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Clean Paws Mobile Pet Services

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Off Leash Dog Park

Posted on 24 January, 2014 at 21:05 Comments comments ()
If you live in the City of Gary, Inidana,finding animal friendly events in our city is quite a challenge, but it is needed!  Socialization for dogs is very important.  It helps them establish a pecking order in their dog community, as well as allows them to meet new dog friends to hang out and be silly with.  No matter how you slice it, you can never change the fact that dogs are pack  animals. They need that group socialization to understand who they are in the pack and to enjoy some silly time with one another.  It also helps to open the door with new pet parent friendships as well. It is such a joy watching the dogs romp and play and wear each other out!  The dogs get to burn off some stored up energy that they have acquired from sleeping all day while we are at work.  Having an Off the Leash dog park/run in the City of Gary would be helpful in many ways.  It would provide a safe and friendly facility for pets to have fun, learn good socialization skills, and provide a training center to correct negative behavior.  Did you know that most of the times when dogs dig holes it is simply because they are bored?  Excessive chewing and/or barking can be a sign of frustration? Negative behaviors in some cases can be corrected with exercise!  It can also be a great place to host pet adoption events, and pet parent to be training classes such as obedience and grooming.

Clean Paws Mobile Grooming and Friends Furrever are teaming up to bring a dog friendly park/run to our city.  We would like to open our committee to other pet lovers in Gary, IN that would like to be a part of our project.  This project will take some time to actually bring to life, which includes selecting the ideal location.  Gary has a large number of responsible dog owners like ourselves that would truly enjoy having a dog park of our own!  If you are interested in running with us, please contact Michelle Robinson at: 312-590-3320. 

Mobile Lemonade

Posted on 24 January, 2014 at 15:14 Comments comments ()
Well, there is a lot to be said about adversity.  It will either make you stronger or it will break you.  It can make you question your sanity ,and make you fall back into your comfort zone.  Success is what you make of it!  Some people's view of success is a big car, fancy house, or lots of money in the bank.  There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but some things require baby steps and a lot of recognition to achieve!  Some people want to be famous!  Being in the spot light has it's up and down side too!  You have to decide what success is and what it looks like to you!  We all have dreams, and it is okay that they are not the same as someone else.   That is what makes life interesting!  Can you imagine if EVERY SINGLE PERSON had the same dream, the same goal?  If EVERYBODY looked the same, talked, walked, and acted the same?  It would be maddening!  We would have no diversity, no style, no personality!  If EVERYBODY invented the wheel, our world would be crowded with that one particular item.  We would not have iPhones, stereos, television, books about adventure, mobile groomers, creative groomers, world class chef's or any other type of artist!  We would be stuck with a world full of rock wheels!

I read a book by Burke Hedges called "You can't steal second with your foot on first base".  The teaching from that one little book taught me a lot about pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.  Also that you have to celebrate the small accomplishments that get you to the overall goal. If I make at least 3 contacts each day when I go out, that is a success!  If I totally rocked a Bichon Frise breed got it!  That is a celebration! Break out the Pepsi it's party time!  Not all of the celebrations come from a positive event.  Sometimes you have to celebrate your resilience over a not so positive event.  Being self-employed in a mobile grooming business, time is definitely money, when you get a call from a client cancelling their appointment as you pull up in their driveway, and you don't go home a quit give yourself a pat on the back!  When sub
zero winter weather is  making the waterlines freeze or break in your truck.  If insane howler monkey winds are blowing that make mobile grooming impossible.  Maybe it was that ninja cat that tried to gingsu your face off when you tried to fluff- dry it.  You know the one.....the one the parents told you that she gets groomed all the time,  the only to discover that it pretty much boiled down to the "kids" throwing her in a tub of water.  Now you are trapped in a box with this she-devil growling at you like a mountain lion. If you can survive tire blow outs, running out of water, air conditioners breaking down or side swiping a brick wall trying to get a 10 and half foot tall truck out of very tight parking space.  Then you have what it takes to make it in the business or any other.  Sometimes we can run ourselves into a brick wall without realizing it.  It was said that insanity is doing the same thing the same way expecting a different outcome.  If you find yourself running into the same brick wall over and over again.  It is time to stop, take a deep breath and take a look at the situation.  Somebody maybe try to tell you....HEY look at this for a minute.  Down time can be a positive instead of a negative.  Give your self a chance to take your eyes off the problem for a moment and come back to it again.  You could be completely overlooking the simplest solution right in front of your face! 

Getting bogged down in the what you may think is a mountain of problems can make you lose sight of why you started you venture in the first place.  Every cloud has a silver lining.  You have to be willing to wipe your eyes and check out of the pity party room.  Turn those lemons into lemonade and keep it moving.  Remember if you are going thru hell whatever you do.....DON'T STOP THERE!!!!

Fall Bath N Brush Special is BACK!!!!!

Posted on 3 September, 2013 at 21:39 Comments comments ()
YYES!!!  It's that time again!  Clean Paws Mobile Grooming's Annual Fall Bath N Brush Special!  Enjoy $15.00 off our Bath N Brush Special for all short flat-coated adult dog breeds.  That's right!  Big or small, we are bathing them all! The Fall Bath N Brush special includes:

Tearless Bath
Oatmeal Facial Scrub
Nails trimmed
Ears Cleaned
5 Minute Hydro-Massage
Brush Out

*DeShedd Treatment, Extra Brush-Out, or other Specialty Spa services are available, but are not included in the special.  Special is limited to short and/or smooth coated adult dog breeds only.  By Appointment only.    Limited to 15 mile radius from 46404.  Current rabies vaccines required. New Customers only.   No substitutions or other offers available with the special. 

Book your appointment online or call 888-648-7256 today!

Offer ends 10/31/13

The Four Legged Child

Posted on 26 August, 2013 at 21:41 Comments comments ()
One of the best parts of being mobile for me is seeing how happy the four-legged children  get for their spa day.  It truly warms my heart when I round the corner and I hear the all familiar sound of a hound!  It is like sweet music to my ears!  Even the little ones get into the groove.  Happily dancing upon my arrival and giving sweet kisses when it's time to leave.  Sometimes I feel like Santa Claus!  After all he was the first one to come up with idea of going mobile.   It just took a few clever people to add grooming to the mix. 

People with pets are the best to me.  Especially when their four legged companion is treated like part of the family.  It is always exciting to see a customer's family room that includes a spot for Fido or Fluffy.  That television bonding time means all of the children.  It's comforting to know that I am not the only one that spoils my babies rotten.  Yes, there is nothing better than spoiling a four legged child.  They appreciate and crave the attention like any other child, and they will do almost anything to keep the love coming.   People who love their pets like their kids can never go wrong.  Their love cup will always be overflowing!

Fleeting Fleas

Posted on 7 July, 2013 at 13:27 Comments comments ()
This is one of my least favorite subjects, but I am compelled to share my thought and knowledge on this.  Fleas,ticks and mosquitoes are a way of life in the insect world.  Although the many animals including ourselves may not appreciate their existence.  They are here for a reason!  Protecting ourselves and our pets from them is something that we really have to face whether we want to or not. 

Protecting your pets and your home from fleas can be an take only a few minutes.  In your yard you can either use a ground insect killer that is usually spread in the grass.  Depending on your preference it comes in a hose-end spray or granules that can be used in a spreader.  The cost is typically less than $10.00 and it can last up to four weeks.  If you have a landscaper or lawn care service you can talk to them about using an insect killer to protect your pet.  If you or your pet have sensitivity issues to certain chemicals organic preventatives are also available.  One is planting lavender, lemon balm and spearmint in your yard and around your home.  Using a mixture of tea tree oil, lavender and water in a spray bottle, and applying liberally to you and your pet before going outdoors can be effective as well.   The most popular treatment is a topical.  It is applied down the back from the shoulders(withers) to the rump.  But all topical treatments are not the same.  While many pets have little to no reaction to a topical treatment, others have a variety of reactions from redness, irritation to seizures and even death.  It is best to consult with your vet which is the best treatment for your pet.  

Since I entered the animal care field, I have encountered different experiences with pet owners and fleas.   Let me share what I have learned both thru training and dealing with pet parents that are overwhelmed with these creatures.

