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Dog Walks, Treats, & Groomers, From A Cavalier King Charles’  Perspective

September 13, 2011 By Christy in Miami: Local NewsMiami: Things to Do  | 6 Comments


Having a dog in Miami is unlike anywhere else.  As you spot the local dogs,as opposed to those just staying at the Raleigh for the weekend, you’ll notice metallic logo Louis Vuitton collars and Christian Audigier sweaters for when the weather dips below 70 degrees, and most of all the absence of dogs on leashes. Are leashes passé in Miami? Does Miami have the highest population of obedient dogs?  No, it’s just that most dog owners think the rules don’t apply to them.  And things are usually things are fine-until the dog makes a beeline for your dog, or you try to pet the dog and the owner only speaks Spanish and you can’t translate “My dog has absolutely no vaccines, and likes to bite.” Welcome to Miami! If your dog follows you obediently while walking, go ahead and leave the leash at home. Everyone else does.

Wanna go for a walk?


Aside from sudden downpours, or days above 90 degrees Miami offers plenty of beautiful days to keep you and your pooch in shape. In the heat, bring a foldable canvas dish so you can share your bottle of water with your four-legged friend. Attached to those four legs are four paws that hit the scorching hot pavement. After your dog has a drink of water, dip each paw in the water (It’s the equivalent of you placing a cold towel around your neck for an instant cool-me-down). If you plan to walk in the parks or along the streets lined with shops and restaurants, you’re bound to find a few water bowls on the sidewalk. My dog sensibly refuses hot water with dead leaves and doggie germs, so thankfully Starbucks is always happy to hand out a glass of fresh, cold water. Put on the ground and serve! 

My favorite walk of the day is South Pointe Park around sunset.  Sometimes my doggie and I go toward the beach but it’s always fun to people and cat watch at Smith & Wollensky and listen to the Calypso music that pours out of Monty’s. If you’re a morning person and your dog enjoys frolicking in the grass without a leash, head to the fenceless dog park in South Pointe Park.


Lincoln Road is also one of my picks for best walks. Once you master dodging the roller bladers and confused tourists who suddenly stop in their tracks, the vibrant energy of this outdoor pedestrian mall makes for a great chance to socialize with other dogs and their owners, as well as dine outside with your dog in tow. At outdoor restaurants most servers will bring out a bowl of water for your dog before they even take your drink order, which of course is the way it should be.

People who live in Miami love the beach but unfortunately the city does not love people who take their dogs on the beach in the evening (or anytime for that matter). If you decide to take a chance, play dumb when a police officer in a red patrol vehicle stops you, and if you’re lucky you’ll just get away with just a warning.

Who Wants a Treat?


Ginger, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is a huge fan of Shake Shack on Lincoln Road. Is it because she gets a piece of cheeseburger from me?  No, it’s the Poochini! Their frozen doggie treat is made of vanilla custard atop a drizzle of peanut butter, and two dog biscuits-a shame they can’t do better than Milkbone, but nevertheless it’s the ideal treat after a long day of shopping or visit to the vet.

Ginger’s Guide to the Groomers

In South Beach looks matter, even when it comes to dogs. Ratty or scraggily fur just won’t do! Ginger agreed to try the most well known groomers in town and my first stop was John’s Pet Shop. The groomer Pablo operates out of his trailer behind the store.  Although it’s filled with barking dogs in kennels covered in stained, old towels he was highly recommended so I hoped for the best. As I walked through the door to pick her up I caught a glimpse of a bottle in Paco’s hand and before I could open my mouth, my freshly bathed Ginger was doused with Apple Crisp dog cologne, featuring a male bulldog on the bottle.  She smelled like an un-showered man on the South Beach local bus who doused himself in cheap cologne. Horrible! Aside the doggie cologne disaster, he did a great job on her haircut. Allow time for an extra bath at home if your dog gets the cologne. (Bath and Haircut $45 or $40 in cash).


My second attempt in search for a good groomer was South Beach Pet Shop. I try to avoid giving business to pet shops that sell puppies, but after a glowing review from a friend of a friend the least I could do was give it a try.  The first time Ginger came out looking cute, but the second time they gave my wispy, long haired dog an unflattering buzz cut! Another Cavalier in town had this happen and the fur never grew back in its wispy way. The store owner told me it was my fault- “You say cut, not trim.” Luckily Ginger’s fur grew back, bur steer clear of this place at all costs. I’ve warned you about these groomers, but if you decide to go anyway, google translate is your friend. Have all instructions written in Spanish and bring along a photo to minimize misunderstandings. (Bath & Haircut, $45)

After complaining to anyone who would listen about the sad state of grooming options in South Beach, I heard rave reviews of The Grooming Loft. As soon as I walked into their store I felt at ease. I saw Ginger’s fancy brand of dog food, pretty leashes, and best of all everyone there spoke perfect English. Their spa menu offered additional services besides the usual bath and haircut. Would I like her teeth brushed? Does she need a walk while she’s here? Would she like a spritz of our light perfume?

With a spa-like medley of cucumber and florals like lily and violet, how could I say no? After picking her up with her long fluffy hair intact Ginger became a regular. (Bath & Haircut, $55)

The Not-So-Glam Side of Doggie Life in South Beach


I’ll get right to the point. The fleas in Miami are fierce. The city regularly sprays the dog parks but you need to be vigilant about applying a topical monthly flea medicine. Don’t forget and skip a month like I did and beware of counterfeit flea medicine that’s permeated the market (only purchase it at your Veterinarian’s office). I lived through a nightmare when my dog had fleas but you don’t have to.  According to Doctor Tenzer’s staff at South Beach Animal Hospital, “Forget what the package says, and apply Advantage every three weeks.” If you discover fleas on your dog drop what you’re doing and head to the vet for a battle plan. Vacuum the entire apartment and wash all linens and your hound’s bed in hot water. Treat your apartment with Flea Busters powder-it’s not toxic like other insecticides on the market, and gets the job done.  Put your pup on Capstar, a pill that kills all adult fleas in 24 hours and give your dog a bath while killing fleas on contact with an alcohol soaked cotton ball. Repeat this entire process until you’re flea free.


Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Things to Do,

Christy offers a fresh perspective on life and style in Miami. You can reach her at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Christy.

See more articles by Christy

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6 Comments on

"Dog Walks, Treats, & Groomers, From A Cavalier King Charles’  Perspective"

r-k says:

Thanks for the interesting article. I specially liked the practical advice on treating fleas.

In addition to scaring or biting people, those dogs without a leash are also at risk of being run over by traffic.

Posted on 09/13/2011 at 10:17 PM

jess says:

Great article Christy! There are a huge amount of dogs on South Beach so this is a great guide.

“or you try to pet the dog and the owner only speaks Spanish and you can’t translate “My dog has absolutely no vaccines, and likes to bite.”

Haha I know where you got the idea from! Yes folks, that was me. I have never gone near a dog since.

Posted on 09/14/2011 at 2:50 PM

Imarisworld says:

Thank you for the wealth of information. I have two furbabies and we plan on moving to south beach.

Posted on 09/21/2011 at 1:22 PM

Christy says:

Thanks everyone! Good luck on your move Imarisworld. I recommend Dr. Tenzer at South Beach Animal Hospital since you’ll need to have a local vet.

Posted on 09/25/2011 at 3:18 PM

tomtom1 says:

Great article Christy! I just avoid south beach only for crazy dogs!Believe me….
If the owners could use customized Dog Tags , it would be great.

Posted on 01/25/2012 at 4:14 AM

Mindy says:

Where can I buy flea buster powder

Posted on 07/15/2014 at 1:07 AM

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