Raise Your Paws! We’re Answering Your Nail Trimming Questions

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized



As dog owners we always want to keep our dog happy and healthy; one easy way to do this is regular nail trimming. Below we are going to answer some of the most common nail clipping questions we get asked!

My dog’s nails are really long, why can’t you just cut them really short?

dog nail anatomy graphic

This requires a bit of nail anatomy; dog’s nails have blood vessels that run down the length of the nail called the quick. The quick feeds the new nail growth with nutrients; as the nail grow out so does the blood vessels in order to continue to ‘feed’ the new nail. The length of the quick limits how short you can trim the nails but with regular nail trimming or dremels you can make the quick recede allowing you to get the dog’s nails shorter.


How often should I trim my dog’s nails?

The exact time varies on the dog so there isn’t a concrete answer. There are a lot of factors that affect nail growth: nutrition, exercise, health and age just to name a few. Some dogs needs nail trims every 2-3 weeks while some need them only every 5-6 weeks and some rarely need them. Easy way is to ballpark about 4 weeks and then adjust based on how short/long your dog’s nails are.

What’s the difference between getting a nail trim and a nail dremel?

First and foremost, the tools that are used are different. Nail trims use nail clippers while a nail dremel uses a handheld sander to file down the nail. As you can see from the diagrams, nail trims cut the nail up to the quick and you’re left with a flat cut. Nail dremels on the other hand allow you to sand the nail down without leaving a flat cut and get a bit closer to the quick while sanding out any rough edges.

Nail Trim graphicnail dremel graphic







Which is better a nail trim or a nail dremel?

That’s really up to your dog, nail trimming is important for the health of your dog so either method your dog is comfortable with is going to be the better option. As a heads up, a lot of dogs who don’t get nail trims often are scared of the dremel and it takes some regular use to get them comfortable with it. If you’re unsure, talk to your groomer or pet grooming professional to see which is the best method for your dog.

Help! My dog won’t let me trim his nails, what should I do?

We see this a lot so you’re not alone; plenty of dogs will not let their owners trim their nails. This depends on how dedicated you are to wanting to trim your dog’s nails yourself. You can train your dog to sit patiently for nail trims using positive reinforcement training but it does take some time and you won’t be able to do all four paws let alone all eighteen (twenty if your dog has rear dew claws) nails at once. There are a plethora of dog grooming salons and dog daycares that offer grooming services that will be more than happy to do nail trims for you. Pricing for these are pretty reasonable and usually range from $10 to $20.




We love answering your pawesome questions! Leave a comment down below if you have another nail care question or dog-related question.

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Giardia & What you Should Know

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, dog health, giardia

Jake with leavesFall has arrived! Unfortunately fall brings more than just Seahawks and PSL’s; there is also a higher risk of Giardia. Below is the quick & dirty facts every dog owner should know about giardia.

What is it?

Microscopic parasite that inhabits the intestines of their host for part of their lifecycle. It has a multi-form lifecycle including the cyst form & reproducing form.

The reproducing form stays in the intestine of their host, while the cyst form is shed through feces and goes on to infect new hosts.

What are the symptoms?

Diarrhea (sometimes bloody diarrhea), gas, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and abdominal discomfort.

It is possible to have giardia and be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms at all).

How did my dog get it?

Bad news here, it’s hard to figure out because the dog just has to ingest the giardia cysts. Giardia can survive long periods of time in certain conditions; here are the numbers the CDC gives us:

In soil:

Cold Temperatures (approx. 39.2°F) = 7 weeks

Room Temperatures (approx. 77°F) = 1 week

Dry, warm surfaces experiences direct sunlight= few days

Moist, cool environments = several weeks

In water:

Less than 50°F (lake water, winter-time puddle water) = 1-3 months

Greater than 50°F (fall-time river water, puddle in summer) = less than 1-3 months

Greater than 98.6°F = 4 days

Can I get it from my dog?

It is unlikely because there are multiple types of giardia and the type that infects dogs doesn’t infect humans. However, the type of Giardia that does infect humans can be transmitted to dogs which then can be transmitted back to humans.

How is it diagnosed?

