Certified groomer at Pets in the City Hawaii

Dog Grooming: How Often

How often should you groom your dog? The answer really depends on your type of dog. Your ideal grooming schedule will depend on things like:

  • Breed & coat type
  • The purpose of grooming (show?)
  • Time of the year/season
  • How frequently you brush at home -this often will diminish required trips to the groomer

Outside of these categories, the general consensus for the average dog is about once a month. Having your dog groomed regularly and by the same groomer can be great because your groomer may notice health concerns long before you do! It can be another person keeping an eye out for your furbaby! 

Types of coats:

Short Hair, Single Coated Breeds

Most short hair dogs will need only occasional baths with minimal grooming. On average, the lack of a second coat indicates these dogs were bred to endure mostly warmer climates, and it also means they will probably shed less often.

Short Hair, Double Coated Breeds

Typically, these guys will shed seasonally, and still don’t require too much in the grooming department. To get rid of that dead undercoat, you’ll want to groom them at least four times a year.

Double Coated Long Hair Breeds

These fellows were probably bred or descended from those who lived in seasonal or colder climates. You’ve got iconic breeds (just to name a few), able to tolerate extremes in either water or on land, like the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Labrador Retriever (bred to tolerate cold water), or even many of the amazingly intelligent herding or protective livestock breeds out there. In general, the ‘how often should I groom’ question was developed for these guys.

Called ‘blowing their coat’, most of these guys will shed seasonally, but will also shed, well, all of the time. Longer hair on these guys can become matted, and often the best way to keep up with the immense shedding is regular, daily/semi-daily brushing.

Thick Undercoats

In some breeds, the undercoat is so thick it won’t properly shed, potentially causing severe matting issues and may need to be shaved. You already know shaving a double-coated breed is not usually recommended and can prevent the two layers from growing in sync again.

Problems Due to Shaving Coat

If it is a warm/hot time of the year and you are not careful, your dog will become more susceptible to harmful radiation from the sun (sunburns), as well as overheating to the point of severe heat injuries. For this reason, it is vital you keep up with these breeds, visiting the groomer at a Minimum of every three months.

  • Two coats may never grow in sync again, for the life of the dog
  • Dog’s coat may lose that beautiful ‘sheen’ quality, sometimes permanently
  • Coats can no longer trap cool air; more susceptible to heat injuries -If the proper length difference between the two doesn’t correct itself, this can also last.
  • Coat no longer offers protection from insects (fleas will still exist if your dog has short hair)
  • More susceptible to sunburns
  • Coat loses water resistance quality, a potentially fatal danger in extremely cold climates

Silky-coated Dogs

These particular pups have a single coat that grows continuously and will need to be trimmed on a regular basis. Very short cuts can sometimes last from two to three months, but every 4-6 weeks is recommended to prevent matting.

Hairless Breeds

Today, there are 4 recognized hairless breeds out there. The Chinese Crested is probably the most popular, ironically still growing hair on portions of his body (the PowderPuff version is not hairless).

Bathing (with warm water) once a week is recommended since the Chinese Crested is more prone to skin issues than many other breeds. Sunburns can be a problem, but be aware he may lick any product put on his skin.

We hope this answered some of your general questions or concerns about grooming your pet!

Dogs being walked in honolulu

Dog Collar vs. Dog Harness

A collar or a harness. Which is right for your precious little one? Which is more expensive, and what is better for that certain situation? They both have their benefits and drawbacks, but it really comes down to two things.

  1. What is the situation you are accommodating for, and ‘Why’ are you considering a change?
  2. The main argument against a collar is the pressure applied to the animal’s trachea (windpipe).

Below, we’ve designed a simple cost/benefit table for you! Though there are many more benefits (depending on the situation), these are possibly the main concerns for you.

The Traditional Dog Collar

The Body Harness

Often very inexpensive

Good quality design can cost you $30 and up (more expensive).

Convenient location for dog tags

Untrained dogs have potential to chew and destroy

Very easy to apply

Sometimes difficult to apply

Does very little to discourage pulling

Does very little to discourage pulling

NEVER recommended for small puppies or small toy breeds (ex. Chihuahua)! 

May or may not discourage pulling, depending on the design

One simple design

Countless possible designs for almost any purpose

May offer much more reflective area for nighttime drivers to see

When it comes to puppies or toy/teacup breeds, your answer can’t be more straightforward. Because they are delicate, much more prone to injury than larger dogs, you don’t want something applying pressure to the trachea. Though it can be the simplest, most basic design, you’ll want to go with a body harness.

