Festive Fido

Treat your canine companions this month.

As the holiday season approaches, don’t forget to include the four-legged members of your family on your shopping list. Dogs like presents just as much as the rest of us, and given how much joy they provide all year, isn’t it right to show our love and appreciation? Whether it’s some extra TLC at home, a trip to the doggy salon or a fun new toy, we’ve got you covered: Everything your canine companion could want or need this winter is right here around Lake Minnetonka.

- Winter Grooming Tips -
Between the snow, ice and lack of sun, this time of year can be hard on dogs. Trimming, brushing and combing are just as important during these chilly months as they are during the rest of year, perhaps even more so.

Gwen Smith of Glen Lake Groomers says dogs should be kept clean and brushed year-round, but it’s easy to forget about once winter arrives. “A lot of people get their dogs shaved in the fall and forget to comb them out in the winter,” she says. “We always tell people that a dog is warmer if their fur is combed out. If it’s matted, the hair gathers all together, so there a lot of spots of no hair.”

Smith also says that dog owners should make sure their pups’ nails are trimmed and ears are cleaned, either by doing so at home or paying a visit to a groomer.

Salt on sidewalks can be harmful for dogs, as the chemicals can cause sores on their paws. Smith recommends putting booties on dogs’ feet before heading outside, but having a bucket of warm water (sans soap) at the ready also works. “After the walk, just stick your dog’s paws in and rub them a little bit so that everything will melt and come out. Sometimes they get ice crystals trapped in their feet, so that’s the really important thing to check.”

- Gift Guide -
Make a trip to Pet Stuff Minnetonka for the extra good dog in your life. The pet supply store has been around for over 25 years and has an unbeatable selection of food, toys, treats, beds—pretty much anything your dog could ask for. Owner Tom Brunes says the store’s toy department is particularly great.

“We’ve got everything from the most famous products by Kong to locally made products by American Pet Toys right out of Minnetonka,” he says. “It could be anything from rubber toys to plush toys to tennis balls or ropes.” He says interactive games, which are specially designed to keep dogs both physically and mentally stimulated, have become increasingly popular, and the store has plenty of those.
There’s much in the realm of treats, as well. “Treat-wise, sky’s the limit,” Brunes says. “We have everything from body parts—beef, lamb, pork, fish, bison—to rawhide bones.” Dental treats are also a big hit. “They help the dog get rid of the tartar and the plaque off their teeth. Since it’s done in a treat form, you don’t have to be the one brushing your dog’s teeth,” he says; a gift for both you and your dog.