Fall Fun

The time has come for cozy mugs of tea, hikes in golden woods, and pumpkin spice in everything. The joys of Fall are many, but what’s in it for the dogs? Check out these fun activities for you pup. b4d4417cc75b3c60c4f751994b0e52af

  1. Leave it to the leaves. Kids aren’t the only ones who like a leaf pile. Your dog will love tearing through it, nesting inside it, and most probably eating some of the leaves in the process. Try burying a bone or ball inside for some extra fun!
  2. Pumpkin and Spice. Give your dog an in on the pumpkin spice scene. Try this recipe for some delicious pumpkin treats.
  3. Fall fun. Do you like to get away from the city hustle and bustle to pick apples or go on a hay ride? Why not bring your dog along for the fun? He’ll enjoy sniffing each tree and sharing in the excitement. Just check to make sure your furry friend is allowed before piling in the car. Look at Sidewalk Dog’s directory for a dog-friendly apple orchard.
  4. Creative costumes. Include your dog in Halloween fun! Though your dog may not enjoy being decked out in a costume, you’ll come away with plenty of adorable pictures. We’ll be writing a blog post full of creative ideas, so check back here in a couple of weeks. download-2
  5. Hit the trails. Enjoy the fall colors and go on a hike with your dog. Most trails are okay with dogs as long as you keep them on leash and clean up after them.
  6. Football fetch. It’s football season, so pull out the ball and play fetch with your dog. It will get some of their excess energy out and give you lots of throwing practice in the meantime.
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8 Tips for Fighting the Fur Balls

dog-hair-humor-signIt feels like an never ending battle. You vacuum the carpet and next thing you know it’s covered in dog hair. Then you brush off your pants, but by the time you’re leaving for work there’s fur plastered all over the front. Can this invasion of dog hair ever be stopped? Sadly, the answer is no. If you have a shedding dog there will always be fur around. Despite this grim reality, there remains plenty of ways to keep hair balls down to a respectable level.

Check out these eight ideas:

  1. Go to Ollu. Bathing and blow drying gets a ton of fur out of dogs’ coats. Every piece of hair that you leave in our tub is hair that won’t be floating on your kitchen floor.
  2. Furminate. The Furminator brush is an undercoat brush that great for some coat types. It works well for getting dead undercoat out. Be careful not to overuse it though. The brush is sharper than most and can irritate the dog’s skin. Another great product is the Furminator shampoo and conditioner. This specially made combo helps get the loose hair out of the coat. How? To put it simply, the conditioner has omega 3 fatty acids which help open up the dead hair follicles, making the loose ones  drop out easier. Pretty cool, huh?
  3. Brush. Whether you use the Furminator or not, brushing a couple times a day will help reduce the amount of fur floating in your house.
  4. Use a shoe. The bottom of a rubber soled shoe actually works wonders for getting fur off of car seats and carpets. Rub it back and forth, then throw away the hair balls that develop.3a5fd5b4ba3b093cc005a0019a2e3962
  5. Buy a rubber broom. These things are specially made to pick up hair, and are our tool of choice here at Ollu. Use on carpet or hard floors to collect all the hidden fur.
  6. Put on a glove. Going along with the rubber theme, try putting on a rubber glove and wiping clothes, carpet, and upholstery with it. It’s like magic!
  7. Sponge it. Try getting fur off of cloth by wiping it with a damp sponge.
  8. Duct tape. If your clothes are covered in hair, try making a thrifty lint roller out of duct tape. Simply loop the tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat down your clothing.

These tips should get you well on your way in your fur-fighting endeavors. Share your own strategies in a comment below!

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The Science of Shedding

While the trees begin to lose their leaves, many dogs are beginning to lose piles of hair. Have you ever wondered how dogs know when it’s time to shed? Or why some dogs shed more than others? Read on to discover the science of shedding.

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To understand shedding you must first understand a dog’s hair growth cycle. The cycle has four parts with super scientific names. They even rhyme to make it easier to remember.