Vets will test a fecal sample for the presence of giardia proteins using the ELISA test. This generally isn’t a standard test including in the annual fecal testing suggested by vets so if you are concerned ask your vet about it.

How is it treated?

Good news! It’s fairly easy to treat, the common treatment is a broad spectrum de-wormer and an antibiotic usually lasting 5-7 days. Sometimes there are multiple rounds of treatment needed in order to clear the giardia. There is no over the counter (OTC) medication available so a visit to the vet is required for treatment.


For further information check out the CDC website for reliable information: CDC Giardia



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Bark to School

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in daycare, Dog Boarding, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, dog health, doggie daycare, Exercise, Puppies

Bark to School ChalkboardIn this edition of the Central Barker, we are gearing up for Bark to School! Kids head back to school in the next couple weeks which means the dogs that have been staying at home with the kids during the summer are now going to be home alone during the day. For some dogs this is great: more naptimes and less bribing the kids for extra treats; but for some pups this is just means more unsupervised time to cause mischief!

So parents when you’re buying all the school supplies for your kids, let’s also think about gearing our four-legged kids to get ready for their ‘bark’ to daycare!

If your pup has never gone to daycare, there’s a couple additional steps you should be aware of. Most daycares require some sort of behavioral evaluation or interview for new dogs before they can come in. Plan ahead of time for this and call ahead to set up an appointment as well as know the requirements the daycare has. These tend to book out 2-7 days ahead of time so keep that in mind when you’re planning.

Spudge & Moose

For both ‘freshmen’ and ‘senior’ daycare dog goers it’s important to make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccines, flea preventative and/or fecal tests. Call the daycare ahead of time to make sure they have all the records and if something is missing call your vet to get it taken care of. There’s nothing worse than dropping your pup off for the day and then learning they cannot play due to an expired vaccine.

Now you’re ready! Your pup rocking their new collar, ready to make some new friends or see some old ones. There might even be a teary goodbye the first day but you’ll be reassured when your pup is passed out on the car ride home that they had a blast at daycare!


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Proper Techniques to Groom Your Dog

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Dog Grooming, grooming

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Customers in need of dog grooming in Seattle often wonder how they can maintain their canine’s fabulous looks in between professional appointments. Fortunately, our knowledgeable pet lovers have some great tips, and we will bring a few basics to your attention here.

Start Small

The first home beauty treatments should be short. Beginning with a 5- or 10-minute session will allow your furry friend to adjust to this new experience.

Keep Tangles at Bay

One simple and enjoyable treatment is the brushing of your dog’s coat. This may need to be done daily if he or she has a long or easily matted coat. Short, smooth fur may only need to be brushed weekly.

Bathe Sparingly

Keep the bath sessions to every few months unless your pal is truly dirty, and use appropriate pet shampoo. This will prevent skin irritation.

Watch the Nails

One tricky aspect of canine care is the clipping of the nails. This may be best left to professionals, but if you would like to do it yourself, purchase high-quality dog clippers, and follow the directions faithfully. Note that dog nails contain a vein that can easily be nicked if the cutting is not done carefully.

With these grooming tips, Fido will be looking and feeling fabulous. Use these “spa” treatments as a relaxing bonding time for you both.

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Benefits of Dog Day Care

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in daycare, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, doggie daycare

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We all want our dogs to be happy, healthy, and energetic. Seeing our beloved pets happy and active eases a multitude of worries about their long-term health and well-being. However, it can be hard to give them all the time, attention, and interaction they need to stay healthy if you have a full-time job and responsibilities. It can be exhausting to come home from work every day and put in hours of walks and playing so that your pup gets all the exercise and interaction that it needs. Looking for a solution? Doggy day care in Seattle or your home town might be it! Read on for some of the benefits.


If raised around a lot of other dogs, your pup will naturally learn how to interact with playmates and be a friendlier, more outgoing dog. This can solve the problem often seen with dogs that are never socialized when they are threatening or intimidated around other dogs. This is especially good if you want to ease your dog into introducing a new dog or even a baby into your household.

Exercise and Playtime

Dogs have huge amounts of energy when they’re healthy, and to keep them that way you need to make sure they get their exercise! Often, just having a dog walker come by doesn’t cut it–most pups need interaction and playtime all day long to get the amount they need. If you don’t have the time and energy to give your pup all the energy it takes, you can rest easy knowing that your pet is getting all the playtime needed at day care.

