Pamper Your Pet

Our beloved pets give us so much joy it is no wonder that we as pet owners want to find ways to return the favor. While pampering implies luxury, there are plenty of simple, inexpensive ways to give our pets the extra love they so deservedly need. In fact, pampering begins with giving your little one extra love and attention.

Here are 5 simple and inexpensive ways you can bring your pup more joy:

Homemade treats

Our pantry’s already hold the key ingredients to making the perfect homemade treat for our special pet. Peanut butter and oats not only make for delicious ingredients, but they’re also healthy for our canine friends.

Plan an afternoon adventure

Take the time to plan an afternoon full of your dog’s favorite activities. This could be taking your dog to their favorite dog park, on a hike or a trip to the beach. It could be a long car ride and a trip to their favorite pet store for a new toy or hitting the drive thru for a pup treat. No matter what it is make sure that you have your pet’s best interest in mind and make sure to have plenty of water and extra treats packed.

Give your pet a massage

We as pet owners enjoy a good massage and our pets are no different. Just like humans, a massage can help with health related problems by lowering the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood, and increases the levels of dopamine (feel good chemical) in the brain. As our pets age they experience aches and pains the same way humans do so pampering them with the human touch is a great way to ease their soreness and relax their minds.

Present them with a new bed

Pets deserve a good night sleep too. Orthopedic and memory foam beds provide extra comfort and support for our dogs delicate structures as well as eases joint/muscles aches and pains in our aging and senior pets.

Give them a new toy or bone

Pets are our children and they love new toys just like human kids do. Providing them with a new toy or bone will bring our fur babies with hours of happiness and energetic play (which they love). Make sure that the new toy is safe and never let them chew on a bone when they are unsupervised.

If you want to find out more ways on how to pamper your pet or to find out how you can bring home a fur-ever pet of your own, please visit: premierpups.com today and speak with one of the knowledgeable and caring puppy agents.

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Choosing a Dog for New Pet Parent’s

Becoming a first-time pet parent can be very exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. With so many dogs to choose from it can be hard to know which one is the best fit for you. Before you can move forward with picking your new pet there are some things that you’ll first need to consider. Your lifestyle will have everything to do with your new puppy. Are you active or do you like to spend your leisure time at home? Do you work long hours or are you home throughout the day?

These are just some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself. Puppies need a lot of attention when they first come home and an adequate amount of training and socialization. Feeding, grooming, exercise, play, and potty breaks are daily needs that must be met when caring for a healthy, happy dog.

Lifestyle

If you like most people you work an eight hour day and may not have a lot of free time. Think about opting for a smaller dog that has low levels of anxiety and requires less exercise per day than some of the larger breeds.

Living Space and Environment

Most dogs love a lot of outdoor space to run and play. If you have a large yard or adequate space for a pet to romp around than you can consider a larger dog. If you live in a small apartment, a small breed may be best. Keep in mind, size isn’t the only determining factor. Some dogs, large or small, have more energy to expend and require more time and attention. No matter the size your dog will require daily walks and exercise.

Family

Make sure to make an informed decision with your whole family. Not all dogs are a perfect fit for any family. If you have children, you’ll want to find a breed mix that typically does well in a family setting. Smaller dogs can become fearful of small children, if the child is too rough or too loud. If y member of the family suffers from allergies, you’ll want to look for dogs that shed less hair and dander.

Popular Picks for New Pet Parents

Bichon Frise
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Pomeranian
Golden Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers
Poodle
Yorkshire Terrier

No matter which pup you choose your home and heart will surely be filled with love and laughter. The primary reason dogs end up in animal shelters is unfulfilled expectations, so please do your homework and make a well informed decision.

To learn about these popular breeds and to find out how you can bring one into your home, please visit: premierpups.com and talk with one of the knowledgeable and caring puppy agents today.

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Hypoallergenic vs. Non-Shedding

The question of hypoallergenic vs. non-shedding has become a question of great debate in the dog world. Many people ask, “Isn’t hypoallergenic and non-shedding the same thing?” Yes and no….

These terms have been used interchangeably for over a decade. When thinking of allergens, it is commonly believed that dog hair is the biggest trigger for allergic reactions. However, the reaction is actually caused by pet dander. Dander is the flecks of skin shed by dogs and other animals that attaches to pet hair. Thus, allergens found on our pets are triggered by dander, not the fur. So whether a dog is hypoallergenic (low shedding) or “non-shedding” they can certainly still release dander into the air.

