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3 ways to reduce the spook.

Halloween can be scary for your dogs.
3 ways to reduce the spook.


  1. The Spook: The Costume.

Who doesn’t want to see your dog as beloved Yoda or wrapped in a bun? Well, perhaps not your dog. Despite your pup’s unwillingness to wear a costume, safety concerns do crop up when get-ups get especially intricate: like immobility, strangulation, choking, snagging, and more.


The Save

First, never leave your dog unattended while they’re in costume. Next, make sure your pet is comfortable in their costume. This doesn’t mean they’ll bark for joy for the opportunity to dress up, but it does mean that they’ll be able to breath, move, and relax comfortably.


  1. The Spook: The Candy and Pumpkins.

We all know chocolate and sugar isn’t good for us — but it’s even more hazardous to our beloved dogs. From the toxic elements of many candies to the choking hazards of their wrappers and sticks, treats can play dangerous tricks on your dogs on All Hollow’s Eve.


The Save

Keep candy bowls off the floor and low tables. Make sure you children know the dangers of sharing Halloween spoils with their best furry friend. If you’re worried your pup has dug into the candy jar, be on the lookout for vomiting, diarrhea, severe agitation, and elevated heart rate. Take your dog to the vet if you see any symptoms.


  1. The Spook: The Doorbell and Its Visitors.

Maybe your dog gets anxious at the sound of the doorbell. The night of trick-or-treating, it rings again and again and again. Or maybe your dog likes to slip out the door. Or perhaps he’s afraid of new people—especially these people dressed in masks and with hats. Be sure to take extra precaution by the door to avoid a lost, anxious, or aggressive pet.


The Save

Consider camping your dog out in a room far from the front door for the night with a radio or TV playing to drown out the sound of the doorbell, knocks, and strangers and a chew toy to keep them busy. If the inevitable does happen, and your dog does sneak out, be sure to have proper identification that’s up to date to increase the chances of finding your friend.


And the easiest save of them all: Bring your dog to Dogwoods Lodge for the evening. We’ll keep your pooch happy, calm, and out of spook’s way.

Meet Alice: The Featured September Dog

AliceLongtime Dogwoods Lodge fans know: Alice is one smart cookie. And she better be — she and her sister, Libby, wear the praise as Dogwoods Lodge mascots and best friends to owner, Jessica Lohry.

Jessica trained the cattle-dog mix herself. Agility, narcotics, search and rescue, advanced obedience, CGC—and even certified as a diabetic alert dog—Alice has talents, and a talent for learning.

Package all those skills up with a ball of energy and a personality sweeter than pie, then you’ve got Alice.

So next time you’re at Dogwoods Lodge, be sure to bend down to give her a pet — and throw her ball. She deserves some lovin’ after all her hard work around the Lodge.

Nickname: BoBalice  Alice2
Breed: Cattledog mix
Size: 45 lbs
Abilities: Agility, narcotics, search & rescue, advanced obedience, CGC, and is now a certified service dog (Diabetic Alert Dog)
Temperament: She’s got springs for legs, ridiculous amounts of energy, raw intelligence, and the sweetest personality
Fortes: Cuddling and playing fetch

5 puppy faces you can’t say no to …

… And Dogwoods Lodge employees trying to harness their powers. 

Who wore the cute face better? Dog or dog counselor? You tell us! (We think we already know who’ll win, though.)













Have a happy 4th!

The 4th of July

Keep your dog safe and calm

Dogs aren’t singing the same tune about fireworks as Katy Perry. In fact, this patriotic day that goes out with a bang is one of the highest ranking for dog escapes. On top of that, some dogs become nervous wrecks.

Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. Follow one of these three tips below to keep your dog safe, confined and happy, while you enjoy American traditions.

  • Set your dog up for safety with beforehand accommodations at home. “I tell clients to put sound sensitive dogs in a kennel in the quietest room in their house—which is usually the basement. Set them up next to a loud fan to drown out any extra noise and let them have a long-lasting, high-value treat—like a PB Kong or an Everlasting Treat Ball—and they will happily hunker down for a couple hours, oblivious to what else is going on outside,” says Jessica Lohry, Dogwoods Lodge owner and certified behavioral specialist.
  • Check with your vet. If your dog nearly jumps out of its coat when you cough, it’s safe to say he’ll take poorly to loud blasts booming in the sky. Chat with your vet and discuss options for sedation and/or products like an anxiety wrap that will keep your dog calmer.
  • Board your dog at a facility you can trust. Dogwoods Lodge goes through all the necessary precautions to keep your furry friend calm and safe. In addition to the concrete construction, which blocks out most firework noise, we have televisions playing for comforting sounds, and dogs are always monitored during their frequent bathroom breaks, which are done in yards with solid 8-foot fences to ensure their safety. Rather than run the risk of them escaping while your attention is elsewhere, have complete peace-of-mind by booking your dog a room at the premier Des Moines facility.

