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4 Key Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Pet

4 Key Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Pet

Photo courtesy of Alexander Drummer

 We’ve all heard the old saying “cats rule and dogs drool” - but all jokes aside, which type of pet really is right for you? Are you a cat person? Perhaps you’re more of a dog lover? Or are you better matched to a completely different type of pet altogether?

 Before adopting a pet, any first-time pet owner should be brutally honest with themselves about their own desires, personality, lifestyle, level of commitment and time constraints. Spend time talking to friends and family who own pets, and always feel free to speak with experts here at Sparky’s Pet Salon in either of our California locations: Los Angeles or Beverly Hills. Take the time to do your research - it will pay off!

 Here are a few considerations if you’re thinking of adopting your first pet in the near future:

 
1.     Which breed is right for you? You should never adopt a pet just because you like the way the breed looks. That adorable pug puppy you saw on television is actually a high maintenance breed that may not be ideal for a first-time dog owner.

2.     Do you have time for a pet? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. You’ll also want to consider how you’ll make sure your pet is properly looked after while you’re at work. If you work long hours or have a demanding job, you might want to consider hiring assistance from a professional dog walker or a boarding service. This is especially helpful during the adjustment period shortly after you adopt your pet, or during any times that you are out of town on vacation or business travel.

3.     Is your home pet proof? If not, you’ll want to consider how to make your home more pet-friendly - and as with everything else, this is a consideration that should be taken into account proactively, before you bring your pet home.

4.     Do you have allergies? Many people are allergic to pet dander. If you have allergies, you’re not alone. An estimated 15% of people are allergic to pets - and that doesn’t even take environmental allergens like pollen into consideration. Luckily, individuals with allergies have some options - including hypoallergenic breeds.

 Once you’ve narrowed it down to a particular type of pet you’d like to adopt, you may benefit from spending some time researching the behaviors, body language and communication methods of that specific type of pet. Nobody expects a first-time pet owner to be a “dog whisperer” - but failure to understand what your pet is trying to tell you is one of the most common reasons for dog bites, cat scratches, behavioral issues, and even for pets having accidents in the house. Children should always be supervised when they are around pets, and should be taught to be respectful of pets at all times. In addition, your own body language, posture and movements send communication signals to your pets - and can even impact obedience training.

 After you have taken some time to think about what specific type of pet you want, you will find it easier to narrow it down to a breed (or a combination of breeds) that might be right for you. If you’ve answered all of the questions above and done some proactive planning, you’ll be ready to go ahead and meet some potential pets in-person. When you finally do bring your pet home, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most rewarding relationships life has to offer.

Yes, You Really Want to Brush Your Dog Often

It might seem pretty basic but you would be surprised how many otherwise loving and conscientious dog owners don't brush their dogs nearly as often as they really should. Just for the record, if your dog is a long-haired breed, particularly one with thick fur, it needs to be brushed daily. Short haired breeds can do with a brushing a few times a week. We understand there may be times when a busy schedule -- and/or a reluctant dog -- might slow you down, but the closer you get to this standard, the better for your dog and your house.

We'll start with your house. If you have a long haired dog, we don't have to tell you about the issue of shedding and how dog hair can end up in the least likely places. At one home of a dog and bird lover we know, we've seen pooch hair end up on canary cages. Clearly, daily brushing will make sure that as much as possible of your dog's hair ends up in the brush and not on your furniture and clothing. Also, in the warm Southern California climate where Sparky's is based, it's particularly important for the comfort of long hair breeds to aid the shedding process through frequent brushing, particularly during the late summer months and early fall when L.A. is at its hottest.

A clean house, a happier and more comfortable dog, and, er, dog hair free canary cages, and are only the beginning. Frequent brushing is a good way to stay in touch with Doggy's well being. You can take a close look and spot any issues -- minor sores, excess mucous coming from the eyes, etc. -- that may need bringing up with your veterinarian.

Regular brushing can also be a lovely bonding ritual.  If your dog dislikes being brushed, ask yourself if there's something you can do to make it more pleasant and comfortable for you and your pet. One reason Doggy may not like being brushed is that her hair is becoming matted from infrequent brushing. If you're dog is matted enough to be an issue, take her into a quality salon ASAP -- we suggest Sparky's, of course. We professionals know how to deal with this issue and, once you get into a regular brushing groove, there's every chance your dog will enjoy being brushed as much as you enjoy a dog-hair free house.

 

This article was published on Beauty News LA.com May 2007

Fur-st Class Treatment

By Stephanie Bennett

I dread getting my hair cut the way some people hate going to the dentist. For some reason the word trim gets lost in translation and I end up with much less hair than I bargained for. These fears have been projected onto my little girl, Sassy. She is a precious apricot toy poodle who looks adorable with long curly locks, rather than the fancy dog show cut and bows. Until now, the only place Sassy has ever been groomed is at my local Petco. I came to the realization though that I would never go to a place like Supercuts, so why should she? That’s when I found Sparky’s, a pet salon that offers everything a pampered pet deserves.

