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blog13Now through Sunday, April 20th, we are searching for the muddiest dogs in the Twin Cities.  Simply upload a picture of your dirty dog to our Facebook fan page, or use #bubblypaws on Instagram.  We will pick one lucky dog to win the grand prize: a free self service bath at Bubbly Paws and a photo shoot with Eva Noth Photography!  This prize package has a value of $250!

And now… The rules

- The Bubbly Paws staff will be judging the pictures and looking for the dirtiest dogs in the Twin Cities.  Have fun and get creative, we know there are lots of dirty dogs out there!  Extra points are given if your dog is at Bubbly Paws, heck we will even take the picture for you on your phone!

- Photos must be uploaded to the Bubbly Paws Facebook Page or use #bubblypaws on Instagram.

- The photo has to have been taken this spring.

- You must be a resident of the Twin Cities.

- One entry per person.

- We might re-post the entries that have been submitted, or your pooch might be used for promotional purposes by Bubbly Paws or Eva Noth Photography.

- Decision of the Bubbly Paws judges is final.

Don't let these creeps make a meal out of your pooch!

Don’t let these creeps make a meal out of your pooch!

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of winter. I don’t like the cold, snow, ice or any of it except that we get a break from the pesky insects Minnesota is known for. It may not feel like spring is really here yet, but the temperatures have warmed up enough that it is time to prepare for flea and tick season. The increased temperatures mean all the creepy crawlies are coming back and it’s better to be ahead of the game. Fleas can cause skin irritation, flea dermatitis and spread tapeworms in addition to being a major discomfort to you and your pet.   Ticks can spread over a dozen diseases and can also cause infection at the bite site. Like most health and wellness concerns for our pets (and us) prevention is the best medicine. There are so many great preventatives on the market. Talk to your vet to find the best option for your dog and start it when they recommend (usually April or May in Minnesota though some vets recommend using a parasite preventative year round).

These are the types of ticks you may find on your dog.

These are the types of ticks you may find on your dog.

Once your dog is on flea and tick preventative medicine check regularly as your pet can pick up pests before they are killed. Fleas can be caught from wild animals or eggs laid in the environment (even your backyard). Ticks are often found in long grass and wooded areas, although I know many dogs that have picked them up at local dog parks. Regular bathing and grooming your dog is a great way to get a look through their coat for any unwelcome pests.

The life cycle of the common dog and cat flea.

The life cycle of the common dog and cat flea.

Bubbly Paws is a flea and tick free zone so make sure you are covered before coming in. If we find fleas on your dog we will ask that you take your dog home ASAP. If there is a tick on your dog let us know and a Bubbly Paws team member can remove it, dispose of it properly and clean the bite area. Stay protected with good prevention and enjoy a summer free of worry about pests on your pet!

Saint Paul dog wash and Grooming

Family spa day at Bubbly Paws Dog Wash!

Today I was working at our Saint Louis Park dog wash and had a great conversation with a new customer while she was washing her dog.  She was amazed that a dog wash could look so beautiful and not be a franchise.  I told her how we are not fans of franchises and how Trycia and I really like to be hands on and work at both our locations.  After a few minutes of talking she asked if we had weekday discounts… I told her that very rarely do we ever offer discounts because we want each customer to have the exact same experience at bubbly paws.  Think about the last time you flew, each person on that plane paid a different price for the exact same flight.  That annoys me!  Compare that to the dog wash, because someone comes in on a Tuesday, should they save $5 on a bath?  What makes Tuesday a better day to come in than any other day of the week?  What about the people that work during the week and can’t make it in?  To offer these discounts, that means that other customers have to pay more for the baths.  To me, this does not seem fair.  I also feel that offering discounts all the time really cheapens our business and undervalues our services and location.  After explaining our way of thinking, our customer really understood why we do it this way.  I did point out that we have our Paw Points program where you can earn 15% off after 5 visits.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts we love talking to cusotmers and being hands on business owners.  Just because we have 2 Bubbly Paws locations does not mean we will be stuck behind a desk looking at Microsoft Excel spreadsheets all day long (that is why we have an accountant).  If you ever have questions, just ask myself our one of our wonderful staff members, or click here to contact us!

Have a great night!

Keith

 

A special guest blog post from Eva Noth Photography.  For more pictures from this photo shoot, you can visit our Facebook Page!

Towels?  Check.  Shampoo?  Check.  Camera?  Wait, what’s that for?

Bath days at Bubbly Paws Dog Wash and Grooming can be fun and fresh smelling days around our house.  After all, who doesn’t love a sudsy pup – and all while not having to break your back or do all the clean up?  Which leads me to the camera – none of us can resist taking a cute picture of a dog especially at bath time, and with portable cameras on our smart phones, we never have to miss an opportunity, even at the dog wash!  Want a little help to avoid the drowned rat look with green demon eyes in your next photos?  Here are my top 5 tips for taking better pictures of your dog in the tub:

Tip 1.  Treats and Toys

BP Tub Photos-9

Bath time can be a scary or unhappy time for some dogs, no matter how cutely miserable they look!  Using treats and toys to bring out that happy pup smile can really make a difference in your pictures.  Bubbly Paws has an amazing selection of delicious and fun treats and toys that can make bath time a reward and get those ears to perk up in the tub – and only an arm’s stretch away!

