Dog’s Gone Digital: Technology and the Pet Care Industry

Dog’s Gone Digital: Technology and the Pet Care Industry

The rise of digital applications and advances in software and hardware continue to have an extreme impact on the pet care industry. At Elliot’s House, we prefer to do things digitally and that trend is slowly sweeping across the entire pet care industry. Some dog daycares and walking services stick to old school administrative methods that are tried and true, but, here at Elliot’s House, we believe that the future of the pet care industry lies in taking advantage of technological advances to provide pet parents and their fur babies with the best possible experience across all of our services. The development of full-service applications for the pet care industry has been a slow process, but applications and online services are beginning to catch up to the standards set by other industries.  Wag and Rover are two of the most prominent examples of how pet care has gone digital. The application of these new technologies to the industry is full of potential, but there are bound to be drawbacks and growing pains. This post will discuss some of the interesting technological trends in the pet care industry and how they affect clients and businesses alike.

Walks and Sitting On-Demand

One of the biggest advantages of digital applications making their way into the pet care industry is the ease of scheduling. At any given moment you can use whatever your preferred application is, whether it be Wag, Rover or a dedicated application for your favorite brick and mortar pet care service, and schedule whatever service you need. Say you need a walk in the next hour or want to book out a stay at a boarding house for the upcoming weekend. Once you’ve registered with the application services are just a click away. Services like Wag and Rover have also moved into dog sitting and “pet hotels”, but with mixed results. The ease of use is great, but unlike dedicated pet care companies, Wag and Rover’s employees are contractors and are not closely monitored. With these applications, the drawback is that you sacrifice guaranteed quality for ease of use. At Elliot’s House, we don’t quite have a dedicated digital application, but our online portal makes it easy to book services for our dedicated team of walkers and daycare/boarding house attendants.  As technology advances even further and more people dedicate time to creating applications for the pet care industry, the infrastructure will improve and it will only become easier for pet care service providers to provide clients with pet care services in quickly and efficiently.

Automatic Pet Products

Automatic feeders and water fountains have been around for some time, but they only continue to increase in quality and other forms of automated/interactive technologies for pets have arisen. One example of new automated technology is the iFetch Mini Automatic Ball Launcher toy. There is nothing that will replace sharing a game of fetch with your canine companion, but products like this give your pet an opportunity to enjoy a game of fetch while you are away. Combine this with any of the automated cameras that allow you to talk to your pet, like the Petcube Bites, and you can give your pup part of the full fetch experience from your desk. Some of these cameras even include a treat dispenser to reward your dog. Nothing can replace time with your pet but these technologies help to make their time at home by themselves more comfortable and interaction filled.

Summer Doggy Styles: Things to Know Before Getting Your Pup a Summer Cut

Summer Doggy Styles: Things to Know Before Getting Your Pup a Summer Cut

Dog Grooming Pic

Summer Cut – Dog Grooming

As things continue to heat up on the streets of Somerville, the team here at Elliot’s House is always thinking of how the heat affects our canine companions. One of the most stylish ways for your pup to beat the heat is with a summer cut. However, summer cuts aren’t the same for every pup and there are some important things to consider before you schedule a summer cut or attempt one on your own. This blog post will explore the do’s and don’ts of summer cuts and some general information about dog grooming.

Dogs Are Individuals

Not all dog’s coats are the same or even relatively similar. Many breeds have double coats, thick coats or other special types of hair/fur that they have adapted over time for various reasons. As the summer months begin to heat up, you would think that shaving down thicker coats and giving the shortest trims possible would be the best way to keep your pup cool. That isn’t the case. For example, dogs with fur have two different parts to their coat. These parts are the guard coat and the undercoat. The guard coat is the rough, thick outer layer that is easiest to see and it protects the dog’s skin from extreme weather conditions. The undercoat is the soft, fluffy fur that is located under the guard coat and it helps to keep their bodies insulated during the summer and winter. The guard coat should not be shaved off, as the fur provides pups with the proper insulation they need to stay cool during the summer months. While humans would hate to have multiple layers in the scorching heat, your pups fur coat actually provides them with heat relief. Robbing your pup of his natural cooling system by shaving them down can lead to discomfort, overheating, and other serious dangers like sunburn or skin cancer.

Grooming Hygiene

All this being said, don’t be afraid to give your pup a summer cut! These usually involve trimming away the necessary long hair from their guard coat to make the heat more manageable. It is best to allow a professional groomer to perform the haircutting, and never shave down to the skin or attempt a hair cut yourself with scissors.  Dogs with thick coats naturally shed so they typically get lighter coats on their own in the summer. Be mindful of grooming hygiene and remember to brush your dog’s fur regularly and bathe them frequently. This is because clean, brushed fur typically allows for better air circulation, which will keep your pup cool.

