Friday, August 10, 2018

2018 Updates on Shipping a Puppy

A lot of things have changed in the past year or two with airline rules and regulations so I wanted to update my information on how to ship puppies. Some of you may have read my blog article I wrote a few years ago about the process and I must say it was a lot easier back then than it is now. We are part of a small group of breeders that doesn’t mind being inspected so we are fully licensed to ship puppies but unfortunately the airlines close to us are making it increasingly difficult to get the puppies on a plane. If you live out of state and want a puppy from us we will certainly be willing to ship to you but please read this to understand that during certain times of the year it may not be possible or changes may need to be made about which airport we fly the puppy to and you will have to consider the other available options.

The closest airport to us that we ship out of is located in Appleton,WI (ATW.) In the past we were able to use both Delta and United Airlines but unfortunately things have changed and now Delta is currently our only option. United was personally my favorite, they don’t have temperature restrictions like Delta has so that makes most destinations at any time of the year easy to get to and they also offered many more flights than Delta did. Unfortunately last year United in Appleton started using planes operated by Air Wisconsin and they are not compatible for animals to travel within their cargo area leaving only Delta to deal with. Delta has always had temperature restrictions for shipping pets, in the past it needed to be between 10-85 degrees at all points or they would simply deny your flight. This is NOT because of the temperature on the plane, that is always regulated, it is because they don’t want to be transporting animals from the plane to airport and back in extreme cold or hot temperatures. In the past they also offered a “Summer Cooling Program” where they had air conditioned vehicles at certain airports to transport the animals so the temperature didn’t matter, this obviously made it easier to ship in the Summer time but in 2017 they cancelled all Cooling Programs.
 As of August 1st 2018 they have made additional changes that will seriously affect our ability to ship with them. Delta now requires it to be between 20-80 degrees at all stops to ship a puppy. For example if you live in New York and want your puppy shipped to JFK they would travel out of Appleton, WI have a layover in Detroit and then land at JFK, if it's above 80 degrees or below 20 degrees at any of those locations they will not allow the puppy to fly. Anyone who lives in the U.S. already knows that during June, July, and August it is rarely below 80 degrees in most locations during the day and 20 degrees is considered warm for us in Wisconsin during the months of December-February. These new rules will greatly affect our ability to ship out of our local airport!

There are a few options to help deal with the constant limitations being put on us by Delta airlines. The first option to deal with Summer temperatures is to ship the puppy to the layover destination while it is still cool enough, think early morning or late evening, then board it overnight at a licensed kennel who would then take the puppy back to the airport the following morning to get them on the first flight out to their destination to beat the heat. I recently did this with a puppy who needed to be shipped to Colorado in July when daytime temperatures were in the high 90's. I booked the puppy on an evening flight to Minneapolis where he was then boarded overnight and got on an early flight the next day to Denver. Delta charged an additional $175 boarding fee (can change at any moment) which was an extra expense for the buyer but was worth it in the end.

Green Bay, WI also has a small airport about an hour away from us where shipping with American Airlines may be an option. They do have temperature restrictions, it has to be between 45-85 degrees to ship a puppy and flights can be booked 10 days in advance. They are a smaller airline so may not go to all desired locations and in Winter it will be too cold to use them.

 If absolutely necessary we are able to ship out of Milwaukee, WI using either Delta, United (If it's not an Air Wisconsin Plane,) or American Airlines (as long as it's not too hot or too cold.) On a good day the airport in Milwaukee is a 2.5 hour drive each way, we have to check the puppy in at least 2 hours in advance and stay in town until the puppy leaves so it ends up taking at least 8-10 hours of our day up which is hard when you have to be home to take care of all your animals. If we have to ship a puppy out of Milwaukee for you the departure times will have to coordinate with other puppies that we may be shipping on that date so that we can get in and out of town in a timely manner. 

I always post the shipping date in the information listed about a puppy that I have for sale online. We usually ship a couple puppies from each litter so that date is the date that I will be shipping the puppies so that I can coordinate all flights and travel to work together. 

