shade, and agility components can turn your rooftop into a first class dog park with an amazing view! When designing your park, amenity placement is key. You’ll need enough room between components for dogs to safely run and play. It’s also important to consider any resident events you plan on hosting such as Yappy hours. Park Chelsea at the Collective, a 429-unit luxury building in Washington DC, chose play components with custom portable bases to provide flexibility. This allows their residents to rearrange the agility course for an added challenge and to store the equipment when more room is needed for events.

Surfacing Solutions

One of a dog’s favorite things about going to the park is running on grass! Since real grass isn’t exactly a great fit for rooftops, we have another option that is attractive year-round and offers the ease of low maintenance. Our popular Turf Pods are a portable system designed specifically for hard surfaces like cement, asphalt, or decking. With antimicrobial agents that reduce odor and elevated tiles that provide aeration and drainage, these are a perfect solution. Turf pods come in standard 36”x 48” squares that snug together using the park’s perimeter/wall and can be moved for easy cleaning underneath and to help manage wear.  Unlike traditional roll turf, the pods don’t require professional installation and are a much more affordable option.

Features for Fido

Rooftop dog parks can go from “meh” to “wow” with the addition of the right features. Agility equipment keeps dogs engaged while burning off excess energy, and all dog parks benefit from a dog waste station to help keep the area clean. A fire hydrant is the canine equivalent of the office water cooler and adds a cute aesthetic to any dog park. If you and your pooch are easily parched, a human and dog drinking fountain is sure to cool you both off on hot summer days. There are so many options to turn an empty rooftop dog park into a place all dog residents will be barking to go!

Safety First!

Safety should be the top priority for all dog parks but is crucial component for a rooftop. It’s vital to have fencing or a barrier that is at least 5’ high. Double slats or a solid wall are also recommended so that smaller dogs can’t slip out. A double gated entry is also a good idea to ensure that dogs are safe on their way in and out of the park. A safe dog is a happy dog, and with just a few steps, your rooftop dog park can be a safe and inviting place for dogs to have the time of their lives!


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