Flea Collars:    Some people believe in them.  They are inexpensive and for the most part ineffective!  The collar will only kill the fleas that it comes in contact with around the neck and just to the shoulders.  It was not uncommon to see a pet come into the shop with a flea collar on the front end and a colony for them living and building condos on the back end of the pet!  Fleas are not stupid!  They will move away from areas that are tainted with pesticides. That includes your home!  Typically the collar will last about thirty days according to the package.  What I have found that most fleas will build a resistance to the collar after the second cycle hatches(about two weeks).

Flea Dips:  I am not a particular fan of this treatment.  In most cases the treatment is very hard on the pet's skin.  The user has to wear heavy rubber gloves to protect their body from the chemical.  It made me wonder what it was doing to the organs of the the poor dog that had to be the recipient of the treatment.  It typically lasts 15 days, however , it does not kill the fleas in the home and/or sleeping area.

Topical Treatment:  This is a touchy one, because all topical treatments are NOT created equally!  The old adage"you get what you pay for" it very true.  Cheaper treatments can be water based with very little power to them.  They will kill the adult fleas but have little or no affect on the eggs and larvae.  There are quite a few topical treatments on the market, however, I have found that K-9 Advantix works the best and last longer than the other ones.  It is also the treatment that we use in our Flea Fighter Spa Package with Clean Paws Mobile Grooming.  I must warn you to be careful purchasing discount flea treatments online.  I have personally had the experience of getting a bad or out of the country batch of flea treatment that made my dog very ill.  When I took the package to the vet, he had pointed out to me that the batch I had received was not made in the United States. To the untrained eye the packaging looks exactly the same, but the formula is different.  So please be careful.  I am hearing more and more stories of pet parents who have lost or almost lost their pets like this.   This treatment usually last 30-45 days.  It kills the adults, eggs and larvae.

Flea Shampoo:  A flea shampoo will kill the adult fleas, however, if you are bathing the dog/cat at home the problem is three fold.  First the ENTIRE house and the pet's bedding must be treated. You can not spot treat.  Fleas NEVER read their lines!  They go everywhere!  You can carry them on your clothing through out your house with out even knowing it.  By the time you feel them biting you, you have a REAL problem!  10 adult female fleas can lay up to 90,000 eggs in a 30 period.  Unfortunately fleas are a friendly community bunch, and they don't like to travel by themselves.  So imagine if you found 40 dead fleas(that is a VERY LOW number) on your dog after you administered a flea bath.  Let's say that 20 of them are females.  You have been noticing your dog scratching like crazy for the last couple of months. You have well over a millions fleas bouncing through your house without even realizing it has happened.   Second, sorry to say most pet parents bathing their dogs at home are not able to address the problem properly.  In a lot of cases the the majority of pet owners don't realize that fleas will run in ANY opening to survive.  So when the bath is over they just come back out to a clean house and start the party all over again!   Third, if you have not rinsed the pet properly, the pet can suffer from hot spots from either product being left on the skin or an allergic reaction to the flea bites or both.   Some people get carried away and will bathe the dog too often.  Flea shampoos can have a drying affect on the skin which can only make your pet's skin problems worst.

Flea Powder:  Powders do work, however, they can be messy and some cases if inhaled by the pet can cause damage to their lungs.  Depending on your pet's skin it can dry it out as well.  Most powders have to be re-applied every couple of weeks to remain effective.

Flea Sprays:  Sprays do work, however, you have to re-apply them every week for them to be effective, and when you start to add it up it can cost more than a good topical application.

Organic Flea Treatment:  I love organics!  That are so much healthier for both you and your pet.  In most cases you can and your pet can share treatments!  Lavender, tea tree and or lemongrass oil can be combined with water (8 drops of each oil and 8 ounces of water).  Apply liberally!  The drawback with this method is that it has to be repeated several times a day(depending on the body chemistry and activity level).  Planting citrus scented herbs and flowers in and around your home helps.  Diatomaceous Earth(food grade) is a great product.  It is non-toxic.  It can be applied to your pet's food as well as to their body.  You can sprinkle it in and around your home and on your plants too!  Because it is ground fossil you have to be careful that the dust is not inhaled by your pet, or it could cause some damage.  Organic products in most cases do not have a residual effect so they must be applied often. 