  1. Anagen. This is when the hair is growing.
  2. Catagen. The point when the hair transitions from growing to lying dormant.
  3. Telogen: When the hair just sits there.
  4. Exogen: When the hair falls out.

Every dog’s coat goes through this four-step process, not just the known shedders. Breeds that are considered “non-shedding” just take years to go from Anagen to Exogen, making the shedding so infrequent that we hardly notice it. On the other hand, double coated breeds (like labs, huskies, and golden retrievers) have shorter hair cycles. They complete the process in a matter of days or weeks. That’s a lot of hair falling off them!

In addition to the regular shedding cycle, double coated dogs shed even more in the fall and spring. The lessening of daylight in the fall triggers dogs’ bodies to start growing their winter coats. In order to make way for it, they first need to shed their lighter summer coat. The same thing happens in the spring when the summer coat is coming in. That’s why there tends to be even more fur balls floating around your house those times of year.

When this intense season of shedding occurs, it’s extra important to take care of your dog’s coat. Brushing frequently will help keep your house from being carpeted in hair. (Though perhaps it would be cheap alternative for regular carpeting.) For dogs with thick coats, like Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Newfoundlands, it’s especially important to brush thoroughly and frequently during this time because the shedding undercoat can build up in the rest of the coat. When this hair get packed in, it can lead to matting and a very uncomfortable dog.

In addition to brushing, bathing often and using a blow dryer is another way to get a lot of that loose hair out. We’re not trying to toot our own horn, but stopping by Ollu a little more frequently is always a good idea during shedding season.

A good chunk of this information is on petcha.com, so check it out if you want to read more.

 

 

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Client of the Month: Cash the Singing Dog

Name: Cash Breed: Lab Basset Hound Mix Age: 11.5 Nicknames: Cashy Girl, Cash Money

Name: Cash
Breed: Lab Basset Hound Mix
Age: 11.5
Nicknames: Cashy Girl, Cash Money

Lane didn’t entirely mean to get a dog the day he found Cash. When he went into PetSmart he only meant to bring home dog food. However, the store was hosting an adoption day where Lane met this adorable Lab Basset mix, and fell in love. Since he already owned a dog named Tango, he decided to christen the new member of the family Cash, after the Sylvester Stallone movie “Tango and Cash.”

Cash quickly become a beloved part of the family. Though she looks like a lab,  Cash’s Basset side comes out when she howls along to Lane’s harmonica. Click here to watch her sing.

Cash has been coming to Ollu for the past six years to get nice and clean. When we asked Lane why he loves Ollu, he told us, “The staff is friendly, the facility is clean, and the owner rocks.” We think you rock too, Lane! Thanks for your loyalty all these years.

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Our Photo Contest Winner

13909190_731512567432_1472714960875716179_oThis adorable picture of Petra won our National Dog Day photo contest. Petra’s mom, Stacy, says that “even when she’s hot and tired, Petra is always ready to play and share the love.”

Honorable Mentions

Unfortunately we can’t have more than one winner, but wanted to share a couple more pictures that we loved.

"Charlie loves her teddy bear. It's always with her for nap time." - Kristy, owner

“Charlie loves her teddy bear. It’s always with her for nap time.” – Kristy, owner

"I love how Rusty is still figuring everything out - he finally discovered the joy of sticking his nose out the window!" - Laura, owner

“I love how Rusty is still figuring everything out – he finally discovered the joy of sticking his nose out the window!” – Laura, owner

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National Dog Day Photo Contest

National Dog Day 2016 (2)Enter our National Dog Day Photo Contest!

Here’s how it works…
1. Snap a picture of your dog. Go for cute, artistic, or funny.
2. Upload your photo to our Facebook page. Include the hashtag #NationalDogDay and one sentence describing what you love most about your pup.
3. Ollu staff will choose their favorite photo and the winner will receive $10 off their next purchase.