What Discourages Pulling Better?

As you already know, there are countless designs of both above. The table you see only accounts for the traditional dog collar, but others exist serving many purposes.

Head Halter: The ‘head halter’ is almost like a harness for the dog’s face, and will force the head to turn in one direction if pulled, thus discouraging pulling, but the dog must also be trained simply to allow you to put it on. There are body harnesses that will also force a dog to turn in one direction if pulled, though not quite as effective.

‘Pinch’ or Prong Collar: Dog lovers might see these painful-looking metal devices and cringe, but in reality, they can be a useful tool if used properly. Though these collars are often called ‘choke chains’, that is the last thing they should do. In fact, these are designed to pinch the loose skin around your dog’s neck if pulled, not choke. If applied incorrectly, however, a metal prong jabbing into the trachea can be very dangerous. These are NOT recommended to use with small breeds or puppies.

  • ‘Slip collars’, also called choke chains often, are designed to tighten when pulled, then loosen when the dog stops pulling. Of course, these can also malfunction if worn incorrectly.

Reflection/ Traffic & Road Safety

If you’ve ever had a pet run out in the middle of a busy road, you know well that terrifying ‘slow motion’ feeling you get when something dire is about to happen but there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

No matter what material a dog collar is made out of, it can only offer a small reflective surface area. The vast majority of dog collars aren’t reflective at all. Most body harnesses made for dogs these days offer at least a small reflective surface, and some are designed completely with road safety in mind. If you invest in the right dog harness, your dog will light up like a Christmas tree in front of a car’s headlights and would be absolutely impossible to miss unless the driver wasn’t looking at all.

So with all this in mind, you may want to keep using what you are already using or get a new reflective collar or a harness for your little chihuahua. Whatever you decide, we wish you and your furry friend lots of happy walks!

older dog with tennis ball

Caring for Senior Dogs

Your lovable little companion, that warm and squirmy little wiggle worm you remember from days long past, is getting older. The gleeful excitement and zest for absolutely any activity is beginning to fade or has years ago. Your precious little furry child no longer moves so quickly, though he seems to jump at any random noise.

We all wish our loyal companions could live forever, but aging is an unavoidable fact of life. That being said, there are a few things you should prepare for, so you can offer the absolute best care possible during your pet’s golden years!

Weight Management

Because your older pet has less energy, he won’t want to play or run as much. This means he won’t be burning calories at the same rate. Also, just like humans, a dog’s metabolism will begin to slow as he ages. He won’t want to eat any less though!

Exercise and proper nutrition are both extremely important, even if it is only mild exercise your pup can handle. It’s natural for a dog’s joints to begin to wear as he ages, sometimes leading to things like arthritis (another fact of aging). Arthritic joints are made even more uncomfortable if those joints are forced to bear excess weight.

  • Consider ‘ramps’ for your car, stairs, and any other incline so your dog isn’t forced to jump and climb.


Eyesight deterioration is another natural result of aging. Most dogs that live long enough will begin to develop cataracts (thickening of the lens, causing the eyes to appear cloudy). Seeing things around your house might become more difficult.

Thankfully, everything about a dog’s vision evolved strictly to augment his hunting abilities, and today’s domesticated pets no longer need to rely on their sight for survival. Even a 100% blind dog will be able to live a completely happy life, as long as you make accommodations! Be wary around traffic/roads, move furniture around your house to make navigation easier (or don’t change anything), and warn strangers or company not to move too quickly or get their faces close to your older pet (especially important for children).

Dental Health

Dental disease from plaque and tartar buildup can become a problem. Chewing on things like bones naturally helps break up these things, but if chewing is uncomfortable, your dog won’t want to do it. Thankfully, your veterinarian will clean your dog’s teeth if you ask, and you can purchase specially designed toothbrushes with Dog Specific toothpaste at most pet stores!

  • Plan veterinarian visits regularly.

Conclusion: Accommodate

As he (or she)  gets older, there will be accidents. Your precious pet might begin to lose bladder control, which is something we humans can only hope others will be understanding when it happens to us. Our dogs might become more anxious and jumpy, have trouble getting around, and develop other health concerns. Remember, not any of this is due to poor training or your pet’s fault. Provide the same loving care you did with that tiny, squirming 5-pound puppy!