Pets left with untreated flea infestation can suffer from tapeworms, anemia, hair loss, and skin problems.  Always consult with your vet when you pet has been exposed to fleas.  By the time you notice them, they have been there for at least a month maybe two.  The myth that your dog can not get fleas because he is not around other dogs is NOT true.  If you pet goes outside to relieve himself in the grass.  Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, O' possums, and mice all carry fleas.  They can come in your yard and drop fleas without you knowing it.  In addition you can bring them in on your clothes and expose them to your pets.  This is especially true with indoor cats.  Do NOT use any essential oils on cats!  Only use products on cats that  clearly stated that it is safe to do so.  Products that are safe for dogs can kill a cat. A Cat's immune system is very delicate.  Whatever method you decide to use, please do not combine multiple treatments like a flea collar with a topical and powder.  Doing so, can put your pet's health at risk.  Too many chemicals can over work your pet's vital organs and you could be killing Fido right along with those fleas! The best way to attack the problem is to prevent it before it starts.  Start your topical treatment at the Spring thaw to prevent exposure.  Once your pet has been expose, have the pet treated in a separate location will the house is being flea bombed, and the pet's bedding is being washed.   Add a cup of distilled vinegar to the wash water and let it sit while the house is being treated. 

Matt and Tangle......What a Relationship!

Posted on 24 March, 2013 at 14:55 Comments comments ()
In the wintertime, the forced air heating has a tendency to remove moisture from the home.  It will cause our hair and skin to dry out and does the same for our pets.  I love grooming the drop coated dogs, shih tzu's, maltese, yorkies and such.  It is a special joy when the pet parents comb them regularly!  A few days ago I was talking to a parent who was becoming increasingly frustrated by the discovery of tangles in her little maltese.  She assured me that she was combing her dog at least 3-4 times a week.  I know that this was a true statement because the tangles and matts were in familiar places like: the dreaded arm-pit, behind the ears, and the legs.    We went into her bathroom, shut off the light and I  rubbed my hand back and forth or the dog's coat, and the blue sparks began to fly!  A dog with a very fine coat walking around in a carpeted home, or if he lays on the sofa, pet bed or any type of fabric starts to build a relationship with the two characters I like to call Tangle and Matt. 

Tangle is the introductory guy.  He starts off slow, maybe doing the tango with a couple of hairs behind the ears,in the arm pit and around the rump.  He uses the static electricity to draw his partners closer together in an unsuspecting way.  He allows you do think that the hair is smooth and silky, when all the while he is playing a silent game of twister.  Let's say you catch him at his little game behind the ear and at the rump.  He is relentless!  The next day he will be back to his old tricks.  Now let's introduce the music to the festival......water.  Whether it is snow or rain, tangle's new dance partner is now locking those hairs together and forming a new guy.....matt.  

Matt is a little more intense than tangle.  Tangle can easily be brushed/combed out with little or no effort, but matt he is going to make you work!  Matt is now locking the hairs that tangle brought together, and using water as the glue to keep their relationship from breaking up.  Matt is the guy who will fool you on the surface, making you think that your pet's hair is nice smooth when it is actually clumping underneath.  Matt requires a little more force to end his dancing game.  If the comb stops in the coat while combing....guess what?  Matt is definitely paying a visit!  Matt has different levels of intensity, just like some insane work out.  There is the beginning matt or "Love Matts." Love matts  can be caused by allowing tangle to hang around too long, or by missing a week or two of combing.  It can also be caused by excessive rubbing.  You know the way you like to jumble fluffy's hair every time you see his little cute face?  Well tangle is using his dance partner static to bring his partners closer together faster.   The moisture,warmth and oils from your hands spins matt on to the dance floor, but if they are caught in time. You can break their relationship up with the least amount of effort.

