Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Some of my Favorite Pet Products!

Since I raise Cockapoo puppies for a living I have had many customers ask me for tips on products to use for their pets so I have decided to make a list of some of my favorite items, hope it helps!



1.) Revolution (can be used on cats and dogs) is a once a month topical that can protect your dog or cat from fleas, heartworms, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, and ticks! It can be given to puppies as young as six weeks old and has doses available based on the weight of your animal. It is only available by prescription so you would have to ask your vet if Revolution is a product they would suggest using on your pet.  Their website for more info is: www.revolution4dogs.com



2.) NuVet Vitamins- Nuvet Plus is a nutritional supplement that can boost your pets immune system and overall health. They offer a wide variety of supplements available in tablet and powder formulas available for both dogs and cats. When I first heard about them I was a bit skeptical but I also happened to have an older Golden Retriever that developed a rash on her back. I had taken my dog to the vet, tried different creams, medications, lotions, shampoo's, change in diet, etc. and the rash continued. She had dry skin with red patches and was starting to lose her hair and I didn't have any kind of reason why so I decided to try NuVet. Within a few weeks of giving her a tablet once away her skin started to heal, the redness went away, and her hair eventually all grew back!! Since then she, and my other pets all get NuVet and I suggest it to all of my customers. They also offer NuJoint for older pets as well as shampoos and cleaning products. To order from them you have to have a code:  65553 and you can either get more info. about them by visiting my website at: www.cutecockapoos.com and clicking on the NuVet page or you can visit their website at: www.nuvet.com but don't forget the code: 65553



3.) Snuggle Safe Heating Pads- Puppies need to be kept warm and quite often you'll see them all grouped together sleeping in a giant ball to keep each other comfortable, warm, and secure. All of our puppies get Snuggle Safe's in their beds. They are a round disk that you put in the microwave for about five minutes and they stay warm for hours. Most come with a fleece cover to make them more comfortable but you can also wrap them up in a towel or blanket and the puppies will crawl right on top of them and sleep for hours. I suggest them to our customers because puppies are nervous when they are first brought to new homes so a snuggle safe is something they are used to having here and they won't feel so alone, they'll have a source of heat next to them, similar to when they are laying in a group with their siblings. They can be found online and also at most pet stores. They are also great when traveling in cold weather.



4.) Snuggle Puppy- This is another product that I suggest to my customers because it really helps a puppy not feel so alone when moving to a new home. It's a stuffed animal that has a beating heart and heat packets so it makes the puppy feel like they are not alone and it's feels similar to sleeping with another sibling. They too, are also good for traveling. They can be found all over online but one website is: www.snugglepetproducts.com or www.smartpetlove.com



5.) Kong products (for both cats and dogs) - We have teething puppies and adult dogs that love to play so we always have a supply of Kong toys around. They are made of rubber, are incredibly durable and stand up to lots of chewing! They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and all of our pets love them! I realize they are a bit pricier than some other toys out there but, in our experience, they last a lot longer than the cheaper stuff and are worth the investment. They can be found almost anywhere but their website is: www.kongcompany.com



6.) Nobbly Wobbly Ball- This is one or our dogs favorite toys! It's made of hard rubber, is bright in color, has a lot of texture, and really bounces. You can buy them in different sizes based on your pet and they are good for cats, dogs, and even birds. The one that I do not suggest is the small one that contains a bell in the middle, I see that as a potential choking hazard if it were to be chewed through. If your dog loves to play fetch than definitely try this ball out! They can be found at most pet stores or online as well.



