Pet Health and Behavior Tips Archive

MUTT FAVORITES: Halloween Collection + Halloween Night Tips

Trick or Treat

BOO! Just as we are recovering from the summer heat, we jump right into ghosts and goblins! We love Halloween – not just for the scary stuff, but for costume-wearing, party-throwing and trick-or-treating fun! Depending on what event you and your pup are going to, you’ll need the goods. We’re a huge fan of hilariously fun costumes, as you can tell! For those that prefer to not dress up in a costume, grab a Halloween-themed bandana – they’re easy to take on and off and are festive enough to celebrate this spooky holiday. Halloween-themed toys are a fun addition for a dog that doesn’t enjoy wearing clothing at all!

Whatever type of Party-Animal you may have, safety is most important. Here are a few ways to ensure everyone has a great time:

  1. Nighttime visibility is key. You always want to know your dog’s whereabouts, especially when trick-or-treating. Use lighted or reflective collars, leashes or harnesses and make sure they are securely fastened – you never know if your pooch will get frightened by all the costumes!
  2. No candy or decorations for Bowser. Candy (especially chocolate) can be toxic to pets and decorations like fake spider webs or small favors could be a choking hazard to dogs and cats.
  3. If they don’t want to go out, let them stay at home. Some pets can be frightened or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costume visitors. If this is the case, keep them in a quiet space away from trick-or-treaters. We recommend a room with their bed and a favorite toy!
  4. ID tags on collars is essential. With doors opening constantly on Halloween night, there’s multiple opportunities for your pet to run out. We recommend your furry friend wears a collar with an ID tag just in case of any accidental getaways!

We hope you have a happy and safe Halloween! ☺



Empty Nest Syndrome for dogs? It’s true! While the kids and parents are excited about heading back to school, the four-legged family members may not share the same joy.

They’ve had a summer of fun with their human brothers and sisters, and now they have to leave – wouldn’t you be sad too? Professor Nicholas Dodman from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine told the Today Show that at least one in six dogs and numerous cats will show symptoms of separation anxiety after the kids go back to school. What are these symptoms, you might ask? They’re easy to spot once you realize what they are: chewing furniture, ripping the stuffing out of pillows, going to the bathroom in the house, obsessive barking/whining and shredding paper are just a few, according to Banfield Pet Hospital. How do you reduce this stress? We have a few ideas:

  1. Avoid emotional departures and greetings. Teach your kids to avoid over stimulating your pup at these times.
  2. Plan to exercise Bowser before you leave and always make a calm exit.

atlantisKeeping your pet comfortable or preoccupied is a great way to beat Bowser Boredom. Consider a few of these tools to help you and your pet:

  1. Crate/Crate Cover/Crate Mattress: A crate is the safest place for your pup to be when you’re out. Adding a mattress keeps them more comfortable and a crate cover simulates the feeling of a den which makes it a calm and peaceful setting.rIMG_4560
  2. Bed: If they’re not crate-trained, a bed is a great option. Beds with bolsters that surround your dog give a feeling
    of security. Choose a pillow bed if your dog likes to sprawl out.
  3. rphoto-3Gate: Letting your pup have free roam of the house can be dangerous if curiosity gets the best of them and they get into something that can be harmful. Choose a dog-proof room in the house that gives them enough space to move around and can fit a water bowl and bed.
  4. Interactive toys: Although no toy is completely indestructible, a sturdy toy or an interactive treat-releasing toy will give notrIMG_5538 (1) only stimulate your pup’s brain, but will keep them preoccupied! You know your dog best, we don’t recommend leaving toys with puppies or dogs that are tough chewers.
  5. BabyBark2Bark Collar: Our Citronella or Air spray bark collars are a safe and humane way to correct your dog when barking. The spray is released once the dog barks to interrupt the behavior.
  6. Thundershirt: If your pup gets excited or scared when you are in the process of leaving, try the Thundershirt. thundershirtOriginally invented for dogs that are scared of loud noises, the Thundershirt can be used anytime a dog is feeling anxious.  The burrito-like constant pressure that the shirt gives your pup gives them a feeling of security and calms them down.
  7. rIMG_0888Pet Calm Drops:  This all-natural remedy settle nerves and reduce anxiety prior to any stress-enhancing event. Add a few drops to their water each morning.