Bath Matt-  OOOHHHHHHH he can be a NASTY one!  This where most of your major problems will begin!  Let's say Tangle and Love Matt has gotten together, and your little sweetie pie has decided to step in, roll around in something.....OR....just gotten a dash of that ever pungent perfume from that strange looking black and white kitty that wandered in the yard.  Let's can't get an appointment with your regular groomer, so you decided to wash Fluffy your self.   As you are washing you begin to notice small clusters of lumped hair....that is the new character.....Bath Matt.   He is taking love to a whole new game!  As the clumps dry, they begin to tighten forming a web of knots that have become even more difficult to comb out.  If they can be combed out at all.  If not caught early, bath matt can break and damage Fluffy's coat.  Depending on the amount of bath matt Fluffy has, your groomer may suggest shaving the coat off and starting over to save your pet from a painful and expensive de-matting process.

This last guy is a REAL stinker!  His name is Hard Rocky Matt.  I don't like him at all!!  He is a very serious problem.  What has happened is bath matt, has been getting wet over and over again.  Now all of the matts have joined one big gang and made a suit of matted  armor on Fluffy.  Fluffy is now nappy, and everything on his body from his ears to rear-end and ankles are connected.  The Hard Rocky Matt suit is now keeping heat and moisture next to Fluffy's skin that can set up different types of bacteria. It will cause your pet to overheat and the warm summer months and freeze in the winter(no matter how thick the hair is).   It sets up a breeding ground for parasites like fleas, who can live in the matted coat and feed on your pet at will.  It also sets up a nesting place for flies to lay eggs in the matts where maggots can develop to literally eat your pet alive.   Hard Rocky Matt twists Fluffy's coat so tight that it literally rips the hair out of the follicle every time he moves.  Your once happy bouncy  four legged bundle of joy is now snappy and grumpy because every time he moves it hurts.  At this point, there is no other option.  Your groomer will have to shave the coat down to the skin, and free Fluffy from the Hard Rocky Matt suit.  The best way to prevent your pet meeting this nasty character starts this way:

Keep Fluffy on a regular grooming schedule with a professional groomer(whether mobile, stationary or vet's office).  Depending on how long or short you like the coat, your schedule could range between 2 to 5 weeks.  The longer the coat, the more often Fluffy will have to be groomed.

Combing Fluffy with a fine tooth metal comb often (at least 3-4 times per week).  You will chase away that sneaky guy Tangle before he can start his little tricks.  If your pet has very fine hair try spraying some coat detangler on the comb(not the pet)  shake off the excess liquid and comb thru the pet's coat.  Too much detangler on the coat can work against you  and cause your minor tangles to turn into a matt.  In addition, it can weigh the coat down and make it too oily.

Your overall objective is to break up that relationship between Tangle and Matt, otherwise it will be a marriage that could cost you plenty!!

I groom my dog myself

Posted on 22 January, 2013 at 20:38 Comments comments ()
Those are five little words that make every professional groomer I know cringe!  It is equivalent to sharp nails going across a chalkboard.  When we hear those words on the other end of the phone it almost makes our heart stop.  We know that "grooming" a pet is more than just a bath.  Sadly, most times it is had to get that across to many  pet owners.  Some people want a dog because it's cute and fluffy and their intention is to love and baby it until the end of its days.  What heart could resist those adorable faces?  Those eyes that make you melt, and my goodness if they lift that paw and touch are a gonner for sure!  What most new pet owners don't take into account is that owning a dog is like having a new child.  They are a blank slate when you get them.  They have no idea what you expect of them so they just do what comes natural to them. They poop, pee, play,eat,sleep and chew on things.  They depend on you to know and/or find out what is the best thing for their care, including grooming.  Research the type of pet you want and what is best for your household before you decide to get a pet. Knowing your time constraints are so important, as many times you may be the only person caring for the "family pet".   I can only urge that if you are looking for a dog or cat that you would try the many over-run shelters and rescues first, but let's face it many people will just go out and buy a dog or cat because it's easier.