Please realize that there are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to shipping a puppy, I simply can't go online and pick any flight I want like a person can. If you live out of state and want us to ship you a puppy I will need you to give me 2 International Airport options that I can ship the puppy to. I will try my hardest to book the location that you prefer but it will ultimately depend on the temperatures and the airline that I can use.
I will also need you to be flexible on the day of arrival, I cannot control the weather, flight delays or cancellations so please leave your day free and clear. I cannot tell you how many people have yelled at me because a flight was late or had to rebooked and they had to change their plans, please make the arrival of the puppy your priority!

Delta Rules:
It has to be between 20-80 degrees to ship a puppy and the flight has to have a minimum of a 2 hour layover. Puppies need to be checked in at least 2 hours in advance. No double connections.
Flights can be booked 13 days in advance.

United Airlines:
They do not have temperature restrictions but puppies are not able to fly on planes operated by Air Wisconsin. Puppies need to be checked in at least 2 hours in advance. No double connections.
Flights can be booked 30 days in advance and no later than 5 days in advance.

American Airlines:
It has to be between 45-85 degrees to ship a puppy. Puppies need to be checked in at least 2 hours in advance. No double connections.
Flights can be booked 10 days in advance.

If shipping a puppy does not appeal to you there are also a couple of other options for people to consider if they live out of state and want a puppy from us. You may want to consider driving or flying here. The closest airports to us are Appleton, WI or Green Bay, WI (GRB.) The two largest are Milwaukee (MKE) which is about 2.5-3 hours away and also Chicago O’Hare in Illinois that is about 4 hours from us. I have had people fly here, we order the required health certificates for the puppies and we either meet them at our local airports or they have also rented cars and driven up from Milwaukee or Chicago. 


One other possibility is having a puppy nanny personally fly the puppy to you. Remember how I said it’s difficult for us to ship out of Milwaukee because we have to be gone so long? This means that us personally flying a puppy to you is difficult and will not always be an option but if we are not available we may have friends or family that would be willing. If someone is available to fly the puppy to you, you the buyer will be responsible for the cost of the flight, the fee to have the puppy onboard the flight, the crate and health certificates needed to have a puppy on board, and a flat fee of $300 for the person traveling with the puppy to cover their time, transportation, parking fees, etc. Someone would fly your puppy to the airport of your choice and you would then meet them there to pick up your puppy.
So as of now that’s what I know as far as what is going on with the airline industry, I will continue to keep everyone updated whenever I find out new information. Please keep all of this in mind if you live out of state and are interested in getting a puppy from us.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Xylitol is TOXIC to Dogs!!

I live on a farm and do a lot of physical labor which requires frequent trips to my chiropractor. She's a very natural and holistic type of doctor and often has organic, natural, and sugar free items for sale in her office. One day while waiting for my appointment I looked over the ingredients of all the sugar free candy and gums she had out on display and they all contained Xylitol. My chiropractor also happens to breed Boxers so I asked her if she was aware of how toxic and deadly Xylitol is for dogs and she had no idea. I don't think enough people are aware of the dangers of Xylitol and I wish that all of the products that contain it were required to have a big red warning label informing people that ingestion by their dog can lead to death.
We all can't wait until the teething puppy stage is over, right? Those crocodile razor sharp teeth constantly nipping on your fingers, grabbing at your toes, eyeing up your favorite shoes for a snack, it's torture and most of us will do anything to make our puppies happy and to stop them from eating your fingers. Kong toys are one of the best and most popular toy brands out there and they make a lot of fun products that you can stuff with cheese or peanut butter to keep your puppy happy and busy for awhile. Did you know that some companies use Xylitol in their peanut butter? Innocently adding peanut butter to a toy or treat to keep your puppy busy can lead to death if you accidentally use a brand that contains Xylitol.
So what is Xylitol? It is a natural sugar substitute that is often found in sugar free products like gum, candy, peanut butter, chocolates, tooth paste, cookies, muffins, vitamins, and various supplements. Seeing it is found in so many products if you are a dog owner it is vital to find out if anything in your house contains Xylitol and to be sure that you keep it out of reach of your dog.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested Xylitol it is vital that you immediately get them to a vet, time is of the essence! As little as 0.1g ingested by a dog can cause hypoglycemia (drop in blood sugar) which leads to weakness, lack of coordination, seizures, coma and even death in as little as thirty minutes so that is why it's so important to seek medical help immediately.
Xylitol consumed in slightly larger doses can liver failure which often cannot be reversed or becomes too costly for the owners to repair.

