ashley and diesel

2019 Year In Review!

The end of the year has arrived, and again the year has flown by. Every year as I reflect back, I’m always so grateful for our customers who continue to support us day in and day out. Without the support of you, we would not be here. Secondly, I’m so grateful for my amazing staff who shows up and loves on all the dogs as if they were their own. The combination of both these aspects makes my job so enjoyable and reminds me that I’m lucky enough to do what I am most passionate about, loving and caring for dogs. As Pets in the City continues to grow each year our mission will always be to provide the highest level of care for each dog that walks through our door. We are so excited to enter 2020 with a bang and continue to serve you!

[We have our 2020 holiday hours posted click HERE to take a look!]

puppy with different color eyes

Doggy Dental Care During the Holidays!

Do you remember that tiny, perhaps 4-month-old puppy with sparkling white teeth? They couldn’t be cleaner! Unfortunately, as they age, our dog’s teeth usually don’t stay that way.

Plaque: Soft, sticky substance, containing countless bacteria, that builds upon the teeth.

Tartar: Solid deposits that trap stains on teeth; almost impossible to remove without dental care.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

You can actually find specially made ‘pet brushes’ for your pup at almost any pet store! At first, your dog isn’t going to understand or enjoy your hands around his mouth, but take a look at this neat training principle called Counter-conditioning.

Feeding your dog treats while trying to brush his teeth may seem counterproductive, but you can use enthusiastic praise, implement short sessions with breaks, and play! Your goal is to teach your pet that by sitting still and allowing you to brush, he is rewarded; the reward more valuable than the discomfort of having his teeth brushed.

Be Choosy About Toothpaste!

You want to be sure to use a dog-approved toothpaste purchased from a pet store or recommended by your vet. Human toothpaste contains fluoride, which can cause a bunch of different health issues and we don’t want our dogs to lick or swallow. That’s exactly what they would do since they can’t exactly spit any of it out.

Give Your Dog a (Safe) Bone!

Believe it or not, the simple, mechanical act of chewing can help break up plaque before it’s able to harden into tartar! Chewing bones is already a natural, instinctual act. All you have to do is provide the right kind of incentive, and watch him go.

Hard, thick rubber toys, like Kongs or toys with ridges, are also both great for your pup to chew on!

Dental Chews

There are several tasty treat-type-chews on the market these days, designed to enhance your dog’s oral hygiene. For example, this limited ingredient dental chew, designed by Nylabone, gives off a flavor dogs love while offering ridges to help break up that plaque.

Wet Food vs. Dry

Nutritional benefits of wet vs. dry dog food aside, wed dog food tends to cause a film to build up, and is more likely to stick to your pup’s teeth. Whereas chewing dry dog food doesn’t really give the mechanical benefits of chewing on a bone, it probably won’t leave as much of a sticky residue.

  • Don’t offer Poultry, cooked, or hollow bones that might splinter!

Too Much Human Food?

We always want to treat our little ones with all the numerous tasty treats we can offer, but human meals weren’t designed to nourish a dog. They often contain more carbohydrates than you should be offering, in addition to the carbohydrates already found in their foods- potentially contributing to excess weight gain. Human food can also offer more sodium than you want.

Ask the Vet!

Not only will many veterinarians actually perform a comprehensive dental cleaning upon request, but they will also be able to thoroughly answer any ‘Canine’ dental related questions you might have! For some dogs, cleaning under anesthesia is the only way they will ever allow a human to play around with their mouths.

Holiday Ideas! Going to a friend or family member’s house for thanksgiving that has a dog? Bring a special dog treat just for the family dog! Other Gift ideas for your canine friends during the Holidays: Doggy toothpaste, toothbrushes, toys and treats that are specific to dental care!

while lab

Dog Anxiety

Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Anxiety is a body’s response to stressful situations, or simply stress in general, in both humans and dogs. A dog could suffer from anxiety because he is afraid of something, injured or in pain, simply uncomfortable, or not getting what he wants at the time (for example).

Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs

Though they might change based upon the reason your dog is feeling anxious, he might experience any of these. It usually isn’t hard to spot a dog feeling anxious, for those who pay attention.

