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Happy Veterans Day!

Saluting Our Veterans

In honor Veterans Day, we want to thank the men, women, and dogs who have served in the armed services.

Veterans Day was first established in 1919 at the end of World War I and was originally known as Armistice Day. This war was considered “the war to end all wars,” and Armistice Day became an official holiday to honor WWI veterans in 1938.

After living through two more wars, veterans service organizations encouraged Congress to amend the purpose of this day. And, in 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day. Since then, the day when we’ve celebrated has also changed. But one thing has remained constant: To honor all veterans who have served during war or peacetime.

As part of Veterans Day this year, we encourage you to honor the veterans in our community, including the canines. Spend a few moments learning more about military working dogs, their role in U.S. wars, and some famous dogs in military history.

Wagging Tails offers a discount to veterans and members of the military year-round with proof of service:

Active duty – 15% discount on all services
Inactive/retired – 10% discount on all services

And, we’re offering active, inactive, and retired veterans a free Playday this year on Veterans Day too!

Thank you, Veterans!

By |November 11th, 2019|blog|0 Comments|

It’s Your Party!

October Birthday Roundup

Molly

We had more to celebrate in October than Halloween; we also had a howling good time throwing birthday parties! Was your dog’s one of them?

Our Birthday Club is free and comes with a complimentary Playday, bandana, and a birthday party!

Visit our Photo Gallery to see all of the happy pups in our Birthday Club!

By |November 4th, 2019|blog|0 Comments|

Walking Your Dog

Nighttime Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again: The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and we’re all waiting for the snow to fly. But you don’t have to let the early evenings and cold weather put a damper on your daily walks with your dog. We’ve talked about winter safety tips in the past, but now we’re back with pointers to keep you and your dog safe walking in the dark.

Leash Up

It’s tempting to let your dog run free to burn off excess energy after a long day, but this can be risky at night. Dogs don’t see much better than humans do in the dark, so it’s easy for them to become startled and run off, increasing their chances of getting lost or hit by a car. Play it safe and leash up before heading out. You’ll avoid accidents, and you won’t have to try to find your dog in the dark!

Dress for Success

This rule is a must, and it goes for you AND your dog. Before you head out after hours, don’t forget to put on high visibility gear and bright colors to make sure you and your dog can be seen at all times. In addition to reflective items, consider getting rechargeable LED leashes, collars, and vests to amp up your visibility even more. And don’t forget to make sure they fit over winter coats and dog sweaters.

Cue the Lights

Don’t leave home without your flashlight! Or, go for a better hands-free solution with a headlamp. Not only do lights make you more visible, but they ensure your path is always illuminated, so you’re less likely to trip or fall. An added bonus? Having a flashlight makes it easier to pick up after your dog in the dark.

Walk the Right Way

No, we’re not saying there’s a right and wrong way to walk. And, no, your dog doesn’t have to walk in a perfect heel either. But, making smart choices and using good common sense can keep you and your dog safer in the dark.

These steps include:

  • Leaving your headphones at home so you can hear your surroundings
  • Avoiding dark alleys or empty areas
  • Staying in well-lit areas whenever possible
  • Walking against traffic so that you’re constantly aware of oncoming cars


And, even if your daily walk is your opportunity to “unplug,” always carry your cellphone in case of emergency.

If the shorter days and colder weather are keeping you and your dog indoors, we can help. Keep your dog happy and exercised with doggy daycare “Playday” sessions and outdoor walks at our Eagan and Bloomington locations.

By |October 28th, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Walking Your Dog|

Tail Waggers of the Month

Meet Sophie and Norman!

Bloomington Tail Wagger

Sophie is a smart girl who knows the word “daycare” and can’t wait to arrive for her Playday sessions, especially if it’s time to make waves during POOL DAYS! She’s been part of our pack since her Puppy Kindergarten days in Eagan. Now, this sweet coonhound mix is 1-1/2 years old and spends time with her friends in Bloomington.

When Sophie isn’t busy playing at WTPR, she loves being the only child and princess at home. Her owners, Gage and Kelsey, say her favorite toy is a chicken, and it’s the only one she won’t destroy. Sophie even knows her “chicken” by name and will grab it when asked. She’s always happy to leave her chicken behind, though, if it means going on long with her Uncle Dan or playing with her cousins Tilly (a dachshund mix) and Bre (a Lab mix).