Care in Dog Grooming

When it comes to cutting never underestimate the damage an improper haircut can have on your dogs’ coat. In general, the more fur that is clipped, especially with older dogs, the less likely the guard coat is to grow back in a healthy manner.  The undercoat will typically grow back as expected, but the guard coat may grow back uneven, which will leave your pup with a bit of a scruffy and bedraggled appearance.  Clipping fur doesn’t really help with clipping or shedding, but proper maintenance and brushing does help. A competent groomer will know the difference between fur and hair and should be able to assist you in choosing the right cut for your pup. Our groomers here at Elliot’s House in Somerville are always more than happy to help if you have any questions about your pup’s summer cut!

Did your pup get a fancy new haircut for summer? Do you have any haircut horror stories? Let us know on social media and feel free to comment below as well.

Grain-Free Dog Food and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy: What’s the Issue?

Grain-Free Dog Food and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy: What’s the Issue?

As we’ve already discussed on this blog, picking the right food for your pup can be difficult. There are so many different foods on the market and diets that are trending, but the most important thing is to choose a pet food that is safe for consumption.  Recently, the FDA issued a warning about grain-free pet food and its link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Since 2018, the FDA has investigated more than 500 reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) that appear to be linked to grain-free pet food. There is no clear answer as of yet as to what about the grain-free foods cause heart disease, but there is a link according to the FDA.  This article will explore what we know about grain-free foods and their link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

The FDA has seen an increase in the frequency of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs eating foods containing a high proportion of peas, lentils, legume seeds, and potatoes in various forms as main ingredients. The greater frequency of reports may signal a potential increase in cases of DCM in dogs not typically genetically predisposed to it. The FDA hasn’t established exactly why certain diets may be associated with the development of DCM in some dogs and it doesn’t suggest that owners stop feeding grain-free dog food brands to their pets, but it does recommend that clients work with veterinarians to determine the appropriate diet for a dog’s specific needs.

The pet food brands most frequently linked to reports of DCM by the FDA are:

  • Acana
  • Zignature
  • Taste of the Wild
  • 4Health
  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Nature’s Domain
  • Fromm
  • Merrick
  • Natural Balance
  • Orijen
  • California Natural
  • NutriSource
  • Nature’s Variety
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish

Many of these pet food brands have made statements regarding these accusations. Blue Buffalo made a public statement confirming that they are working with the FDA and the Pet Food Institute to study this issue and that Blue Buffalo scientists have come together with other pet food producers to further advance the general understanding of canine DCM and its causes. As of yet, there is no causative scientific link between DCM and grain-free pet products, ingredients, or diets as a whole.  The FDA is encouraging pet owners and veterinary professionals to report both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of dogs suspected to have DCM connected to diet online on the FDA website.

Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a primary disease of cardiac muscle that results in a decreased ability of the heart to generate pressure to pump blood through the vascular system.  Researchers still debate whether the cause is mainly nutritional, infectious, or due to genetic predisposition. DCM is characterized by dilation of the ventricles with ventricular wall thinning. In many cases, dilation of all four chambers of the heart is seen. The ability of the heart to pump blood is diminished so dogs display signs of lethargy, weakness, weight loss, and they may even collapse. Dogs may also begin coughing and breathing rapidly on a regular basis.  DCM is typically diagnosed by echocardiography. Once diagnosed with DCM, the life expectancy for the average dog is between 1 and 3 years depending on their size.

If your pup is on a grain-free diet from one of these grain-free brands, consider talking with your vet about whether you should switch to a different brand or diet.

Vacation with the Pups: Best Dog Friendly Places to Stay in Massachusetts

Vacation with the Pups: Best Dog Friendly Places to Stay in Massachusetts

The summer is one of the best times of year to take a nice vacation and explore new places and experiences. There are many amazing destinations across the United States, and Massachusetts is no exception. With lots of coastal locations and vibrant cities, Massachusetts is a great place to spend the summer. When traveling it can be hard to make the decision to leave your pup behind until you return. Once you set up transportation for your pup, it can be just as hard to find a place where dogs are welcome. This post will explore some of the best dog-friendly hotels in Massachusetts.

