Cd'A Pet Resort Blog

Back-to-School Routines Can Be Rough on Your Dog

Posted on: August 27th, 2018 by Chris Shafer

Back-to-school can be a challenging adjustment period for everyone, including the family dog! After getting accustomed to having family members at home day after day during the summer, some dogs have a difficult time adjusting when they suddenly find themselves home alone. “Only dogs,” one dog in the family, can have an especially rough time.

Your dog may become depressed and/or anxious if she is having a hard time coping with the back-to-school schedule. She may display her frustration with behaviors such as not eating, pacing, barking, whining, howling, and chewing. She may even regress into having housebreaking issues.

Here are some suggestions to help your dog transition from summer to back-to-school:

  1. Vigorously exercise your dog as long as possible in the morning. A long walk or a good workout in the back yard helps take the edge off.
  2. Establish new routines. Dogs feel secure when there is a familiar routine.
  3. Your dog may find it comforting if a TV or radio is left on when home alone. Just hearing a human voice may be enough to help her not feel abandoned.
  4. Attending doggie daycare can help break up your dog’s long day. It is a terrific way for your dog to learn socialization and coping skills, not to mention just plain have fun with other dogs. Another plus is that she will burn off a lot of energy. A tired dog is a good dog.

               Three buddies at doggie daycare

    We’re here for you! Give us a call at 208-667-4606 or send us a Facebook message if you need some help with your pooch.


The Porch Incident

Posted on: August 15th, 2018 by Chris Shafer


By Chris Shafer

“There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog. ~ Konrad Lorenz

That dog wouldn’t let me on the porch!” This came from my co-worker Pete who had tried to set foot on my cabin’s porch while I was at work. “I wanted to spray that hornet’s nest above the front door, but I couldn’t get to it,” he said. It was my third summer working at an Idaho state park as an interpreter, and my second summer working with Pete, a member of the maintenance crew. “Sorry, Pete,” I replied. “I’ll keep her indoors for you tomorrow.”

According to Pete, Ellie, my heeler-mix, had stood at the top of the porch steps with her teeth bared, steadily growling at him. She hadn’t flinched. Fortunately, he had not persisted in approaching and had backed away. Ellie had never bitten any one (well outside of a herding nip or two). However, I knew that if she’d taken a stand like that, she’d meant business. Ellie did not bluff; she gave no empty threats. Over the years, she’d been in a few scraps with other dogs. The size of the dog didn’t seem to matter; Ellie could hold her own with much bigger opponents. (Typically, she had been the one attacked and on the defense.) She was fearless in confrontations. Also, when it came to protecting me and/or my property, she took the “job” very seriously.

When Pete recounted the porch incident, a red flag warning went off in my head. Throughout the summer of 2002 a number of people had visited my cabin while I was away at work and all without any trouble from Ellie. I thought this over briefly and then dismissed the unpleasant encounter on the porch as a misunderstanding. After all, I’d worked with Pete for nearly two seasons by this time. I didn’t see a problem with him. A few days later, Ellie was waiting in the car for me near the park’s headquarters. As I came back to the car, Pete came by with few guys from the maintenance crew. He tapped on the car window nearest Ellie and said, “There is that dog that doesn’t like me.” Ellie pressed her snout up to the window, curled her upper lip, and revealed her long canine teeth. Her growl was low and menacing. She was ready to strike.

As I looked on, I was thankful for the glass between them. Seeing Ellie’s strong reaction to this person was unsettling. My mind flashed to the porch encounter at my cabin. A cabin located in a remote part of the park, isolated. Not long after the porch and car confrontations, Pete was caught stealing campers’ cash payments and was promptly fired. When I heard this I began looking at my dog differently.

I was in awe of Ellie’s instincts. Apparently, she had smelled the rat in Pete. I told a friend about Ellie’s behavior toward my former co-worker and she replied that dogs could sniff out people with bad intentions. After the porch square off, I never seconded guessed Ellie’s warnings about people again. Most of the time, when it came to others, she was fairly indifferent. Being a one-person-dog type, she didn’t really seem to care much about other humans one way or the other. The few times that she got her hackles up after targeting Pete as not-to-be-trusted, I paid attention. While I tended to give people the benefit of the doubt, Ellie, on the other hand, was able to sense things about people, things not immediately apparent to me.

One time, I took Ellie on a trail where dogs were allowed off-leash. She was ahead of me and out of sight when I heard her barking. I could tell by the sound of her bark that she’d met up with someone or something she did not “like.” Her bark was like an alarm alerting me of a threat. I ran to catch up and found her circling a man who had stopped in this tracks and stood frozen on the trail. Despite my repeated command to “come,” Ellie continued to bark and circle. When I got her by the collar, I apologized to Ellie’s captive. In order to grab my dog, I had come in fairly close to the man. He didn’t look me in the eye and seemed apologetic himself. I cannot remember what he said exactly, but I do remember smelling alcohol. I put Ellie on her leash and we went our separate ways. I’m not sure what it was about this man that set off Ellie, but I didn’t doubt her instincts. Also, I knew that anyone or thing that Ellie considered a threat to me would have a difficult time getting past her.

