1501 North State Street
State Street x Champion Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Parking on our block is only ¢25/hour.
Free after 5pm and on the weekends.
10am - 7pm
Sunday 12pm - 6pm
Last dog accepted for washing 40 min before closing.
Fourth of July
Christmas: 23rd, 24th, 25th
New Year's: 31st, 1st
A Word About...
- How often can I wash my dog? A word about wash frequency and shampoos.
- Is that your dog crackling? A word about cold weather, dry skin, and healthy paws.
- What is De-Shedding? A word about all that hair.
- Long toe nails are hard on your dog's joints. A word about the importance of maintaining short toe nails.
- Wash Those Paws. The finer points washing your dog.
How Often Can I Wash My Dog?
A word about wash frequency and shampoos.
This is a common question. Many people will tell you that washing a dog regularly dries out their skin. This is an outdated belief stemming from the time when people used Dawn or inappropriate shampoos.
Nowadays, and especially here at Shake & Shine, we have shampoos that are formulated specifically for dogs and the needs of skin that is almost entirely covered in hair. The shampoos I use at Shake & Shine are pH-balanced, and sulfate and paraben-free. Moreover, conditioners are always part of any wash package you choose. Their main purpose is provide clean and beneficial oils to the skin and coat after removing the rancid dirt from the dog. I swear to you that conditioners are not frou-frou and will not turn your dog into a pink perfumed puffball. Conditioners will make your dog's coat shiny and easier to brush, keep the skin moisturized, and help with static electricity. Washing your dog at Shake & will actually help with dry skin issues.
That said, a good frequency to wash your dog – if he has no special issues – is once a month. That will keep your dog clean and healthy. Dogs actually enjoy being clean, even if they are not always enthusiastic about the process. And we humans relate differently to a dog that smells good and looks good as opposed to a dirty dog. Who would you rather play games with and cuddle?
If your dog has allergies or skin issues, it is not a problem to wash more frequently. My dog, who has allergies, get's washed about every 10 days. Veterinarians will tell you to wash pollen and other allergens out of a dog's fur regularly if the dog has allergies. Therapy dogs, for instance, who visit nursing homes and hospitals are dogs that need frequent washing to stay clean. If you are fighting a yeast infection on your dog's skin, you will during that time also have to wash more often.
I hope this helps. Please keep in mind that a healthy dog does not smell.
If you have any questions, give me a call at Shake & Shine:
(360) 296 5226.
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Is that your dog crackling?
A word about cold weather, dry skin, and healthy paws.
I guess that would be at least three words. Oh, well. When the temperature drops and the air becomes dry, your dog's fur starts crackling with static electricity. If you have experienced this with your own hair, you know that's not the greatest of feelings. Together with dry fur comes dry skin. White dandruff becomes visible when you run your hand against the lay of the fur.
The good news is that it's pretty easy to do something about dry, itchy dog skin. When you come in for a wash, we will use emu oil shampoo or neem shampoo with moisturizing aloe conditioner to soothe the skin and keep the coat and skin moisturized. I know "moisturizing" sounds funny when used in conjunction with dogs, but their skin is really not so much different from ours. Something that I use on my own hair as well as on my dog when I come into the store on those dry, cold mornings, is the aloe coat shine spray by Ark Naturals. It is meant to reduce shedding by keeping the skin healthy and the coat moisturized, and because of that it is great to reduce static electricity too.
Nutrition is another approach: add some healthy oils to your dog's diet. I offer salmon and pollock oil at the store, which will your dog's skin healthy from the inside and give the coat some shine.
Fish oil also is a healthy supplement to your dog's food for many other reasons that I won't go into right now. Additionally, adding a couple of teaspoons (depending on the size of your dog) of coconut or olive oil to the dog food is very helpful too.
Finally, if the dry air at home becomes bothersome to all of you, just put a pot of water on the stove without a lid and let the liquid boil away (without scorching your pot!). It is amazing how much steam the dry winter air will suck up! I usually add a sprig of rosemary or a drop of essential oil to the water too – just for the nice smell.
Paws: Frozen ground, snow, and salt on the sidewalks are all hard on doggie paws. Paw pads are tough but can become cracked. And that is as painful as cracked skin is for us! Paw wax protects paw pads from cracking, aggressive salt products, and also reduces the amount of snow and ice that sticks to the fur between the paws. Mushers use paw waxes on their sled dogs in the Iditarod race in Alaska, but they are also popular with service dog handlers who have to take their dogs everywhere in the city. The product I currently offer is called Musher's Secret.