Take these steps to prevent your pup from separation anxiety and back to school time will be a breeze for you and your pup!

August Treat of the Month: 20% off Plato Treats All Month Long!

Treat of the Month

Plato lovers, rejoice! All August long, celebrate our Treat of the Month by saving 20% on all Plato treats. This includes Plato Duck and Chicken Strips, Farmer’s Market treats, Turkey and Pumpkin EOS Treats, Thinkers Sticks and Small Bites. All Plato treats are made in the USA with natural ingredients and have no artificial colors, flavors, synthetic preservatives, GMO’s, meat by-products or meals.

Plato treats will satisfy any pup’s pallet. For the pup that enjoys a nice bite, we recommend the Chicken and Duck Strips. Made of over 90% chicken and duck, these treats are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are naturally preserved. With a nice crunch, your pup will be wagging their tail all day long for a taste of these strips!

If Bowser is on a grain-free diet, have no fear: Plato offers a grain-free (and gluten-free!) option in their EOS Treats. These turkey and pumpkin flavored treats are made with single-sourced novel protein, making it the ideal treat for a dog with skin issues, allergies and food sensitivities.

For the dog that needs some veggies, the Farmer’s Market Treats are ideal. These treats are made with either chicken or salmon and premium US grown vegetables like peas, carrots, spinach, beets and more. Packed with veggies but still with a yummy flavor, your pup won’t even realize they’re eating such healthy treats!

Got a thinker? If so, then Thinkers Sticks are the ideal treat! Made with meat (chicken or duck) or salmon, these sticks are a natural source of iron and have gingko baloba to help nourish brain function. Whether you break these up or give them to your pup whole, they’ll love it!

Need some training treats? Small Bites are super-soft and are small, making them ideal for training. Made with over 75% duck and chicken, bites are also made with yummy berries and contain zinc and iron.

Our Treat of the Month promotion on Plato Treats runs from August 1st to August 31st, so act fast and visit us online or in stores to enjoy these sizzling savings! Online customers can redeem this special 20% offer by using the code PLATO during checkout!

MUTT’S UP: 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool

We LOVE summer. But, news flash: it’s hot. Humans are able to keep in tune with our bodies and know when we need to be cool, but how can you tell when your dog is hot? Signs of heatstroke in dogs can include excessive panting, bright red tongue, thick, sticky saliva and dizziness, to name a few. How can heatstroke be prevented? Keep them cool! We’ve come up with a list of five things that are sure to keep your dog cool during the warm months.
KoolCollar1. The Kool Collar. Add some ice and clip around your dog’s neck. It’ll cool down your pup’s whole body!
2. Make sleeping a breeze with a Pressure Activated Cool Pet Pad. If they made this in a human size, we’d want one. This pad isPressure Pad pressure activated and will keep your pup cool for 3-4 hours. The “coolest” part? It re-charges itself automatically when it’s not being used – no refrigeration, water or electricity needed!
popsicle3. Freeze a toy! Toys like the Chilly Bone and the Freezable Popsicle are made to freeze. All you have to do is soak the toy and pop it in the freezer. Not only will these toys cool your pup down, but they promote teeth and gum health!
iCool Vest
4. A cooling vest is always a good idea. The iCool vest is made of water-cooling material and doesn’t need any refrigeration. Let the vest soak, wring out the excess water and voila! Your pup will be cool in no time!
5. Let them take a swim! A good ol’ swim will definitely help your pup cool down! The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is the dog version of a life jacket – need we say more?
Summer can be fun if you keep your and your pup safe at all times. To check out more ways to keep  your dog cool, peep our Summer Essentials Collection. Enjoy!
The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat in Action!