From the summer of the “porch incident” on, my trust in Ellie to watch out for me was a given. Her devotion was fierce, and I had no doubt that she would lay down her life for me. I never felt as safe as when she was by my side, up the trail, or on the porch. She was my guardian angel with canine teeth.

First published at


Ellie was a dog that I found abandoned near my home. I found her at a nearby community center sitting on a porch; she was waiting for her owner to come back for her. I coaxed her to my house with food. Ellie had no collar. No one was looking for her. It took awhile for Ellie to warm up to me. She had to grieve for her former owner, but when that was over, she was all mine. She was a one-person dog and I was her girl and her “charge.” She took it upon herself, as her job, to take care of me, to protect me.

Get Outdoors and Get Going with Fido!

Posted on: August 5th, 2018 by Chris Shafer

If your goal is to spend more time outdoors and get some exercise, don’t forget your pooch; he or she will benefit from the exercise, too. (Remember, it’s always best to check with your dog’s veterinarian before starting an exercise program.) Here are some activities that you and Fido can enjoy together:

Walking with your dog

Of course, walking your dog is at the top of the list. Some people would only be outside for the space of time it takes to walk to a parking space then into a store and back again if it weren’t for their best friends with 4-legs. Not only is walking your dog good exercise for you and the pooch, it will make Fido’s life a whole lot more interesting, also. Have you noticed how excited dogs get when you mention the word walk?  Dogs are thinking, “Oh boy! It’s time for an adventure!” Walking gives your pup exercise and stimulates his brain, too.  For you, the human, walking helps you burn calories and melt stress at the same time.

Hiking with your dog

Once you and your dog have been conditioned with walks, try a dog-friendly trail outside of the city. Start out on a short hike and work your way up to longer ones. Pack plenty of water. Fido can pack his own by carrying his own pack. If your dog will be drinking water directly from water sources in the wild, it’s a good idea to check with your dog’s vet regarding a leptospirosis vaccine.

There is nothing like experiencing the sights and scents of the great outdoors. We live in one of the most beautiful areas on the planet, and it’s still pretty wild around here. If dogs are allowed off-leash and you set Fido free, you need to have excellent verbal command to bring him back quickly. You don’t want your dog chasing after wildlife or confronting a moose who decides to share the trail. Also, be aware that in the state of Idaho wildlife traps are allowed to be close to public land trails, just 5 feet from the center of the trail. Then there are the others on the trail, besides the occasional moose. Other hikers may not appreciate your “friendly” and unfamiliar dog running up to greet them. Unless you have a well-trained and obedient dog, keep him safe on a leash. He’ll have a great time nevertheless.

Running with your dog

If you want to take it up a notch or two from walking, try running with your dog. Make sure that you and the pup are up to this level of exercise. Be sure to start off slowly, for both of your sakes. It’s best to keep your best friend on a leash and, typically, it’s the law. There are leashes that will fit around your waist so that your hands are free.

Dogs need to build up strength and stamina just as we do. In addition, pads need to toughen up   gradually. A good rule of thumb – if your dog can walk briskly for 20-30 minutes without tiring, you can start him on a jog. Begin with short, easy runs and then progress to longer ones. Your pal will be eager to please and will be thrilled to be out running with you. Watch your dog closely. If you see him struggling or tiring, slow down to a walk.

For safety reasons, make sure you teach your dog how to heel. Keeping your companion at your  side is essential. If your dog is pulling, you will be thrown off balance. Fido needs to understand  to keep pace beside you, and your canine fitness partner should be capable of following the commands “sit” and “stay” at intersections.


Tips for your exercise partner’s health and safety:

  • Keep toenails trimmed to avoid snagging on twigs or branches.
  • Carry plenty of water and offer it to your dog frequently. Never force him/her to drink. Teach your dog how to drink from a water bottle or carry a portable doggie dish.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags in case you become separated.
  • Never run in the heat of the day. Dogs dehydrate more quickly than humans.
  • Asphalt retains heat even after the sun goes down and can burn a dog’s pads.
  • If jogging at twilight, wear reflectors, both you and your dog. (Some leashes and collars are made of reflective material.)
  • Feed your dog after a run.
  • Check paws pads after each run for blisters, tears, or tenderness. If you notice tenderness, raw spots, or bleeding, give him a few days off from running.
  • For young pups and big dogs of any age sustained jogging or running is too hard on the joints.

Exercise Benefits for Your Dog

  • Decreases risk of heart disease
  • Helps lessen digestive problems and leads to proper weight maintenance
  • Helps curb negative behaviors, such a chewing, barking, digging, and anxiety
  • Leads to a healthier, more agile, and longer life


When you can’t get out with your dog, doggie daycare is a great alternative.  Need help with basic commands and obedience? We have training classes. Also, our groomers can help with keeping your dog’s nails trimmed, Monday – Saturday from 10 am – 2pm, no appointment necessary. For more information, give us a call at 208-667-4646.