Medical Attention

If your dog is getting elderly and needs some more attention in the form of medication and special care, many dog day cares can help out by administering medication and care.

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5 Insider Tips to Boarding your Dog

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Boarding, Dog boarding, Dog Boarding, Dog Boarding, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, Dog Hotel, dog kennel, doggie daycare, Kennels, tips

Memorial Day has finally arrived, kicking off the summer vacation season! We have been revving up for weeks and are ready for the start of summer which means a lot of doggy sleepovers. With this in mind, we want to share with you some tips you may not of thought of for boarding your dog. Whether its your pup’s first time boarding or the thousandth time we always want to make sure their sleepover stay is the best it can be!

Vegas tucks himself into bed every night!

Vegas tucks himself into bed every night!


1. Add a Yummy Incentive

  • Sometimes dogs can be a bit pickier than usual about eating meals; the dog who gobbles up everything in sight at home, may choose to not eat meals during a boarding stay. Adding just a small amount of a ‘high value’ item to every meal will make them more likely to eat all of them. The ‘high value’ item can vary between treats, wet food, raw food, chicken broth, yogurt, etc. The idea is to add something special the dog doesn’t normally get everyday to encourage them to eat. This isn’t a fail safe trick, there are always the extremely picky eaters who won’t eat even with their incentive but it works with majority of dogs.

2. The T-shirt Trick!

  • Bring a shirt/article of clothing that you have slept in so it smells like you that can be put in their kennel with them at night. This can be in addition to their favorite bedding and favorite toy too

Donald & Sadie soundly snoozing on their bed from home.

Donald & Sadie soundly snoozing on their bed from home.

3. Short ‘Dry Run’ Boarding Stays

  • If your dog is not an experienced boarder and you have a long trip planned, the best advice would to plan short 1 or 2 night stays over a couple weeks before the long trip to help acclimate them to boarding. It’s not mandatory of course but it will lessen the stress on your pup and ease them into the long boarding stay.

4. Check in on them

  • This might sound obvious but you should always feel welcome to check up on your pet while they are boarding.

5. Time for a Bath

  • Ask for a bath or nail trim to be done before you pick up your dog. If your dog is a big player they will be a tad stinky from consecutive days of playing with other dogs.

Ask for a Bath Blog Photo

We want to hear from you!! What do you do to help you dog have a smooth boarding stay? What’s a good tip for dog owners new to boarding?

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Was Your Dog the Most Popular Dog of 2014?

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

There are approximately 83.3-million pet dogs in the United States. It seems we love our dogs. Seattle is no exception to this; nearly 63% of all Washington residents are pet owners. It’s no surprise, considering what great companions our furry friends make.

Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, higher activity level, and less stress and anxiety than people who don’t own a dog. There is something about those wagging tails and wet noses that make us happier, healthier people.

All dog breeds have wonderful characteristics and traits but some dogs are more popular than others. You may have noticed a breed trend while visiting your local dog park or dog day care in Seattle. The American Kennel Club compiles an annual list of the 10 most popular breeds. Is your pup on the 2014 popular list?

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is America’s favorite dog and has been for the last 23 years. The lab, in its various colors, was originally bred to assist fisherman with fetching ropes and hauling nets. They are a muscular, athletic, and friendly breed and are often used as police dogs and assistance dogs because of their loyalty and intelligence. Their warmth and obedience makes them a wonderful family dog but not the best guard dog.

2. German Shepherd

German shepherds are herding dogs with high energy. Because of their strong sense of smell, fearless nature, and dependable personality, German shepherds are the leading police, guard, military, and search-and-rescue dog. They also make a loving family dog but are happiest when kept mentally challenged and physically occupied.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers were originally bred as hunting companion dogs and are most recognized for their flaxen coats. They are intelligent, hardworking, good natured, and playful. They often retain their puppy-like playfulness even into old age. Golden retrievers are pack animals and will look at their owner’s family as their own; it is important to involve them in family activities.