Deadline is midnight of 8/26/16.

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Meet Che

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We’d like to introduce Che, the Havanese. This guy has been coming to Ollu for 4 years, and is always a perfect gentleman. In fact, Che loves Ollu so much that every time he visits he charges forward, not satisfied until he’s found his groomer.

The cool thing is that Che would have never joined the Gulden family – or come to Ollu – if it weren’t for a chance encounter in the airport. Diana, Che’s owner, met a woman with a Havenese who was on her way back from a dog show. Diana immediately fell in love with the breed. When she was ready for a new dog, she contacted her airport friend and was referred to a breeder in Bloomington. It’s through this breeder that she found Che.

Among Che’s greatest loves are people, fire hydrants, and cat food. He is affectionately referred to as Checito or Cutie. If you ever run into him at Ollu, be sure to give him a good petting.

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Tricks and Tips for Boating with your Dog

We all love getting out on the water and enjoying Minnesota’s many lakes. If you want to bring your pooch along, it’s important to think ahead and be safe. Read on for 8 tips for boating with your furry friend.

  1. Develop a plan. If your dog jumps out, having a game plan will help you dog-on-boat-boatusavoid panic and move quickly. Decide, for example, who will steer the boat, who will keep an eye on the overboard dog, and who will try to pull him out of the water.
  2. Bring a first aid kit. You never know what could happen, and if you’re far from shore it’s important to be able to provide immediate basic care for an injured dog.
  3. Watch for signs of seasickness. These include licking lips, lots of panting, whining, listlessness, vomiting, and excessive drooling. If your dog is seasick avoid taking him on boat rides in the future.
  4. Bring fresh drinking water. A thirsty pup will most likely lap up the bacteria-infested lake water. You can prevent this by keeping him hydrated with a bowl or bottle of clean water.
  5. Use a life jacket. Even if your dog can swim well, it helps to have something to grab onto if you need to pull him out of the water.
  6. Bring waste bags, paper towels, and disinfectant. Your dog might have to relieve himself while on board, and you don’t want that smell drifting on the nice lake breeze. If you’re willing to spend a little money, try a portable pee pad made just for doggies.
  7. Let your dog get used to the boat before going out on it. A new environment combined with the movement of the waves can be overwhelming. Letting your dog sniff around and settle in can help your dog feel more comfortable.
  8. Make sure your dog is well-trained. It’s important for him to sit and stay on command if a safety concern comes up. This is especially critical in a more tipsy boat where a constantly moving dog could dump you all overboard.

Don’t forget, if your dog gets wet be sure to brush and dry thoroughly to avoid matting.
For more tips on boating with your dog, click here.

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5 Energy Outlets for your Dog

We know it’s important for humans to stay active, but sometimes we forget that dogs need exercise too. Not only does lack of exercise cause health problems, it also results in pent-up energy. Most often this excess energy comes out in less than pleasant behavior, like chewing up your new Birkenstocks or digging up your hostas. Check out 5 fun ways to give your dog a healthy energy outlet.

Tilly, one of our Ollu customers, loves staying active.

Tilly the Golden Doodle has plenty of energy to spare.


 

Running

Running goes beyond giving your dog good exercise. It provides you with an enthusiastic running partner, and can strengthen your bond with your dog. Before you hit the pavement with your pup, read the following tips.

  1. Make sure that your dog is in running-shape. Old dogs or dogs younger than 18 months should not run with you.  Check with your vet to make sure your dog is capable of long runs.
  1. Start with short runs and build up to longer ones. You couldn’t run 5 miles without working up to it, and neither can your dog. JT Claugh, in his article about running with dogs, suggests starting with a ten minute run and adding ten more minutes per week.
  1. Make sure your dog is well trained. Dogs need  to know how to walk politely on a leash before going on a run. If your dog is constantly trying to stop to sniff trees or charging ahead of you, it will only end in lots of frustration and very little exercise.

