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  Dog Beach Dog Wash News

            Because your dogs deserve the best  


                                  May 2011   

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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Gardening With Your Pets
Beware of Foxtails
Dusty Rhodes Small Dog Park Now Open

 Upcoming Events  



Sun., May 1, 2011, 2 p.m.-- Bark in Balboa Park 5, Organ Concert & Parade for Pets, Spreckels Organ Society with Dr. Carol Williams & Suzy Webster and her dog, Ranger, to benefit the San Diego Humane Society.  



 SD Humane Soc. Walk for Animals logo

Sat., May 7, 2011, 9 a.m.--San Diego Humane Society's 17th Annual Walk for Animals, Crown Point Shores, Mission Bay   



Sat., May 14, 2011, 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, & 1:30 p.m.--11th Annual Pet Day on the Bay, one-hour cruise on Adventure Hornblower, to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center.  Bring used towels and blankets.  Tickets $20/adult (& one dog), $10/children 4-12 yrs.  1066 N. Harbor Dr. (between Broadway & Ash) downtown San Diego.



Pugs in costumes

Sat., May 7, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.--Annual Pug Party:  "The Emerald City-There's No Place Like Home," to benefit Pug Rescue San Diego Couty.  Everyone (people & pugs) encouraged to wear Oz inspired costumes.  $10 adults, $5 children 5 and under. Del Mar Fairgrounds' Infield Pavillion 



Loews Surf Dog event 

Sat., June 4, 2011, 11a.m.--

6th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition, to benefit Loews Hotel's Partner, for San Diego County schools, at Dunes Beach, 700 Seacoast Dr., Imperial Beach  



 Bark for Life to fight Cancer

Sat., July 23, 2011, 10 a.m. --Bark for Life: A Canine Event to Fight Cancer, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Dusty Rhodes Park, Sunset Cliffs Blvd. between Nimitz & West Pt. Loma Blvd. 



 Doggie Street Festival Adoptions

Sun., July 31, 2011, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.--San Diego's 3rd Annual Doggie Street Festival, Preble Field at Liberty Station, Point Loma, with dog adoptions, fun and entertainment   



Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon for Helen Woodward 

Sun., Sept. 11, 2011, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.--6th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, at Dog Beach, Del Mar.  Dog Surfing Clinics offered March through August 




Sun., Oct. 23, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.--6th Annual Kiwanis Club's Ocean Beach Canine Carnival & Doggie Costume Parade (1:30-2:30 p.m.), Dusty Rhodes Park at Sunset Cliffs Blvd. at Nimitz Blvd. 


Gardening With Your Pets

If you're lucky enough to have a yard in San Diego,
May is a great time to start a garden.  Even without a yard, you can garden at one of many community gardens in San Diego (including Ocean Beach).  Find locations at http//

As pet owners, many of us worry that plants and pets don't mix, but don't be discouraged.  The benefits of fresh produce and lovely ornamentals outweigh any problems.

Here are some tips to help with pet-safe gardening:

Poisonous Plants - Many outdoor plants--including sago palm, azalea, oleander--are toxic to dogs and cats.  If your pets are curious and likely to nibble growing things, check the list of common toxic plants provided by the ASPCA  before giving free rein to your animals in your yard.

Fencing - Many dogs will guard their yards and "run the fence" or try to dig their way out.  To prevent this, put chicken wire 8 to 10" into the soil below the bottom of the fence.  Plant thick hedges up against the fence (natal plum (Carissa grandiflora) or pyracantha with thorns are good deterrents).  Provide pathways with soft material (sand, leaves, decomposed granite, hay) that dogs can use away from the fence.  Create a separate digging pit (with sand & dirt) for your dog to dig in, and bury some toys or bones to encourage them. Keep your cat from using it as an outdoor litter box.
Use large rocks or ornamental borders around prized flower or vegetable beds.  Plant in raised beds or use large containers.  Dogs can be trained to learn that these areas are off-limits.  Bamboo stakes, wire fencing and bird netting are other inexpensive barriers to keep dogs away from prized plantings.