Keep your Pet Safe + Happy this Holiday Season!

Christmas Pup

We’re the first to say that the Holidays are the best time of year, but with all the fun to be had, it’s extremely important to stay safe – especially when it comes to keeping your pups out of harm’s way! Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your furry friends safe during the holidays!

  1. Keep your decorations pet friendly. When decorating your tree, keep the special ornaments at the tip top of the Christmas tree and hang wooden, metal or resin-cast ornaments on the lower branches in case your pup is a curious one. Whatever you do, do NOT let your pet near any electrical cords – playing or chewing these cords could cause injury or even electrocution. To prevent this, hide the cords by routing them through a PVC pipe.
  2. Don’t let Bowser near the holiday plants! Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all poisonous – if your pup accidentally eats any of these plants, there’s a chance they’ll experience vomiting, diarrhea or other serious health problems. Instead of having them nibble on plants, give them a nice, yummy treat to nibble on instead – it’s safer and much more delicious!
  3. Brrr! Keep your pup warm! The Holidays are a chilly time – even with the heaviest coats, cold weather is a serious risk to pups of all sizes. When it’s really cold out, only take your pup out for short periods of time and keep them nice and warm when outside.
  4. We know it’s tempting, but don’t give your furry friend any Holiday leftovers! Your mom’s holiday ham may have been amazing, but don’t share it with your pup – there’s a chance they could choke or get sick. Spoil them with delicious treats instead!

Now that we’ve hooked you up with some helpful tips, it’s time to celebrate the holidays! Happy Holidays from all of us to you!

Halloween Tips for your Pup!

Halloween pet safety tips

Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family, including the pups! While getting everything prepared for the spookiest holiday of the year, we thought we’d help you in the pet department by sharing a few Mutt Tips!

Is your pup protective of the family? Dogs are über protective of their family, but when it comes to Halloween activities, protection goes to the next level (you have to remember, dogs can’t tell the difference between a costume and a family friend!). If you’re planning on bringing your pup with you to Halloween activities, we highly recommend having them on a leash. If you think your pup will be too protective, then let them hang out at home while you’re out.

Have a pup that loves people? Bring them along for the ride! You can even take it up a notch and dress them up in a sweet costume! The most important part of bringing your pup with you (besides the costume)? Don’t let them eat candy! Instead of having your pup gnaw on Halloween candy that can make them really sick (resulting in you having to clean their mess later or worse), have some healthy treats on hand to hand to Bowser while the kids are getting their candy. It will make trick-or-treating fun for everyone!

Have a shy guy? You don’t want to put your pup in a situation that makes them freak out. Give your dog the night off and let them hang out at the house while you’re out and about. All they’ll need is their bed, a fun toy and (obviously) some treats and they won’t even know you’re gone!

Bonus Tip: If you’re taking your pup with you, make sure they have an ID tag on their collar. It’s pretty unlikely, but there is a chance that your pup can run away because they’re frightened (if you had no clue why there were zombies or ghosts walking near you, wouldn’t you be a little frightened too?). By having an ID on their collar, you’re giving the finder of your pup a way to contact you so you can save your dog from being even more scared!

We hope we’ve given you a little advice on what to do with your pup during the Halloween festivities. Have a fun and safe Halloween! :)

Pet Health: Help Those Hot Paws!


Summer is here and the heat is on! Have you noticed your pup trying to avoid that hot, black asphalt on your walks? Dogs’ pads are incredibly sensitive, therefore, the asphalt can be extremely harmful. One of our customers recently brought their 10-week-old Husky puppy in with burnt, cracking pads due to the hot pavement. The owner had taken him on a long run on the asphalt; this poor pup barely wanted to stand on his paws!           