Check out this awesome article for more tips on running with your dog.


Frisbee

homepageIf you’re too tired for a run, sit in a lawn chair and throw a frisbee. Our favorite frisbee here at Ollu is West Paw’s Zisc. It’s flexible, floats, and is nearly indestructible. The best part is, if your dog manages to tear it up, you can get a new one for free from West Paw.

If fetch gets boring, try mixing it up by grabbing a friend and playing Monkey in the Middle (or perhaps we should say Dog in the Middle).


Obstacle Courses

Try making an obstacle course for your dog. Run through it with him or teach him to dodge and jump it on his own. Use chairs to create tunnels to crawl through. Lay a broom handle on two towers of books to create a jump.  Pull out the old hula hoop in the garage and teach your dog to jump through it. The options are endless! If you want to invest some money into it, create a course with PVC pipes, cones, and play tunnels. Click here for more ideas!


Swimming

Bringing your dog to a lake or river to go swimming can be a great way to burn some energy even on hot days. However, there are dangers that you should be aware of. Most can be avoided if you take the necessary precautions.

  1. Avoid stagnant water and blue-green algae.  Stagnant water is the perfect home for harmful bacteria and amoeba. Be sure to  avoid water covered with blue-green algae as well. It is poisonous to dogs and you never know when your dog will lick some for a tasty snack.
  1.  Consider your dog’s swimming ability.  Like humans, most dogs need to learn how to swim. If your dog has never gone swimming before, be sure to ease him into it and begin in shallow water. Only very experience swimmers should be allowed to swim far from the shore or in places where there may be currents. Keep in mind that some dogs are never able to learn to swim. Dogs with very short legs or a low body fat percentage, just aren’t built for it.
  1. Dry your dog thoroughly. If your dog’s ear canals and coat stay wet they can easily develop ear infections, hot spots, and matting.
  1. Check your dog from head to tail after a swim, looking for any injuries or unwanted guests. It’s important to find any issues before they develop into serious problems.

Biking

Keep in mind that not all dogs are suited to join you on your bike ride. You should not bike with dogs under 25lbs, or under 1.5 years old. Remember that dogs with greater body mass will not be able to run as far, and the shorter your dog’s legs, the harder it will be for him to keep up.

As usual, it’s important to start small and slowly work up to greater distances and speeds. Always keep an eye on your dog and watch for signs of overexertion.

If you’ve ever tried casually bringing your dog on a bike ride, you’ve probably quickly learned that dogs need to be trained before they can join you. Some dogs are terrified of the bike whirring beside them. Others get so excited they just about pull you over. Be sure to take the time to get your dog used to the bike before heading out. This will lower the chance of injury for both you and your dog. Click here for a video about how to train your dog to bike with you.


So… what are you waiting for? Grab your dog, get out there, and get active!

 

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Benefits of Bathing

Usually we throw our dog in the tub when we notice an unpleasant smell or when petting sessions end with dirt-coated fingers. However, bathing has a few benefits besides the 168640-425x282-dog-bathobvious ones.

  1. Bathing alleviates itching. If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, baths can improve symptoms. Rinsing off the allergen prevents continued irritation and can help relieve itching. Keep in mind that although bathing may help with the symptoms, it won’t address the underlying cause. Be sure to talk to your vet to figure out a more permanent solution.
  2. Bathing fights infections. According to Dr. Melissa Eisenschenk from the Pet Dermatology Clinic, bathing kills and rinses off organisms. Because of that, Dr. Eisenschenk says that “bathing, especially with medicated shampoos, can resolve infections like yeast and bacteria.” This calls for frequent bathing though – two to three times a week.
  3. Bathing allows for a look-over.  Regular bathing gives you a chance to check the condition of your dog’s coat and skin. Keep an eye out for skin irritation, matting, ticks, and fleas. The sooner you find these issues, the quicker you can address them.

Check out this blog post for instructions on how to bathe your

 

 

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