Knowledge is power!  I run into so many people who thought that they could "save a few bucks" and groom the dog themselves.  Only ending up creating a bigger more expensive problem.  Grooming and bathing a pet are two very different things.  Many pet parents will bathe a double, drop and curly coated do with no idea how to care for the coat before during and after the bath.  Nails are neglected and grow out of proportion causing deformation of the feet and unnecessary pressure on joints.  Hair growing between the paw pads turn into matts, and  become as hard as rocks making it uncomfortable for your pet to walk.    Ear hair is overlooked which can grow out of control and cause painful ear infections.  Bathing and not drying the coat properly can form  matts around the pet's genitals trapping bacteria causing urinary tract infections, or worst matted hair around the rectum can prevent the pet from passing feces.  Professional groomers are trained to remove these things before they become an issue.  In addition they look for things like skin problems, and understanding dog/cat anatomy helps your groomer to recognize an abnormality that may require a look from your vet.  Studying skin care, and health issues, can help to protect your family from something that could spread from animal to people called zoonatic diseases.  Such studies can alert your professional groomer if your pet's skin is in distress.  I can not tell you how many times pet parents have brought the shaking fire red skin pet to me stating " he needs a flea bath, because he won't stop scratching"  only discover that the shampoo they are using at home is burning the poor dog's skin.  A shampoo that is either too strong for their skin or not properly dilute can damage both the coat and skin.   In most cases it ends up being a skin reaction or "hot spot" from shampoo not being rinse properly from the coat.  Teaching your pet how to accept things like clippers and shears near their face can be a smooth transition with a  trained professional groomer.  Waiting until your pet is a year or older to have them introduced to those things can be traumatic for the pet because they don't understand what is happening.  It is also traumatic and time consuming for your groomer because he/she has to spend an enormous amount of time working your terrified older pet thru this process.  During this time, most pets turn into a screaming,flipping, snapping, peeing, pooping, frightened creature, instead of your precious little poopsy that you know and love.  Neglecting to keep them on a regular 4-5week grooming schedule starts the tasmanian dance all over again, in which case many groomer will begin to turn you away or refer you to vet to have the pet sedated for his own safety.  Grooming either at a shop or by your mobile groomer should be a pleasant experience for your pet.  If they only see the groomer a few times per year after the coat has gotten out of control it makes your pet associate grooming with pain.  No offense to my dentist friends, but who looks forward to a root canal? Not me!

Combing and brushing your pet at home with the proper equipment between grooms makes it easier for everyone!  You will have special bonding time with your pet.  During the process you can catch any matts/tangles before they get started.  You will also avoid extra charges for de-matting, behavior problems and/or sedation.  Your pet's grooming experience is faster and more enjoyable!  Here are a few hints to find out if your "at home grooming"  has you and your pet heading for trouble.

1) Can you part the coat on any part of your pet's body and see his skin?
2) Does the coat feel thick like padding to your touch?
3) Does the coat have cords or knots under the neck or rump?
4) Do you feel rock like lumps behind your pet's ears?
5) Do you see your pet's coat separate in thick sections?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above listed's time to STOP!  Take your pet to a professional groomer and start the coat all over again.  At any given time you should be able to comb your pet's hair with a metal medium/coarse comb from the crown of his head to his rump without removing the comb.  Just like you comb your own hair from root to tip.  A double coated dog's coat should have a free flowing bounce to it.  You may run into some tight spots around the rump or neck but you should still be able to get the comb thru it.   Professional grooming is a necessary part of your pet's health and well being, just like getting the proper vaccinations.  It is not something that should be taken lightly.  It should be done a trained professional in the field of grooming.  It really does make a difference, to your pet's over all look and more importantly their safety.  What you don't know can do a lot of damage to your pet, so please leave it to the trained grooming professionals.

Mobile Gift Card Sale Extended

Posted on 17 November, 2012 at 8:44 Comments comments ()
There is still time to get your Clean Paws Mobile Grooming Gift Card!  The sale has been extended to Saturday November 24th!  Support a local small business this holiday season, and get your gift card while supplies last!

November Scent of the Month

Posted on 31 October, 2012 at 23:42 Comments comments ()
It's here!!  The November Scent of the Month is Vanilla Latte!

You and your pet can snuggle up on cold nights with with warm scent of a Latte!

The Scent of the Month Spa includes:

Warm and Spicy Vanilla Latte Shampoo
Luxury Aloe Conditioner
Minty Breath Freshner
15 minute hydro message therapy
Vanilla Latte Spritz

*Must purchase full service spa.
*Good for both dogs and cats
*Current proof of vaccines required.

Time is running out!

Posted on 21 October, 2012 at 21:44 Comments comments ()
The savings on the purchase of a new gift card or re-loading an existing gift card ends November 17th! 

Get your card today!