7.) Flea and Tick topicals that include Insect Growth Regulators- There are tons and tons of flea and tick topicals out there to choose from but do your research on what they actually do. If you read the fine print you will see that some just prevent fleas and ticks, some instantly kill fleas and ticks, and some do all of the above plus have Insect Growth Regulators that also kill flea eggs and larvae. I like to use a product from Advantage because it can be used on dogs and cats and it kills adult fleas within 12 hours and the IGR prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae so it completely covers the entire flea cycle. If you have cats and dogs also be sure to find out if a product you would use on a dog can be toxic to your cat, and look for something that is safe for both species. The product Advantage that we use can be bought without a prescription and can be found at most pet stores or usually for much cheaper online. Here is a link to an article I have posted that compares different flea and tick products to help you decide what works best for you:
http://cutecockapoosinwisconsin.blogspot.com/2014/04/its-flea-and-tick-season-again.html



8.) Pig ears and Natural Bones- Our animals get lots of treats but I try to only use natural products like roasted pig ears, bully sticks, and fresh cow bones that we get from the butcher. It's hysterical to see a 15lb Miniature Poodle chewing on a full size cow leg but they love them, it's a good source of protein, good for their teeth, and the dogs thoroughly enjoy them! Our puppies love roasted pig ears, with them teething they are a great product because they are small enough for the puppies to carry around, they keep them busy, and they really enjoy having something to chew on. I do not suggest rawhide products for animals, they are man made and I have heard too many stories about them breaking up into slivers and harming the animals mouth or throat, I realize that natural bones can do the same thing but it's much harder for a Poodle to split up a cow's leg bone than a rawhide treat from the store. Natural products and bones can be found all over at various pet stores, grocery stores, and also online. Try them out, your dog will love them!



9.) Yeowww Catnip Toys- Aside from dogs, I am a cat lover and I have found that the best catnip toys for my furry friends are made from Yeowww brand. They have a wide variety of products in all sorts of shapes and sizes but if you ask my 8 kitties and my mom's 3 other ones they will all tell you that they prefer the Catnip Banana. It's yellow in color, 7 inches long, and curved like an actual banana so your cat can lay on its side, have one end in their mouth, wrap their front legs around it and kick it with their back legs, trust me, it will happen and it will put your kitties in pure heaven! Yeowww products can be found all over but I buy them in bulk so I go to their website at: www.duckyworld.com and click on their "Store Locator" to find online retailers so that I can compare prices. Your cat will love these!



10.) Retractable Leashes- I do a lot of walking with my dogs and I have found that a retractable leash is my favorite. With shorter leashes your dog can only go so far and it often leads to them pulling hard against the leash, choking themselves, and pulling you around like a rag doll! I do not enjoy this so a retractable leash is what I always use. You can find them in various lengths, a variety of colors, various strengths based on your pets size, and lots of them now offer added extras like lights for walking at night and compartments to keep clean up bags in. They can be found at most stores and also online. When training a puppy I also suggest using a harness because puppies often fight against leashes and this causes them to choke themselves but with a harness this can be avoided and makes training a lot easier.







Thursday, November 21, 2013

Puppies and Worms!

Puppies and worms go hand in hand but can still really freak a person out! Several types of worms can be seen in puppies and dogs: hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms are the most common and the best way to prevent your dog from getting them is to treat them with a de-wormer. Unfortunately there isn't just one medication that can treat all types of worms so it is important to treat your dog with different types of de-wormers based on what they have or what you are trying to prevent. With us having Cockapoo puppies we de-worm them several times while they are here with different types of pastes to try and prevent as many worms as possible, we also stress to their new owners that is important to keep up with the treatment because not all eggs/larvae may be destroyed and worms can reappear. If you have gotten a new dog or puppy it is important to take a stool sample to your vet to get it tested to determine if any eggs/larvae are present and your vet will advise you on the proper treatment. If your dog or puppy does have worms there are many pastes, liquids, and tablets that can be purchased at pet stores, online, and by your vet that will easily cure the problem. Remember, just by walking outside your pet can be re-infested with worms and parasites so it is important to use a regular preventative to keep your pet healthy and safe.
Something to be aware of, after you de-worm your puppy or dog you may later see signs of worms in their stool, this is a good thing, it means that the de-wormer is working and the worms are being removed from their systems. If you do notice 'wormy stool' it is important to clean it up immediately to avoid having your pet be re-infested and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Choosing a Dog Breeder