  • Aggression
  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
  • Yawning

Three Main Causes of Anxiety

Though there are many things that can cause a dog to feel uncomfortable, there are three main causes or reasons for a dog to feel anxious. Once you figure out which one it is, the symptoms all fit and treatment usually become easier.


Fear-based anxiety can be caused by simple loud noises, strange people, animals or objects, new and unfamiliar smells, or probably the most problematic for humans- fear of injury and harm.

For example, imagine you see a small dog huddled in the corner of his crate at a shelter, shivering and crouched, tail tucked and avoiding eye contact. This dog is suffering from fear-based anxiety, possibly fearing humans or the other shelter animals along with this new, strange environment he’s not used to.

Sometimes, all this takes is simple ‘counter-conditioning’, pairing what your dog fears with something he enjoys enough to dismiss the fear. Eventually, he will no longer fear what he once did. On the other hand, fear-based anxiety can be very difficult to cope with, especially in dogs suffering from past trauma, and sometimes requires the help of an accredited animal behaviorist.


Dogs suffering from separation anxiety don’t like being separated from owners or other animals, feeling uncomfortable when alone. This is very common, affecting an estimated 14% of dogs according to the American Kennel Club (which is a LOT).

This happens most often to dogs used to being around people suddenly left alone for long time periods, or dogs coping with owners that come home angry.

To cope with this, you want to slowly condition your pet to be alone. For example, start out with 20 minutes, 30, 50, an hour, an hour and a half, 3 hours, etc. The process needs to be very gradual, and you can’t greet your dog with punishment. He needs to learn you will come back to him every single time (which is probably what he fears), and your return will only ever mean good things for him.


Age-related anxiety is also common in older dogs, a fact of life. A memory, awareness, learning, and perception begin to decline, anxiety becomes expected. This takes an owner who is sympathetic and understanding to help cope with the confusion an older dog is dealing with.


If your dog is showing signs of anxiety It’s best to make an appointment with your vet. There are many treatments such as anxiety vests, medication (prescribed by your vet), training techniques to use and more. So if you have any concerns about your furry friend there are options! Talk with your vet, and see what he or she thinks!

dogs swimming with life vest

DIY Cool Down Treats for Dogs

While these summer months bring fantastic opportunities for countless new adventures you won’t find during any other season, the danger of heat-related injuries is very real and victimizes countless pets. Not only is it vital you learn how to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but any responsible pet owner also needs to know how to keep their dogs safe.

Thankfully, we have a few fantastic ideas to share with you here! Unlike many other DIY dog treat recipes out there, the three below are extremely simple and won’t require much effort.

Important Notice: The ideas below will do little to help treat heat stroke, far worse than heat exhaustion and considered a life-threatening emergency. If your dog’s body temperature reaches 107°F, his life could depend on you reaching a veterinarian in time.

  1. DIY Ice Block

This is both an Extremely simple and fantastic idea! All you have to do is freeze a mix of berries and your dog’s favorite toys or treats in a bucket, remove the block after it is frozen, and let your pup go to town clawing, licking or biting at his new cool toy!

This will also keep your pet occupied for a good amount of time, which is a fantastic solution to your destructive pet problems.

    2. Fruit & Peanut Butter Ice

Simply combine peanut butter & water in a pan or mold, then add fruit & flax seeds to the mixture. Leave it in the freezer for about 4-6 hours, then let your dog enjoy his new favorite treat!

Both fruit and peanut butter are healthy, peanut butter actually offering protein and healthy fats, vitamins B and E, and niacin. Fruits offer antioxidants, on top of several other vitamins and minerals! Just be sure you aren’t giving your pet xylitol ( a common artificial sweetener toxic to pets).


  • Water
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped fruit
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds

    3. Yogurt Banana Pops

All you have to do with this inventive mixture is blend the ingredients into a large mixing bowl then freeze the concoction in ice cube trays for about 30 minutes. There is no need to use toothpicks or popsicle sticks; you can offer these creative treats directly in your pup’s bowl (or mouth)!

Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, veterinarians actually recommending them as an alternative to salty or fatty treats. Though some dogs are lactose intolerant, yogurt not only contains calcium and protein but is great for your dog’s digestion because it acts as a probiotic.


  • 32 oz of either plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Important Summer Tip: Never leave your dog unaccompanied in a hot car! In fact, this is the biggest cause of heatstroke according to veterinarians and has claimed the lives of more pets than you want to think about.

dog on the beach

Popular Hot & Mild Weather Dog Grooming Styles For Schnauzers

Schnauzers are a very distinctive Double-Coated breed, the longer fur on their face helping them stand out and look especially unique among dogs. There are literally countless grooming styles for these guys, but a very important rule every Schnauzer owner should remember (Especially in a Tropical Climate).

Important Schnauzer Grooming Rule

As I was browsing through all these unique Schnauzer styles on Pinterest, I noticed several of the dogs have been shaved. Yes, they looked great and unique, but shaving a double-coated breed may not be the best style for all schnauzers.

Such a coat was biologically designed to not only keep the dog warm during the winter, but repel dirt & water, and help keep him cool during the summer by actually trapping cool air and offering protection from the sun. Shaving the dog doesn’t help him remain cooler, but rather takes away these protections and increases the chances of overheating.

When a dog sheds, he sheds his undercoat; the topcoat never sheds and is meant to stay the same. These two coats don’t grow at the same rate, and when a topcoat is cut, the dog’s fur might be permanently altered.


Bathing your Schnauzer often (more than once to twice a month) can wash away oils protecting his skin, and cause it to dry out and become itchy. When you do bathe, make sure you use a dog-approved shampoo! Miniature Schnauzers tend to require bathing more frequently than the giant version. In fact, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club recommends bathing as much as once a week

Prone to developing knots, your Schnauzer’s fur should be brushed regularly. This is a breed that doesn’t shed very much, so your job isn’t going to be difficult!

Trimming or Hand Stripping a Schnauzer’s Fur

Because shaving or most forms of cutting would damage that topcoat (which, remember- you don’t want to do) in an attempt to get to the undercoat, ‘hand stripping’ involves the groomer removing dead fur by hand. The hair is removed by the root so new fur is able to grow.

This is a much more popular method with show dogs, and not always done with everyday pets. Hand stripping, though it doesn’t damage the dog’s coat, can be uncomfortable for the animal.

The topcoat is maintained by hand stripping or rolling the coat and is required for the show ring.

The American Miniature Schnauzer Club

As a wire-haired dog, shaving causes a Schnauzer to lose his characteristic coat texture, giving him something closer to a fine, cotton appearance. Click below for a more complete description of some of the best recommended Schnauzer grooming tools you can use!

Sources Cited

American Miniature Schnauzer Club. (2018). Pet Grooming Tips for the Miniature Schnauzer.

Retrieved from

dog at pets in the city hawaii

5 Pet-Friendly Places in Honolulu

We all love our fur babies and want to spend time with them. It can be nice to take them out with us, but it can be hard finding pet-friendly places. We did some searching and found some spots you can check out WITH your pet!

Nico’s at Pier 38

Looking for a great place to eat that welcomes your furry one too? Enjoy a heartwarming meal of some fresh, tasty seafood with your best friend. Even better, you’ll get the opportunity to dine with a fantastic patio view overlooking the water! Nico’s at Pier 38 is located at 1129 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI.

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

Perhaps a unique take on popular American dishes is more your fancy? Gladly welcoming your pooch on the outdoor patio, the Nook Neighborhood Bistro offers interesting dishes you would have a hard time finding anywhere else, like polenta fries served with blue cheese, or Spiced Espresso made with RumChata to start your morning. Remember not to offer anything alcoholic or caffeinated to the pets!

You’ll find the Nook Neighborhood Bistro at 1035 University Ave, Honolulu, HI.

Some other Pet- Friendly Restaurants With Great Reviews

Proof Public House


Mimi’s Place

Buca di Beppo

  • Though restaurants allow pets to dine outside on the patio, they may not allow them inside the restaurant. It’s a good idea to call ahead!

