Miami’s Local Pet Gift Guide

holiday-gift-guide-1

Miami’s Best Holiday Gift Guide for Pets

Happy howlidays! Our annual Local Pet Gift Guide has grown to include several dedicated dog groomers as well as fresh and local pet food and treats suppliers! We’ve met excellent pet care professionals popping up around Miami and are happy to support fellow local, small businesses dedicated to making our pets’ lives healthier and happier.

If you’re scrambling around looking for the pawfect, last-minute gift, our city has plenty of great companies ready to supply the perfect gift for your pet. Read on for our pawsome finds!

Miami dog food

The Gift of Health:

Good health begins with a great diet. We have not one, but three recommendations for local companies providing a range of freshly-made food for your dogs and cats. We met an up-and-coming company named Dishes For Dogs: Canine Kitchen at one of our community events this past year.

Dishes for Dogs is based in Wynwood and is committed to creating pet-friendly meals with local and fresh ingredients while providing a balanced diet for your pup. Owner Michael O’Rourkek partnered with Dr. Justin Shmalberg, an animal nutritionist, to create fresh meals. “Each meal is 100% free of preservatives, additives, artificial flavors, fillers or animal by-product.”  All dishes are made up of proteins and vegetables. We know that nutrition is just as important as exercise and companionship are in keeping your pups fit, healthy, and happy- we’re excited to have such a healthy, local option to give our pets! Read more.

Animal Crackers: Animal Crackers is a Miami-based pet business that offers premium, all-natural and organic foods, supplements, toys, accessories, and grooming services for your pet. Founder JJ Diaz has been operating Animal Crackers out of his downtown location since October 2010. We’ve known him for years- his advice helped us calm our beautiful sharpei’s skin allergies when no amount of testing and veterinary visits helped, and he’s helped countless clients of ours with their pets’ needs. We highly recommend his services! 

Animal Crackers has a storefront downtown where you can shop for goodies or drop your dog for a spa day to be groomed. If you need your pup picked up and dropped off for grooming, JJ’s staff is happy to accommodate. Downtown Address: 280 NE 2nd St, Miami, FL 33132. Read more.

Pet Wants: If you’re looking for fresh, all-natural kibble for your cats and dogs, look no further! Pet Wants Miami will deliver their slow-cooked kibble to you. This kibble is made in small batches once per month so every kibble is guaranteed to be fresh and packed with nutrition. You can be sure that they don’t use corn, wheat, soy or dyes, so this food is good for pets with allergies. Our mobile service delivers to Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Brickell, Midtown, Aventura, Doral, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, Kendall, and Palmetto Bay as well as the surrounding Florida communities. Learn more. 

Miami’s Best Dog Treats

Miami, meet Bubba Rose Biscuit Co.! This wonderful, organic dog treat company was founded in 2006 by Jessica and Eric Talley. We love that all of their baked dog treats are made with real, wholesome, clean ingredients and are soy, wheat, corn and are gluten free and they’re all handmade. What’s even better than that? All meat used is locally sourced which are all antibiotic free, free-range, grass-fed and hormone free, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards animal rescue organizations.

We’ve given these treats as gifts and our clients loved them! They customize treats, birthday cakes and more. Please browse through their beautiful selection of cupcakes, cake pops, dog bones, and other cute gift ideas! Visit them here.

Doggie Bar! We love, love, love Doggie Bar! is involved in helping support local rescues and her treats are as scrumptious as they are beautiful. Doggie Bar products are made with organic, human-grade ingredients. They are well-known for their beautiful birthday cakes (be sure to order them two weeks in advance as they are made to order!). They cater pawties and also offer a Doggie Box, a monthly supply of fresh healthy treats for your fur friend (including kitties!). Check out Doggie Bar online and on Instagram.

My Pets Love It: My Pets Love It also offers hand makes all-natural, organic baked-to-order dog treats with fresh, human-grade ingredients. They have really delicious combinations, like honey ginger hearts with coconut and cinnamon, and turkey with cranberry. My Pets Love It also features seasonal boxes for pet gifts, so be sure to check those out! We love that they donate a portion of their earnings to the Humane Society, ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Food for the Poor, and Behavior Links. Building community with dog treats? Sign us up! Learn more about My Pets Love It on their website!

local subscription dog treat box

Miami Dog Treat Subscription Box

Pooch Perks- dog treats and toys in Miami: is a monthly treat and toy box for pups based in South Florida. The company seems to source the items in the USA, and the owners test each treat and toy on their 7 dogs. It’s very popular, up and coming, and a very cool gift for the nice (ok, and even naughty) dogs in your life.  