I found an article online that contained a list of products known to contain Xylitol, I am sure that ingredients change and new products pop up all the time so please be sure to check your items yourself but here is the link, hopefully it will help save a life:
https://www.preventivevet.com/xylitol-products-toxic-for-dogs

Unfortunately a lot of pet owners are unaware of the dangers of Xylitol so please help spread the word, no one wants to lose their pet, especially if it can be easily avoided by checking the ingredients list of your household products.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

It's Spring & Ticks are Here





Today is March 20th, 2018, officially the first day of Spring! Temperatures here in Wisconsin have been all over the place, two days ago it was 60 and today it's in the 30's and the East Coast is gearing up for their 4th Nor'Easter so it certainly doesn't seem like Spring weather wants to come. We decided to start grooming off the shaggy Winter coats of our dogs today and along with that start to treat them for ticks. I am not a big fan of putting too many chemicals on my dogs so when Winter weather starts we stop applying flea and tick topical. We don't have fleas but we do live out in the country and do have ticks so topical is necessary (in my opinion) during the warmer months. While I was grooming Jackson my mom walked in, saw the topical on the table, and asked me if it was 'tick season again?' I said I wasn't sure because of it being up and down with the warm and cold temperatures but thought it was better to be safe than sorry and she agreed.
About a half hour after I was done grooming Jackson I picked up one of our kitties, felt a lump on her neck and proceeded to pull off a tick, so yes, it is officially tick season here.......




Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Guess What? I screen my Customers!

I have to share a short story that leads to the title of this post. I get inquiries every day about my puppies, mostly through email, most of them good, some of them bad. I will admit there have been several times where I have simply hit the delete button instead of responding to a message because I instantly knew I was not interested in working with the person that had messaged me, this doesn't happen often but in all my years of doing this I can usually tell pretty quickly if someone is wasting my time or just not what I am looking for. Recently I was contacted by someone asking about a puppy I had for sale, their first message was normal so I responded and then a few messages later it was clear that I was not interested in going any farther with this person and did not want to do business with them. They asked me for references and wanted to come to my house and I declined because my gut was just telling me this wasn't going to work out and boy was I right! I really value my customers and the people who are on my reference list and I don't want to waste their time by directing people to them for a reference if I don't feel the family is what I am looking for. I don't often deny people references but if I do I have a reason for it. This person did not like being told "no" which resulted in them sending me a flood of nasty emails telling me I was rude, unprofessional, fake, etc. They posted negative things on our Facebook page and then posted a negative review on a website with little or no verification (careful about some of the reviews you read.)  After the barrage of emails I simply explained to them that I didn't provide references because I didn't want to do business with them and they replied that 'it was a silly excuse to simply not give references' so they had the last word and hopefully felt better about themselves! The whole experience really bothered me and my husband said it's all part of doing business and to brush it off, which I think is easier for a male to say, we females get our emotions mixed up into things, we just can't help it. In the end I got a bad review online but I went with my gut and a few verbal punches directed my way was much better than having that person get their hands on one of our puppies! So to anyone that witnessed the garbage on our Facebook page I am sorry, I'm not on the computer all the time and I don't always see what gets posted right away.
Now with that all being explained I do want to tell you that I screen my customers and I hope you understand and respect that. Thankfully the majority of families that contact me are good people who can provide good homes for my puppies but I still feel it's my job to ask questions to be sure. I often get asked if I have an application for adoption and I don't but I will ask you common questions about your dog experience, living situation, work situation, finances, etc. I don't ask questions to be nosey, if I were selling you a lamp it would be a different story, but a puppy is obviously a living breathing beautiful creature that deserves a wonderful life and I am a big part of that process. Consumers definitely have a much easier time doing research on a business than a business does when screening a customer. Business opportunity here: Can someone please design a website where a company can look up reviews on a potential customer just like a consumer does on a business? I would gladly post glowing reviews on my clients!
Long story short, I will never be able to appease everyone that contacts me, I won't always bend over backwards for every request that is asked of me, but I will always try very hard to make my customers happy and will continue to screen potential customers to give my puppies good homes.
If you would like to see some heartwarming pictures and honest updates from actual clients here is a link to a post on our Facebook page that will definitely make you smile:
https://www.facebook.com/cutecockapoos/photos/a.194733553882704.43032.143281459027914/1632508063438572/?type=3&theater