The Liberty Hotel Boston

Formerly the Charles Street Jail, the building was renovated with many of its historic 1800’s based architecture kept in place and it was turned the Liberty Hotel. The Liberty is a 4-star luxury hotel and so the prices are higher than many of the other hotels in the Boston area, but the luxury accommodations and historic building are worth the price if it’s in your budget.  If you are looking to bring your canine companion, you are allowed to bring two dogs of any size for an additional fee of $100 per stay. The hotel staff will provide you with treats, a bed, and bowls at check-in. There are designated pet relief areas on the property and outdoor yappy hours are held seasonally, particularly in the summer.  Pet-friendly rooms are located on the 6th and 12th floors. If you are looking for a luxury hotel experience with your canine companion in a historic building than The Liberty Hotel is for you.

The Cottages and Lofts at Boat Basin – Nantucket

This location is one of the best places to go if you are looking to vacation in Nantucket, but you don’t want to rent a house. The Cottages are located by Nantucket Harbor and have a great view of the beautiful blue water. The cottages are located one block from Nantucket Town. If you are looking to bring your pup, then you should book one of their Woof cottages. These are their dog-friendly cottages. Upon check-in, you are given a basket of treats and toys, pet bed, and food and water bowls. They also offer dog walking services, provide you with a directory of vet clinics and pet stores, and they have a pet concierge named Bailey who is a Black Lab/Brittany Spaniel Mix. If you are looking for a dog-friendly vacation by the water in Nantucket, then this location is perfect for you and your canine companion.

Fairmont Copley Hotel – Boston

The Fairmont Copley Hotel is one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Boston and they even have their own pet ambassador,  Carley Copley the Black Lab. She can go on walks with you and your pup and is always available to greet guests and puppy pals. You are not permitted to leave your dog in the hotel unattended, but they do offer dog beds and bowls if you ask. There is a park located across from the hotel that is perfect for pet relief. Opened in 1912, the Fairmont Copley is a perfect example of the early 19th-century style and is a pleasure to walk around. They also have a great in-house restaurant/bar, OAK Long Bar + Kitchen. Like the Liberty, this is the perfect place for you and your canine companion to enjoy a luxurious and historic vacation in Boston.

Kimpton Onyx Hotel – Boston

The Kimpton Onyx is located in downtown Boston and is a more modern style 4-star hotel. Located in the heart of historic West End, it is located near The Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Waterfront and North End. If you book the pet package you can have two pups of any size stay with you for no additional fee. You can also leave your pup in the room unattended, as long as you provide a cell phone number to the front desk.  This is one of the only hotels that will allow you to keep your pet there unattended so keep that in mind when looking for locations.

These are some of our favorite hotels around Massachusetts that are dog-friendly, mostly concentrated in Boston as that is what we know best here at Elliot’s House. Let us know if you know any great pet-friendly hotels around Boston on social media!

A Match Made in Doggie Heaven: How to Find the Perfect Pup

A Match Made in Doggie Heaven: How to Find the Perfect Pup

rescue d

Have you ever felt an instant connection with someone? Like you were on the same page since moment one? It’s rare to meet people that you click with immediately and it’s the same way when you’re looking to adopt a pup. Finding a pup whose personality and temperament match your lifestyle can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are more ways than ever to find a canine companion who is your perfect match. In this post, we will explore some of the best ways to determine what kind of pups are a good fit for you and the resources you can use to find the perfect canine companion.  At Elliot’s House, we know how integral our pups are too our families and we want to help you find the perfect new addition to your family.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when you decide you want to adopt a pup. These are a lifestyle, personality, size, cost, and living situation. Cost is the first factor you should consider when adopting a pup. If you rescue a pup, then the initial cost is mainly just to ensure that they are vaccinated and chipped. The long-term cost of owning a dog is something to consider though. You should ensure that you could comfortably feed and care for your pup without economic concern. Your pup is like your baby and extra expenses will always pop-up.  Some breeds eat more than others and require more maintenance (grooming, vet check-ups, etc…) Look up and understand the needs of each breed and find one that best fits your budget.

Every dog has his or her own personalities, quirks, and interests. Huskies love to run in the snow, Labrador Retrievers love to swim and Chihuahuas would prefer to be in someone’s arms at all times. Your lifestyle and personality play a very important role in what dog you decide to adopt. Breeds have typical characteristics that make it easier to know what they like to do and how they may act, but it’s best to get to know the dog you’d like to adopt and ask the rescue members about their personality and quirks. Just because a dog is a Lab doesn’t necessarily mean that they will love the water, but it’s common for the breed.  If you love to run and swim and are missing the perfect exercise partner, you may want to adopt one of the larger more energetic dog breeds like a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever. If you work all day and just want someone to come home and curl up into a ball with, smaller more low energy pups like a Pug, a Peekapoo or a Shitzu might be the right fit for you.  If you are looking for a companion who can play outside but prefers to sleep and act as a guard dog than an American Bulldog or a Pitbull could be perfect for you.