                         Tips on Selecting a Dog Breeder

 

 

I am a professional Cockapoo breeder. I raise Cockapoo puppies full-time and dedicate myself 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to raising my babies, caring for their parents, and meeting the needs and desires of my customers so, needless to say, I am a busy person and have a lot of experience in the field.  I recently read a book called "The Complete Cockapoo Owner's Handbook" by Edward Sweet at Cockapoo Crazy and I told him that I enjoyed the book and agreed with most of it but thought the "Finding a Cockapoo Breeder" section could use some changes and/or improvement. He wrote back that I should consider writing an article on my thoughts and experiences, so here I am!

            I am in my 30's and have had animals my entire life, I have pictures of myself holding newborn puppies when I was in pre-school so you could almost say animals are in my blood, I am passionate about them and my life would be empty without them. I've grown up with puppies at my side so I have a lot of experience in the field, and have raised Cockapoos for a very long time. Cockapoos are an excellent breed, they are beautiful, cuddly, smart, friendly, and just all around great 'people dogs.' I wouldn't chose to breed anything other than them anymore in my lifetime. Most of the time I create my own future breeding parents by breeding a set of Cocker Spaniels that I own or a set of Poodles, whichever I want at the time. I do it this way because I know their health history, genetics, background, and personalities of the parents I am breeding and am confident that their puppies will be suitable for future litters of Cockapoos. Once in a great while I do buy from outside breeders to get other lines and colors and I have seen a plethora of different types of breeders out there, some very good, some very bad, and some are flat out puppy mills, I feel it is extremely important for people to know the difference between them to make a proper decision about who they are going to adopt a puppy from. The following is based on my own personal thoughts, experiences, and opinions so I do not mean to offend or insult anyone, so please don't take it that way at all.

 

            My first suggestion when looking for a breeder is to look at their website if they have one. I have personally spent countless hours working on my website, I try to fill it with a ton of information on me, my Cockapoos, photos, and even have a "Frequently Asked Question" sheet to try to help out my customers as much as possible. When I am looking to buy a dog from someone if they have a poorly written website, bad spelling, blurry photos, and lack of information that is a turn off for me. One other huge thing I look for is how many different types of breeds they raise, if they offer multiple breeds that throws up a red flag for me because often times people will mix and breed everything and anything just to make a buck. I can understand one or two different types of dogs but when it gets excessive I walk away.

            I also look for their location. Some states, like Missouri and Pennsylvania (among others,) are notorious for being "puppy mill states," and this does not mean that everyone breeding there is a puppy mill but the chances are higher that they could be, so do your homework. If the breeder has a bad website with multiple breeds and are located in known puppy mill areas that is too many red flags for me. Avoid purchasing an animal from a pet store unless they are adopting out animals from local shelters. The majority of pet stores out there directly selling dogs are supplied by puppy mills. I have a very good friend who helped a lady start a pet store in New Jersey and she ended up quitting her job when the owner decided to get puppies through a puppy mill. She said every Monday a big truck would roll into the parking lot full of caged puppies and drop off whatever they needed to fill the store. They had no information about the care of the animals, where they came from, what breeds they actually were, and the employees were expected to sell them as if they were home raised puppies. If you are not aware of what a 'puppy mill' is please do your research so that you are educated on their horrible treatment of animals and don't accidentally support their practices. I also suggest avoiding websites that are a third party middle man selling puppies for others. A lot of them claim to have the best breeders with the best puppies available and that they have done their research on where the puppies are coming from but I then ask myself "if they are the best breeders with the best puppies, why aren't they selling their puppies themselves?" A lot of those sites have jacked up the prices and end up with puppies that are much older than usual, sitting and waiting for homes, and who knows what type of conditions they are currently living in?