4. Beagle

Beagles have been gaining popularity over the past few years. They love the outdoors and often have their nose to the ground, looking for a new scent. Beagles are spunky, playful, and cheerful, and they make a great family pet. With their size and gentleness, they are fine for apartment living, as long as they get plenty of exercise and outdoor time. Beagles love to eat and can become obese if their feeding isn’t monitored.

5. Bulldog

Bulldogs were originally bred from mastiffs and were used to fight in bull-baiting tournaments. Today, they are extremely affectionate and kind. Bulldogs are very gentle but are fiercely protective of their families and won’t hesitate to use their muscle when threatened. They are people lovers and can often be found close to their owners. Their gentle demeanor and loving nature make them an ideal family dog.

6. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers, or “yorkies,” were once used to hunt rats in clothing mills and later became a status symbol for English high society. They are considered a Toy Group dog in size, rarely exceeding 7 pounds. Yorkies are a consistent favorite in the U.S. and are known for their long, silky coat and brave, energetic nature.

7. Boxer

Boxer dogs were bred for hunting large game and fighting. During war time they made excellent couriers. Today, they are known for their intelligence, powerful build, and love of people. They are naturally protective of their families and make good guard dogs. Boxers are gentle with their human companions and love to please.

8. Poodle

Poodles, known for their distinct curly fur, come in 3 different sizes and a variety of solid colors. They were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers for hunters and have been regarded throughout history as a status symbol. Poodles are exceptionally smart and excel in obedience training.

9. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are confident, hardworking, and intelligent, and they have high endurance, making them great police and search-and-rescue dogs. Despite their muscular build and aggressive appearance, rottweilers make loyal companions. They are innately protective of their territory and their family, so proper introductions are crucial.

10. Dachshund

Dachshunds have a low, long body and excellent sense of smell, making them ideal hunting dogs. They are friendly, confident, eager, low maintenance, and a great household dog. Dachshunds come in standard and miniature sizes and can have short, long, or wiry fur.

It’s clear why dogs are such popular pets. They offer love, protection, and companionship. If you have questions about grooming or boarding your pet contact Central-Bark to find out more.

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5 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know about Dogs

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Ask the Trainer, behavior problems, dog behavior, dog health, Dog lovers, dog psychology, dog training, dogs, Exercise, Pet diets, Training

Surveys show that there are over 80 million dogs on this earth and approximately one out of every two households owns a dog. We see them in movies and on television, making us laugh or solving crimes. Dogs are even in the news. They are used for companionship, they assist people with special needs, and they are known for being great pets and members of the family. Everybody knows that dogs are smart, friendly, and loyal, but we bet there are some things you don’t know about our canine friends.

Dogs Keep You Healthy

Dogs are being used in the care and recovery of patients in a variety of settings. Alzheimer’s patients have an easier time stabilizing their temperaments when they have exposure to dogs as companions. Petting a dog has been proven to help elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that contribute to the moods in your body and help you feel happy or good. People who have struggled with depression reported feeling improvements after caring for and loving a dog. Dogs have also been known to help their owners lower their blood pressure levels and reduce anxiety.

Dogs Snore

A large number of dogs snore when they sleep! It’s not very adorable when our spouse or significant other does it, but we think it’s pretty cute and entertaining when a puppy or grown dog snores. Some dogs begin snoring when they are new puppies and some dogs don’t exhibit the behavior until they are grown and aging. Snoring can also be the result of a dog gaining extra weight.

Dogs Dream

Dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain waves to humans and a lot of recent studies have suggested that dogs, in fact, dream. Nobody quite knows what dogs dream about, but researchers speculate that their dreaming would be comparable to humans. We tend to have dreams related to the events or occurrences that take place during the day; this is probably the case for dogs as well.

Dogs Can See in the Dark

Night-vision goggles won’t be needed for your pooch. Dogs are able to see in the dark because of the structure of their eyes. A dog’s pupils are a lot larger than human pupils, and as a result, they let more light in. They also have a lot more of the cells in their eyes that distinguish light from shadow, so it’s easier for them to get around when the lights are out.

Unique Nose Print

Just like a humans fingerprint, a dog’s nose is unique. If you look closely, their noses are made up of tiny little ridges and bumps. Each dog’s nose print is as different as each human’s fingerprint. Several countries and a few U.S. states have already adopted the method of using a dog’s nose print for identification of lost dogs.