Above all else, never leave your dog unattended or free in the yard when fireworks or other loud activities are happening. And have a great, safe Fourth of July!




You vacation. They vacation.

You vacation. They Vacation.
When you’re having fun away, so are they — at Dogwoods Lodge

You find an adventure at Adventureland.
They find an adventure during daycamp.

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You get pampered at the resort spa.
They get pampered at Spa Dogwoods Lodge.




You meet new friends on a cruise.
They find the best friend during a game of catch.


You conquer the Grand Canyon.
They conquer the playground during daycamp.


You relax on a Caribbean beach.
They relax on beach Dogwoods Lodge.

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You sleep in high-quality hotel rooms.
They slumber in the highest-quality log dog beds.

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6 ways to keep you and your dog active

6 ways to keep you and your dog active

Make the most of the nice weather — for you and your dog.

  1. Catch a classic game. Ball? Frisbee? Stick? Go on! Throw it, and watch your dog soar after with a grin in his heart and a wag in his tail. This activity is low stress for you, and a whole lot of fun for your dog.
    Our favorite toys: Chuck-it Stick, Kong Frisbee (easy to catch, but not for dogs who like to destroy toys), and West Paw Balls (Can last with the hardest chewers)
    Dogwoods 1
  2. Take a run or a ride. If you’ve got a well-trained leash dog, hit the trails with them by foot or by bike. Your legs will burn with strength and their whole body will benefit. Just be sure to stay safe on roads and try to keep to bike-only trails.
    Our favorite local hiking spots: Brown’s Woods, Raccoon River Park, and Ledges State Park
  1. Go for a doggie paddle. Take out the kiddie pool, visit the lake or, if you can, take to the beach. Just know that not all dogs are swimmers, so test out the waters before diving in deep. And always stay close by.
    Our favorite places to swim: Grey’s Lake and Raccoon River Park
  1. Try out tag! Chasing after your dog and having him chase after you not only gets your dog exercised — it’s also a great workout for you!
  2. On a rainy day, make dinner time a game. Use toys with pouches or food puzzles to hide your dog’s food inside, and let your dog scavenge. Dogs are natural hunters. And your dog will be happy you’re exercising his nose.
  1. Daycamp! Don’t leave your dog in a crate all day. Let him come play at Dogwoods Lodge. We have three indoor and outdoor yards where your dog can run and play with constant, expert supervision. Then when they’re all worn out, we let them snuggle up in our special log beds for nap time.

How do you and your furry friend stay in shape? Share your ideas in the comments!



Dog Safety Tips

Dog days of summer

3 safety tips for your dog this season

dog safety tips

What better time of the year than summer to enjoy the outdoors with your dog? Fetch, runs, trips to the pool, picnics… But caution: Too much of a good thing can go sour. Be sure to keep these three things in mind this season as you and your dog play under the sun.


  1. Water! You never want to hear a human gasp out for H2O, and you’ll never hear it from your dog. When playing outside on hot days for extended periods of time, keep note of your dog’s hydration. If their gums are dry, skin is losing elasticity, or if they’re drooling excessively, dehydration has set in. Don’t let it come to this. Keep your dog watered! And we’ll do the same when your dog is playing at Dogwoods Lodge.
  2. Shoo pests! Don’t bother my dog. Hookworms, heartworms, fleas and ticks are all on the prowl come summertime. Talk to your vet about a prevention regimen that’s right for your pooch: drops, shampoo, a special brush, etc. And you’ll keep your dog pest-free and healthy and happy.
  3. Groomed and dapper. You might let your hair down in the warmer months, but you should keep your dog well groomed. Matted, long hair is an invitation for overheating, bugs, and vegetation. Long nails are a torn nail waiting to happen. If you need assistance with keeping your dog groomed, we’ve got an expert team here to help.