Monthly Archive:: July 2010

The Doggy in the Window: 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store


boxer puppy
Dogster's Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store

If you are a dog lover, then you're all too familiar with that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you pass by a pet store that sells puppies. I'm not referring to the pet stores that have adoption days featuring shelter pups available for adoption, like we offer at Muttropolis, but I'm instead referring to the pet stores where there are cages upon cages of poor furry souls who are products of deplorable conditions at puppy mills. I see these poor pups and like many, I want to "rescue" them from their life in a cage – but in doing so – you end up supporting a very shady industry, where poor dogs are often bred far too frequently, kept cramped together in squalor and are not socialized with humans. 

Some pet stores do obtain their puppies from commercial kennels regulated by the Department of Agriculture. However, even these pups tend to be unhealthy and unsocialized. This is partly due to the fact that commercial kennels tend to breed many different breeds in one facility and they breed for quantity, not quality. So, before you buy that cute puppy in the window, consider the downsides of pet store pups:

10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy From a Pet Store

1. Bad Health: Because so many pet store pups come from puppy mills, they are not the result of careful breeding and they are usually not well cared for before coming to the store. Some common illnesses and conditions are neurological problems, eye problems, hip dysplasia, blood disorders and Canine Parvovirus.

2. Behavioral Problems: Because breeding is indiscriminate, behavioral problems are not weeded out generationally. You'll also find that a pet store's staff is not likely to have any training in dealing with behavior issues so the puppies continue to do the wrong things, which become habit.

3. No Socialization: Pet stores pups are often pulled away from their litter at far too young an age, often at only four or five weeks. The earliest a puppy should be separated from his pack is eight weeks and most reputable breeders will say at least 10 weeks. This lack of time socializing with his siblings means that puppy will not develop important canine skills. Likewise, a puppy who has not been handled by people from about three weeks will not naturally socialize well with them.

4. The Downfall of the Standard: In a broad sense, purchasing a puppy from a pet store and then breeding her means you are ruining the standard of that breed because the previous breeders were not concerned with it.

5. Lack of Information: A member of a pet store staff is not an expert on a breed and often not on dogs in general. Purchasing a puppy from a store means you will not get the lowdown on that breed or likely help with any behavioral or other questions.

6. Return at Your Puppy's Peril: Most pet stores do offer a warranty of sorts where you can bring the puppy back if he has problems. They don't tend to tell customers that the puppy's fate, once returned, is usually euthanization.

7. Housebreaking is a Chore: Pet store puppies have spent all their short lives in cages. They do not have the opportunity to develop the natural canine instinct of eliminating away from their food and bed. This causes problems when you try to housebreak them.

8. What You See Isn't Necessarily What You Get: If you see what looks like a Maltese in the window, you may find, as she grows, that there's a little Maltese in there somewhere but mostly she looks like a Terrier. There is no guarantee you will get a purebred dog if that's what you're after.

9. Poor Value: A puppy from a pet store generally costs between $400 and $2,000. This is often more than you'd pay at a reputable breeder who can ensure you get a healthy puppy and provide support afterward.

10. Questionable Pedigree: You're paying for a pedigree, or AKC papers, when you buy a puppy from a pet store but it's very likely that it's not genuine. If the papers are genuine, it still doesn't mean the puppy is a good example of its breed – you need a reputable breeder to prove that.

What are your options other than pet store puppies? Find a reputable breeder or adopt your next dog from the local animal shelter or breed-specific rescues! Learn more at Dogster.com or Petfinder.com.

via Dogster

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Two Paws Up for SleepyPod Air Pet Carrier

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Worrying about buying a pet carrier that won't fit under an airplane seat is a thing of the past, with Sleepypod's new airline-regulation pet carrier, Sleepypod Air. The innovative new pet carrier features a folding system that allows pets to travel in the largest space possible, yet still allows for stowage under an airline seat during takeoff and landing. After take-off, you can rotate the Sleepypod Air so it's between your feet and expand the ends so both you and your pet can stretch out comfortably. 

Sleepypod Air meets major airline carry-on pet regulations by being able to compress in length from 22" to 16". The ends are designed to expand when there is nothing blocking them; they automatically fold down to fill the available space. The carrier top and ends feature easy-breathing mesh that opens for easy access and the pet carrier also features seatbelt straps to allow for secure auto travel as well.

While the Sleepypod Air pet carrier doesn’t come cheap, the versatility of the carrier makes it a worthwhile investment! Read additional reviews of the product or find the Sleepypod Air at Muttropolis.com

K99 Ice Cream Truck: Where Every Dog Can Have Their Sundae


K99 Doggy Ice Cream Truck

First ice cream truck for dogs has British dogs howling with delight.

There's mobile dog groomers, mobile dog teeth-cleaners, mobile dog trainers and mobile doggy day-care, so why the heck not give mobile doggy ice cream trucks a go? London-based K99 Doggy Ice Cream Truck, the first ice cream truck for dogs, made its debut appearance at The Boomerang Pets Party at London's Regents Park last weekend. K99 was a huge hit and served up two dog-friendly flavors: Dog Eat Hog World (pork and chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit) and Canine Cookie Crunch (mixed dog biscuits and dog-friendly ice cream). Scoops cost just 99 pence (about one dollar), a fee that's donated to a local volunteer group, the Berkshire Search & Rescue Dogs. 

According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail and PeoplePets, a team of scientists investigated the perfect combination of temperature, texture and taste, ensuring the treats would be delicious to dogs and completely safe.

The K99 van can be found in British parks this summer and, rather than the traditional chimes, the van will be playing the theme tune to Scooby Doo! Love it!

k99 doggy ice cream truck 

 

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Here Kitty, Kitty! New iPhone App Rallies Stubborn Cats

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Good news for anyone who has ever had difficulty luring their cat out from under a bed, up a tree, from under the car or anywhere else! A cat-loving University professor from Indiana and two of his students have developed Here Kitty, Kitty! –  a feline-friendly iPhone (and iPad) application that provides a creative and fun way to help you find your lost (…or stubborn) cat. 

Available on iTunes, Here Kitty, Kitty! provides a fun way for users to attract their cats with familiar sounds that will bring the feline around when they don't come when called. It features the sounds of a cat meowing, a man calling a cat and an electric can opener readying a can of kitty nom-noms.

Here Kitty, Kitty! just launched a few weeks ago and so the App reviews are limited, but the few that do exist on the site are very positive. Let me know if it works for your cat!

Need help getting your dog to come? Check out our review of the Dog Whistler iPhone App!

Mutt-minister Dog Show? AKC Opens Competitions to Mutts


Mattaponi Kennel Club

Heinz 57's, Mystery Mutts and Malti-Terri-Poo's Unite!

For the first time in the 125-year history of the American Kennel Club — the venerable organization whose mission is to "advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, and maintenance of purebred dogs" — mutts are finally being allowed to compete alongside the champion bloodlines. The momentus event ooccurred at the Mattaponi Kennel Club dog show in Manassas, Virginia last weekend.

While mutts are not yet allowed in the "beauty contest" portion of the dog show, where judges valuate how precisely a dog conforms to its breed's standards, mutts are being allowed entry in the skill-based contests. Skill based contest include agility, rally and obedience – were officially opened to mixed breeds last month. 

Hmm..how about a contest for disobedience – my dogs would dominate! The AKC is euphemistically referring to mutts at the show as "All Americans." 

I think this is great and that it's about time that all the smart, beautiful, one-of-a-kind mutts be given a chance for some time in the spotlight – do you agree? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Source: The Washington Post

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley