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To Shave or not to Shave, That is the Question

Every Summer, we see a long line of clients asking about or looking to shave their long haired or double coated dogs.  When we hesitate, we’re often asked immediately “but isn’t he/she hot?”  While an important question, there are many further implications to the decision to shave your long-haired or double coated dog and not all of them have to do with weather.  Double coated dogs are identifiable by their two types of coats.  The first, also known as down hairs, ground hairs or undercoat, are the super fine, fluffy hairs that lay closest to the skin.  These hairs are most often shorter and more crimped than the longer hairs and have the effect of insulating the pup to keep them warm in the winter as well as cool in the summer.  But this lighter, softer coat generally does not need to be shaved unless irreparably matted.  However, a good undercoat raking with the appropriate shampoos and conditions and/or special tools is imperative.  The result of this methodical undercoat removal will be a dog who feels cooler.  The ‘top’ coat is comprised of the guard hairs that lie on top of the undercoat and the guard hairs typically do not shed.  They provide most of the protection from the sun as well as additional insulation from the heat/cold.  As a compromise, we will sometimes shave a strip on the belly so laying on cool surfaces can provide maximum relief.

There are many double coated breeds and they include Pomeranians, Chow Chows, Huskies, Akitas, German Shepherds, Malamutes, Samoyed and some (but not all) Golden Retrievers.  And as much as we love these breeds, shedding is a never ending battle to be waged by their owners.  Be aware that the decision to shave will not end your shedding problem.  The hairs will be shorter, true; but your pup will continue to shed without the use of de-shedding shampoos, conditions and ongoing regularly scheduled maintenance.  The most important thing to remember is that the decision to shave (not trim) a long haired dog is also a long-term decision.  Once shaved, not only does the texture and growth pattern of the hair often change; but the older your furbaby is, the less likely it is for the guard hairs to grow back adequately.  This leaves your older pup susceptible to sunburn which is both painful and can take a long time from which to heal.  Ongoing issues from sunburn can also be dandruff and scaling even after the hair has regrown.  Remember dogs like poodles, maltese, Yorkshire terriers, shih-tzus and many others require regular grooming and haircuts.  And even dogs with undercoats can benefit from a good trim.  To shave or not to shave?  As it turns out this is a question not easily answered…


We will begin our “Ask the Expert” series with Rosemary, Pets A GoGo groomer. If you have a question for one of our experts, please email us anytime at


What made you become a groomer?

My love for animals, since I was a kid, especially dogs.  My mom loved animals and we took in many strays. We had a total of nine dogs at one time.  I used to brush and bathe them. My twin brother and I used to find animals and we tried to find owners.  Can’t begin to tell you how many strays we found homes for.  If not, we kept them.

What kinds of animals can you groom? 

I groom dogs and cats.
Whats your favorite breed to groom? 

My favorite  breed is Shih Tzu.
Should you shave your dog for the summer? 

No, trim yes.  Their hair is there to protect their skin in the winter and to protect them from sunburn in the summer.
Can you tell if a dog will shed? 

All dogs shed!
How often should you bathe your dog? 

Every six to eight weeks.
How can you prevent or cut down on shedding? 

Use furminating products and BRUSH their hair often, at least once a week.
What kinds of products do you suggest for bathing and grooming at home? 

Depends on dog coat.  Grimeinator is my best for all for all fur types.

What is Kennel Cough and Why Should I Be Concerned?

Canine Kennel cough (aka tracheobronchitis) is akin to a cold in a human.  While no one wants to see any pup ill, it is quite common; and unfortunately, also quite contagious.  How can you avoid it?  Vaccination and being selective about the environments in which you pup is exposed to other dogs.  Most kennels will require proof of vaccination; but given that the current vaccine only covers less than half of the known stains of the virus, it is quite possible for your pup to still contract the disease.

One of the most common causes is the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. Unfortunately, dogs infected with Bordetella will have at least a temporarily compromised immune system so they can also be infected with something else they may or may not have been vaccinated for, which can include canine distemper, canine herpes virus or parainfluenza.  Your best defense is to prevent kennel cough by keeping all vaccines up to date (or perform a titer where possible).  Keeping pups away from environments where there is less than fresh air and large groups of dogs is also important.  This means indoor kennel runs and shelters can be a hotbed or transmission.  But it is best to remember that just like the flu shot for humans cannot protect anyone from mutated strains of a virus, neither can the bordatella drops or vaccine.  The good news is that even if your vaccinated pup does come down with kennel cough, it means that he/she should have a less severe version of the disease.  If your furbaby does display a persistent cough after being around any other dog, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out both kennel cough and the less prevalent canine influenza strains.

