Dog Parks Vs Doggie Daycare: What’s Best For My Dog?

By | Dog Daycare, Dog Tips, General, Gilbert | No Comments

Whether you take your dog to dog parks or doggie daycare, you do so to allow your pet to expend energy and to allow them to socialize with other pups. But which is better for your dog?  Below we look at a few factors that may help determine which is better for your dog.

dog park san diego


Dog parks our outdoors, which is great! Dog parks may have water but it is usually in a dirty bowl and the water itself is not very clean. Dirty water is one of the biggest sources where a dog can potentially pick up such diseases as Giardia. Doggie daycare centers throughout Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert offer a clean environment with constant access to fresh, clean water. As most native to Arizona know temperatures can easily reach over 100 degrees, especially in the summer time. In areas such as Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert dog parks pose the risk of heat stroke and severe dehydration due to such extreme temperatures.  Most pet resorts in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert offer in-door doggie daycare. Some of these pet resorts offer state-of-the-art climate controlled air systems to ensure their doggie patrons stay cool in the summer, dry when it rains, and warm in cold winter months.

If your pet loves the outdoors dog parks are great spots for pet owners who monitor there pets play level and bring their own fresh water to ensure their pet stays hydrated. Most dog parks have trees and other areas of shaded space where you and your pet can rest if it gets too warm. You and your pet can have a great time at the dog park as long you both come prepared for the weather outside.


Some pet parents love the dog park because they go with their dog and get to see them in action. Many pet resorts, including our own, offer web cameras for pet parents viewing pleasure. No more worry or wonder about what your dog is up to; simple log on to any smart device or computer and see your pet in action. Doggie day care staff also ensures a clean and safe environment for your pet. No more worrying about dealing with another owner who is not watching their dog or picking up after their dog when your pup goes to doggie daycare in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert.

Although doggie daycare is great to reinforce certain training commands, dog parks are perfect places to practice certain commands as stay, heel and recall commands while off leash.


Even though there are laws in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert regarding pet vaccination, when you go to the dog park you have no way of knowing if an owner is actually keeping up with their dogs vaccinations.

Doggie daycares throughout Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert keep strict standards regarding vaccinations to ensure all pets stay healthy.

Size and Temperament:

While some dog parks do split up their yards, one for small dogs and one for big dogs, any and all dogs may still walk in regardless of their temperament. Many dog parks do post signs and restrictions notifying owners of the risks that may impose upon them once they enter.

Most doggie daycares, on the other hand, split dogs up based on size and temperament. At our own Paw Commons in Arizona, Phoenix and Gilbert dogs must pass a simple evaluation to ensure they are a good fit to keep all dogs including themselves safe and happy.  Many people that frequent dog parks are great pet parents and dog owners and show that by keeping an eye on their dogs and ensuring they have fun and stay out of trouble.

Dog parks and doggie daycares are both a great way to let your pup loose in a leash free environment where they can socialize, have fun and expend some energy.  While some dog parks are a bit more risky then some doggie daycares, they are still a great treat to take your pup to as long as pet parents are vigilant and caution is used regarding water and other dogs temperaments. Dog parks are a great place to work on training such as stay and recall commands and doggie daycare is a great place to have them reinforced while you are at work or on vacation.

5 Reasons Loving Your Dog is Good for your Health

By | Dog Tips, General | No Comments

By Gabrielle Feldman

Your pet brings so much joy to your life, but did you know that spending time with them could be better for your health? Many medical & psychological studies show that pet owners live a happier, healthier life than non-pet owners.

Here are 5 ways that the companionship of your pet can improve your health:

1. Healthier Heart

According to the Harvard School of Medicine, studies show that “dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-owners.” They attribute this to the notion that a dog makes them calmer & they also get more exercise on average. They also report that “the power of touch also appears to be an important part of the ‘pet effect’.”

Healthy Heart

Other studies show that heart attack survivors & people with abnormal heart rhythms live longer than people without pets.

2. Stress Soothers

Petting your cat or dog simply feels good; but why is that? Blair Justice (Psychology professor & author of Who Gets Sick: How Beliefs, Moods, and Thoughts Affect Your Health) tells WebMD that any enjoyable activity, such as petting your dog, can elevate levels of serotonin & dopamine, which have pleasurable & calming properties. Another study found that your pet can actually soothe you more than the presence of a friend or spouse during a stressful situation!