 Sparky’s is a refreshing change the minute you and your pet walk in the door. The salon is remarkably clean and fresh smelling, with all the grooming conducted in the open so owners have the option of observing. After an initial consultation with one of the “Trusted Expert” groomers to determine the best cut for Sassy, her knots were brushed out for over an hour before she received a pre-bath trim. Your pet is then bathed with a luxurious shampoo, and for an extra fee can include a pet massage by a trained therapist, a hot oil treatment and teeth brushing. After the bath, Sassy was then dried out, brushed again and styled with two precious bows.

 Although I’m still not a believer in bows, I left them in for the rest of the day because every little girl deserves to look like a princess sometimes.

 

This article was run on 6/18/06 in the West Side Chronicle

Sparky’s Pet Salon Opens New Location

Sparky’s, the first pet salon to ever open in Beverly Hills has now opened a second salon at 11960 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles and pets couldn’t be happier as everything they do is designed with the pet’s comfort and safety in mind.

To insure the best experience, the salon is bright, roomy and spotlessly clean, with a state-of-the-art air purification system that eliminates air-borne bacteria and flying pet hair.  All grooming is done in plain view – if the customer likes, their pet need never leave their sight.

Employees, all animal owners themselves, have five years experience and must undergo a rigorous written and hands-on training program and have mastered gentle, confident animal care and handling, as well as grooming skills.

Sparky’s specialty is the special-needs pet: animals with physical limitations such as advanced age or blindness are handled with the greatest of care and love.

Although they prefer to schedule dogs and cats by appointment, they also welcome walk-ins.  Door-to-door locations service is available within a three-mile radius for $15 round trip.

Consultation with the master groomer begins with an evaluation of the dog’s teeth and gums, which indicate a lot about a dog’s health.  They have over six types of all natural shampoos including oatmeal, hypo-allergenic, flea, whitening and others all designed to create a healthy and beautiful dog.

A 15-minute deep muscle massage by licensed therapist, great for older or special-needs pets, is available for $15, a stimulating hot-oil treatment that invigorates the pets skin and coat for $20, and nail polish for that finishing touch is $5.

Dogs staying more than 4 hours are given bottled water and a brief walk.

A pet boutique carries a selection of clothes and accessories and the gourmet bakery features all natural pet treats including brownies, churros, cupcakes and even hamburger and French fries.

Owners will leave the salon with a picture of the pet at no charge which can then be put on a customized t-shirt, mouse pad, plate or mug right there at the shop.

Sparky’s original location is 9221 W. Olympic Blvd. in Beverly Hills.  For information on services call 310-274-3647 or 310-571-3191

 

This article was on the front page of Canyon News 12/4/05

Beverly Hills Pet Care Business A First Posted by Semhar Debessai on Dec 4, 2005, 22:45

BEVERLY HILLS – The city’s pets could not be happier – or better looking – since the emergence of Beverly Hills’ first licensed pet grooming business, Sparky’s Pet Salon.

This 2-month-old business almost did not come to pass due to a longstanding city ordinance that prevented having a group of four or more dogs within 50 feet of a residence. “Well, everything in Beverly Hills is within 50 feet of a residence,” said Pat Clancy, one of the four owners and managing partner of Sparky’s.

Instead of giving up the dream, however, the partners took a shot at appealing to the City of Beverly Hills for permission to conduct their business in the city, in spite of the ordinance. With the counsel of Assistant City Attorney Robert Pittman, who spoke on behalf of the soon-to-be business and its value to the community, especially considering the number of Beverly Hills residents who own pets, Sparky’s was granted licensing.

It took two days to overturn a regulation that had kept the pet-servicing industry out of Beverly Hills for years. “This is a sweeping change, not just for us, but for other [pet] businesses,” said Clancy. When considering the possibility for the increased competition now that the ordinance is no longer an issue, Clancy responds with confidence that client loyalty will not falter because, simply, “We’re good at what we do.”

With all four partners possessing a business background, there has been an extra emphasis on providing an experience for the clients – both pets and humans – that exceeds expectations and the typical salon services. Located on Olympic, Sparky’s hopes to continue its tradition of firsts (1st city approved salon) and be the first choice of Beverly Hills residents and beyond when it comes to premier pet care.

 

This article was run in the 90210 magazine, September, 2005:

Sparky's, the first pet salon in Beverly Hills is opening its doors. Staffed by knowledgeable experts in the field, who are also animal owners, Sparky's concept is based on what they would want for their own pets: the best natural products, the most comfortable environment, stylists that can groom all breeds to AKC standards, but also create according to their client's needs and desires. Sparky's also provides everything from fashions to pastries and is a pleasant surprise for both pet and owner, reminding us of the close bond they both share. They are located at 9221 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills 90212.

Open 6 days a week. Call for an appointment (310) 274-3647.

 

 


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