There is so much to learn and love about these animals. Whether they are helping us stay healthy or keeping us company, dogs have a way of making us feel good. Getting professional dog training in Seattle can make your relationship with your dog even more beneficial.

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Looking for the perfect food for your dog?

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

I often get asked about dog food; which ones do I recommend, what do I feed my pack, what is best for dogs with allergies? All good questions! First let’s cover how to choose a high quality food. Can’t you just picture yourself standing in the aisle at the pet food store trying to read that tiny type on the side of the bag?
(Label pictured is for Kirkland adult dog food.)
Let’s start with looking at the first ingredient. The first ingredient should ideally be the main protein that you intend to feed (such as chicken, lamb or white fish). I like mine to be whole chicken….no chicken meal or chicken byproduct. But I will offer a word of caution, most dogs that are allergic to a protein source it will be chicken. I’m just lucky and my three dogs all do just fine on a chicken based food.
Next I look at the grains used in any perspective food. I avoid soy, corn and wheat. These are the top three dog food allergens. I am usually looking for things like brown rice, millet, barley or quinoa. These are higher quality grains with more fiber. Always avoid all foods that contain sugar or salt! There is no reasons to have these non-nutrient ingredients in you pups food.
Lastly I’m looking for things flaxseed for good omegas and fruits and veggies for taste and natural nutrients.
If you find a food with these basic components you will likely have found a good quality kibble for your best friend. Also I like to think you should be able to find food with quality ingredients and a agreeable price.
If you are looking for a limited ingredient or customized food there are more choices out there now than there has ever been! I was pleasantly surprised by some of these foods that can be made to order based on your dogs breeding, age, weigh and exercise levels! Here are a couple fun sites that have interesting concepts. I can’t vouch for their products as that I have not tried either of these but I love the idea.

Happy chomping!

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Healthy treats and snacks for your best friend!

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in dog health, Dog lovers, dogs, Facebook, indoor activities, Pet diets, Pet Stores, Raw food, tips, Uncategorized

It seems like everywhere we turn these days there are fun looking treats made just for our canine best friends. They are in every grocery store, farmers market and in mass at every aisle of your local pet store. We all love our pets nearly more than ourselves so it’s terribly hard to say no to them. But as with us, too many empty calorie treats equal bulging waists. Did you know your dog is supposed to have a waist? Well, let me tell you, they are! They should have a intent at their waist and you should be able to feel their ribs (not see them just feel them).

So with this bit of information the question is what can I give my buddy to eat that’s both delicious and healthy? Well, I’m so glad you asked! There are lots of great options of healthy delicious snacks for your pups! Some of them are so simple, inexpensive and likely already in your kitchen you’ll be shocked! Things like apples, carrots, lean cooked meat, plain yogurt, cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, cooked green beans, peanut butter (in limited amounts) and scrambled eggs. Here are a few more fun options; pineapple, Popcorn, oatmeal, peas, rice and pumpkin! Just make sure there isn’t any added sugar or salt. So with all these great options why buy expensive store bought junk food? I love giving my dogs a apple slice with a dab of peanut butter on it (also one of my favorite treats) as a treat for good behavior. This brings up a good point, one of the best things you can do for training a happy dog is make him or her work for you. What kind of work? How about a nice sit, stay or down? Dogs like to be praised and get treats, you like a well behaved dog, let’s call it a win win! :)

Here are some fun recipes;

Yummy Oat, apple, peanut butter treats
2 mashed bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter

In a large bowl mash up two bananas with a fork until smooth, mix in the other ingredients. Mix until oats are moist and everything look consistent.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Put one large spoon of the mix in your hand and roll it like a meatball. Put them on a lightly oiled pan (pan or olive oil work well). Put them in rows with about 2 inches between them. Cook them for about 10 minutes or until they look slightly brown on top. Let them cool then treat that good dog!

Cool apple sauce, yogurt treats
2 cups of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup of low fat PLAIN yogurt
1 chopped apple (whatever you have)
Put into a 1/2 cup single serve dish/bowl/cup and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Let your dog enjoy this yummy fun to lick treat.

Happy snacking!

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