Hawaii Kai Dog Park

Is it an off-leash dog park you’re looking for? If so, you’re in luck; there are several fenced dog parks in Honolulu! Though these parks are fantastic places for your pup to run and play, they offer a unique quality sometimes hard to find anywhere else- a chance to socialize!

Hawaii Kai Dog Park is one such place, offering a safe zone for your furry friend to roam off leash. Clean up stations are offered all over the park, as well as plenty of shaded zones. You might even find a mobile dog grooming van in the parking lot!

You and your pet can roam the Hawaii Kai Dog Park at 234 Keahole St, Honolulu, HI.

Some Other Fenced Dog Parks in Honolulu

Moanalua Dog Park

Diamond Head Dog Park

Mililani Dog Park

Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline

Is it a beautiful hiking spot you’re looking for? You’ll want to leash your pup for this one, but the exercise offered is almost as spectacular as the view itself- something few pet owners get to experience. Gorgeous any time year round, this 2-mile round trip hike doesn’t just give a perfect chance to get much-needed exercise, but you might even spot migratory whales (another experience few get to enjoy).

It can get pretty hot here, so make sure you bring plenty of water, and a ‘travel’ water bowl is a great idea for the furry companion! You can venture down Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline at 8751-9057 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI.

Kamehameha Beach

Though you’ll want to leash your dogs, beaches are fantastic places to enjoy nature for both you and your pet. On top of that, you’ll find a few other places in the entirety of the United States with a better view! Kamehameha Beach is located at Honolulu, HI 96818.

Other Pet-Friendly Beaches with Good Reviews

Mākālei Beach Park

Kawaikui Beach Park

Ala Moana Regional Park

Let us know in a comment if you’ve tried these places and some of your favorite pet-friendly places!

dog at pets in the city hawaii

Weight Loss 101: What Is A Healthy Weight For Your Hawai’i Pet?

So, you think your dog or cat might be overweight? The last time you could see or feel anything resembling your dog’s ribs seemed like years ago. Maybe he seems a bit plump, or maybe your pet is experiencing other health issues due to its weight. Whether it’s a low hanging belly on a dog that can barely walk, or a few pounds extra, we can help!

Know Your Pet’s Recommended Weight

You can’t quite know how much weight your dog (or cat) has really put on without knowing how much they Should Weight. Though there are always exceptions, you can almost certainly find your breed’s standard among the almost 200 dog breeds the American Kennel Club recognizes.

Some breeds are naturally ‘deep chested’, and some might appear thin when they are actually healthy. Others might look overweight when they merely have a large coat, and some underweight dogs might look healthy due to a large coat. Though many people who know what to look for can tell if their pets are healthy, it can sometimes be tricky.

Of course, your veterinarian will know exactly what to look for, and not only can help you recognize signs of weight gain but help you develop a plan for healthy weight loss.

Watch the Carbs

Humans don’t quite ‘need’ carbohydrates to survive, but they do to remain healthy. For us, carbs are our main source of energy. Anyone who tried a ‘no carb diet’ probable ended up tired/exhausted most of the time, if not worse.

The case is quite different for dogs! There once was a time when wolves would go for several days without a meal; they needed to rely on fat storage for energy. Many wolves still survive the same way in the wild today. Though domesticated dogs have lived among humans for hundreds of (some breeds thousands) years, through many generations, and have adapted to our way of life, they still don’t rely on carbohydrates the same way we do.

  • In a natural setting, a wolf’s diet will consist of around 15% carbohydrates, and only because wolves are sometimes forced to scavenge when they can’t rely on animal meat. With so many cheaply produced plant-based pet foods on the market today, the avg. dog diet might consist of 45% or more carbs!

Though even many of the so-called ‘premium’ dog food brands will use more carbs than they should, some of the more popular brands flood the market with very poor choices. Try to feed your pet an animal-based food with top ingredients consisting of animal meat.

  • Try not to feed your pet to much ‘people food’. Not only are these foods often high in carbs, but they also offer more salt/sodium than you want to be feeding to your pet.

