Pup enjoying a Valentine's day enrichment treat

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Pet!

We’ve all heard the saying, “a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”, right? Well, this Valentine’s Day, give back to your selfless pup! We’re talking spoiling them with love, affection, cuddles, and treats. Stick around for more ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your pet!

Enrichment opportunities.

There’s always time for enrichment! Try out some of our favorites:

  • Frozen sweetheart treats: use a heart shaped mold to freeze chicken stock and some small treats for a yummy brain game! Check out how the Petropolis pups reacted to this enrichment treat.
  • Treat rollup: lay a towel down and scatter some treats (or kibble) on it while rolling it into a burrito. Your pup will have a mental workout while foraging for the goodies!
  • Cats deserve enrichment too! Try hiding treats around the house so they can hunt- they will love using their instincts.
Pup enjoying a Valentine's day enrichment treat

Indoor activities.

This freezing weather doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast inside the house with your furry friend! For instance, training for even 5 minutes will strengthen your bond with your pup and be a mental workout. Use this time to brush up on skills or try taking on a new trick! It’s never too late to teach a dog something new. Another easy game to play in the house is some good old-fashioned hide and seek. Wanting to motivate some play time with your feline friend? Cats loove chasing things- strings, feather toys, you name it! Try using a laser pointer as a substitute and watch your cat have the time of their life and get in some exercise. There are so many more ways to keep your Valentine happy without venturing outside in the cold- you just need to get creative.

Simple but effective.

Try taking your pup for a long walk at a new park or trail! They will be thrilled to explore the new sights, sounds, and smells.

Schedule a day of socializing and play.

Does your pup have a BFF? Plan a playdate for the two pups! Or, you can be the best dog parent out there and bring them to daycare for a day filled with playing, chasing, treats, making new friends, and love from our staff. You’ll bring home a very happy, tired dog at the end of the day to cuddle with.

Petropolis pups playing with their best friends at daycare on Valentine's Day!

We want to see how you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with your pet! Send us photos of your adventures on Instagram (@petropolisstl)

Dog Training Month at Petropolis

Dog Training Month

Happy Dog Training Month! This January, we are celebrating the continued education of our furry friends. Whether your dog has been with you for years or just a few weeks, all dogs can benefit from training! At Petropolis, we focus on the enrichment of animals in order to promote a healthier human-pet bond using force-free, reward-based methods.

A Doberman puppy lays on a tile floor during a dog training session.

How Much Does Dog Training Cost?

Ready to start training? You’ve come to the right place! At Petropolis, our professional trainers use only positive reinforcement-based methods that improve the human-animal bond. Plus, we help you do the same! Learn more about how much dog training will cost and what you’ll get from our programs.

How We Price Our Dog Training Services

All of our dog training packages are customized based on your dog’s and your family’s needs. We offer all dogs a free one-hour training evaluation so our trainers can meet you and provide an accurate quote on your dog’s training cost. They’ll get to know your dog, ask you about your goals, and develop a plan to reach them. Call (636)537-2322 to schedule your free evaluation today.

What You Get

During your evaluation, the trainer will provide you a list of manners and skills your dog will learn over the course of their program. These range all the way from polite greetings to life-saving skills, and they’re tailored to your dog.

If you opt for one of our standard Day Training packages, your pup will get to enjoy daycare while they visit us and take short training breaks throughout the day. In this case, the dog training cost includes the price of daycare.

You will also get to schedule several Skills Transfer sessions. During these sessions, you’ll work one-on-one with a trainer to address any challenges you’re facing and practice your dog’s skills together.

What Else You Invest

Aside from the financial investment, our trainers will also ask that you and the rest of your household invest time, energy, and patience into your dog’s training. We can teach your dog all the manners and skills they need to be a polite member of the family. But if you don’t practice with them at home, they’re bound to forget. We ask that you have a serious conversation with your partner, your children, or any other members of your household about your training plan. Consistency is key in dog training, so it’s important that everyone is on the same page.

Now, let’s get to training! Call (636)537-2322 or click here to book your dog’s free training evaluation today.

A yellow lab mix barking up at someone sitting on the couch.

How to Stop Your Dog From Barking

We often hear from frustrated pet parents that they want their dog to stop barking. And while barking can definitely be a nuisance, patience and gentle guidance can reduce your dog’s barking back to an appropriate level.