Anti Slip Dog Socks   Ruffwear Summit Trex Boots

We highly recommend covering your pup’s paws up by wearing socks or boots during this summer heat, especially if you take your pup on long mid-day walks or runs. Not only do they look super stylish, they protect your pups’ sensitive pads from the scorching asphalt! If the damage has already been done, like the Husky’s, we recommend using Vetericyn Wound and Skin Care Spray to disinfect and clean your pups’ paws. After the paws have been sprayed, bandage them with the Pawflex Bandages while their paws heal is. You can find these products at any of our Muttropolis locations or on our website!

Vetericyn Wound and Infection Spray   Pawflex Dog Bandages

Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

4th of July Dog

4th of July is here! We know you’re as excited about this holiday as we are, but your pets may not be as jazzed for the holiday. We wanted to provide some helpful tips to get you and your pup ready (and safe) for this fun holiday! 

Make sure your pup has a tag. Having an ID tag on your pup’s collar is not only important for day-to-day use, but especially important for holidays! Be sure that your pup’s tag has up-to-date information before the big holiday. This way, in the unfortunate event that they get lost, they can be returned to Metal Engravable Tagyou promptly!If you encounter a lost pet, check to see if they have an ID tag. If they do, contact their owner, if they don’t, we recommend you take them to your local animal shelter – they’ll have the best chance of being reunited with their owners there. Each year, animal shelters across the country are prepared for receiving “4th of July dogs” that run off during fireworks celebrations.

Refrain from feeding pets human food and drinks. Although we know you want everyone to try your amazing BBQ or refreshing margarita, we advise you to keep your pup out of this taste test, as any change in a pet’s diet can result in indigestion and diarrhea – yuck! Foods like onions, chocolate, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough and drinks like alcohol and coffee are especially harmful and can be potentially toxic to animals. Ingestion of alcohol may cause intoxication and weakness that could lead to a coma and/or respiratory failure. The secret to making your pups happy while you and your guest feast? Have some yummy dog treats on hand – if your friends want to feed your pup, give them these!

Only apply sunscreen or insect repellent on dogs if it is specifically labeled for use on animals. If your pup eats any sunscreen and insect repellent that isn’t for animals, there’s a chance they can vomit, have diarrhea, have excessive thirst and drooling. Insect repellents that contain DEET are especially harmful and can lead to neurological problems.

Don’t let pups near matches and/or lighter fluid. Many types of matches contain chlorates, which if ingested can damage blood cells and lead to difficulty breathing, with the most severe cases resulting in kidney disease. Lighter fluid is also very harmful. It can cause skin irritation and if ingested, No Lighter Fluid Near Pupgastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop. Moral of the story: don’t have matches or lighter fluid near your pup!

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products away from pets. If a pet were to ingest any one of these products, it can lead to stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. Much like lighter fluid, when these oils are inhaled they can cause aspiration pneumonia.

NEVER leave your pets alone in a vehicle on hot days. Leaving the windows down and/or parking in the shade is not good enough! Temperatures rise very quickly inside a car and since dogs sweat differently than humans, they are not able to cool themselves down enough and can suffer from serious health effects, even death. Many states have made it illegal to leave a pet in a car during extreme weather. Think about how hot you are in your car when the A/C is off – it’s 10 times worse for your pup!

Never use fireworks around pets. Dogs can possibly suffer from severe burns and /or trauma if they get too close to any fireworks, whether or not they are used because fireworks contain toxic substances including arsenic, potassium nitrate and other heavy metals. The noise and sight of fireworks displays can also freak pets out, leading to anxiety and distress. Most pets will try to get away from the noise so it is best to them in a safe and secure place, preferably at home. If you decide to have your pup join you during the fireworks show, we recommend wrapping them up in a blanket or a compressed shirt, like a Thundershirt, which can help relieve anxiety.