The treats are made in the United States and are mostly Natural, Organic, Non-GMO, and Gluten Free (even the pups have jumped on that bandwagon!). The treats are so natural and healthy that they’re safe for human consumption, according to the company website. We love that they do their best to source their treats from socially-aware companies. The toys are another great perk, as all toys are tested for fun, safety, and durability by the owner’s five large dogs and are held to the same standards of safety as children’s toys. You can purchase the subscription online at Poochperks.com!

 

mobile pet grooming Miami

Doggy Spa Time!

Carla’s Doggy Grooming is a mobile dog grooming business founded and run by Carla Sebastia. Carla takes care of several of our clients and also volunteers alongside us in pet-friendly events around Miami. Carla’s Doggy Grooming was opened six years ago and serves dogs in the Coconut Grove and Coral Gables neighborhoods. She is extremely professional, passionate, and a great animal lover- our clients’ dogs recognize a kindred spirit the moment they see her.

Carla’s iconic, hot pink grooming van comes directly to your door where she provides pooch pampering, professional talent, and love all while using eco-friendly, organic products! She serves all good-natured pups of any breed and size; vaccinations records are not required. Learn more about Carla Doggy Grooming here!

Best in Show Pet Spa, run by animal enthusiast Tess Oliver, is a mobile Grooming Business serving the greater Miami Area. We can tell Tess is passionate and committed to her career as she says “grooming should be an enjoyable part of every dog’s life. I wanted to create an atmosphere where every visit is completely catered to each dog, with gentle, all-natural products, relaxing aromatherapy, and an endless supply of kisses.” We couldn’t agree more!.Best in Show Pet Spa caters to a large area including Pinecrest, South Miami, Kendall, Miami Lakes, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, & Plantation. Tess loves creating a perfect look for your pet. “We are able to work with you to create a cute, original look for your pup. Whether you are looking for an easy maintenance haircut, or an Asian Fusion style groom, we’ve got it covered!”  Read more about Best in Show Pet Spa here!

MyDog: If you’re looking for a brick and mortar grooming experience, bath time at MyDog is for your pups! The friendly staff and delicious suds (ask for the blueberry face mask) are a huge part of the appeal. Located in Pinecrest, MyDog offers pick ups for those within a certain area, as well as cute custom-made dog beds, chic collars and leashes, and an assortment of spa products for your pampered pooch. Gift cards are available!

lokal spillover

Doggy Dinner Date

Dinner date with your pups! night with your pooch at Lokal Burgers and Beer! Recently voted as the top restaurant in Coconut Grove, Lokal offers a delicious dog-friendly menu in addition to putting out fresh doggy biscuits and water for doggie passersby, as well as non-alcoholic beer so your pooch can join you in toasting to life, love, and health! We love that this restaurant provides tasty meals for our four-legged compadres and comadres, and are also thrilled with their dedication to sourcing food locally and to sustainable energy use.

We also highly recomment their sister restaurant, The Spillover in Mayfair. The Spillover brings local seafood to the table, and offers the city’s first Cider and Mead bar. We love the outdoor seating because it’s catered to dogs, who get their own menu including Cuban chew-gars. We also appreciate their dedication to helping local animals.

dog rescue

Donate to a local rescue!

Donating to a dog or cat rescue: Does your pet have everything s/he needs? Many people take the holidays as a time to give to those less fortunate than they are. Maybe your dog and cat want you to support a local rescue this year! There are so many animals in need in Miami, and many deserving animal rescues. We’ve included a list of local rescues that would greatly appreciate donations!

Curbing Dog Obesity One Fun Activity at a Time

dog obesity

Curbing Dog Obesity 

In the last decade the United States has seen obesity become a huge issue for society as a whole. Children, teenagers and adults are overweight and experiencing health problems due to our poor eating habits and lack of activity. Our nation is continuously working on providing healthier options and educating the public on food consumption. Who knew this issue would directly translate to our pets.

What YOU Need to Know: Between 20 and 40 percent of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States are considered overweight, and many are clinically obese. When a dog is obese they lose speed and stamina, which makes any movement difficult.

Furthermore, a dog can become heat intolerant, where they cannot regulate their body temperature, which can be a serious problem in Miami. Digestive disorders can develop as well.

Carrying extra weight puts more stress on joints, bones, and ligaments causing permanent damage to their frame. In addition, lack of environment change and activity will increase boredom and destructive habits.

Our mission at Equipaws is to keep your pet Fit, Healthy and Happy. Here are some great ideas to start an active journey, to get you and your dog moving! These activities will strengthen the bond between you and your pet, give them mental and physical stimulation and keep your pup in good spirits.