There is a web service by the name of PawsLikeMe that helps to match you with the perfect pet to adopt near you. You take a simple personality test and answer a few questions about your preferences and lifestyle, and in seconds they provide you with a description of da dog that will fit you and a list of potential adoption candidates that are the perfect fit for you. This service makes your search for the perfect pup much easier and we highly recommend it as a tool to be used during the adoption process.  Another good resource is Pedigree’s Breed Match program. You go online and give info about your living space, yard size, how long the dog will be left alone, your age, and other demographic information. With this info, the Pedigree Breed Matcher will give you the type of dog breed that best fits your lifestyle. Both of these resources are great for narrowing the funnel during the adoption process, but nothing is more important than your first few meetings with your potential pup. Every rescue pup is waiting to find their forever family, but some pups open up quicker than others. Once you’ve found a pup that you think fits your lifestyle and will do well in your living situation, we encourage you to really put in the time to get to know your future family member. Some dogs can take three or more visits to truly show their personality and the more time you spend with the pup before adoption, the more likely you are to know if they will be a good fit for your family.

If you are in your 20’s or 30’s and looking to have come to a new pet parent, this article breaks down the 16 best breeds to adopt in your 20’s and 30’s. People in their 20’s and 30’s often move into new cities or find a job in a new country and are suddenly without any real support networks. Adopting a dog ensures that you have a forever friend to go on adventures with and to make the long nights less lonely.

How did you adopt your pet? How did you find the perfect pup to match your lifestyle? Let us know on social media!

Ruff, Ruff, Rescue: Why to Adopt a Rescue Pup

Ruff, Ruff, Rescue: Why to Adopt a Rescue Pup


These days it seems like you can’t go a day without seeing a pup in-person or on screen. On any given day, you can find pups walking the streets of Cambridge, running on the beaches of Cape Cod, or teaching your children about the importance of safety on-screen in Paw Patrol. American’s are obsessed with dogs. They are our precious fur babies, popular culture icons, but, most importantly, they bring love and joy into our lives. According to statistics from 2018, there are around 89.7 million dogs in households in the United States. This is a staggering number, but that is just dogs that are reported as being part of a household. There are around 3.3 million dogs in animal shelters across the United States. Dogs reproduce in larger numbers than humans, and, many dogs live their lives on the streets until they are picked up and taken to an animal shelter. The United States love of dogs is a positive thing, but, it does lead to issues like pup overpopulation and high shelter populations. The number of dogs in shelters each year is going down, it was at about 3.9 million two years ago versus the current number of 3.3 million, but over 670,000 dogs are still euthanized in shelters each year. At Elliot’s House we understand the importance of rescuing and rescue groups. Our beloved mascot, Elliot, was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Los Angeles. Rescue groups do amazing work and it’s because of them that the number of dogs in shelters has gone down over the past couple of years. One of our partners, Paws New England, is filled with volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure every possible pup finds a home. They find pups in need and help them to find a good home.  These groups do great work, but it is up to us as puppy lovers and pet parents to help make sure that rescue pups find a good home. In this post, we’ll discuss a couple of the major reasons to adopt a rescue pup. Every pup deserves a good home and we as a society can create a positive change that ensures that every pup has a warm bed and a full belly.

Reason 1: Saving a Life

As previously stated, hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanized in shelters every year because of a lack of space and resources. When you choose to rescue a pup, you are literally saving a life. First and foremost by bringing a rescue pup into your family, but also by freeing up space in the shelter for another pup who may desperately need it.

Reason 2: Helps to Fight Puppy Mills and Unethical Breeders

There are many ethical and compassionate breeders out there, but it’s hard to always tell without doing extensive research. When you are adopting a pet from a rescue, you know that you’re saving a life and not supporting unethical business and breeding practices. Adoption also helps you to fight puppy mills specifically. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Pups are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The moms of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. After they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are either killed, abandoned, or sold at auction. Rescuing a pup from a shelter helps to take away from the profits of these puppy mills and ensures you rescue a pup who really deserves it.

Reason 3: Lower Cost

Usually, when you adopt a pup, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping) is included in the adoption price. This helps you save on the upfront costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the pups past, you may also save on housebreaking and training expenses.

Reason 4: It’s Relatively Easy

New technology makes it even easier to find shelters and pups near you. You can go to the Shelter Pet Project website to find pets near you of every size, color, temperament, and breed. Purebred and mixed breed animals alike are waiting for their forever homes!

These are just a few of the many great reasons to rescue a pup. When you rescue a pup you change one pups world, while at the same time saving the lives of pups in the future. Have you rescued a pup? Send us a picture and tell us your story on social media!