Bonus! Extra ways to get your pup prepped for the big day. If your pet is prone to anxiety, ask your
Take Your Dog for a Walkvet about ways to alleviate stress and anxiety prior to the holiday festivities. If you’re more into natural remedies, there are many natural calming products that may help with your pup’s anxiety. We also
recommend exercising your dog early in the day, whether they are prone to anxiety or not. Make sure that any off-leash time is securely fenced and any walks have a good leash as some people may set off fireworks before dark.

We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you and your pets a Happy 4th of July!

Ways to Reduce Carbon Pawprints

Puppy WorldHappy Earth Day everyone! Here at Muttropolis we strive to have a pulse on what’s innovative, and eco-friendly pet products are just that! Organic dog toys, collars and leashes, biodegradable poop bags, and eco-friendly pet beds, are just a few of the many planet friendly pet products we are proud to carry. In celebration of Earth Day, we’d like to take it a step further and share some of our favorite eco-friendly pet practices. It's our hope that you and your pets will join us in reducing carbon pawprints by adopting some of these practices, not only on Earth Day, but everyday!

100% NaturalGet rid of pet junk food. Since nutrition is essential for optimum pet health, it's important to look for natural and organic pet food and treats, free of artificial and genetically engineered ingredients and additives. Look for meat sources that are raised in sustainable, humane conditions. Many pet food brands include reconstituted animal by-products, essentially low-grade wastes that humans wouldn’t touch, let alone eat. At Muttropolis, we carry a large variety of safe, All Natural Dog Food, All Natural Dog Treats, Natural Dog Supplements, and a small assortment of All Natural Cat Food and Treats as well.

PoopbagsPick up poop the biodegradable way. 
Use biodegradable bags to pick up your pet’s poop so that it doesn’t live in a plastic bag at the bottom of a landfill, lasting for hundreds of years to come. We carry eco-friendly poop pick-up bags, some more so than others, with White Compostable Pick-up Bags at the top of the environmentally friendly list. They are made from 100% renewable resources, protecting the environment by degrading in as little as 40 days.

Spoil your pet with sustainable products. Saving the planet can be fun for your pets too! Choose products that are made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers. Hemp is a great choice, as it is one of the most abundantly occurring crops in nature and makes super-strong fabric. Check out our Hemp Star Dog Collar and Leash set that was seen on the CBS Early Show, or the popular Eco Nap Recycled Fleece Dog Mat, made from 85% recycled plastic soda bottles! Our sustainable product assortment doesn’t stop there, with many more toys and beds that are made from recyclable fibers, or made to be recycled.

Eco Nap Recycled Fleece Dog MatChoose natural pet care and cleaning products. We carry quite a few grooming products that are all natural and free of harsh chemicals, such as Richard’s Organics Deodorant Dog Shampoo and Petkin’s Eco Bamboo Pet Wipes and Eye Wipes, all gentle on your pet and the planet. Steer clear of those brands that produce chemical laced grooming products.

Make sure your pet always wears a tag. Losing a pet can be trying both emotionally and environmentally. Printing posters and driving around town in search of your missing four-legged friend has an environmental impact that could be avoided if you were alerted quickly that they were found. Whether you choose an electronic ID chip or a hang tag, the important thing is that your contact information is easily accessible. Our large Engravable Pet Tag assortment can be found at,  Large Chrome Bone Engravable Dog Tagand includes Chrome Pet Tags in a variety of shapes, Stainless Steel Pet Tags with different image and color options, and Decorate Metal Pet Tags. There is a style and size suitable for every pet!

ChickadeeProtect native wildlife. Believe it or not, domestic cats are one of the biggest bird predators. In fact, many neighborhoods require owners to attach a bell to their cat’s collar so that birds are less likely to fall victim. Unlike wild predators, house cats tend to be well taken care of and in great shape, making them ready to pounce at the chance to hunt. If you have an outdoor cat, consider a bell or keeping them in an enclosure.