Further, allergens do not solely come from dander. Allergens can also originate in proteins found in your pet’s saliva and urine. The most common symptoms are red or itchy patches of skin after being licked by a dog. These proteins can also be carried onto your furniture, rugs, upholstery, etc., if your dog sneezes or if they climb on furniture or roll around on the carpet after coming inside from taking a “potty” break.

What are common signs of allergens towards pets?

Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. Allergic reactions are determined by your own body’s chemical make-up. However, there are signs and symptoms that are common in most all allergy sufferers. They include:

• Itchy and watery eyes
• Sneezing or nasal congestion
• Wheezing, as a trigger of asthma
• Itching or redness of the skin
• Eczema or atopic dermatitis
• Hives

Hypoallergenic Dogs

Contributing factors that make a breed hypoallergenic or less likely to cause allergic reactions in allergy sufferers are considered to make a dog hypoallergenic. Let us be clear, no dog is totally hypoallergenic. Hypo means less, not non. Hypoallergenic dogs tend to shed less since they do not have an undercoat and have hair, not fur. But just like humans, these animals will still lose hair. Since these dogs have significantly less shedding they are deemed safer for allergy sufferers.

What are popular hypoallergenic dogs?

Cockapoo
Cavapoo
Shih Tzu
Yorkshire Terrier
Maltese
Havanese

Non-shedding Dogs

To begin, all dogs shed. Much like the term hypoallergenic this is a created marketing ploy. There are dogs that shed much less than other dogs and therefore drop less allergen creating dander into the environment. The ever popular Poodle is at the top of this list and has been bred with dozens of other breeds to create mixed “hypoallergenic or non-shedding” pups.

What are popular “non-shedding” dogs?

Poodle
Goldendoodle
Labradoodle
Bichon Frise
Mini Aussie

If you want to learn more about these popular breeds or how you can bring home your very own fur-ever friend, please visit: premierpups.com today.

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The Shih Tzu – 5 Things You Didn’t Know

1.Their Name Means “Lion Dog ”

According to legend, the Shih Tzu or “Lion Dog” was a small dog that traveled with Tibetan Buddhists that could turn into a large lion that served as a guard. It is said, that the Shih Tzu also earned this name because of their big hearts and even larger personalities. During the early years of this breed, trading, selling and transporting of the dogs to anyone who would take them out of China was strictly forbidden.

2.They are Athletic

These little ones are known for breaking the stereotype of dogs with agility. There true nature is a low key companion dog with minimal exercise requirements however under those long locks of hair is a sturdy and muscular physique. Many Shih Tzu over the years have won agility competitions. In fact, as recently as 2014, a Shih Tzu became the first of his breed to win both a champion title and an agility title.

3.The Breed is Older than you Might Think

The average life span of the Shih Tzu is between 12 to 16 years, but there breed is more than 1,000 years old! In fact, DNA analysis indicates that the Shih Tzu is one of the most ancient pure breeds in existence today. Ancient artifacts depict the presence of what may be this breed in art work that is believed to be over 2,000 years old.

4.They were once considered, Guard Dogs

Shih Tzus were once regarded more than a companion lap dog. Tibetan Monks considered this breed as holy, even trusting them with the task of guarding their temples. These Shih Tzus worked beside the monks, acting as guard dogs or alarm dogs alerting the temple occupants of any intruders. They carry much of this instinctive trait today, warning their owners if anything seems amiss or if a stranger is approaching their home.

5.As of the 1930’s there was only 14 Shih Tzu’s in the World

Seven male and seven female dogs comprised the entire gene pool of all existing Shih Tzu. These fourteen included the Pekingese dog that was brought into England in 1952, three Shih Tzu were imported from China, and eight additional imports to England between 1933 and 1959. Three other Shih Tzu were brought from China in 1932, including a female that was the only Shih Tzu bred in the Imperial Palace to reach the Western world. Today, all Shih Tzu can be traced back to these 14 pups.

To find out even more cool facts on this breed or to find out how you can bring one home, please visit: premierpups.com today and speak to one of our knowledgeable puppy agents.

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What is a Low Maintenance Dog?