 

            When looking for a puppy I also look at price, if a dog is listed at a very cheap price I have a problem with that for many reasons. I often get phone calls from people that have been shopping around and they ask me why they can find a Cockapoo puppy in Missouri for $200 and then they look at mine which are $800 and don't understand why? My answer is you get what you pay for! Raising puppies (the right way) is extremely expensive!! First you need to get the parents which are registered purebreds and can cost a lot of money, you need to buy proper food, pay for vet visits, vaccines, dental care, registrations, testing, etc. Then you need to have a proper area to raise the dogs and their puppies, this again, costs a lot of money. Then when you have puppies you again need to pay for food, vet visits, vaccines, toys, supplies, etc. On top of that you have a business to run, this requires heat, water, electric, web sites, advertisements, license fees- I could go on and on and on. If someone is selling you a puppy for little to nothing I am willing to bet that they are not putting the time or money into properly caring for that dog and it will cost you in the end. I realize that there are small breeders out there that may just breed once a year or just one time and then be done, their prices may be lower because they have little input going into it, but again, do your homework on who you are dealing with. A lot of puppy mills sell their dogs for cheap because they simply want to get rid of them and have put little to nothing into caring for them or their parents.

            One of the things I did not agree with in the "Cockapoo Handbook" was having to meet the breeder. I am located in Wisconsin, and due to Cockapoos being so popular I have people from all over the U.S. and even other countries adopt from me, this makes it impossible for me to meet all of my customers. If you are within driving distance, then by all means, go and meet the breeder to make sure you are comfortable with them, otherwise call them and ask questions, get to know who you are dealing with and what they are about. You can also ask for references, I can sit and talk with someone all day about my puppies but that doesn't mean they will believe what I say, so having a reference sheet available will reaffirm my information and also give them a chance to speak to someone about their experiences with me and their Cockapoo puppy. If I am looking to buy a dog from someone and do not feel comfortable with conversations or lack of responses to my emails then I often do not do business with them. When I am selling my Cockapoo puppies and people call to interview me they may not realize that, I too, am interviewing them! I want to make sure that my puppies are going to good people, will have good homes, and be taken care of properly. So, if I get a bad feeling or don't get the answers I am looking for I will choose not to sell to that person, even if they are willing to buy from me.

            If you do want to arrange a visit with a breeder please keep a few important things in mind- the health of the puppies and the requirements of the breeder. I often have people call me that want to come out to visit and they try to arrange a road trip where they make several stops to various kennels throughout the day to check everyone out and compare puppies and this is not okay with me! I am very particular about germs and do not want to risk having my puppies exposed to things that can spread from others peoples dogs and potentially kill my puppies so I do not allow people who have been to other kennels on the same day to come here. Be sure to tell the breeder if you are visiting other places on the same day you want to come to them. I also have rules about showing my puppies, I prefer that people come to visit their puppies after they have been vaccinated, to again, protect them and my other puppies from germs and viruses. I often have people wanting to come and visit their puppies at a very young age, not realizing that it takes awhile for them to develop into the active puppy they are imagining in their head and that they can be putting the puppy at risk. Communicating with your breeder is the best thing you can do and please understand if they are trying to keep everyone healthy by limiting your visits.

            When speaking to someone about a puppy find out if they are the actual breeders and owners of the parents. A lot of puppy mills will breed dogs and have someone else sell their puppies for them. There are people in rural areas that run puppy mills on their farms and then have other people act as the owner and sell their puppies for them at a different location so that buyers are not aware of where the dog is truly coming from. Ask what the parents are, some Cockapoo breeders create first generation Cockapoos which is a true cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle so the parents, in my opinion, should be registered. Other people breed second and third generation Cockapoos which is breeding a Cockapoo to a Poodle or Cocker Spaniel, so be sure to know what you are getting if registration matters to you. If you want to meet the parents just ask the breeder if they are there and if you will be able to see them. Please understand that when picking up your puppy to take home, the mother should no longer be with the puppies. Before going home puppies need to be weaned from mom so that they can stop nursing, eat and drink on their own, and learn to be independent from their mother. It would be very unwise to have puppies in with their mothers up until the day they leave for their new homes. A lot of people often don't realize that their dad, the stud, doesn't ever meet his babies so do not expect him to be in with the puppies either, studs can be potentially dangerous around puppies and their main role in the process is to simply make them and move on!