The sound is usual quite obvious in that it is more like a hacking cough and can often mimic a choking sound and typically arises after a 3-4 day incubation period.  It is most likely that kennel cough will not be an occasional but a persistent, dry (not wet) sounding and can be quite forceful.  It is often accompanied by sneezing, a runny nose or eye discharge.  Changes in appetite or energy level are rare; but dogs who are excited or undergoing significant exercise can cough up a white, frothy phlegm.  Only your veterinarian can diagnose kennel cough and treatment options vary from cough suppressants to antibiotics.  While many dogs recover without treatment, it is important to follow through for treatment not only to speed your furbaby’s recovery and minimize discomfort but also because he/she will be highly contagious to other dogs.  And remember if your pup has not recovered within the expected time frame, schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian.  This is the best way to ensure that the case of kennel cough did not progress to something more serious like pneumonia.  For most, all symptoms will disappear slowly over the course of three weeks but geriatrics, puppies and furbabies with other illnesses can take up to six weeks to fully recover.

As with most infections, prevention is key.  Choose facilities that have plenty of open air along with maintaining a sanitary environment and take a long sniff when you walk in.  Something that smells clean, generally is; and there is no excuse for a dirty or smelly environment.  Keep your furbaby vaccinated appropriately and/or titered.  Keep your dog away from environments where you cannot guarantee a dog’s vaccination status who is coming in direct contact with your dog (a dog park is a perfect example).  And of course, see your veterinarian immediately if something seems wrong with your pup.




Of course, I always want to support business and organizations that help animals both through my business and personally. But this is especially so when there is a business started by bright, motivated and compassionate people that are JUST 14 YEARS OLD!

LAB Soaps is a new Natural Soap Company, started by a group of 14 year old Chappaqua girls who simply love animals and want to help those in need. 100% of their profits go to the SPCA of Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, NY.

Their soaps and scrubs are a great and meaningful gift (in addition to being YUMMY) and a reminder that we can all do our part to help our furry friends in need! Check out their website:




Barbecues.  Swimming. Fireworks…all summer staples for us humans…but can be hazardous for your furbaby.  Here are some tips to have a great summer for everyone in the family.


On steamy summer days, the lure of cooling off in the pool can be fun for you and your pets. But it is important to note that pool safety issues for pets are almost synonymous with those for children. It only takes a few minutes of distraction for either one to fly out the door and into the pool.

Here are just a few of the issues to keep in mind:

  • DON’T assume your dog can swim naturally.
  • Make sure your dog knows a safe way to exit the pool (stairs)
  • Swimming is strenuous exercise- proceed with caution as senior dogs could slip and fall into a pool or may not have the stamina to make it back to safety
  • Heat and sunlight are more intense around a pool, so watch for signs of overheating.
  • Don’t let your dog drink from the pool; the chlorine will make him sick.


The excitement of a fireworks show in the summer night sky is a delight for the whole family. But the noise and energy may be too much for your dog to handle. Before taking Fido to see the fireworks, please consider:

  • loud noises and bright lights can easily frighten your pet, which can cause him to run away. If you must bring your dog along, make sure they are securely on a leash before the fireworks start
  • If the fireworks are set off near your pet, beware of impact injury or burns from setting off the fireworks as well as the ashes afterwards


As pet owners fire up the grill for a fun-filled  barbeque, there are many seemingly harmless dangers to their pets.

  • Traditional BBQ foods such as corn on the cob and bones from meat can be deadly or cause serious gastrointestinal problems in pets
  • Discarded objects attached to flavorful foods (skewers, string, foil, etc.) can also be tempting (and dangerous)
  • If you are hosting a party at your home, be aware that a dog may feel territorial; don’t assume a normally friendly dog will not be overwhelmed by having strangers in their space


Wishing you a happy, fun, and SAFE summer!



Join Pets a Go Go this Saturday (or Sunday if it rains) at the annual Ossining Village Fair!  We’ll be located by the Village Square and we will have loads of great doggie treats for you to sample including our Doggie Frozen Yogurt, treats and some USA made and sourced treats and toys for sale.



The sun, the foliage, the outdoor activities, all the great things about warm weather…but along with good stuff about the outdoors comes the very real potential for fleas and ticks.  Due to our VERY wet winter experts are predicting a worse than normal flea and tick season (  We, at Pets a Go Go, recognize there are many choices in flea and tick prevention but our recommendations come from a wide variety of experiences amongst our 2,100+ clients.  VECTRA 3D is a topical prevention method for fleas, ticks, and other outdoor pests. VECTRA actually repels the ticks, rather than beginning to work after the animal has been bitten (a la Frontline). Here is a link to a video demonstrating the correct way to apply VECTRA:  Please note that VECTRA is only sold by your veterinarian so feel free to ask him/her if you should consider it.  Now what happens if your pup picks up fleas?  At Pets a Go Go, we provide a comprehensive and foolproof way of addressing an itchy little problem.  We provide a full flea ‘dip’ as well as the appropriate administration of a CAPSTAR.  CAPSTAR begins to kill the infestation in as few as 20 minutes.  This combination of treatments allows you to address both the current live fleas as well as the eggs and larvae that would become fleas at a later date.



