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!

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!

dog at pets in the city hawaii

Warm Weather & Pets

Hiking With Your Dog

Perhaps one of the absolute best summer activities anyone could enjoy with their dog, hiking provides active stimulation for both parties no dog owner should miss out on! On the flip side, there are also safety measures vital for a good experience.

Keeping Cool

Keeping cool and preventing heat injuries is one of the most important factors to consider when hiking with your dog.

  • Plan your routes ahead of time.
  • Consider hiking either in the mornings or evenings, when it is cooler.
  • Bring a rubber foldable travel water bowl for your dog, as well as plenty of fresh water.
  • Allow your dog to take breaks in shaded areas.

Don’t Shave a Double Coated Breed

To a human’s reasoning, a smaller coat and less fur equal a cooler dog, right? After all, a heavy winter coat wouldn’t make a person feel cooler during the summer. Sadly, this rationale leads to countless needless heat injuries every year.

Many dog breeds have evolved, in diverse climates through thousands of years, a thick double coat of fur meant to serve several functions. Not only does this thick coat keep them cool during the winter, but the topcoat helps trap in cool air during the summer, guard against harmful rays from the sun, and protect from insect bites.

Shaving the topcoat (the first coat of fur cut) will remove these protections and increase the likelihood of heat injuries.

  • Offering a shallow ‘kiddie pool’ in your backyard is a great, safe way for your dog to cool off!
  • Wet dog food contains more moisture than dry, and is a good way to offer additional means of hydration.

ID Tags & Microchipping

ID Tags will help others identify your dog if he/she does happen to run off, as well as offer methods of contacting you (the owner) so you can find your pup. Most pet stores will allow the simple self-creation of these tags for as little as $5.

  • Contact Number (phone- YOURS, not the shelter you got your pet from)
  • Home address
  • Rabies vaccination tag

Simply inserted right beneath your pet’s skin and completely pain-free, microchips can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter your pet may end up at, instantly providing that worker your full contact information, as well as a wealth of information about your pet (at least what you choose to provide).

Swimming with the Dog

Swimming is both a fantastic summer playtime bonding experience and a great way for your pets to cool off! Believe it or not, Grey wolves are and always were, very comfortable among the water. Since today’s domesticated dogs are descendants of Grey wolves, many retain the water-resistant double coats and are naturally good swimmers (although they may not realize it at first).

On the other hand, some aren’t. Short nose, barrel-chested breeds like variations of the bulldog lines, many like breeds or descendants, and Pugs (as well as several other small breeds) are notoriously poor swimmers and should avoid large bodies of water unless closely supervised. Consider researching your breed, and whether or not he was meant for water activities.

  • Make sure to follow beach pet rules.
  • Always supervise your dog around water like you would a child to avoid accidents.

Don’t forget, enjoy the outdoors (safely) with your dog!

K9 and Keiki Carnival

K9 & Keiki Carnival celebrates rescue dogs and the human-animal bond!

Pets in the City chose to be apart of the Fur Angel Foundation because of the awesome work and dedication that is put into each animal they rescue. Their mission is to find loving and caring homes for each animal so they are able to rebuild and strive with a new fresh start.
Pets in the City held a dog wash fundraiser last summer, that was a hit! We were able to raise over $600 for the Fur Angel Foundation to help them support animals in need. Coming up in August the Fur Angel Foundation is putting together a Keiki and K9 Carnival. What an awesome combination, kids, and pets! Pets in the City without hesitation is sponsoring the event.
As a proud sponsor of this event, we invite you to join us on August 26th! Stop by our booth, we would love to see you in person!
You can find out more information at

Howl-o-ween Party Pics


Pets in the City’s annual Halloween Party was a great success!

Thank you to all who participated and dressed up. The staff always looks forward to this party because the dogs are so adorable in their costumes, and we love when the humans get creative and make costumes. This year we had about 25 dogs participate in the party and over half of them dressed up.

A big Mahalo to all the doggie parents for making goodie bags and treats for everyone to take home. We are always so amazed at how involved our PITC parents are, these dogs sure are spoiled with extra love.

Costume Contest Winners:

Cutest Costume: Luca
Funniest Costume: Scout
Scariest Costume: Barney
Most Original: Gerty

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Book a grooming appointment in December and you can choose one of these awesome holiday scents!

– Peppermint Candy Cane Shampoo –
– Sugar Cookie Shampoo –

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Dog Wash Fundraiser for Fur-Angel Foundation

If you are a pet parent, you know how quickly pets become a beloved part of the family. While there are thousands of animals on Oahu that are privileged enough to have a home and be a part of a family, there are also hundreds of furry orphans looking for a home. The Fur-Angel Foundation is not just another shelter, but a community action network that seeks to help find fur-ever homes for orphaned pups by working with a network of interim caregivers.

Many abandoned dogs come from abusive or neglectful environments or have been bounced from home to home. This can make them less trusting and harder to place. In addition, when puppies are not cared for and trained properly, they can grow into adult dogs that lack even the most basic training such as urinating outdoors or sitting on command. Lack of basic training can often get even the most loving adult dogs sent quickly back to shelters.