Tip 2.  Get Down on their Level

BP Tub Photos-1

Nothing is more interesting than seeing the world the way your pet does.  Try crouching down or putting the camera near their face on the edge of the tub to capture them from a new or silly angle.  You will be amazed how different the world and bath time looks from down there!

Tip 3.  Avoid the Drowned Rat

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Photo by Bubbly Paws Staff

Some dogs just don’t look good soaking wet, in fact, they resemble that “drowned rat” rather than a dog (What happened to that cute fluffy dog I brought in???).  If you want to do some photos in the bright and fun colored tubs at Bubbly Paws, try to take your pictures while your dog is sudsy but not soaking wet.  Another tip, leave its head dry until you are done with photos – nothing says adorable like a big fluffy head and sudsy skinny body!

Tip 4.  Turn Off Your Flash

BP Tub Photos-19

The auto function on our cameras makes taking pictures easy, but it also can cause some pretty freaky looking pet pictures.  By turning off your flash, you avoid the notorious “demon green eyes” that make your photos turn out wrong.  A bonus to this technique: many pets are scared by flashes so this makes having a picture taken less stressful!

Tip 5.  Have Fun!

BP Tub Photos-15

Animals pick up on our moods much better than other humans and can sense when we are angry, stressed, sad, or frustrated.  Don’t try to force your animal to be what they aren’t (ex. If your dog hates bath time, don’t get mad when they perpetually express their stress by panting when you wanted a closed mouth picture) as you will both become stressed and frustrated.  Allow you and your pet to relax and have fun instead.  Dance to the fun music at the shop and enjoy your fresh smelling pooch!  After all, bath time with your pet should make you happy, not frustrated.

I hope you enjoyed the tips and will be trying some photos in the tub next time you visit Bubbly Paws!  If you have any more questions or want to book a pet photography session please contact me at info@evanothphotography.com or check out my website at www.evanothphotography.com.

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Every year when daylight savings ends we have a fun day of walk-in trims and savings on nail treatments. I am especially excited to have our St Paul store get in on the action this year! It’s always a blast and we get to see so many of our friends get tidied up just in time for the weather to warm up. It’s really nice to have your dog’s feet in particular cleaned up this time of year; whether it’s just a nail grind or your pup needs a paw trim and winter paw treatment, these little things go a long way to help your dog’s feet stay clean and comfortable.

Stop in to either store Sunday March 9th between 10am and 4pm and get sanitary, foot and face trims for $5 each. Nail trims and nail grinds are 50% off ($5 nail trims and $7.50 nail grinds). Winter paw treatment is still available too! No appointments needed but give yourself a little time as there can be a wait. Self-service baths are available as usual until 5pm. We hope to see you and your best buddy there!

Goodies before getting wrapped up in a gift bag!

Goodies before getting wrapped up in a gift bag!

Here at Bubbly Paws we consider our dogs a part of our family and we know our customers feel the same way. We go above and beyond to give your pooch the best possible care during the self- or full-service grooming because family members deserve to be treated as such. I know a lot of my friends are dog people and a lot of the dog people I have met through Bubbly Paws have become friends. When my friends adopt a new dog I feel like my family grows a little and like a baby shower I like to give my friends new dog gifts. A close friend recently adopted a puppy and since it is her first dog I wanted to make an extra special gift bag for her. Here are a few of the essentials for a new puppy I got together for her:

Poop Bags! If you work with dogs you see a good deal of dog poop and learn the best way to clean it up. Of all the baggies I’ve come across these are the best! They are biodegradable, easy to open, plenty big and strong. I have never had one rip or fail and I really like the ones with handles for easy tying.

Treats! New additions of the four legged kind can always use some training to get used to being in a new family, even when adopting an older dog. I love small wet treats for training that are easy to eat and the right size that you don’t feel bad giving them a handful during a training session.

Chew toys! Puppies in particular need to keep their mouths busy with appropriate toys so they don’t destroy shoes or other things. I love toys that are tough and have a place to stuff in a treat. This provides excellent entertainment for a dog while teaching them what they are supposed to chew on.

Antler chews! These have gained a ton of popularity recently. Antler chews are good for sensitive stomachs, last a long time and great for dental health. I think they can be used to help crate train a dog by giving them something safe and engaging to enjoy while kenneled.

My friend happens to be a fan of micro-brewed beer so I made this gift beer themed with some treats and a bottle of dog beer. A nice Bubbly Paws gift card is the final touch for a perfect new puppy gift! I hope she and the puppy enjoy all their goodies!

Marley Bear is one of the many dogs we got to meet while on vacation!

Marley Bear is one of the many dogs we got to meet while on vacation!