 

Finally be sure to find out what age your puppy can go home and what they come with, often times breeders will have this information on their website (I do,) but it doesn't hurt to ask. My puppies come home up to date on their vaccinations, vet checked, de-wormed, and with a health guarantee, this is a general standard for most breeders. If your puppy doesn't come with vaccinations and a health record to prove it that is a red flag! If your puppy has not been vet checked and doesn't come with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection that is another red flag! If your puppy doesn't come with any type of health guarantee, again that is another red flag! Also ask how they are socialized, my puppies are used to every day household sounds, the t.v., microwave, dishwasher, vacuum, radio, etc. I have people here constantly so that they used to being around kids and strangers. My puppies play in groups together so that they can learn to socialize with other dogs, and I have three kitties that are very willing to show the puppies what cat personalities are all about. You want to be sure that the breeder has put time and effort into your puppy and will do their best to provide you with a happy and healthy baby.

 

I realize I haven't covered it all but I hope this has helped some people in making the right decision when choosing a breeder. Please be aware of what puppy mills are and do your best to not support them. Do your homework when choosing a breeder, there are lots of good people out there raising puppies the right way and they deserve your business. Before adopting be sure to ask yourself if you are ready for the commitment of a puppy, they are a lot of work, very similar to having a child, and they require a lot of time, attention, and money so be sure you are willing to give them all that is necessary.

If you are interested in a Cockapoo please feel free to view my website at: www.cutecockapoos.com I have a lot of information about the breed and am always willing to answer questions but do me a favor and check out my FAQ page first :) If you are a fan of the Cockapoo also please check out the website www.cockapoocrazy.com, they have a ton of great information on the breed as well.

Also consider a shelter or rescue, there are lots of wonderful pets out there looking for homes!

 

 

Re-homing our breeding Adults

The other day I received this email from a customer who has adopted a Cockapoo Puppy from us:

Jamie-
I have a quick question regarding something my sister asked me. She was wondering if you guys ever needed great homes for your Poodles after they are retired from breeding? My grandfather had an older Yorkie which recently passed away, and we don't think he has the time to start new with a puppy.

I answered back that it was a great question because, at that moment, we did have a few females ready to be retired and I was very happy that they were willing to give an adult dog a chance at a new life!
We are just a small, family breeder raising Cockapoo puppies and we only breed our females until middle age and then we retire them to "pet only" homes where the dog will be spayed and kept for life as a family pet. I cringe at the though of puppy mills who keep their dogs pregnant for life and basically go by the concept "bred until they're dead," that is not our style, and even though it's hard to give up our girls and boys, it's great that they get to live long, happy lives with new families.
Re-homing adults isn't always the easiest thing to do, the dogs are used to living their lives with us, are used to certain people, a certain way of life, and have lots of friends here, etc. so moving to a new family is sometimes like taking them from Earth to planet Mars, they need some time to settle in, get used to the new people they are living with, and learn a new set of rules so I like to stress to the people adopting adults that they need to have an open mind, some patience, and willingness to work with the new dog and give them some time to make the adjustments to their new life.
If you, or anyone you know of, is looking to adopt a dog and are open to getting an adult don't hesitate to contact a breeder, they may have exactly what you are looking for! Shelters and Rescues are often in need of new homes for adult dogs as well since they are sometimes harder to find homes for.
We raise first generation Cockapoos so we have purebred Miniature Poodles and purebred American Cocker Spaniels that will eventually need homes to retire to so feel free to contact us if interested in either breed.
I am happy to say the person who had sent me that email did end up adopting a wonderful Poodle from us for his grandfather! I have attached a photo he sent me of "Francy" cruising the streets of Alaska with her new owner: