Dogs and Water Safety

Summer is finally here in the Northwest and our local lakes, rivers, and saltwater beaches are looking good. Keep your pup’s safety in mind, use common sense, and everyone will have a good time!

It’s important to realize that not all dogs like to swim (and many breeds are not suited to it at all)! Go slowly in shallow water with young dogs to make sure they are comfortable and know how to swim. Know you dog’s capabilities. Above all, don’t force it.

Watch for rip tides and rogue waves at the beach, strong currents and debris in rivers, and heavy boat traffic and plants such as water lilies which can trap swimmers (both canine and human) on lakes. Check water temperatures—hot days and cold water are common in Western Washington and can be a dangerous combination for dogs, just as it is for people. 

If you are out boating for the day, provide a life vest for your dog, especially if they are not good, strong swimmers. Make sure it fits well and is used properly. Marinas can get really crowded on summer days, so keep your dog close and watch for traffic.

Pools should be fenced and/or covered when not in use. Make sure your dog knows how to get out and never leave them unattended.

No matter where you go, be sure to bathe your dog at day’s end. Saltwater, chlorine, and algae can cause skin problems and even illness. You can use the Washington State Toxic Algae website to check for or report algae problems in our local lakes

Carrying some big beach towels and a large jug or two of water in your car will help with cleanup until you can get home for a proper bath. Don’t forget to dry those ears and check those paws!

Bring fresh water and a bowl so your dog isn’t tempted to drink the water they are swimming in. Don’t let your dog get too tired and provide some shade for resting. And of course, watch them at all times. Have fun!

Dogs Pet Health Pet Safety Summer Safety

Pet Safe Plants and Flowers

Spring is here in the Northwest. Tulips and daffodils are showing up in the stores, ready to brighten our days. Before you grab a bunch of these beauties, remember that both are poisonous to cats and dogs. While bulbs are the worst (keep this in mind when planting in the garden if you have a dog that loves to dig), chewing on the leaves and flowers can be toxic to your furry friends as well. In fact, many common cut flowers and house plants are poisonous to our pets. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list on their website (

The good news is that several of the most popular flowers found at stores are safe for most pets. Roses, Gerber daisies, orchids, sunflowers, African violets, and true ferns such as Boston and Maidenhair are all commonly found in bouquets or as house plants and can safely be used in a pet friendly home.

You should watch your plants and flowers carefully, even with safe choices. Some pets, especially curious cats who like to counter surf, can be vigorous chewers. Any plant ingested in quantity can cause digestive upset and plant material can also be a choking hazard. Hanging your plants or covering them in a terrarium or decorative cage of some kind is your safest option in homes with naughty cats and dogs.

Pet Health Pet Safety

New Hours

Due to the COVID-19 virus we are changing our hours. We will still be open Monday through Saturday but will be starting an hour later. New hours are from 11:00 to 6:00. We will be closed on Sundays. Thank you all for your understanding and stay safe and healthy!


COVID-19 Update for Green Cottage

We will continue to stay open to provide for our wonderful customers and their furry family members. We will offer curbside service to those who are worried about coming into the store. Just phone ahead with your order, pay by credit card, and we will bring it out to you in the parking lot. Because our shop is so small, we ask that everyone use common sense. We will be limiting the number of customers in the shop at any one time during nail trims. Please check back here, on Facebook, or on Instagram for further updates. Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Closed July 4

Hi Everyone. We will be closed on July 4 so please plan accordingly. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July and keep your pets inside!!

News Pet Safety

Hot Days Ahead

It’s going to be an extremely hot week for us in the Northwest. Please keep your pets safe and cool!

Do not leave pets in the car on warm days, even for a few minutes!

Make sure your pets have lots of cool, clean water to drink and access to shade or a cool room in the house.

Keep screens on your windows so kitties don’t fall (or jump) out when trying to catch a cool breeze.

Be careful of hot surfaces. Asphalt can be very hot and uncomfortable for dog feet. If you wouldn’t walk on it barefoot, chances are your dog doesn’t want to either!

This is a great week to take your dog out for some fun in the water, but use common sense. Don’t leave you dog unsupervised. Don’t assume that all dogs can swim well, or that they all like to swim. Be careful on hot sand and also watch dog paws on our local beaches that can be covered with sharp oyster shells, rocks, and barnacles. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink lots of salt water at the beach or chlorinated water from pools.

Take your walks in the early morning or late evening, when it’s cooler. Be especially careful with older pets. If you are a runner, you might want to leave your older dog at home this week.

If your cat isn’t much of a drinker, you might want to add a little extra water to any wet food you feed them.

If you have fans on in the house, make sure they are stable so pets can’t knock them over.

It's a great week for water fun, but be safe!

It’s a great week for water fun, but be safe!

Summer Safety

Closed June 3

Hi Everyone! Just a reminder that we will be closed tomorrow, Saturday June 3. We will be open on Sunday.


Winter Tips for Pets

Winter is here, even if the calendar says it’s a few more days! Here are some tips to keep your pets comfortable during the cold weather.

Make sure you have plenty of food and meds for your pets if the weather looks dicey. You don’t want to get caught low on munchies if you get snowed in or there is flooding on the roads.

Check water dishes frequently. Even though the temps are dropping, your pets still need lots of clean water. If you have any outside bowls, make sure they are not iced over. Your dogs will appreciate it if they go out for a romp.