Thursday, December 28, 2017

Favorite Products for Puppies

Getting prepared for a new puppy in the home is extremely exciting as well as stressful because you have to not only get the house puppy proofed but also make sure you have all the right supplies. Customers always ask me for advice on products, food, toys, and books so this year I wanted to ask the experts= fellow Cockapoo owners, and they happily shared what products they use. I may not be familiar with all of the suggested products so I have also added a few tips on things that I like to use or am familiar with.

CHEWS:

Puppies like to chew and I even have a few adults that will destroy any toy that isn't made strong enough so make sure that you have things in your house to keep them busy.
Roasted Pig ears and Bully Sticks were the most recommended product to help with teething and to also use as a reward or item to keep dogs busy. When I bought my first batch of Bully Sticks I couldn't believe how smelly they were and didn't even want to touch them but once the dogs got a whiff of that smell they were all over me. Thankfully you can buy odor free sticks and you can also screen for ones that are specifically made within the USA. You can also buy less greasy Pig ears in various sizes that are specifically made in the USA.



Himalyan Dog Chews and Elk Anters were also recommended several times.

TOYS:


Treat Balls were also highly recommended. You place special treats or food within the ball and your dog has to roll it around in order for some of the treats to fall out. I recently purchased one for my adults and they spent the entire afternoon playing with it.

Go Dog toys with "Tough Chew Guard Technology" these are made to withstand the extra wear and tear that other stuffed toys can't and even come with a guarantee.

http://www.godogfun.com/chew-guard-technology

The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball was recommended by a Cockapoo owner and they said it has lasted 3 years and their dog has not grown tired of it. My dogs love toys that make noise and this too is one of their favorites.


Kong brand toys. I have purchases several types of Kong toys and can say that they stand up to a lot of play and chewing. Some are built extra tough for chewers, some are softer for seniors, and some have options to add treats or peanut butter to them to help keep your dogs busy. (If you feed your dog Peanut Butter be sure not to use any brand that contains Xylitol, it is toxic and deadly to dogs!!)

My adults personally love the Kong Jumbler Ball


My puppies do great with the Kong Senior because it's softer and easier for them to chew on
Fluff and Tuff Dog Toys were also suggested due to extra durability and longer life span
https://www.fluffandtuff.com/

GROOMING:

The Tangle Teaser was the #1 brush recommended for Cockapoo Coats


Zen Clippers for clipping toenails

Earthbath Ear Wipes
If you're going to tackle grooming your dog by yourself I have always used, and been happy with, the Andis Ultraedge 2 speed clipper. In the summertime I use a #10 clipper blade to completely shave off their thick Winter coats and if I want to leave a bit of hair on I use a #7 blade.


POTTY TRAINING:

Cockapoos are extremely smart and are people pleasers so Potty Bells are a great way to teach your dog to let you know when they need to go outside

FLEA & TICK

If you're not comfortable using the standard flea and tick topical or pills recommended by your vet someone suggested chemical free flea and tick like Petzlife Herbal Powder, Essential Oils, and Springtime Garlic Powder.