3. Depression Relief

Therese Borchard (Associate Editor of Psych Central) says that one reason pet’s aid in depression relief is simply by offering us unconditional love & acceptance. In a depression study done by John Hopkins- they claim that nursing home residents felt less lonely with an alone visit from a dog, than a visit with both a dog & another resident.

Depression Relief

Photo Credit: Fouqier on Flickr

Our dog doesn’t care if we look disheveled, or may be having financial or relationship difficulties. When you walk through that door, you are the best thing since sliced bread, and they love to let you know it.

4. Social Tool

The presence of a pet is a natural icebreaker. We all have walked down the street avoiding eye contact with a stranger. However, if that person is walking a dog, we can easily strike up a conversation that would have otherwise not happened. This can make us feel more connected to people, aiding as a natural mood enhancer.

Look out, having a dog can land you more dates! Beyond a dog being a natural conversation starter, a recent study found that owning a dog actually makes you more attractive to a potential mate!

5. Psychological Repair

It is well known that service dogs do so much more than aiding the physically impaired. One example of this is an organization called Next Step Service Dogs, based out of Escondido, CA, who raises funds and trains dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Judy Keene, Volunteer Director, tells The Drake Center about the amazing work that service dogs are doing for local veterans. “Scientific studies indicate when a dog and person make eye-to-eye contact, it increases a calming bonding chemical called oxytocin in both the person and dog. This benefit is universal about dogs and people but can significantly increase with expert service dog training.”

Service Dogs Local Veterans

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB on Flick

She gives us an example of a study that showcases the overwhelming impact that trained service dogs have on the lives of soldiers suffering from PTSD:

  • Increased patience, impulse control, and emotional regulation
    Improved ability to display affection, decrease in emotional numbness
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased depression, increase in positive sense of purpose
  • Decrease in startle response
  • Improved parenting skills & family dynamics
  • Lowered stress levels, increased sense of calm
Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is a reminder to love the people in your life that matter to you the most, your pet is no exception. So love on your dog or cat a little bit extra on the 14th; after all, it’s good for your health!

This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center

5th Annual Puppy Bowl – Who Will Win This Year?

By | Bay Park, General, Hillcrest | No Comments

In preparation for this years Super Bowl, Paw Commons is excited to once again host its’ annual puppy bowl! The big event is held at our outdoor location in Hillcrest. The fun doggie daycare yard is transformed into a puppy football field. Pups of all ages and sizes compete to try and win the game. Dogs are split up into two teams and the staff act as referees to observe any penalties and touchdowns. The winner is a predictor of who will win the 2017 Super Bowl. Pups from all over Northern and Southern San Diego venture over to Paw Commons in Hillcrest to have their pups participate in this fun and super cute event.  It is so much fun that so far every year it has attracted local San Diego news teams to come out and film the festivities to see who will win.

Even if your dog is not a huge football fanatic he or she can still have fun on the sidelines watching the action or playing with other doggie football fans and puppy bowl players. Let your puppy have tons of fun playing in our dog daycare yard and even sign them up for grooming so you pick up a tired, clean pup. Don’t forget that all our locations offer courtesy web cameras in our dog daycare yards. Don’t miss out on this year’s puppy bowl action; where every play, pass and kick can be seen from our web cameras. Don’t forget to check out our voting box when you come down to Hillcrest to vote for whom you think will win the Super Bowl this year

Even if your pup can’t make it to this fun filled event but has tremendous football spirit enter him or her in our special puppy bowl Instagram contest. The most football spirited doggie fan will be awarded a $50 gift card; check out our Paw Commons Instagram for more details.

Don’t let your pup miss out on this fun event! Call now to reserve your dogs’ spot for our annual puppy bowl.

New Year’s Resolution for You & Your Fur Baby

By | Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Grooming, Dog Tips, Dog Training, General | No Comments

By this time in January, you’ve probably already got a nice start on those New Year’s resolutions, but have you ever thought about what your dog wants to work on in 2017?!  Whether you have a brand-new puppy or your dog is a seasoned member of the household, there is always room for improvement. Not to mention, resolutions are best kept when you have a furiend to hold you accountable!