Use birth control. Many of you probably haven’t thought of spaying and neutering as an eco-conscious decision, but the overpopulation of pets is a big problem and has a significant effect on the environment. Dogs and cats are carnivores and it takes a lot of land to provide them food. It makes you think differently about an accidental litter, doesn’t it? An added bonus, spaying and neutering can lead to longer, healthier lives by lessening and/or eliminating the possibility of certain cancers and disease.

Adopt from a shelter. If you’re in the market for a four-legged addition to your family, we urge you to consider adoption. Instead of diving into the adoption topic in this post, please head over to our adoption post where you can learn more about adoptions and our point of view on the matter.


Now is as good a time as ever to start reducing your pet’s carbon pawprints! Visit us online or in one of our three Southern California store locations to shop our eco-friendly collection and learn more about planet friendly pet practices.

Get Active + Sooth Your Pup’s Spring Fever in San Diego

Spring forward is days away! How do you plan to enjoy your extra hour of evening light? Us busy office-bees have been buzzing about the many activities we’re planning to enjoy with our four-legged friends. Here are a few suggestions for getting active and soothing you and your pup’s spring fever in San Diego.

Make a splash

Dog Beach

We have some darn good dog beaches down here in San Diego. The Original Dog Beach down in Ocean Beach and North Beach Dog Run in Coronado are both open 24 hours and off leash approved! Del Mar Dog Beach is a favorite among North County residents, allowing off leash after Labor Day through June 16th. Does your dog fear waves? Well then Fiesta Island is a great alternative offering calmer waters and sand dunes. Located in Mission Bay Park, dogs are allowed in most all areas on Fiesta Island between 6:00AM – 10:00PM. Many other beaches allow dogs on leash at certain hours, so be aware of the rules and make your way to the sand for some splish splashin’ fun with your fido!

Take a hike

Dogs Hiking

Hitting the trails is much more fun with your hound in toe. San Diego County is filled with trails of varying levels, most giving a warm welcome to canine cohorts. DogVacay pulled together a list of some the top dog friendly hikes in San Diego, a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to start their search, providing brief overviews, addresses and hours. One of the most popular hikes in San Diego is Cowles Mountain, an up hill hike offering 360 degree views. Prefer a flatter trail? We’d suggest Los Penasquitos Canyon. The trail is surrounded by lush vegetation and a waterfall to enjoy at the end. If you and your pup are avid hikers and revel in serious heart pumping, Mt. Woodson, aka “Potato Chip Rock,” is a steep and strenuous dog-friendly hike. As with any outdoor activity, especially hiking in the heat, bring plenty of water for both you and your pup!

Visit a dog park

Dog Park

San Diego has so many to choose from! Canine Corners Dog Park in La Mesa, Poway Dog Park in Poway, and Nate’s PointGrape Street Dog Park and Morley Field Dog Park all in beautiful Balboa Park, are just a few of the many dog parks that stand out throughout the county. Giving your pup the freedom to run and play in a gigantic green space is a true treat when living in a city. Not only do parks allow your pup to exercise, they are also great places to work on healthy socialization with other dogs and humans, an important lesson for every dog to learn. If none of the parks mentioned are nearby, search out a dog park in your neighborhood. Off leash dog parks are ideal, but many parks that aren’t dog specific also allow dogs on a leash, an alternative to sidewalk exploring.

Grab a bite, a brew, or both

Dog and Beer

We’re in no shortage of dog-friendly drinking and dining down here San Diego, often referred to as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US. San Diego Pets Magazine put together a helpful list of go-to dog friendly restaurants to visit with your pup. San Diego is also busting at the seams with microbreweries, many of which welcome furry friends. Culture Brewing Co, our neighbor on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, comes to mind as they quickly caught on with the dog-friendly North County crowd. AleSmith Brewing Company, Mission Brewery and Green Flash Brewery are just a few of the "big-beer-boys" that also welcome dogs. Other dog-friendly breweries can be found inside The Complete Guide To San Diego Breweries.