15 Fun Activities for you and your dog:

1. Obedience Class: No matter how well-behaved your pup, Fluffy can always use a brush up on manners. Obedience class offers helpful tips on handling and commands for both owner and dog.This is an opportunity to socialize your dog and strengthen the trust between you two. We recommend Applause Your Paws for enriching discipline for you and your dogs.

2. Bike Ride: Try cycling with your pooch. Walking or jogging may be too slow of a pace for your dog. Having your pup run along side while you cycle is a great trick to get them moving. Be very careful where you attach the leash to the bike. This activity may take some practice and improvising.

3. Hike: Explore your surrounding area! Miami may not be the best neighborhood to “hike”, but seek out new trails in a Nature Preserve or National Park. Dogs love to see, smell and hear new things and a new environments keep them alert and motivated.

4. Doga Session This is a non-traditional yoga session for you and your canine. Doga is explained, “Through acts of meditation, gentle massage, and stretching, doga practitioners seek to achieve a greater harmony with their dogs.” This is an opportunity for the human and dog to work as one unit. Although, if your dog is hyper and can’t stay still this may not be the best option

5. Canine Freestyle Routine: This is a form of obedience and movement training that illustrates the beauty of the dog movement and learning to work as one team. Canine Freestyle is a medium meant to be creative, and visually illustrate the trust between handler and dog. Think synchronized swimming for dogs.

6. Tag or Hide and Seek: While pet sitting this is a favorite game you can play indoors or out. Running up and touching the dog and running away does the trick. They will chase you around the kitchen island or through out the back yard. Dogs love the chase. This gets the owner and dog active.

7. Fetch: Have you ever heard of a chuck it? It’s a tool that acts as a slingshot for a ball, allowing humans to throw a long ball for fetch fanatics. A great tool for fetch in the park and will save your throwing arm.

8. Dog Walk: Having a dog and going for a stroll go hand in hand. It provides a potty break and fresh air for your pup. Humans are creatures of habit, so beware dogs can get bored on their everyday walk. Change your path, tour different neighborhood or go explore the nearest town. You and your dog will love the new sights, sounds and scenery.

9. Frisbee: A backyard game of Frisbee is a nice change of pace from fetch or a walk. Your pup is jumping, running, dodging and working all of their senses for that mid-air Frisbee catch! Plus a Frisbee is a lightweight toy that can easily travel anywhere.

10. Dive In: A pool is a refreshing place to play catch and splash around. In the Fall, many pools in the close for the season and host a doggy play day. This is when canines take over, all dogs small and large are welcome to jump in and play in the water for the day. This is wonderful socializing opportunity and a out of the ordinary activity for your pup.

11. Agility Class: Find an agility class in your area and teach your dog to handle any obstacle. They will be challenged with running up and down boxes, traversing through tunnels and hurdling jumps. It’s a perfect challenge for an eager and active dog, plus practices good handling manners between human and dog. 

12. Herding Class: Perfect for the working & herding dog. These specific breeds love to work, it allows them to use their instincts and release built up energy. The American Kennel Club is a great place to start for more information on requirements, testing and trials.

13. Adventure: Take your pup on an adventure with you. Why not take a vacation, trip or visit a new city with your best friend in tow. Research accommodations before you go, but most places have dog friendly hotels, restaurants and parks.

14. Dog-Friendly Restaurant: We live in a dog loving city with many outdoor restaurants and cafes who are pooch friendly. If you are going out, take your dog too. You both will enjoy the company, but stay away from the table scraps, as it defeats the purpose of staying active. Take a look at our posts on dog-friendly restaurants in Miami for some ideas!

15. Beach: Florida offers a beautiful beach front we have access to everyday. Take advantage and go explore with your pup. Anytime of day it is beautiful with the salty breeze, sand between your toes and waves singing in your ear.

16. Flyball:Flyball is a relay race that requires a dog to race over four hurdles, catch a tennis ball that has been released from a spring-loaded launcher, and then race back over the hurdles again.” This is a wonderful activity for energetic dogs who love fetch, are attentive and social.

17. Visit People in Need: Patients at a nursing home, hospital or rehabilitation center love the presence of a pet. Visits from pups can dramatically help the mood of patients. You and your pet may need to become certified for this activity. Research Animal-assisted activities (AAA).

18. Support Your Pup’s Health While Buying Local: Equipaws partners with a few local businesses, who provide all natural dog food to the community. They agree that portion control is a real issue among pet parents. Dogs always act hungry or beg, so we give them food. We have to train ourselves as pet parents to rid that habit. Consequently, the habits begin with you. A few snacks and table scraps can quickly pack on the pounds.