Fertilizers & Insecticides - Many of these chemicals contain toxic ingredients so avoid using them around your pets.  Check for safe & effective alternatives at your local nursery.  Ensure that products safe for dogs and cats will not harm birds or fish.  Store all chemicals safely and securely away from your animals and follow manufacturers' directions when using them appropriately.  Garden organically.

Compost & Mulch - Rotting compost piles can contain mold and other toxic chemicals, so keep your bins pet-proof.
Dog and cat poop are not compostible (both species are meat-eaters).  If using cow manure, dig it in the earth well or your dog will enjoy rolling in it. 
Avoid cocoa mulch which is a by-product of chocolate production.  If ingested by dogs it can be life-threatening.
Wood chips and bark are good alternatives.
A professional groomer in Florida, Carla Maynor, uses clean dog hair mixed with straw & grass clippings as a safe and effective water-retaining mulch and weed barrier.

Fleas & Ticks - These pests like moist, landscaped areas and tall grasses, so keep lawns mowed and your garden weed-free.  Keep your pets on year-round flea prevention and check them all over for possible tick infestations.  Plant herbs that naturally repel fleas, such as Pennyroyal (Menta pulegium), Fleawort (Erigeron canadense), Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis), or Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).  Spread diatomaceous earth (garden or food quality, not the variety used in swimming pools) which is a safe substance made from fossils of freshwater organisms crushed to a fine powder, in your yard. 

With a little planning, a little training for your dog, a little dirt under the fingernails, some water, and a few packets of seeds and bedding plants, plus good advice from your local garden center and nursery (such as )
your green thumb and good health will glow with approval.

Beware of Foxtails


Foxtails are grassy weeds found in the western U.S.  They grow rapidly in winter and early spring, and by May, they dry out and the seeds stick easily on clothes and on dogs' fur and skin.
Wild Barley, most common Foxtail
Dry Seeds of Wild Barley



Foxtails grow on the eastern portion of Dog Beach, along the bike path on the south side of Dog Beach, and in unkempt yards and parkways all over San Diego.  It's hard to avoid them.

Foxtail seeds have pointed barbs on the end that can penetrate your dogs body, especially the ears, nose, eyes, paws, or through the coat into the body.  Once they break through the skin, they can become infected and travel through the bloodstream to vital organs and become life-threatening.

Inspect your dog thoroughly after walking in areas with foxtails and remove any seeds you find.  Run your hands over their coat, and especially check in your dogs' ears, between their toes and paw pads, under their collar and tail, and underarm areas.  If you believe a foxtail seed has lodged anywhere in your dog, get to a veterinarian immediately.  The longer you wait the deeper the foxtail will travel, the more pain your dog will suffer, and the harder it will be to treat.

If you have foxtails growing anywhere in your yard, mow them before they dry out, or even better, dig them out.  Don't use herbicides (such as Roundup) since they don't work on foxtails, and they poison our waterways.

Dusty Rhodes Small Dog Park Is Finally Open

Aerial view of Dusty Rhodes Park
After months of fund raising, and waiting for San Diego city officials to approve bids, the construction of ADA entry gates and new fencing was completed a few weeks ago. 

Entry to the new small dog park (for dogs under 30 pounds and elderly/disabled dogs) is adjacent to the Sunset Cliffs Blvd. parking lot, and the entry for large dogs is adjacent to the West Pt. Loma Blvd./Nimitz parking lot.

Remember to keep all your dogs leashed until you're inside the double gated entry.


If you have any comments or questions about the Dusty Rhodes Dog Park, contact Brian Anthony, OB Rec Center Director at  or attend a meeting of the Dusty Rhodes Recreation  Council, on the 4th Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m., at the OB Rec Center (corner of Ebers and Santa Monica).  Please pick up after your dogs. 

Remember our Dog Beach Cleanups this month:  May 7th in celebration of San Diego River Days, and our regular Cleanup on May 14th, both from 9 to 11 a.m.

And Leave Only Footprints!

Mindy & Jane (and Juno, Chipper & Zydeco)

Dog Beach Dog Wash