Exercise is Important!

You don’t have to run a marathon with your pet, but daily exercise is important for more reasons than just maintaining a healthy weight. In some cases, all it will take is a yard to run around in or a daily walk. You want to avoid your pet being inactive all day.

Of course energy demands can vary greatly depending on age or breed. Do you know the demands of your breed? Do some research; it only takes a few minutes to ‘Google’ your pet!

Urban Mushing

‘Urban (or dry land) Mushing’ was developed by mushers who wanted to keep their dogs in shape during the warmer months, and has turned into a worldwide phenomenon! Many people with all kinds of dog breeds perform various kinds of urban mushing today, sometimes even joining in large contests or races.

With some specialized equipment that doesn’t have to cost you much at all, You can run along as your dog pulls you forward, let your pup run along in front of your bike or scooter, or even hook him up to a cart! Are you a hockey fan or just enjoy rollerblading/ inline skating? Yes, there is a form or urban mushing for you too!

dog at pets in the city hawaii

Spring Cleaning For Pet Owners

We all want a safe home for our loved ones and that includes our pets! Here are some common household products you may want to be sure are in a safe place, out of reach of your pets.

Pest-control products

These usually aren’t a problem until the snow melts. For example, it’s not a good idea to treat the grass in your backyard with any pest control products toxic to dogs, since many dogs will eat the grass in your yard on occasion. The same goes for ant or insect poison and mouse traps with that tasty cheese.


The antifreeze (or radiator coolant) you store in your garage can be very dangerous, actually causing fatal kidney failure. Ethylene glycol, a component of antifreeze, has a sweet taste that a dog might find attractive.

Cocoa Powder (Chocolate, coffee or caffeine)

If you are a diehard baker or cook, you’re probably familiar with this. Though no form of chocolate is good for dogs, even a very small amount of cocoa powder can be fatal for any dog. If you insist on storing this ingredient, make sure it is somewhere your little one can’t reach!

Other Dangerous Foods


Grapes, Wine, Raisins


Macadamia Nuts (and any other choking hazard)




Chicken Bones (& any cooked bones)

Xylitol (artificial sweetener)

Yeast dough

Electrical Cords

These pose a greater danger to puppies, eager to chew on absolutely anything they can find (as any puppy owner has realized), but even adult dogs suffering from episodes of anxiety might decide to chomp down on those chewy cords nearby. The danger here is obvious; potential burns can be fatal. If you care for puppies or kittens, make sure to hide those cords somewhere out of reach!

Toilet Cleaner (or any household chemical)

Most dog owners have noticed their pups drinking from the toilet if their water bowls run dry, though we usually try and discourage the behavior. This can seem disgusting to humans, but it’s just another water source to dogs.

Add chemical cleaners, however, and it has now become extremely dangerous. Most people don’t think of this, but make sure the lid stays shut if you are using any kind of cleaning agent!


No one can argue the visual appeal a nice touch of deep green or added color adds to the home, but unfortunately for pet owners, our pets will sometimes see those plants as a tasty treat, if not at least something to chew on. Many common household plants can be toxic to our pets.

If you keep plants in your home, take a minute and look here to find out if they are pet-safe!

Needles (or anything sharp)

Anywhere from medicinal needles, sewing needles, safety pins, or even push pins can seem like a wonderfully tempting chew toy to our little ones! However, outside of the obvious choking hazard they present, the tiny sharp, pointed metal can poke holes anywhere along the digestive tract if successfully swallowed, creating a very serious medical emergency.

Tin Can Lids

Some of us simply throw cans away after using them, but many of us like to recycle. Recyclers often keep some sort of bin somewhere in their home, accessible until the recycling day.

Those tin can lids can seem to be a very tempting chew toy but are sharp enough to seriously cut into a dog’s mouth. If you do recycle, remember to put this ‘bin’ somewhere the dog can’t get at it or consider simply throwing anything sharp in the trash.

Plastic Bags

Not only does plastic become a big problem if swallowed, but puppies or kittens trying to get that last bit of food within can also get their little heads stuck inside, making suffocation a very real danger!

Keep your pets in mind when you clean your home this spring! Happy Cleaning!!

owners family

Pets in the City: Message from the Owner 

Wow! 2018 has been such a good year, our greatest year yet! As Pets in the City continues to grow each year our mission is to continue to provide excellent service.

I, Ashley, have been the owner since September 2012, that’s almost 7 years in the making. I still can’t believe it’s been that long. It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from The University of Hawaii, Manoa while trying to take over Pets in the City all at the same time. I have learned so much from my staff, customers and most of all the dogs. As an employee of the original owner of Pets in the City, I was able to work here through college and learn about the dogs as well as the business. I had no idea what doggie daycare was so going into this job I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that working with dogs all day would be the best job ever! Never did I think I would own the business and make a career out of it. I have always had a passion for animals (especially dogs) and growing up with them I understood the love they are able to bring to each family. I like to say that I have a ton of dogs (each dog that comes to Pets in the City is like my own) but currently, I have one dog, Diesel – who thinks he is the “king of the castle”. He’s definitely a handful and my protector but we love him so much and he brings so much love to our family.

The last almost 7 years has been a complete learning experience. Taking over the business when I was 24 years old and building it to what it is today has been a dream come true. I was young, straight out of college and had no clue what it took to run a business. I am lucky enough to have amazing mentors and always believed to do what is right and be honest. I value my employees to the highest level and love each and every one of my customers. When each dog comes running into our facility every morning it’s a reminder that we are doing something right. It’s the greatest feeling to see how happy each dog is to come and hang out with their friends every day.  And although it has been one heck of a ride I have enjoyed every second of it.

It has been an honor to serve our dog community with the best daycare, boarding and grooming for your pets and look forward to serving our community for many more years to come. We have the best customers both human and canine and I’m so grateful for that.


Ashley Gandall

Pets in the City


puppy meeting each other

Socialization: Why it’s Important

Dogs are naturally social animals, happiest when they are among other familiar dogs or people, their ‘pack-mates’. In the wild, wolves are extremely social creatures, dependent upon their extended family, or pack, for daily life! Living among our human world with all of its’ very unnatural human dangers, dogs are even more dependent on others.

In the end, well-socialized dogs are simply happier. They aren’t nearly as stressed, don’t suffer from anxiety related problems as often, and are able to both exercise and play with others more freely.

Why is Socialization Important?

Because they evolved such finely tuned survival instincts over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, wolves (and today’s domesticated dogs they are descended from) are naturally cautious of strange animals they haven’t encountered before.

For our dogs, this means Fido might regard that strange animal he’s not used to or has never seen before, that animal now ‘invading’ his space where he and his precious family he relies on for survival live, as a possibly dangerous threat. This can easily lead to dog fights, and many unfortunate animals were severely injured because of these misunderstandings. This can be an enormous problem when young children are concerned.

Sure, well-socialized dogs are happier and tend to play well with others. But safety is the real reason it is so important to socialize your dogs!

Socializing Puppies: Start Early

When it comes to young puppies, eager to explore the world and take in new experiences, always expecting the best outcomes out of everything, socialization couldn’t be easier! There is only one all-important rule you have to follow no matter what:

All Important Rule: Make sure every interaction is a happy one!

  • Introduce your puppy to children, adults, and other dogs (with close supervision, of course). Ironically, ‘obedience’ classes are usually better for the socialization dogs to get with ‘classmates’ than any actual obedience skills they might learn.
  • Let your puppy interact with friendly cats. Invite family and friends over to meet your new and interesting puppy, allowing your pup to get used to larger groups of people (careful not to overwhelm the pup).
  • Make these encounters into fun games if you can. As long as you follow the one rule above, your pup’s social skills will continue to grow!

It can range from difficult to near impossible to socialize poorly trained, fearful adults, especially those who’ve endured past trauma. The aggressive ones you might hear about often fall into this category. That is why it is so important to ‘start young’, around 8-12 weeks of age!

If nothing else, well-socialized dogs play better with other well-socialized dogs, able to get much better exercise on their own and remain healthier!