In Miami, you and your pup have a gorgeous backyard to go explore together. Don’t let your pup fall into bad habits. We Take advantage of these excellent ways to keep your dog Fit, Healthy and Happy. If you don’t have the time give your pup regular exercise Equipaws can help! We offer dog walks, runs and daily adventures. Email us at info@equipawspetservices.com or call 305.794.3733 for more information!

Beat the Heat! How to Exercise Dogs in Hot Weather

exercise dogs in hot weather

Beat the Heat: Keep Your Dog Healthy and Active in the Miami

In Miami we are faced with sweltering heat year round and a dilemma: how to exercise dogs in hot weather safely. The boiling sun and tropical moisture can make any physical activity daunting. As animal lovers, Equipaws Pet Services stresses a consistent exercise routine for most pets, but we want your dogs to be able to play and exercise safely despite our hot and humid weather.

Our dog walkers provide daily dog walks and runs for our pack year round because we have found ways to beat the heat and keep our pups fit, healthy, and happy safely. We take all precautions when exercising and found the activities listed below have been very successful. Take a look!

How to Exercise Dogs in Hot Weather:

It’s Too Hot!: There’s never an excuse for lack of playtime. Inside your cool air conditioned home, get your dog active with a chew toy or ball. Most dogs loves to fetch, so throwing around a ball inside for a while is a fantastic way to keep them moving. Warning: move any breakable items!

Strut Your Stuff: The most common way to exercise your dog is walking and we live in the best place to do it! Take in the beautiful Miami evening, enjoy the cooler part of the day and soak in the paradise right outside your door. To get you started, here is a list of local parks that are very dog friendly:

  • Peacock Park, The Historic Barnacle Park & Marinas (Coconut Grove)
  • Brickell Key (Brickell)
  • Margaret Pace Park (Downtown)
  • Kennedy Park (Coconut Grove)
  • Tropical Park Bark Park
  • Key Biscayne’s Hobie Beach

All of these areas are close to or on the water, which provides gorgeous views and a healthy breeze. If you’re not interested in going far, head out to your backyard or neighborhood and hit the streets for a stroll.

dog runner Miami

Run Fido Run!:

If you have a fit pup like our sweet Leia (pictured) and enjoy dog running, give them a good challenge. A nice jog around the neighborhood is good for the fit pups’ soul. Be sure to stay in the shade and keep an eye on their breathing. Also practicing fast to slow intervals will allow them to catch their breath and enjoy a potty break. If running, be prepared with water for both you and your pup. If your dog is a beginner, start slow and work your way up with length of time and speed, and of course, always ask your veterinarian if you can start a running regimen.

 

hot weather play ideas for dogs

Take a Swim:

Lucky enough to have a pool like our sweet Lacey does? Take advantage and play fetch where your pup has to jump into the water to retrieve a toy. If your dog is hesitant, jump in with them! Swimming is a great workout for humans as well! If the pool isn’t your scene, take a dip in the ocean. Dogs love splashing around in the waves. Check local beaches that are dog friendly before going on your adventure. (Bark Beach at North Shore and Haulover Park, both located in Miami Beach, as well as Hobie Beach)  

 

hose down dogs

Hose them Down:

Our friend Rosco loves a good dose of water, and your pups might, too! Spray your dogs down before their run with a garden hose (make sure the water is cool before spraying) or for a lighter dose, try a spray bottle, which will give them a cool misting. Do this before and after walks or runs to prevent the development of heat stroke. Not all dogs prefer to be wet, but as their caretakers we must do what’s best for them despite how they might feel about water. 😉

Helpful Heat Products – Proper Preparation for Exercise:

  • Water bottle
  • Water bottle holder with clip
  • Pop up or adjustable bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Towels (use to dry off dog)
  • Life jacket (if swimming in pool or ocean)

Remember, dogs, just as humans, get bored or lethargic if kept inside with lack of movement or activity. Not to mention, zero exercise can do a number on your pups’ health. In the heat of the summer or those hot fall days that find us, pup parents still need ways to get moving!  Dogs need new smells, sights, sounds, and activity just as humans do. Plus you get the benefits of the extra calorie burn too! Before beginning an exercise routine, consult with your vet on what is a healthy amount for your pup as this will vary with age, breed, size. You can also make your pups a tasty frozen dog treat to reward a job well done! Check out our frozen dog treat recipes here.

No time for a dog walk or run? Equipaws Pet Services’ dog walkers and dog runners are happy to help! Please call us at 305.794.3733 or email us with questions at info@equipawspetservices.com. We look forward to keeping your pet fit, healthy, and happy responsibly!