If you have any questions, give me a call at Shake & Shine: (360) 296 5226.
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Wash Those Paws
The Finer Points of Washing Your Dog.
Washing your dog is a good time to check on your dog's paws. Shampoo them top and bottom, and feel between the toes for little stones or other debris that can get stuck there. Sometimes sticky stuff like tree sap or tar glues together the hairs between the toes with a helping of dirt. Having anything stuck between the toes is like having a stone in your shoe. It chafes and can lead to inflammation or even abscesses.
In the tub, you can gently remove these foreign objects with water, shampoo, and your fingers, or if needed, we can shave them out.
Shaving the hairs on the bottom of the paws so that they are even with the paw pads also makes it less likely for things to get stuck.
In Spring this really helps my dog to pick up less of these annoying sticky cottonwood thingies.
Lastly take a look at the nails - as I've said before, long nails are hard on your dog's joints and mess with their traction.
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What is De-shedding?
A word about all that hair.
Some more than others.
If you have a dog with a thick coat who likes to share, there are several things you can do to stay ahead of shedding.
The goal is to remove the loose hair in a controlled manner so you don't have a constant trickle onto your furniture and clothes. This is where a de-shedding treatment at Shake & Shine comes in. We clean the coat thoroughly and remove all that loose undercoat in one big batch. Depending on the state of the dog's coat, that is quite a workout and results in big heaps of wet fur. Keep going, and you can get through the coat of even an Aussie Shepherd or Bernese with a comb.
If you do it yourself with the help of our De-Shed wash package, you have to commit to a little bit of a workout, as I said, or you can hire me to do it for you. But the work gives you a good looking dog and reduced shedding. Especially if you keep it up afterwards by regularly brushing your dog! The good news is, this will be a lot easier now that you established a baseline.
Another thing that helps is a coat spray with humectants that keep the skin and coat from drying out. The Aloe/Lactic Acid spray by Ark Naturals that we stock, is very good for that. Healthy skin sheds less. (You probably know that dogs that are sick or are under stress will shed more. Some dogs suddenly start "blowing coat" when at the vet's, for instance.)
The dog will never cease to shed entirely – dog hair is a renewable resource – but you can reduce the amount considerably. At the same time you will have a pretty dog with healthy skin and coat. Without the old undercoat clogging up the fur, ventilation is better (less hot spots or yeast), the dog dries faster when wet, and will smell better.
This is Leo after his mom gave him a thorough de-shed treatment at Shake & Shine. Look at that chest. She did a great job!
If you have any questions, stop by or give me a call at Shake & Shine: (360) 296 5226.
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Long Toe Nails are Hard On Your Dog's Joints
A word about the importance of maintaining short toe nails.
Longer nails don't seem like a big deal, right? Just longer spikes to dig in, right? But long toenails make walking actually harder for dogs and can even hurt their joints. The beautiful anatomical drawing from the University of Wisconsin Library shows how the paws of a dog are "hinged".
Dogs walk on the tips of their toes. When they run, they can flex their toes and dig the nails in even when the nails don't touch the ground in rest. But when the nail is too long, the toes get forced apart, the foot flattened, and the joints are out of alignment. A dog with long nails will "skate" around on the nails and slip especially on hard surfaces. The concrete floor in my store makes it easy to see whose nails are too long.
In older dogs with long nails, the unnatural position of the toes stresses the joints of the leg and back. At the same time, the nails will seem to grow faster because the dog becomes gradually less active and doesn't wear them off so much. Keeping your old dog's nails trimmed is a really simple way to make his or her life easier!
Depending on where you exercise your dog – hard surfaces or soft yard and trails – your dog's nails will grow differently. The nails of dogs that usually walk and run on soft surfaces can develop pointy "claws" which can catch on things and lead to broken nails – painful and not necessary.
So, not only in order to save your hardwood floors – keep those nails trimmed. And of course, Shake & Shine can help you with that! Nail trimming with or with out a bath is always available on a walk in basis.
If you have any questions, stop by at Shake & Shine or give me a call: (360) 296 5226.
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