Don’t know where to start? Check out our tips and tricks for a healthier and happier dog in 2017!

1. Provide Daily Mental Stimulation

Most dogs are left alone all day while their pet owners are at work. Sitting home alone is boring, so spice up your dog’s day with mental stimulation by enrolling them into our Doggie Daycare Program. Physical exercise is good, but pairing it with mental stimulation is MUCH better!

2. Polish Up on Manners

Every dog has at least one pesky habit that drives us crazy. Maybe your dog barks outside or jumps up on guests. Some dogs pull on leash or beg during dinner. It’s a new year, so it’s time to address your dog’s pesky habit.

Option 1: Carve out 2-3 minutes per day to teach your dog to do something else instead. Stick to it daily and keep dog training sessions short (1-2 minutes). Through consistency, soon this pesky dog behavior will be gone!

Option 2: Seek professional guidance with our highly skilled dog trainers. We aid dogs of all ages via Puppy 101 packages or brush up 1 on 1 training sessions. Book your free 30-minute consultation today!

3. Regular Grooming

Regular grooming with a puppy and having them become comfortable being at the groomers is very important from a young age. If you wait too long to begin grooming sessions, your puppy may not be agreeable to it later. There are also many perks to taking care of a dogs’ coat such as maintaining both your dog’s physical health as well as their appearance. Grooming will keep your dog happy and healthy! To schedule a grooming appointment with us, visit our website or give us a call!

4. Search for Lodging Options

Establish a relationship with a facility that offers overnight lodging. Or, better yet, find one that offers all the services listed above in addition to overnight lodging! Having a one-stop shop for all your dog’s needs is more than convenient, it’s also comforting. When travelling out of town, whether last minute or planned, having a place to leave your dog where they have already become well acquainted is so important. Not to mention, they are being left in the hands of someone they have already learned to trust which is a huge bonus. Learn more about our overnight lodging options.

Paw Commons Dog Lodging

Dangers of Heatstroke

By | Dog Grooming, Dog Tips, General | No Comments

With summer here in Northern San Diego and temperatures ever rising, pet parents should familiarize themselves with the common causes and signs of heat stroke in pets. Heatstroke is essentially a form of hyperthermia without fever. Pets suffering from heatstroke will exhibit temperatures anywhere between 104-106 degrees. Some common signs of heatstroke include:

  • Dehydration
  • Heavy and/or fast panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors or wobbly gait
  • Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Decreased or no urine output

It is important to notice these signs and get your pet help right away. Allowing your pet to stay in a high body temperature state could cause major organ failure. Below are some tips to help keep your pet cool and safe from heatstroke this summer.

  • Constant access to cool, fresh water
  • In high heat areas allow pets to be in an air-conditioned environment
  • Take your dog on walks during cooler parts of the day
  • Avoid excessive exercise in high heat
  • For hairy dogs and cats ask your groomer about a belly shave to allow them to lay on cool floors to help keep them cooler

Whether you live in Rancho Santa Fe, Del mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas or Oceanside if your current residence does not have air conditioning, try an indoor dog daycare, where your pup can romp around with other dogs and stay in a cool, safe environment. It is always best to talk with your groomer about grooming and grooming techniques that may help with keeping your pet cool this summer.

For any other questions and concerns about heatstroke in pets, dog day care, or grooming, please visit our website at, or call us at (760) 452-4166.

Dog Beaches in San Diego

By | Dog Tips, General | No Comments

Summer is here and with it both locals and tourist flock to our many beaches throughout the San Diego area. Many would love for their dogs to tag along but are not sure where to go. Below we list a few of the more popular dog-friendly beach and bay destinations throughout areas in San Diego including: Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Del Mar, and Carlsbad.

Dog Beach in Ocean Beach: Great area and spot to roam the beach, with a leash-free policy for dog friendly dogs. This was actual the first leash-free beach in the United Sates.

Dog Island in Fiesta Island: Located a few miles away from San Diego’s iconic Mission Beach sits Fiesta Island. Fiesta Island is a semi-fenced in area allowing dogs to run miles of open land as well as jump into the cool water that surrounds the small island.