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!

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 https://www.amsc.us/pet-grooming-tips/

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!

5 DIY Costumes for Your Pups, Both Large And Small

  1. Big Bad Wolf & Red Riding Hood

Who doesn’t remember the classic Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood characters of our youth? Even better, you already have little ‘wolves’ of your own; the costumes make themselves!

Time to hit the fabric store for these incredibly simple items! All you need is a red ‘blanket’ cape for the back of one pup, with a simple ribbon/bow around the waist and in front of the shoulders to hold this one, and a simple blue ‘bonnet’ cap for the other!

     2. DIY Wild West Bandanna & Boots

So, you’re looking for an easy two-piece dog costume for your little one this season? This western outfit is so simple, it practically puts itself together! Talk about no assembly required. You can simply purchase a bandana at any craft/clothing store, or cut out your own.

Though it may take some time for your pooch to adjust to his/her new boots, they are functional as well as absolutely adorable. Dog boots offer protection, traction, and prevent burning from hot cement or sand.

  • Most pet stores will sell various types of ‘doggie boots’.
  • Easily attach your bandana to your dog’s collar.

   3. Dino-Dog Dinosaur Costume

Once again dinosaurs can roam their battlegrounds of old with this easy to make costume! Not only is it the cutest thing, but the dino-dog costume is also one of the classic pet costumes for any holiday.

Time to visit the fabric store! You can easily make triangle cutouts for the ‘scales’ to attach (sew) to the top of and dog costume or existing dog coat! You can even take a child’s sweater, cut off the sleeves, and sew the spikes on the back!

     4. Bat Wing Doggie!

Do you have a dog harness for your pup? If not; no worries- you can use any old shirt cut to fit your little one. Simply wrap the ends of two strips of pre-cut fabric around a couple pencils, attaching with a hot glue gun. Be sure to allow the fabric time to cool, and attach the pencil ends to your dog’s harness in batwing style!


  • Scissors
  • 2 strips of fabric
  • Harness
  • 2 pencils
  • Hot glue gun

5. Mummy Dog

Perhaps one of the easiest costumes to make, the ‘dog mummy’ is absolutely perfect for a Halloween costume or any celebration! Even better- this one doesn’t require any special sewing tools or experience. Why not WOW the neighborhood with ‘Mummy Dog’?

Using a large roll of gauze or several ACE bandages (making sure not to wrap too tightly), simply wrap the bandage material around your pet’s legs, torso, and head (making sure to leave plenty of open space for the face and elimination spots).

  • Make sure wrapping material is non-adhesive.
  • You can also use a white hooded sweatshirt, and simply attach gauze or white bandaging, avoiding your pet’s fur altogether.

Conclusion: A Great Way to Socialize!

Socialization is one of the more important skills your dog will ever learn. He won’t just love all of the attention your costume will bring, it’s a fantastic way to amp up that socialization!

5 Reasons to Choose Pets In The City As Your Doggie Daycare

Are you looking for a doggie daycare that your furry loved one can spend time at while you are away? A place they can call their ‘home away from home’? Don’t you wish you could find caretakers that are like a second family to your fur-child, and not just hourly employees working for a paycheck? No need to look further- you may have just found your dream daycare!

Building Fur-Ever Friends!

All of our dogs love it here. After one day with us, they will form valuable connections and always look toward the next visit with overwhelming excitement and joy! Several of our clients say that their dogs begin whining with anticipation every time they turn the corner and Pets In The City comes into view.

Most of our customers visit Pets In The City every workday, Monday through Friday, or at least 2-3 times weekly, so their pets quickly become part of our family. It doesn’t take long for the pets to learn our daily routine, looking forward to daily walks, feeding times, and playtime with friends!

  • Because we are a smaller facility, we are able to build a personalized relationship with both the dogs and their owners.
  • We’re able to pinpoint unusual behavior/ actions of each dog, always informing their owners. If a dog is sick or not feeling well, we always let the owners know!
  • We’re a ‘one stop shop’! Many of our dogs use our grooming services, and vacations become easy transitions when dogs are already familiar with our facility and process!
  • Our staff is fun loving, always treating all the pets as our own!
  • The dogs we care for become family members, here on a regular basis. Not only do we know their likes and dislikes, we’ve become closely accustomed to each individual personality!

Why not Visit Pets In The City Today!