How Not to Train Your Dog

For many pet parents, the knee-jerk reaction to a barking dog is to shout No! or Quiet! But when you yell at your dog for barking, they just think you’re barking with them! Instead of yelling, we suggest redirecting your dog’s energy and attention to stop the barking.

The Right Way to Stop Dog Barking

How you’ll stop your dog from barking entirely depends on why they’re barking. The reason usually falls in one of these three categories:

  • Excitement. Not all barking means your dog is upset. Sometimes, they’re just excited! Your dog may be barking because they’re excited about something they see outside (like another dog), eager to play, or just happy. If this is the case, redirect your dog’s energy by offering their favorite toy. They’ll eventually learn to show excitement through play instead of barking.
  • Alarm. We never want to train our dog not to ever bark, because sometimes dogs bark to alert us. This could be to something we also notice, like a knock on the door. But it may also be to something we can’t see, like a particular scent or sound. When your dog barks to alert you of something, reward them with a treat and say ‘thank you’ after the first bark. After that, ignore them. Over time, your dog will learn that one alarm bark is okay but that anything after is unnecessary. 
  • Fear. Often, fearful dogs bark at whatever is scaring them. It’s their way of telling the scary thing, “Stay away!” If your dog is barking out of fear, work with them slowly to show them that whatever they’re barking at – be it the vacuum, a neighbor on a bicycle, or thunder – isn’t anything to be afraid of.

If you’re still struggling with excessive barking, give our training department a call for a free evaluation. They’ll get to know your dog, troubleshoot any training challenges you’re having, and develop a plan for you and your pet. Just call (636)537-2322 or click here to get started.

A Jack Russell terrier puppy biting a hand.

How to Stop Puppy Biting

Puppy biting is a challenging phase of puppyhood! But with patience and the right training, you can teach your puppy appropriate play skills.

“Why does my puppy bite?”

Young puppies explore the world with their mouths. And if your puppy hasn’t had much experience playing with other dogs, they may not have good boundaries yet. Most often, puppies bite because they’re trying to play, not because they want to hurt you. That’s why, instead of punishing them, we redirect them.

“How do I train my puppy to stop biting?”

First off, make sure your puppy has plenty of appropriate things to bite. Things like chew toys, bully sticks, antlers, Himalayan chews, frozen Kongs with treats inside, etc. are all great options. Give your puppy a few at a time, and switch them out occasionally to keep your pup interested. Just like human children, puppies go through a teething phase, and chewing (especially on frozen toys) helps relieve the discomfort. 

You might notice that your puppy has the most energy first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. They’ll sometimes get the ‘zoomies’ to release that pent-up energy. These are prime times to take your puppy outside, go for a walk, or play with them to help release that energy in a healthy, nondestructive way. 

This is also the perfect time to teach them not to bite during play. Make sure you have an array of long toys so your puppy can hold one end while you hold the other. If your puppy bites your hand instead of the toy, drop the toy and completely stop engaging with the puppy for a few seconds. If the puppy starts to bite at your arms or legs, you may have to leave the room entirely. Give them a few seconds to calm down, then pick up a toy and invite them to play again.

Dogs love to chase and grab moving objects. By jerking your hands away from a biting puppy or wagging a finger at them, you can inadvertently teach them that biting makes your hands move, meaning your hands become even more fun. Instead, by disengaging and removing yourself from the situation, you teach your puppy that biting means playtime ends. Over time, they’ll learn that only polite play keeps the game going.

To stay consistent with your training, keep a toy in each room of your house. If your puppy starts biting at you, redirect them to the toy. Also, show members of your household or visiting friends how to do the same. Consistency and patience are key!

If you’re struggling with puppy biting (or another of the many challenges of puppy parenthood), book your free training evaluation at Petropolis today. Our training team would love to get to know your puppy, troubleshoot any challenges you’re facing, and help you plan for your puppy’s development and growth.

potty training puppy

Potty Training Your Puppy

Many new puppy parents are intimidated by potty training, but it’s not as complicated as it seems. Potty training takes patience and consistency, but with time your new puppy will learn not to do their ‘business’ indoors.

“How do I start potty training my puppy?”

The first step in potty training is to monitor your puppy’s food and water intake. Young puppies have very small bladders, and they can’t ‘hold it’ very long. By monitoring their intake, you can best predict when they need to be let outside.