Dog Beach in Del Mar/Solana Beach: Very beautiful area to take your pup, but some parking does require payment. This beach is leash-free September-June 13th and is limited to the area South of 15th street and North of 29th street. All other times during the year, dogs are welcome but they must be on a leash.

Cardiff State Beach: Great place to take your dog, but at this time there are no leash-free areas. Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed and owners pick up after them.

La Jolla Shores Beach: Great spot to do some sightseeing or just a morning walk. While there are no leash free areas, dogs are allowed on leash from 6pm to 9am.

For more information on dog-friendly beaches please visit our website at or call us at (760) 452-4166.

How to Socialize My Dog

By | Dog Tips, Dog Training | No Comments

When you first get a new puppy it is both exciting and nerve wracking. Different vets will tell you different things on how and when it is best to start socializing. The best a pet parent can do is get a second opinion and then decide what they feel is best for their new fur baby. While it is best to start socialization as soon as possible, always talk to your vet first to make sure they are updated on any vaccines or medications they may need. Below we will discuss some ways to socialize your new pup.

Start with a familiar dog: Some dogs may just be barking to show their annoyance at how bored there are at that given time. A great way to curb this behavior is to take them on a walk, go to the dog park, or try giving them a new toy.

Interacting with other people: Allow your pup to get acquainted to friends and family before introducing them to strangers. This will allow your pup to feel comfortable around other people.

Walks: When on a walk allow your pup to say hi to people who ask to pet him. If your puppy still has not finished all his puppy shots verify with other pet owners that their dogs are up to date on vaccines before allowing your puppy to say hi.

Dog Park: Once your vet has given you the ok to take your dog to areas with a higher volume of dogs, try out your local dog park. Try to go during times where it is not too crowded at first to ease your puppy into the new environment.

Doggie Day Care: You can also try doggie daycare, where your little one can ran about all day while you are at work. This allows them to get out their energetic puppy energy, helps socialize them with both dogs and people, and they are constantly supervised by trained and knowledge staff. A dog that is happy in doggie daycare will often be more comfortable boarding at that pet resort also. When your pup is comfortable they enjoy their lodging stay and ease any stress you may feel of boarding them. Certain pet resorts in Encinitas, Del Mar, and Carlsbad also have web cameras in their day play yards. This allows pet parents to peek in on their pups to see how they are doing. Most pet parents who see how much fun and enjoyment their dogs get out of doggie daycare will continue to take their puppies to the doggie daycare to get socialization as well as for them just to have a great time while they are at work.

Socialization is also important for their health. A dog not properly socialized my exhibit from many different forms of behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, leash aggression and people and dog aggression. A dog that exhibits these behaviors may cause you to limit their exercise and grooming trips to avoid dealing with the dogs’ behavior. Dog socialization is key to help avoid such behaviors. If your pup still seems to be having trouble adjusting, contact your local dog trainer. There are many good trainers that can be found throughout areas such as Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Del Mar. They will be able to assess the situation and offer more help for you and your puppy.

For more information regarding your new puppy and the best socialization approaches and techniques please visit our website at or call us at (760)452-4166.

4th of July and Pet Safety

By | Dog Tips, General | No Comments

With 4th of July just around the corner, our pets’ safety should be our number one concern. With the fair just opening up in Del Mar and other areas such as Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, and Oceanside hosting 4th of July events, its imperative Northern San Diego pet parents keep a close eye on their pets. With so many different noises, smells, and vast amounts of people, our pets may become scared or even over excited. This extends to all pets including but not limited to: dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rabbits, and hamsters. Below are some general precautions to take to ensure your pets are safe this 4th of July weekend.

  • Avoid firework areas.
  • Keep pets indoors in a quite, safe environment.
  • If going out see if a friend can check in on the pet or try overnight dog lodging.
  • If your pet gets severely stressed, talk to your vet about a safe medication to use that can help ease their stress.
  • Try giving your pet a new toy or treat to help distract them from the noise outside.
  • Always use caution when taking your pet out in loud areas where they could be easily frightened.
  • Make sure your pet has an ID tag clearly visible on their collar. It is always good to have your pet micro-chipped as well in case they slip out of their collar.
  • Keep your pet away from glow jewelry, alcohol, and food they do not normally eat.