Gage and Kelsey told us that Sophie isn’t much of a cuddler. But, when she’s tired, she makes an exception. That’s when you can find her snuggled up nice and close to them on the couch for some extra attention. They also love seeing her coonhound genes come out when she gets busy smelling EVERYTHING. They say they wouldn’t trade it for the world – and we couldn’t agree more!

Eagan Tail Wagger

Norman is a four-year-old pitty mix who has been coming to our Eagan location since he was a puppy. He was originally born in Nashville but gave up a budding career in country music for Minnesota winters. When his owner, Amy, heads out to shovel, he’s always ready to lend a helping hand and leaps into the air to catch the snow she throws!

There’s a lot to love about Norman. He’s a happy boy with a big bark and enthusiastic prance. Whenever he comes to visit, we shower his 85 pounds of exuberant energy with love and attention all day long, often sending him home smelling of our perfume and cologne.

When Normal isn’t with his friends at WTPR, he likes spending time with Amy and his cat siblings, Walter, Lucy, and Gus. He also takes his responsibilities in the family very seriously. He makes sure they never have to sit on the couch alone, and he carries his own leash when out on walks – something he’s done since his very first time out; we have proof!

At the end of a long day, Norman enjoys kicking back with a giant rawhide, meaty marrow bone, or his plush Kong moose.

Congratulations Sophie and Norman!

By |October 21st, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Tail Waggers of the Month|

Saving Lives Through Fostering

Commonly Asked Questions

Thinking of getting a dog, but you’re worried about finding a good fit for your family? Trying to find ways to help homeless dogs in need? Fostering could be the perfect solution.

You’ve probably heard of fostering in the past, but it can be hard to figure out how to get started. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions.

Why foster?

There are several great reasons to consider fostering. Many rescue groups don’t have a physical shelter, so foster homes play a crucial part in helping dogs in need. Fostering also frees up resources so that shelters and rescues can help even more homeless dogs and cats.

Unlike shelter environments that can be stressful for many dogs, foster homes provide a more relaxing environment for an animal. And, when a dog is in a relaxed and comfortable state, it’s easier to learn more about their personalities and individual needs to ensure they find a well-suited, forever home.

Fostering also gives a dog or puppy a place to:

  • Recover from surgery or illness before adoption
  • Grow old enough for adoption
  • Acclimate to a home environment before adoption

It can also be good opportunity to get to know a dog before deciding to adopt them.

What do I have to do to foster a dog?

Fostering is easy! All you need to give is love, care, and attention. That’s because rescue groups often provide all the supplies you’ll need – including crates, food, leashes, and collars – and cover any vet expenses your foster dog may require. You can also commit to fostering a dog for a few days or weeks to months or years.

When you decide to foster, the rescue group works closely with you to find foster opportunities that are a good fit for your home and lifestyle. That means that you can focus on fostering puppies, pit bulls, senior dogs, or even those requiring hospice care.

Can I foster a dog if I have a family or already have pets?

Yes! But you have to take precautions to keep everyone – pets and humans – safe and happy.

First, all animals in your home should be vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Humans, especially young children, should interact with your new foster dog in calm and non-threatening ways. Remember, new environments can be scary for dogs, so it’s essential to make introductions with the human and animal members of your household slowly and positively.

Fostering can have a life-changing affect on not only you but your entire family. For more information, we recommend contacting local animal rescues, like the Animal Humane Society, Underdog Rescue, Secondhand Hounds, and Ruff Start Rescue.

By |October 14th, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Saving Lives Through Fostering|

It’s Your Party!

September Birthday Roundup

Frank

We kicked off fall by celebrating a whopping 35 birthdays in September!

Is your dog in our Birthday Club? It’s free and comes with a complimentary Playday, bandana, and a birthday par-tay!

See all of our party pups by visiting our Photo Gallery!

By |October 7th, 2019|blog|Comments Off on It’s Your Party!|

Tail Waggers of the Month

Meet Louise and Owen!

Bloomington Tail Wagger

Sweet Louise is an adorable two-year-old boxer, lab mix originally from Arkansas. She’s been playing with us at our Bloomington location since she was six months old.

Her owners Steve and Ben tell us that Louise loves staying close to them or her big brother Charlie, the black Lab. In fact, one of the first times they took her to the dog park, she eagerly raced off to play but started to panic when she didn’t realize where they were! Once Louise found them again, she hid between Ben’s legs and stayed close for the rest of their visit.

Louise is more than snuggly; she’s also a very curious pooch who has to investigate everything. Even she’s in a different room and someone sneezes, Louise will come running, sit on their chest, and nuzzle their face to check things out!