The Perfect Gift for Dog Lovers

Looking for a gift for a friend with a new puppy?  Want to do something fabulous for your own Fido?  Here’s an idea that’s paws-itively delicious…

The area’s most trusted pet care provider, Pets a Go Go™, introduces the Treat of the Month Club.  A purrfect gift for your furry friends!  Each month, Pets a Go Go™ will hand select premium dog treats, delivered straight to your door.

Pets a Go Go™ has searched high and low to sniff out the tastiest, most nutritious treats for your four legged friends. Each monthly delivery includes goodies from companies like Raw Bistro, Cloud Star, Etta’s, True Blue, Nature’s Bits, Blue Dog Bakery and more. Treats are all natural, made in the USA, and subscriptions can be tailored to household dietary needs and allergies. The Treat of the Month club can ship anywhere nationwide.

Subscriptions and pricing are as follows:

  • $17.99 for month by month
  • $49.99/ 3 months
  • $89.99 /6 months
  • $159.99/ 12 months

**Shipping or hand delivery for our current clients included

For more information please visit or email or call + 1 (914) 458-4181.

About Pets a Go Go

Pets a Go Go™ is the service provider of choice for more than 2,100 pet parents (and their furbabies) in Westchester County, New York as well as Southern Fairfield County, Connecticut. Pets a Go Go™ offers in-home pet sitting, private or group dog walking and running, private or group on- or off-leash hikes as well as expert training, grooming and several options for cage free daytime or overnight care (your home, our home or our 24 hour facility!) as well as much, much more.



2015 marks the 10 year anniversary of my entrance into the pet care world. When I started this business, I followed my passion and left a high powered corporate career to begin this juggernaut of a company.  It is/was the biggest professional step of my life both in terms of energy and reward.  I always imagined all that Pets a Go Go could be, however, what has been the biggest and most thrilling surprise is how I have become a part of the community.  Our community, 2,100 strong and growing daily, that has been built steadily from the day we started.  Our community, comprised of pet owners, pet lovers, rescue groups, veterinarians and more, share a common interest in keeping ALL of our pets safe, well and happy.

In an effort to harness the power and passion of this dynamic community, along with finding a forum through which to share our collective expertise as well as address concerns and disseminate helpful information, we are launching WAG RAG, a blog that we hope will become an essential resource to our area’s “pet people”.

Whether you use our services, have witnessed our Paw Squad in action or simply love pets … for this kickoff post, I thought I would explain all that Pets a Go Go provides to our current and potential clients:

  • While we have a roster of over 2,100 current clients, we also perform more than 1,000 services a week in the field alone
  • We do daily as well as on-call dog walking for those that need a relief walk, some good exercise or their furbaby needs some time out of the house while they are at work
  • We provide in home pet sitting for when people travel.  We can visit up to four times per day as well as sleepover in their homes
  • We do home based ‘fostering’ where your furbaby can live with one of my full-time employees in their private homes temporarily.  Please note we strictly limit to two client pups
  • We have a 100 percent cage free environment for 24 hour care for those furbabies who need/want a more active environment and who like other dogs *
  • All members of Pet’s a Go Go’s Paw Squad are full-time W2 employees who are background checked, drug-tested (both at hire and randomly during their employment) and are driving a GPS tracked vehicle
  • Our extremely selective hiring process culminates in a multi-week internal training program as well as CPR and First Aid certification, insulin shot administration as well as the kneading of bladders.  Many members of our Squad are also trained to administer sub-cutaneous fluids as well
  • We provide private in-home or in-facility training as well as group lessons for both puppies and adults for behavior modification, housebreaking and other issues
  • We provide cage free grooming utilizing the latest equipment as well as paraben nad chemical free products following our ‘green’ mandate
  • We are open 7am to 10 pm (please arrive by 7pm) every day of the year for ALL services.  We never close our doors to our clients nor do we ever leave a furbaby in our facility alone
  • We are bonded and insured as you would expect

*vaccine and fecal test requirements are listed on our website and are generally jurisdicted by Westchester County Department of Health

Thanks for being a part of the Pets a Go Go community, I look forward to sharing with you!

Nicole Goudey-Rigger/Owner/Pets a Go Go