There is no love like the love of a dog. Their companionship and devotion fills a void we never knew we had! Not everyone has the time or space however for a high maintenance pooch. That doesn’t mean that you should miss out on the opportunity to share your life with one of these precious pups. The good news is that there are plenty of low maintenance dogs that would love to share your home and lifestyle with you.

So what exactly makes a dog low maintenance?

Before we can identify what low maintenance means, let’s be clear, that there is no such thing is a NO maintenance dog. Low maintenance pups will require less time and attention, but you can still expect to give regular walks, feeding, grooming and lots of love.

Trainability

Most dog owners want a pet that can be trained quickly and easily. Many dogs that are low maintenance have a high level of intelligence and are quick to pick up tricks and commands. It is especially important to know that you have a well behaved dog when left to their own devices for extended periods of time, like when their owners are working.

Energy Levels

Most dogs have some level of energy and still require regular walks and play time. However, low maintenance dogs do not need hours of exercise and attention each day. A low maintenance dog will need a 20 to 30 minute daily walk and an area to romp around. A fenced in area where they can explore on their own is perfect.

Grooming

Low maintenance dogs will require minimal if any trips to the groomer. They have shorter hair that I easily manageable and can be brushed and washed at home. Do be mindful however, that they will require nail clippings to prevent their nails from becoming caught on anything and tearing (this will also protect your floors and furniture) and bathes to keep their coats healthy and clean.

Health

There are some dog breeds that are more prone to health concerns than others. As a low maintenance dog owner, you want to ensure that your little (or Big) one is healthy all the time. Knowing which breeds are less prone to disease is at the top of the list for identifying low maintenance breeds, which we will begin to explore below.

What breeds are considered low maintenance?

There are dozens of breeds out there, both mixed and pure that can are considered to be low maintenance and are looking for their fur-ever homes. Let’s take a look at the most popular… in no particular order.

Low Maintenance Small Dogs

Yorkshire Terrier
Maltese
• Chihuahua
• Dachshund
Shih Tzu
Toy Poodle
Havanese

Low Maintenance Medium Dogs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
• Beagle
• Cocker Spaniel

Low Maintenance Large Dogs
• Bernese Mountain Dog
Standard Poodle
• Greyhound
• Labrador Retriever
• Golden Retriever

Even the most laid back of dogs, require love, care, and attention. No matter the maintenance level they still need exercise and socialization. If you are ready to find your fur-ever friend, please visit premierpups.com and speak to one of our professional pet agents today to find the best fit for you and your family.

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Food Allergies in Dogs

What is a food allergy?

Food allergies are one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. These offending food allergens can come from any food source and can widely vary, however, they most often derive from one to five ingredients. The most frequently identified causative allergens in canine food allergy include beef, chicken, eggs, corn, wheat, soy, and milk. Each time your pet eats a food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens and symptoms occur.

When an allergic reaction occurs in your dog, antibodies are produced against some part of the food, usually a protein or complex carbohydrate. It is not uncommon for allergies to present themselves slowly in your pet, as they usually become visible after prolonged exposure to one brand, type, or form of food.

What are the signs that my dog has food allergies?

It is not uncommon for your dog to experience food allergies and in fact rank among the top reasons our pets are seen by vets. Dog allergy symptoms more commonly affect the skin and ears and unlike humans that can outgrow allergies, dogs worsen as they age. The best way we can help our pets is to pay attention to any signs of change and act accordingly.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms that your pet may be suffering from food allergies include:

• Itchy skin or dry skin
• Digestive disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea
• Swelling of the face, muzzle, and/or ears
• Browning of the skin around the mouth
• Watery eyes
• Red or brown nail beds
• Weight loss
• Sneezing
• Chronic ear infections
• Low energy
• Hyperactivity
• Extreme mood changes such as aggression

How can we treat food allergies?

The best way to treat food allergies in your pet is avoidance. Once the culprit food is identified, you can easily eliminate this from your pet’s diet. There is cure for food allergies so it is best to be proactive and preventive. Some pets will require medication during more severe allergic episodes, but most can be successfully treated by being fed a hypoallergenic diet. Food allergens are not always easily identifiable however, and the process can takes months to identify and eliminate the allergy causing foods. With the help of your vet you can begin to slowly change your pet’s diet to get to the root cause. Patience and a high dosage of extra cuddles and love is always recommended as it can be very scary and unpleasant for our pets too go through this process too.