Every time your puppy eats or drinks, set a timer for five minutes. When the timer goes off, take them outside on a leash and tell them to “go potty” in a bright, happy voice. 

If your puppy goes potty, reward them with praise, pets, or a high value treat (a small bit of cheese or hot dog works well). 

By praising your puppy, you’re telling them that they’ve done the right thing, meaning they’ll be more likely to ‘go’ there again. And by using a leash while potty training your puppy, you remind them that potty time is not playtime.

If your puppy does not potty, take them back inside, but keep them on the leash. Set another timer for five minutes, and try again. If you see your puppy start sniffing, spinning, or trying to run away from you quickly, they need to go! By keeping them on the leash, you’ll be able to quickly guide them outside before they can potty in the house.

“How do I stop my puppy from peeing in the house?”

It’s disappointing when your puppy has an accident inside the house. But remember: never punish your puppy for pottying inside. Never hit them or rub their noses in the mess. Dogs live in the moment, so by the time you scold them for a puddle on the floor, they can’t comprehend why they’re being scolded. Punishment will only teach your dog to fear you and to start ‘hiding’ their messes.

The best cure is prevention, so start potty training the day you bring your new puppy home. By starting the training process early, you bond with your puppy and teach them to trust you. 

Need help?

If you have a puppy, be sure to sign up for a free evaluation with our dog training team. They’ll get to know you and your pup, troubleshoot any challenges you’re having, and give you advice for how to best train your puppy. Just call (636)537-2322 or click here to get started.

A shaggy goldendoodle is groomed on the table of a grooming salon.

How Much Does Dog Grooming Cost?

No two pets are the same, so their grooming experience shouldn’t be, either! We base the cost of dog grooming on your pet’s breed, size, and coat type, plus any additional services they need to look and feel their best. 

Your dog’s first appointment will be a discounted price, depending on their size. Our first grooming orientation lets our team get to know your dog, introduce them to our salon, and help them adjust to the grooming process. Call (636)537-2322 to book your dog’s first groom today.

After your first appointment, our groomers will be able to give you an accurate quote for the cost of your dog’s next groom. Here’s how we calculate the cost of grooming.

Premium Baths

Our base grooming prices depend on your pet’s breed, size, and coat type (double coat, curly, wiry, etc). Premium baths include  bath with shampoo & conditioner, face and paw trim, nail clip or grind, brushing, and a bandana. Start at $43.

Spa Packages

Why not treat your dog to a spa day? We offer a variety of spa packages for dogs, including a Shedless Spa Package to remove loose hair and prevent further shedding, a mud bath with rejuvenating facial, and more. These spa packages start at $29. 

Add-On Services

Add an extra service to your dog’s spa day or just drop in for a quick nail trim. Visit our grooming page for a more extensive list of add-on services.

Book Now!

Want a more accurate quote for the cost of dog grooming? Give us a call at (636)537-2322 or click here to request an appointment

Petropolis groom special
A groomer trims a large, shaggy dog's face in a grooming salon.

How Often Should I Get My Dog Groomed?

Keeping up with your dog’s grooming not only keeps them looking good, but it also helps them feel good! A dirty coat, matting, long nails, or dry skin can be uncomfortable or downright painful for your pup. How often you get your dog groomed depends on their breed, coat type, and lifestyle, but it all comes down to keeping your pup happy and healthy.

For most dogs, we recommend booking a grooming appointment every four to six weeks. Still, even dogs who are groomed this often need ongoing grooming at home.

How often should I brush my dog?

How often you get your dog groomed can depend on how much upkeep you do at home. Many dog breeds require daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats. But even short-coated dogs like labs need brushing at least a couple times a week to help manage shedding. 

How often should I trim my dog’s nails?

Every dog is different, but a good rule of thumb is to trim your dog’s nails every three to four weeks. The ideal length for a dog’s nails is just just short enough that they do not click when walking on a hard, flat surface. If your dog’s nails are overgrown, it may take several rounds of more frequent trimming to get them to this length. We always suggest consulting a groomer before trying to correct overgrown nails at home.

How often should I cut my dog’s hair?

This depends entirely on your dog’s coat type and style. A poodle might need trims every four to six weeks, but a golden retriever or Australian Shepherd could go much longer without a cut depending on the look you’re going for. It’s always best to ask your groomer how long you should wait to get your dog’s hair cut.

