There are tons of great companies in San Francisco and around the web offering services, supplies, and information that we are happy to recommend for our canine pack and their human parents. Just make sure to tell them who sent you!
Whistle GPS Pet Tracker
Started locally, Whistle makes the #1 pet tracker device in the US. The Whistle™ Health & GPS+ makes sure you never miss a moment. This smart collar features industry-leading health AI, GPS tracking, switchable styles, and two rechargeable battery packs. So you can monitor their health and location 24/7. Whistles log distance traveled, minutes active, and calories burned. Location tracking is extremely precise and real-time. The device can let you know when your dog is picked up and dropped off by us.
Currently starting around $30, AirTag is one of the most affordable and easy to integrate forms of wearable trackers, even if it may not be intended for this functionality. It sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network - hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices around the world. These devices send the location of your AirTag to iCloud - then you can go to the Find My app and see it on a map. The whole process is anonymous and encrypted to protect your privacy. And it's efficient, with no need to worry about battery life, data usage, plus they are water resistant.
Currently starting at around $40, the QALO TraQ is non-toxic and jingle-free for your dog’s wellbeing, built with a lightweight yet durable ABS housing adorned with a silicone design. QALO TraQ has a non-replaceable battery that lasts up to two years and is waterproof for up to an hour, up to 1 meter. When your dog is within 200 ft Bluetooth range, use the free Tile app to ring your QALO TraQ or switch to silent finding and use the in-app Proximity Meter if you’re in a noisy, high-traffic area. When outside of range, use the Tile app to view it’s most recent location. Tile’s Network of global app users and Network Extenders, such as compatible Echo devices on Amazon Sidewalk or compatible Xfinity X1 and xFi devices, will securely aid in your search.
Gentle Leader Headcollar
More than 5 million dog owners have found the secret to controlling their dogs on walks. The Gentle Leader headcollar fits securely over your dog's nose. The nose loop redirects his head towards you when he pulls forward, preventing pulling and giving you his full attention. It works much like a horse's bridle, which we use to control 600 pound animals - there is no better tool for preventing leash pulling. When introduced and trained correctly dogs are comfortable wearing them, and the leash pulling problem is essentially completely gone, while other unwanted behaviors like barking, lunging, and jumping are severely diminished. There's a reason the Gentle Leader is the brand of head collar preferred by the training department at Guide Dogs For the Blind, and they've written material on introducing it properly.
Easy Walk Harness
The Easy Walk Harness gently discourages your dog from pulling on the leash. When your dog pulls, the harness steers your dog to the side and back toward you, gently unbalancing them, and redirecting their attention toward you. The harness rests across your dog's chest instead of the throat, so there's no choking or gagging. For those who might be more averse to the Gentle Leader, or who may not require that level of prevention, the Easy Walk is our preferred harness both because of its efficacy and ease of use. Rather than a step-in harness, which are cumbersome, this one goes over the head.
Long training lines
Long lines are one of the best dog training tools. You can use them to train many elements of reliable off leash behavior. The best type is biothane, a synthetic rubber that is extremely durable, lightweight, and easily wipes clean. They're found in various lengths on Amazon, like this one. We use these all the time on our walks. I'd recommend them to every puppy owner.
SF Pet Hospital - 1371 Fulton st. - My vets are the best vets I've ever met. Over the 13 years I've had my dog we've seen quite a few and these guys blow the others away. All the drs there are terrific. They'll talk to you as long as you need, their bedside manner is friendly and comforting, and their prices are reasonable for the area. Go see them. Everyone who does is happy.
Blue Sparrow Veterinary Services - This is a home visit service. Accordingly there's a premium in pricing but perhaps the convenience is enough to warrant the price for you.
ASPCA Fillmore at Washington - You should have a 24 hour vet service on your list in case of emergencies, since the others are usually by appointment only. I recommend having this one as your emergency clinic while seeing another vets office for regular care since they tend to be able to give you more time and energy elsewhere.
Food and health:
Conusmer Affairs keeps their list of recommended and not recommended dog foods up to date. I use Taste of The Wild at home.
I also recommend using rehydrated foods at home for anyone with any weight problems since the added water helps keep them well hydrated and makes them feel more full at each meal.
If your dog is experiencing any mild diarrhea or loose stool you can use pumpkin pulp to firm them up, and probiotics to help normalize the guts.
Favorite authors, books, and trainers who I recommend you read:
Jean Donaldson - SF's most renowned trainer and author. Check out any one of her booklets on specific problem behaviors.
Dr. Ian Dunbar - The Bay Area's most renowned trainer and author.
Nicole Wilde - Great selection of booklets on problem behaviors.
Pat Miller - One of the leaders in new age dog training.
Dr. Bruce Fogel - His book, "A Dog's Mind" is my favorite.
"Excel erated Learning" by Pamela J. Reid The most scientific textbook approach to dog training you can get.
YouTube training sources:
Simpawtico - Tons of free, insightful content.
Tom Davis - one of my favorite YouTube trainers, especially for training rambunctious dogs.
Zak George - Can't afford puppy classes? Who cares! Zak is putting all of his on the internet.
Kiko Pup - Great how to videos from a pro trainer on virtually anything.
Shops in SF:
Bow Wow Meow - San Francisco's greatest little community pet shop. Customer service that can't be beat. http://www.bowwowmeow.net/
Pet Food Express - Yes, it's a chain in San Francisco and apparently that's like heresy, but this place is fantastic. Their food is only top quality, and their friendly and very knowledgeable staff will help you find what you need. Plus their return policy should you or your dog be unsatisfied is beautiful.
Le Mercel Dog Bakery - Perfect for pooch party favors, dog birthdays, or general celebrations of life with your dog. Tasty, creative, and pretty.
Other local professionals I like:
Maureen Backman - Mutts About Town - A great trainer who works with anything from puppy training to adult problem behaviors, even aggression. She started a movement called Muzzle Up that promotes people proactively working with muzzles before aggression causes damage.
Kelley Filson - Filson Dog School - Notoriously in high demand Kelley is one of the most skilled trainers around. I have personally witnessed her work with high energy dogs needing off leash training and it is as good as it gets. I've also met many of her previously anxious or aggressive clients, and you'd never know it after her work with them.
Jeff Stallings - Better Nature Dog Training - Jeff is a CPDT, so pretty much as highly credentialed as it gets in this field. He has decades of experience to boot. My friend, a fellow pro dog walker, says he exclusively recommends Jeff to his clientele.
Crissy Field Dog Org - A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership and establishing and upholding permanent off-leash dog walking rights within the GGNRA.
Save Off Leash - http://www.saveoffleash.com/ A website dedicated to battling the GGNRA's restrictive new anti dog laws in our parks.
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) - A professional organization of individual trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education with a searchable database for certified trainers.
Not a dog.
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Prosh Pet's Pet Sitting Service - Pet care in your home, serving San Francisco's Russian Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. http://www.proshpets.com/
Bon Voyage House & Cat Sitting - BonVoyagePetSitting.com
The Dog Trainer - Dog Training by Have Leash Will Train. Long Island NY Dog Trainer Barry Stewart will show you a well-trained, obedient dog is a pleasure to own. Call 516.770.1025 Nassau County Western Suffolk County
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