Keep your pets inside when it gets cold and/or wet. If you wouldn’t want to be stuck outside, they won’t either. Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they won’t get cold.

When you do take pets on outings, be prepared. Dogs with medium to long coats should be fine, but just-clipped or very short-haired dogs will benefit from a coat of some kind. Watch the paws as well. Many dogs love the snow but they can build up ice crystals between their toes, which can sometimes cause bleeding. Also be careful around places that use salt or chemicals to de-ice the pavement. Wash those paws when you get home! And of course, keep your pets away from antifreeze.

Careful with the decorations for the holidays. Pointsettias in particular are poisonous to cats and dogs. Ribbon from presents can also cause huge problems if ingested (and it’s quite tempting, especially to playful kitties). Don’t leave packages with food items under the tree, unless you want them unwrapped quickly!

Candles can be easily knocked down by pets, so be careful.

Watch the people food. It’s tempting to share holiday meals with our four-footed friends, but rich sauces, salted foods, meat cooked with onions, and other such human goodies can cause digestive problems for critters. Don’t put candy dishes within snout reach!

Pets should not be left in cars for any length of time. Cold temps can be very dangerous. Tap the hood of your car before starting up your cars to make sure no cats or other small critters have hidden under the hood looking for warmth.

Don’t bathe your pets as much during the winter. If you do, make sure they are completely dry before going out anywhere.

Pets should have a warm cozy bed inside, away from drafts and windows. They like a little extra comfort in the winter, just like us!

Stay safe and warm!


cats Dogs holiday tips Pet Health Pet Safety

Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Halloween can be lots of fun for families, with costumes, parties, trick-or-treat, and lots of sweets. But the same things that make Halloween so fun for humans can be scary or downright dangerous for pets. The most important thing you can do for your furry friends is to keep them inside both on and near Halloween, especially if you have black cats. They are sadly a target for some very sick people. Watch your pets carefully when trick-or-treaters come to the door. You don’t want them slipping out while you are handing out candy. You can use a child gate to keep dogs away from the door or simply keep pets in a quiet, closed room away from the main door. Turning on a TV or some soft music will help. In addition to keeping your pets inside, it will also keep overly excitable dogs away from small children. Even the friendliest dog can be terrifying to a young child if it is rushing toward them. Halloween evening would be a great time to present your pets with a special treat to keep them distracted from the constant ringing of the doorbell.

Keep any candy and human treats out of reach from pets, especially dogs. If you think it’s high enough, you may want to move it just a little higher. Dogs can be very persistent in trying to get at something that might be tasty! Chocolate and treats containing xylitol are especially dangerous to pets. Candy wrappers, small toys, and Halloween decorations can also be a hazard to cats and dogs. Dogs may try to eat the wrappers, while cats often want to play with things, especially anything stringy. If your pet ingests any of these items, call your vet immediately. There are emergency clinics in most areas that can answer after-hours questions or see your pet if they need to be taken in right away.

Costumes are fun and many people like to dress their pets up as well. If you do, make sure the costume fits well and does not have small parts that could easily be eaten. Never leave a pet in a costume unattended. Watch your pet’s reaction as well. Some animals are very tolerant of costumes, while others can be overly stressed by them.

If you follow these tips, everyone in the family can have a happy and safe Halloween!


No cats were harmed in the making of this image! Anya posed for a few pictures and the costume was quickly removed. She was appropriately rewarded with salmon treats!

cats Dogs Halloween holiday tips Pet Health Pet Safety

Puppy Shots

Puppies are little bundles of joy and it’s important to get them started off right! Most vets recommend a series of basic shots for young pups, starting at about six to seven weeks and then again around 12 and 16 weeks. Which shots your puppy will need and exactly when will depend partly on where in the country you live, what breed of dog you own, and what individual risk factors your particular pup may have. Make sure to check with your vet as soon as you get your new puppy.

Many vets consider the core shots necessary to protect your new friend to be vaccines for parvovirus, canine distemper, hepatitis, and rabies (which is usually given at the end of the series). Do check with your state laws as well regarding rabies. This is the one vaccination that is usually required by law. Other factors, such as location and if you travel frequently, show or board your dogs, or live in an area with tick problems, might indicate that other shots be given as well, including lyme, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and bordetella. Your local vet will know if any of these are appropriate.

Most puppies come through their series of vaccinations just fine, but do be aware of possible side effects and keep a close eye on your pup after each shot. Normal symptoms would include being slightly tired or a little uncomfortable, but severe weakness, trouble breathing, staggering, swelling or hives, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea warrant a call to your vet ASAP.

One of the biggest concerns among new puppy owners is when can they take their pups out. Socialization is very important for puppies, and according to many experts, the best time for this is, unfortunately, right during the series of vaccinations. Talk to your vet about your plans and when they feel it is safe. Dog parks and big, open areas where other dogs may be done their business is out of the question until the series is finished. But there are now many other opportunities to safely get your puppy out and about. Many places offer Puppy Socialization and Puppy Training classes. Check them out first and make sure the place is clean and well supervised, but these are great options. If you have friends with dogs that you know have been vaccinated, you can invite them over for some supervised play, as long as the dogs are not too big or aggressive. Supervision and knowing that any dog coming in contact with your puppy has been vaccinated are the keys. On the flip side, don’t be too afraid and keep your pup isolated. One of the biggest reasons dogs end up in shelters is that they are not well socialized. Just use common sense and you should be fine!

Enjoy that new puppy!

Dogs Pet Health Training