Book Now!

Call (636)537-2322 or click here to book a grooming appointment.

dog boarding vs. pet sitting

Dog Boarding vs. Pet Sitting

The decision to invest in dog boarding vs. pet sitting can be difficult, especially if you’ve never left your pet alone before. Do your research and weigh the pros and cons before committing to either. 

Dog Boarding vs. Pet Sitting

Benefits of Boarding

More enriching. Boarding facilities offer activities and enrichment you just can’t find at home. Here at Petropolis, our boarding dogs get to play outside in our one-of-a-kind play yards, hang out with their favorite staff members, and participate in enrichment activities.

Safer. At a dog boarding facility, your pup should spend 100% of their time under direct supervision or in the safety of their private room. This leaves little room for door darting, accidental ingestion of toys, or scuffles with other dogs.

Emergency care. Unfortunately, even the safest dog daycare isn’t immune to accidents. But since many facilities staff highly-trained pet care technicians, you can trust that someone will be available to help your dog in an emergency.

Benefits of Pet Sitting

Cheaper. Leaving your dog with a friend or family member can be much more affordable than boarding. Still, you run the same risks that you would with any other pet sitter.

Better for extremely anxious dogs. If your dog is extremely anxious on car rides or in new environments, a pet sitter may be the best option. If you opt for a sitter, however, make sure they are going to care for your dog in your own home and that they get to know your dog ahead of time.

Other Things to Consider

Does your dog struggle with separation anxiety? If so, a drop-in pet sitter isn’t a good option. Instead, opt for a dog boarding facility that offers one-on-one attention as well as group play options. These will keep your pup enriched and entertained.

Will your dog require medical injections during their stay? Only trust a trained professional to administer injections. If your dog requires injections (such as insulin), ask your veterinarian if they can board your dog in their clinic or if they will suggest a skilled pet sitter.

Does your puppy require extra housetraining help? Leaving your new puppy alone for too long can disrupt the housetraining process (meaning more accidents). Find a boarding facility that offers special care for puppies, like extra one-on-one time and potty walks.

Can your dog get to know their caretakers ahead of time? Before you leave for vacation, introduce your dog to their caretakers and the environment where they’ll be staying. At Petropolis, we offer all dogs a free first day of daycare for just this purpose. We get to know our boarding pups before their stay, and they get to explore and adjust to our boarding facility prior to check-in.

Whether you decide to trust your pup with a dog boarding vs. pet sitting, make sure to do your research and prepare your dog for your departure. The more information you have about their caretakers, the more peace of mind you’ll have while you’re away.

A Samoyed puppy stands at the door in a dog boarding facility.

Is Dog Boarding Safe? What to Look For In a Boarding Facility

At the right facility, boarding can be the safest option for your dog while you’re out of town. But since not all boarding facilities are the same, it’s important to do your research prior to booking.

When searching for a boarding facility for your dog, make sure it offers these things.

A Safe Dog Boarding Facility Should Offer…

Supervised Play

Play groups should never be left unattended. A staff member should be with the group at all times, and they should know how to spot concerning behaviors (like resource guarding). An unsupervised play group is a recipe for disaster, so make sure your pup will never be left unattended with other dogs.

Highly Trained Staff

Aside from knowing how to spot concerning behaviors, boarding staff must know how to redirect a dog’s attention, keep the group calm, and break up scuffles. We don’t believe in using pain or punishment with dogs, so we redirect dogs’ attention with recall games, treats, and our play features. In addition, a safe dog boarding facility will also staff someone familiar with canine first aid.

A Healthy Balance of Activity and Rest

All-day play sounds fun in theory, but it can actually get exhausting. Dogs need breaks! We break our play schedule into a morning and afternoon session, and then pups get to spend the evenings winding down in their private rooms.

Spacious, Comfortable Rooms

No one wants to leave their dog in a cramped, uncomfortable room. Ask to tour the boarding facility and see where your dog will be staying. A safe dog boarding room should have plenty of space for your dog to stretch out, get comfortable, and relax. And while no boarding space is silent, a boarding space broken into smaller bays is ideal for minimizing noise and stress.

More than anything, make sure you feel good about who you’re trusting with your dog. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and call to check in during their stay.