We love it when Louise comes to WTPR. She enjoys spending her visits running around and hanging out with the Play Coaches.

Eagan Tail Wagger

Three-year-old Owen is an enthusiastic golden retriever who loves coming to our Eagan location. His favorite things include peanut butter Kongs, attention from the staff, and hanging out with all of his doggy friends. Though, his owners suspect that Owen thinks he’s there to supervise the pack!

When he isn’t at Wagging Tails, Owen enjoys helping out with the gardening. His owners Cathy and Kevin couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting any cucumbers or tomatoes until one day when they saw Owen helping himself to even the smallest fruit on the vine! Cathy says that before long, they’ll only have garlic growing in their garden.

Cathy says that Owen has a stubborn streak that’s unlike anything they’ve seen in their previous Goldens. He’s also a total fetch failure. But Owen LOVES a good belly rub, going for walks anywhere, and thinks errands are super fun. He also seems happiest when the whole family gathers, because the more the merrier!

What’s the best part of having Owen in their lives? “He’s a good boy, and we love having him in our family.”

By |September 23rd, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Tail Waggers of the Month|

Can You Hear Me Now?

The Secret Behind Your Dog’s Ears

Does your dog have perky, upright ears? Or do they hang down in an endearing, droopy flop? It turns out there’s a reason why some dogs have erect ears and others don’t. Charles Darwin even wondered over this difference 150 years ago when he wrote On the Origin of Species. And, it turns out, he was onto something.

When it comes to the structure of your dog’s ears, one popular theory centers around domestication syndrome and neural crest cells. Neural crest cells help dictate the size and shape of many animal characteristics, from their skeletal and connective tissues to their facial structure and ears. These cells also play a role in how an animal’s adrenal glands function and the “fight or flight” response.

So, what do neural crest cells have to do with your dog’s ears being floppy or upright? That’s where domestication syndrome comes into play. It’s believed that thousands of years of domestication altered the neural crest cells in our dogs. Basically, as dogs became more and more tame, the number and behavior of their neural crest cells changed. As a result, new traits started to emerge, like floppy ears, shorter snouts, different in coats and tail form, and even reduced tooth size! We went on to accentuate (or inhibit) each of these traits through centuries of intentional breeding to enhance the characteristics we found most appealing.

To learn more about how some dogs came to have floppy ears, watch the video below:

By |September 16th, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Can You Hear Me Now?|

It’s Your Party!

August Birthday Roundup

Juliet

Has your dog celebrated their birthday with us yet?

Our Birthday Club is FREE and your lucky pup can enjoy their special day with a complimentary Playday, bandana, and birthday paw-ty!

Visit our photo gallery gallery to see all of our August party pups!

By |September 9th, 2019|blog|Comments Off on It’s Your Party!|

Happy Labor Day!

Minnesota Working Dogs

We often think of Labor Day as the end of summer and our last chance to get to the Minnesota State Fair for cheese curds and mini donuts. But, it’s actually a day set aside to celebrate American workers. In honor of the 125th anniversary of this national holiday, we thought it would be fun to recognize some little-known Minnesota workers: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s TSA dogs.

Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration

TSA dogs are officially known as Passenger Screening Canines. There are nearly 1,100 canine teams hard at work around the country, busy sniffing for explosives or explosive materials in security lines. To become a Passenger Screening Canine team, they undergo a 12-week intensive training session at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio. This $12 million facility has 25,000 square foot canine training space with seven classrooms. It also has 13 indoor venues that recreate numerous airport sites, including a baggage claim, checkpoint, cargo facility, and the interior of an aircraft.

As of last February, MSP had six canine teams on active duty. When looking for a dog to go into this line of work, trainers watch for more than a great nose. It’s also imperative that these dogs also have a high-energy drive to work. There are currently seven breeds that have shown exceptional capabilities as Passenger Screening Canines, including:

  • German shepherds
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Labrador retrievers
  • German shorthaired pointers
  • Wirehaired pointers
  • Vizslas
  • Golden retrievers


And don’t worry about the dogs who don’t complete their training or retire. The TSA also runs a doggy adoption program, but you’ll have to wait more than seven years if you’re interested in getting one of your own! In most cases, trainers are given the opportunity to adopt their partners first, and they rarely refuse. We can’t blame them!

Happy Labor Day!

By |September 2nd, 2019|blog|Comments Off on Happy Labor Day!|