The Fur-Angel Foundation knows they will have a far easier time helping well-trained and trusting canine friends find fur-ever homes, which is why they send them to foster homes first. In their foster homes, they not only receive care, affection, and attention but also basic obedience training and health care.

Fostering dogs is more expensive than keeping them in a shelter, however, and the Fur-Angel Foundation seeks to provide foster volunteers with everything they need to help prepare their canine companions to find a fur-ever home.

Pets in the City believes strongly in the work that the Fur-Angel foundation does and we are hosting a dog wash fundraiser to help raise money to support this vital effort. Treat your own fur-angel to a luxurious spa day and help an orphaned fur-angel in the process.

The fundraiser will be held on June 24, from 9am to 3pm. Pre-sale tickets are available, just call 808-593-1505 to reserve. You can also RSVP on Facebook here.   And of course, walk-ins are welcome!

Hope to see you there!

How to Prepare your Pet for Boarding

If the idea of leaving your dog at a boarding kennel makes you anxious, you’re not alone. Handing your beloved pet into the care of others and worrying about how they will deal with the separation can be stressful. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to prepare yourself and your dog for what can be, if handled carefully, a calm or even enjoyable experience.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Planning ahead for the day when you need to leave your dog at a kennel will save you from scrambling when the time is short. Call ahead or stop by to find out about:

  • Vaccination requirements – In addition to ensuring that your dog’s regular vaccinations are up to date, ask about any additional vaccines that may be required including bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough. Since vaccinating your dog will not provide him with instant immunity, ask how far in advance he should be immunized prior to his planned stay.
  • Medication protocols – If your dog requires any sort of regular medication, ensure that the staff is capable of storing and administering it properly.
  • Drop-off and pick-up times – Be certain that you are clear on the hours of operation. While many boarding facilities have staff available day and night to care for their canine guests, that doesn’t mean the lobby always open.

Once you’ve gathered the details of the kennel’s requirements, be forthcoming in providing specifics about your pet, such as how they typically react to strangers and how they behave around other dogs. Exchanging as much information as possible and getting the necessities squared away in advance will reduce your anxiety, allowing you to focus on keeping your dog calm and happy at check-in.

Schedule a Doggy Daycare Meet and Greet

Perhaps the best way to reassure yourself that your dog will be fine in your absence is to schedule a short doggy daycare session at a time when there is no pressure. Many dogs love socializing so much that doggy daycare becomes a welcomed regular activity for them even when boarding is unnecessary. The ability to play, socialize and interact with other dogs in a safely monitored environment is a great perk for canines who otherwise have few opportunities to interact freely with others of their kind. If you keep the first session short so that your dog does not become overly stimulated or exhausted, you might find that they genuinely look forward to the days when they get to play and hang out with their friends.

Comforts of Home

When the play session has ended and your dog takes a break in their private room, they might like a few reminders of home to comfort them in their down time. Ask the kennel staff what items are allowed, such as:

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Food
  • Bedding

Consider also bringing an old article of clothing with your scent on it to remind them that you’re not far away.

Your dog is a member of your family, and they look at you for guidance and reassurance. Call ahead and schedule a play session today, then confidently show them that doggy daycare is nothing to fear. Soon it will become a pleasurable outing that they will regard with joyful anticipation.

Benefits of Doggie Daycare

Let’s face it – your dog is happiest when they are with you getting plenty of attention and exercise. They are your best friend and you want them to be happy and tuckered out at the end of the day. In an ideal situation, you would be there with them to accomplish this. But, what if a busy schedule with work and other obligations makes this impossible? The next best thing to giving your dog your undivided attention might just be doggie daycare. Read on to see how doggie daycare can benefit your pup.


Dogs are not born knowing how to act around others. Your dog needs to learn social skills. If they are not socialized they may become overly excited upon seeing other dogs. They might be aggressive towards them or they could be nervous. Strangers may also cause the same reactions in your best friend. However, by attending a daycare, your dog will learn to properly socialize with other dogs and people.


You love your dog and would certainly agree that it is unfair to keep them locked inside all day with no exercise. They should be able to get outside for a walk at least once a day. Unfortunately, a busy workday may keep you from having enough energy and time in the evenings to take your dog for a walk. A dog who doesn’t get enough exercise often will be destructive. They have too much energy that they cannot burn off and they get bored. This leads to your dog finding ways to get some of his energy out in ways that aren’t going to make you happy. You might come home to find walls scratched, furniture and other items are torn as a result of your dog having too much energy and suffering from boredom. To ensure your dog gets properly exercised, doggie daycare is the solution. Your dog will be tired after a day of doggie daycare playing with their doggie friends. Not only that, but their caretakers will ensure they are tired at the end of the day by taking them for regular walks and playing fetch.

Potty Breaks

It is not good for your dog’s health to leave him inside for several hours without potty breaks. Most dogs will not use the bathroom in their living space. Therefore, if they can hold it until you come home and let them go outside. This situation can lead to kidney problems that can cause your dog discomfort and can become very expensive for you. If your dog attends daycare, you can be assured they will be given several potty breaks throughout the day.

As you can see, doggie daycare has many benefits. Just remember, a tired dog is a happy dog they will get the care and attention they need when you are unable to be there for them.