TRAINING BOOKS                                                                                                                             

Over and over again I have had several people recommend a book called "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete                  

                                                                         

Also very popular is the Cockapoo "Owners Guide from Puppy to Old Age" by Alan Kenworthy










Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cockapoos and Itchy Skin

If your dog is showing signs of itchiness, chewing at their paws, scratching their ears, or has developed a rash or small red bumps on their skin they may have allergies. Here are some tips to help remedy the problem :

-Change their food to a grain free and chicken free formula. Completely erase chicken from their diet, not treats, chews, scraps, or bones that contain chicken.

-Use Oatmeal or Chamomile based shampoos that are gentle and soothing to their skin.

-Ask your vet if your dog could be suffering from Pyoderma which is a bacterial infection in the skin that can be quite common in dogs.

-Ask your vet about a medication called Apoquel (or similar product,) I've heard great reviews and my vet also said that he uses it for many of his customers.

-Ask your vet if your dog could be having an allergic reaction to the flea/tick topical that you are using.

-If you don't treat your dog with a flea/tick medication could they have fleas?

-Pay attention to the time of year that your dog becomes itchy, just like humans they can have allergic reactions to dander and pollen that are seasonal and medications can help relieve their symptoms.

-Pay attention to when their reactions are most prevalent, did you just do the laundry? Did you just burn a scented candle? Did you just use a cleaner in the house? Dogs can have reactions to ingredients found in many household products.

-If they are scratching at their ears check to see if they have ear mites or a yeast infection. Ear infections are quite common in floppy eared dogs.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Beware of Puppy Scams!

This year has been notorious for puppy scams aimed at Cockapoos. It seems like every week I am contacted by a family who did, or almost, got ripped off. I constantly am reading posts on Facebook from families that lost their money and I keep seeing new "fake websites" and "fake Facebook sites" popping up online. To me some of them are obvious-bad grammar, incorrect spelling, pictures that have already been posted on other fake sites, prices that are too good to be true, free shipping, etc. but to the first time buyer or super excited family they may look past all of that because they simply want to add a beautiful puppy to their home, so they fall for it and lose their money. 
I'm not sure why the Cockapoo has become the main focus this year but I have a feeling that the scammers are most likely a group of people working together. I personally know a couple real breeders that have their text/photos/videos stolen from their websites and used on fake ones, they were used on multiple sites making me think that these scammers are sharing their material or just producing multiple fake sites to rip off more people. I have been trying to keep up with the names of fake sites and have them posted on my website but if you know of any that I have missed please share so that we can possibly help someone out. 
I fear that with the holiday season coming things are going to get worse because sometimes people wait too long to start looking for a puppy and they then become desperate and overlook all the warning signs. If you are looking for a puppy please beware of: Prices that are too good to be true! Free Shipping! Bad Grammar! And most of all anyone that asks you to wire them money because once they have it, it is gone!
I have spoken to several people that have either been ripped off or were in contact with some of these fake sellers and they have reported that they mostly contact you through text and once they receive your deposit via wire transfer you never hear from them again. Others have reported that once they send the deposit the seller demands a huge amount of additional money for a specialty crate that the airport requires or they will not ship the puppy, this is not true, I ship all the time and you don't need super expensive 'specialty crates.' Another lady told me that the scammer told her she is offering free shipping because she has 'coupons for free flights from the airline.' I don't know about you, but I have never received a coupon from any airline offering me a free flight, so again, a claim that is too good to be true because it is!
As of right now (10/12/17) most of the scammers are claiming to be in Virginia, I have no idea why they are using this location but this again makes me think that it's a group of people working together. 
I promise you that there are good breeders out there, we work very hard to raise our puppies the right way so please do not take the bad actions of a few out on the rest of us. Due to all the scams going on I don't blame people for being extra careful about who they are dealing with but I've had a few phone calls from people who were obviously very untrusting of anyone they were contacting and that makes me feel uncomfortable too.
Good luck to all of those that are out there in search of a puppy, please do your homework to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate breeder, I really hope this recent phase of scams comes to an end soon.