Archive for January, 2018

Few things in life are better than a puppy weekend, and there are just as few places better suited for a puppy weekend than the city of Phoenix, AZ. With its warm weather, friendly populace, and ample amount of outdoor green space, dog owners have developed a love for the city and its dog-accessibility.

Whether you’re dogsitting for a friend or want to bond with the new puppy in your life, here’s your ultimate guide for crafting the perfect weekend for your and your canine companion in Phoenix.

Doggone festivities

Interested in socializing your puppy? Phoenix’s warm weather makes it a popular spot all the calendar for dog-friendly events. BringFido, the dog travel directory, usually has a beat on upcoming events for you to check out. Two upcoming events include Phoenix’s 3rd Annual Doggie Street Festival, and Barks & Brews.

A free event, the Doggie Street Festival is an opportunity for you to treat your friend to the newest dog foods, fashionable gear, health supplements, veterinary care, lodgings, exercise equipment, and services. Have a friend who wants a pet or think your puppy needs a playmate? The festival’s also an adoption event that encourages the adoption of rescues, education on spaying and neutering, and providing attendees with the expertise of veterinarians and other pet professionals who offer tips about improved pet care.

There’s also Barks & Brews, another free dog-friendly event. While the brews are intended for the people, not the pets, it’s still a fun, lively event to attend. There’s going to be both live music and a craft beer garden, and the proceeds from the event will benefit the Arizona Animal Welfare League. You’ll also be able to find information about adopting a pet.

Throughout the year, you’ll also find other fun events hosted throughout the city, ranging from casual ones, like Just Me & My Dog Yoga, to more sophisticated ones, like the 2018 Chihuahua Festival & Car Show.

A walk in the (dog) park

Not so much into organized events? State parks and national parks (like Grand Canyon National Park) often allow leashed pets along trails and can be exciting environments. You two might even be interested in camping in a tent overnight! Unfortunately, these places can get fairly hectic and you might have to do a good bit of driving to get there. Dogs who get easily stressed don’t always fair well in these situations either, so instead, you can try taking them to a dog park.

Dog parks are quickly becoming popular places for dogs to roam off-leash, exercise, and socialize with other dogs within a confined space and under the supervision of their owners.

In Phoenix, you’ll have at least ten public dog parks to pick from, whether you live in Gilbert, Peoria, Norterra, or Downtown Phoenix. Not only do they have wide layouts with watering stations and occasionally toys for your dog to chew on, the parks have benches and shade for dog owners to sit and relax on. Just don’t forget to keep the area clean!

Before taking your dog to your dog park, you should evaluate whether it’s appropriate and safe for your own dog. Some breeds just don’t get along with others, some dog owners don’t properly train their dogs, and there are always health issues to consider. Research the dog park, talk with the regulars, and do some respectful observations before taking your friend.

Doggie dates and companion clubs

Maybe you’re new to the area, or new to dog ownership. If that’s the case, you may want to consider joining one of Phoenix’s dozens of dog Meetup groups. Ranging from the around 1,700 members of “Dog Whisperer,” a group for owners looking for solutions for problems they’re having with their dog, to the dozens of members of “Phoenix Bulldog Owners,” you’re sure to find a group of people you’ll fit in with.

Good eats and doggy treats

Phoenix’s dog-friendliness doesn’t just extend to events, parks, and clubs – quite a few of the area’s most popular and celebrated restaurants and bars have dog-friendly patios where you can knock back a cold brew and pass your four-legged friend a homemade biscuit.

OHSO (Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost) is one of these hotspots. They have locations throughout the city, including in Gilbert, Arcadia, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley. With their spacious outdoor patios, green areas, dog treats, and water fountains to fill dog bowls, OHSO’s breweries are great spaces for a group hang after work and before your nightly walk.

If you’re more into brunches, 32 Shea in Downtown Phoenix allows you to relax after a morning hike along the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with mimosas or coffee, and a well-shaded patio.

Your dog is more than just a pet — he’s part of the family. That’s why you still love him even though his hair and nails are wreaking havoc on your home’s flooring.

Still, there’s a happy middle ground: you can protect your home’s floors in a way that’s comfortable for both you and your dog. Here are the best ways to do it, depending on the type of floors your home has:

Carpeting
Carpets and dogs can be a bad combination, especially for pups in the midst of potty training. That’s because carpets can soak up scents and stains, especially if you don’t see them right away. Once your dog is grown, he can still have an effect on your plush carpet flooring. They absorb scents and attract hair shed by your pooch.

  • In the short-term: It may not be the prettiest option, but covering your carpets with plastic is the best way to repel accidents. This might be the best way to protect floors while your puppy learns to go outside.
  • In the long-term: Your dog doesn’t have accidents indoors anymore, but he still brings his hair and scent with him wherever he goes. As such, you’ll want to invest in a vacuum proven to be effective on pet hair. You’ll also want to get into a routine of deep cleaning and shampooing your carpets so that they smell fresh, no matter how your pet smells.

Wood Floors
Wood floors are a little easy to clean in the short-term, so long as you catch your puppy’s accidents as they happen. One big problem with wood floors is your dog’s long nails: they can cause scratches to your floor.

  • In the short-term: It’s up to you to make sure your dog’s nails are well manicured, since shorter nails are less likely to scratch your floors than long ones. You can also pick up some booties for your pet to wear inside, if regular nail-trimmings aren’t enough.
  • A layer of wax can also do the trick. Not only will it protect your floor from deep scratches, but it’ll also make small lines and nicks easy to fix in the future. All you’ll have to do is re-apply the wax to fill a scratch and voila: perfect floors restored.
  • In the long-term: A long-term solution to your problem could be a new, more durable set of wood floors. Reclaimed wood is stronger against scratches than brand new hardwood floors; plus, older wood from barns, ships and wine barrels has plenty of character and pre-existing imperfections that your dog’s nails won’t ruin.

Concrete Floors
The name alone implies that concrete will withstand just about anything, and it will be a great surface against a dog’s accidents, as well as its nails, hair and scent. The only way to protect your concrete floors is the same in the short run as in the long run: a layer of sealant will make it easy to protect against stains, wipe them up and sweep up any hair that’s been shed.

Tile and Laminate Floors
These two types of flooring are on the opposite ends of the spectrum and will require different courses of action to protect them from a pooch’s paws.

  • Tile floors: Like concrete, tile is the perfect companion to your pup. They’re easy to clean and maintain, so long as they’re sealed properly.
  • Laminate floors: On the other hand, these floors are perhaps your worst option when it comes to a dog-friendly finish. Laminate floors come with a seal, but it’s one that cannot be bulked up or replaced. As such, scratches that happen or stains caused by your dog will become permanent eyesores. Your only options are to have a cover on your floor at all times, or to replace it with a more durable, easy-to-clean option.

Go Floor It
You now know the best ways to protect your home’s flooring while making your dog feel at home, to boot. All there’s left to do is go for it — and go floor it: you and your dog will be happy you did.

Emily Folk
Conservation and Sustainability Writer

E emilysfolk@gmail.com W conservationfolks.com