The past few days, Trycia and I were on vacation enjoying some warm weather and taking a few days to de-stress. I love going away because I feel it really gives me time to get away from both of our businesses, but also lets me focus more on how to improve what we are already doing and re-focus on things that we can improve on.  I guess some of your best work can be done on the beach, drinking a cocktail while using an iPad (can you tell it is hard for me to disconnect).  Anyway…. Many of our customers know how much we try to have our employees provide an amazing experience each time someone walks through the door…. Well, for once we were on the other side of it.  Trycia wrote a Tripadvisor review of the hotel we were staying at, which was a very honest review. She gave the hotel 4 out of 5 stars and mentioned that not all of the hotel staff we extra friendly, but just were going through the motions of their job (nothing bad, nothing good, they were just there).  She posted this review the day before we left.  Our last morning at the hotel, 3 members of management (at different times) came up to us to make sure everything was ok.  They mentioned they saw the review and wanted to know how they could improve.  Each person we talked to really did care about the review, and they were not just going through the motions to make us happy.  They comped our lunch and just wanted to make sure we left with a smile on our face, which we were already going to do before they talked to us!   This was a great lesson in customer service for us, and made us think about how we would handle the same situation of we were running the hotel.  All this being said, we had a great vacation, and would recommend this hotel to friends even before they reacted to the review we wrote.

I mention all of this because we always want to go above what is expected at Bubbly Paws, and 99% of the time we do! If there is ever an issue, please feel free to reach out to myself, or Lill (our general manager).  We always want everyone to be happy when they leave (including the dogs).  This blog post is not me asking people to go on Yelp, Facebook or Foursquare to write a review (Personal note, I am not a fan of review sites, and always take the reviews with a grain of salt, we can go into more detail about that another time), but let us know how we can make things better!

Have a great day, and we are so excited to be back in the snow!

 

Shop dog Dolly loves playing in the snow!

Shop dog Dolly loves playing in the snow!

We Minnesotans are used to the cold winters but over the next few days we are going to have record cold temperatures. This extreme weather can pose a risk to our pets, just like high heat in the summer. While dogs have fur coats to keep them warm most inside dogs do not have thick enough coats to keep them warm outside for long periods. The most important thing to do in this weather is keep your pets indoors as much as possible. Some health conditions can be aggravated by the cold like arthritis so keep a close watch on your pet and if they are shivering, seems anxious or weak contact your vet right away. The salt and ice can be hard on your dog’s paws so protect them with our Winter Paw Treatment or booties and make sure ice does not accumulate on your dogs paws. Also be sure to wipe off their feet when you come in from a walk to remove the salt so they don’t lick it off. Antifreeze and de-icers can be deadly for pets so keep them away from common winter chemicals. Trimming the hair on your dogs’ legs and feet can also help prevent them tracking in snow and ice (may we recommend a professional to do it :). If you’d like more information about keeping your pet safe this guide from the American Veterinary Medical Association is great.

Frank is fine with the cold but Lois has to wear a jacket!

Frank is fine with the cold but Lois has to wear a jacket!

When coming in for self-service baths please make sure to leave extra time for drying, we want our customers to be clean and safe! Stay warm out there from all of us at Bubbly Paws!

Twin Cities Live stopped out to Bubbly Paws Dog wash in Saint Paul to get some tips on how to keep your pooch safe this holiday season!

 

Winter Dog Safety at Bubbly Paws Dog Wash from keithppp on Vimeo.

Franklin and I at the Pride festival representing Bubbly Paws.

Franklin and I at the Pride festival representing Bubbly Paws. Photo by RJL Photography

I really like the holiday season. Not the cold or the snow or the icy chill but because it is a great time to reflect back on the year and spend time with the people (and dogs) that are most important. Franklin and I have so much to be thankful for this year. In addition to celebrating three years since I started being his caretaker we also had our two year anniversary of working at Bubbly Paws. It has been such a big year for Bubbly Paws! We were so happy to work in the opening of the new St Paul store and see it become a great success. We also started Give Back Week to take time every month to help local pet rescues. We have added two amazing groomers and many new staff to our team. We just found out we are again up for two awards in the Best of St Louis Park Magazine and we could not be more proud of the hard work that everyone put in to make it happen. Providing great service, gentle touch and low stress grooming to the twin cities makes us so happy!

Maybe you’ve noticed Frank hasn’t been around much over the last month. He had a health crisis when we discovered an aggressive tumor on his hip. With help from family and friends, many Bubbly Paws related, we raised funds for his surgery and he is now on the road to recovery and has a great prognosis. It means so much to be part of a community that loves dogs and is ready to step up and help when the need arises. I know Franklin has been really wanting to be back at work but right now he needs rest to recover from surgery but we are both very hopeful that Frank will be back in action towards the end of December.

Here’s hoping you and your pooch have a very happy holiday season! We have all sorts of goodies here to let you show your dog how much you love them and even photo sessions if you need a cute picture for a holiday card. We are also sponsors of the Great Minnesota Pet Food Drive if you have extra pet food or to help get into the giving spirit. We are so thankful for our awesome customers and clients!