If you cannot stay home with your pet it is always best to try to find someone to watch them or take them to a pet resort. Pet resorts offer overnight lodging if you plan to be gone most of the night and day boarding if you only plan to be out for a little while. These facilities also offer daycare to help entertain your pup while you are away. Keep your pets safe this 4th of July weekend by following some of these simple tips. For more information on dog lodging, day boarding and daycare please call us at (760) 452-4166, or visit our website at

Why Does My Dog Always Bark?

By | Dog Training, Encinitas | No Comments

Barking is a way that dogs can communicate to one another. They use this vocal interaction to tell others, as well as their owners, that perhaps they are scared, bored, want attention or are warning strangers to not get too close to their territory. Below we will discuss the reasons why some dogs bark and how to stop it.

Separation Anxiety: Dogs with separation anxiety may bark excessively as soon as they are separated from their owner or left alone. Many of these dogs also exhibit destructive behaviors, such as chewing the blinds or furniture, when left alone. A good option to try for these pups is dog daycare. Dog daycare will give them the stimulation and attention they need and will keep them happy and entertained while pet parents are away.

Boredom: Some dogs may just be barking to show their annoyance at how bored there are at that given time. A great way to curb this behavior is to take them on a walk, go to the dog park, or try giving them a new toy.

Territorial: Often dogs will bark to warn strangers to stay away from their property. Most owners do not usually mind this as their dogs almost act as a security system. The issues start to form when the dogs continue to bark long after said stranger has already passed. Or they are so overwhelmed by anyone other their owners being in the house they consistently bark. Situations like these or similar to these, warrant getting a professional dog trainer involved. Our own dog trainer visits such areas as Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Sante Fe and Del Mar.

Attention Seekers: Many pets, dare I say it, are beyond loved and beyond spoiled. These spoiled fur babies will use their barking power to entice you to pay attention to them or even share your food with them. For these pups try the penny in can trick with the correction quite. Also try not to give in to their every whim; they will be ok if they can’t share your dinner and must eat their kibble instead.

If all else fails, seek help from a professional dog trainer. They will be able to help pinpoint why your dog is barking and give you the proper guidance and knowledge in correcting the behavior. For more information on dog training please visit our website or call us at (760)452-4166.

Dog Friendly Restaurants

By | Dog Tips, General | No Comments

Worried about leaving your pup while you go out to eat? North County San Diego offers many options for pet parents who want to dine with their pups.

Casa de Bandini (Carlsbad): Great authentic Mexican food with family friendly atmosphere. Great customer service and the food is delicious. Call first to ensure there are still patio seats open where you can enjoy dinner or Sunday Brunch with your dog.

Pizza Port (Carlsbad): Just blocks from the beach come enjoy an ice cold beer and hot pizza. Take the pup for a stroll on the beach then stop by for a drink and some tasty food. Very dog friendly with a laid back atmosphere. They get crowded fast, so if your dinning with your pets try to call first to ensure there are still dog friendly tables available.

Trattoria I Trulli (Encinitas): In the heart of downtown Encinitas sits Trattoria I Trulli. Serving great Italian cuisine in generous portions; your pet can dine with you in both the front patio and sidewalk tables.

Sbicca (Del Mar): Wonderful bistro offering fresh seafood items as well as a dog friendly upper deck. They offer daily specials and farm-fresh local produce.

Ranch Santa Fe Bistro (Rancho Santa Fe): Located right in Rancho Santa Fe’s downtown district sits this cozy, pet-friendly bistro. Offering a varied selection of soups, salads, sandwich’s, and wine. Pets are welcomed to dine with you on the patio area.

Beach Break Café (Oceanside): Great breakfast place to go dine with your dog. They have a large menu with many options that both you and your pet can enjoy. Very dog friendly with great customer service.

Slater’s 50/50 (San Marcos): Great place to come eat with your friends and pets. They offer great and very unique burger and drink options. They even have a menu for your dog to choose from! They have a dog friendly patio area with very welcoming and friendly staff.

Can’t take your pup with you on your next dinning experience; try dog daycare or day boarding. Dog daycare is great for those dogs that love to romp around with other pups while your enjoy a nice meal. Day boarding is another great option where your pet can hang out in a comfy room and get plenty of potty breaks while you are away. For more information on dog daycare and day boarding please call us at (760) 452-4166 or visit our website at