Summer Safety Tips for Your Furry Best Friends

Posted on: August 1st, 2018 by Chris Shafer


Summers are beautiful in North Idaho; however, as much as we enjoy this time of year, it can be hard on pets at times. Here are some summer safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t assume your dog can swim well

Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim, doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers. If you and your dog enjoy water activities on the lake, like boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding, it’s a good idea to have Fido wear a doggie life jacket, even if he is a good swimmer.

  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbecues can be poisonous to pets

Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression, and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.

  • Commonly used rodenticides and lawn & garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested

Keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products, and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.

  • Make sure your dog is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes

If not protected, your dog is at risk for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people too!

  • Dogs get can get sunburned

Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. And just like with people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your dog (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).

  • Keep your dog’s paws cool

When the sun is cooking, try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating.

  • Be on the lookout in lakes and ponds

Avoid lakes and ponds with blue-green algae, signified by scummy water and a foul odor. Algae can produce a toxin that may cause severe sickness or seizures quickly if your pet ingests the water, by either drinking from the lake or licking tainted fur.

  • Your dog should always have access to fresh drinking water and shade

Dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down.

  • Never leave your pets in a parked car

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. You may think leaving your pet in a car for a few minutes is no big deal, but it can quickly lead to heat stroke in dogs and cats. In bright sunshine, your car acts like an oven, becoming much hotter inside than the outside air even. In fact, on a sunny 70 degree day, your car can heat up to over 100 degrees within minutes. If you need to run errands and don’t want to leave your pooch home alone, bring him to doggie daycare.

  • Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

  • Safe Travels

Unfamiliar surroundings can be unsettling to your pup. Summertime can mean travel or new places to explore. Err on the side of caution by keeping your dog on-leash in any new environment. If you’re traveling, take your vet’s contact info with you and get a recommendation for a vet in your destination area. A collar with identity tags is good protection in case the pet gets lost, but a microchip is even better. Having both is best.

By being aware of summer hazards, you and your pet(s) can continue to enjoy a carefree and fun-filled season.






Summer Grooming Tips

Posted on: July 24th, 2018 by Chris Shafer

Summer Grooming Tips

The season for hikes, picnics, and water fun is in full swing. Here are some grooming tips for your outdoor-loving pooch. These tips are about keeping a close eye on the condition of your dogs’ skin, ears, and nails, solving small problems before they become big ones.

All dogs benefit from brushing. A dog’s best friend is a tool appropriate for his coat type, one that strips out loose hair so air can circulate against his skin. Regular and thorough brushing also prevents mats, which are not only painful but also trap heat and moisture and can result in skin infections

Summer is tick and flea season, which is another reason to be conscientious about brushing your dog regularly so you can check for these. Adding an extra bath or two is also a good summer strategy. Brush before and after, choose a shampoo that’s a good match for skin and coat type, lather once and rinse well.

Check your dog’s ears regularly, particularly if swimming is on his play list. Dogs whose ears fold over are prone to ear infections, which wet ears promote. After your dog takes a dip, wipe the inside earflap gently with a cotton ball. Check with your vet about drying agents that can be applied.

Pay attention to your pup’s paws. Check between his toes for ticks, foxtails, brambles or other debris, and trim his nails. Nails that are too long can chip and break, creating a painful condition that needs veterinary attention.

Applying these summer grooming tips will help keep your dog in good shape for more fun this summer. If you need some help, our groomers can assist you with nail trims, baths, and more. Give us a call at 208-667-4606. Also, check out our shampoo products in the lobby.

De-skunk Your Pet!

Posted on: June 12th, 2018 by Chris Shafer


Summer can be full of fun, but sometimes summer time frolic can lead to misadventure.  The warmer weather brings out wildlife as well as our own pets; the two don’t always mix well when they happen to meet, case in point – a meeting with Pepe Le Pew, a skunk.  Encounters with skunks are one of the most common “problem” meetings that our dogs have with wildlife.  Fortunately, the stench of getting up close and personal with a skunk can be washed away and without using tomato juice!

If your pooch has lingered too long in the presence of a “sachet kitty,” chances are you’ll know as soon as he or she gets close to you.  Phew!  First thing, check your dog’s eyes and face for signs of irritation. Skunk spray is relatively harmless, but very painful if it makes contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.  Pets who receive a direct shot to the face should see a veterinarian.

Miracle Skunk Spray Remover

2 cups hydrogen peroxide (3%)
1/8 cup baking soda
1 tbsp liquid dish soap
(Do not store – may burst)

Using rubber gloves, apply the mixture, while it is still bubbling, to your pet’s coat, with particular emphasis on the sprayed area.  Avoid the eyes!  Let stand for 20 minutes then wash off with warm water.  The mixture will neutralize the odor and leave your pet skunk scent-free.

Helpful tip: This mixture will also remove many tough stains from clothing or carpet – even red wine!

skunk dog bath