If you are looking to bring home your very own “furever” friend, please visit premeripups.com today and talk to one of our customer care agents today.

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What is a Maltipoo?

This charming little pup is a designer cross between the ever popular breeds the affectionate and loving Maltese and the super intelligent Miniature Poodle. The may also be bred by two 2nd generation Maltipoo’s. However, because they are a mix, they are not considered a true breed like their parents, and therefore are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The Maltipoo weighs between 5 and 12 lbs. and measures between 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder, categorizing them as a toy sized dog. Originally bred, here in the United States during the 1990’s, this little one was no accident. The Maltipoo was intentionally bred for its low shedding coat and it sweet and fun loving temperament that is ideal for companionship.

Being a mixed, there is no breed standard to follow, which means the Maltipoo can inherit more of the Maltese traits or more of the Poodle. Typically, they inherit the best of both breeds, which increases their popularity –making it no wonder that they rank among the 5 most popular dogs not only in the US, but also the UK and Canada.

With its small size and low-shedding coat, which it inherits from both parents, it is very well suited to apartment living. These dogs do have a tendency to bark incessantly, however, which may make this a problem for close neighbors. Proper training and socialization beginning at a young age will help your Maltipoo to adapt and remain calm to surrounding noises and triggers.

Having two very intelligent parent breeds, training is a breeze for this one. They are eager to please and thrive on the attention. These dogs do best with positive reinforcement- if scolded they tend to shy away and can become very anxious or stressed. Remain calm and give lots of praise and your little one will be obeying you in no time.

Though they have lots of energy and love to play, the Maltipoo only requires about 30 minutes of active play each day and doesn’t need to much outdoor time as they are more comfortable inside. A brisk daily walk to get in some socialization, partnered with some interactive play at home will be plenty to keep this one healthy, fit and happy.

To learn even more about the Maltipoo or its parent breeds and to find out how you can bring one home of your very own, please visit: premierpups.com and talk to one of the professional care team members today.

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The Importance of Regular Visits to the Vet

Our pets are our family and just like humans our fur babies need regular vet visits and check-ups. When you consider that our pets age at approximately six to seven times the rate that we do you can have a better understanding of why these visits are so critical. Ideally, your dog should be seen at the very least annually, and more frequently as they get older or if they have medical needs. If our pets could talk they would be able to tell us if they felt ill or hurt, unfortunately, unlike our pets we as humans do not have the instincts do to know if they are not at 100%.

Regular visits also play a large part in the prevention of any medical issues or illnesses your pet may face, such as heart warm, arthritis and dental disease. Even if your dog seems fit and healthy to you, there is still a chance of underlying issues that can be spotted by your local veterinarian.

In addition, our pets often associate visiting the vet only when they’re ill or hurt- this can lead to anxiety and stressful experiences at their appointments. Having your little one at the vet while they’re healthy as well, will help them to get acclimated and feel safe each time they go. It is important that you as the pet owner also remain calm and speak in a soothing voice as to not excite or upset your dog as they are very in tune to the emotions our voices.

What to Expect during the Check-up

During the checkup, you will want to report any changes in your pet’s behavior such as loss of appetite, coughing, emotional changes, weakness, fatigue, loose stools, or any other odd or erratic behavior that you may have witnessed. Your vet will also ask for you to bring a fecal sample in for testing.

Here is a list of what you can expect at your pet’s annual/bi-annual examination:

• Checking weight, heart rate and temperature (average temp should read 101 to 102.5 Fahrenheit)
• Inspecting skin, eyes, ears, and coat
• Listening to heart and lungs
• Running their hands over their abdomen to check for any unusual sign
• Palpating vital organs such as liver and kidneys
• Looking at teeth and gums
• Scan their microchip (if they have one) to make sure it’s working properly

At the completion of the exam your veterinarian will discuss any findings and any preventive measures they might recommend. Often these will include flea and tick medicine as well as heartworm preventative and supplements. They will also discuss the role of vaccinations and what your pet needs. Some doctors will also talk with you about microchipping your pet. It is important to heed the advice of your veterinarian and follow any recommendations that can help your pet to thrive.

With regular visits to the vet you can rest assured your pet will have a long and fulfilling love filled with love. For information on how to find your furever pet, please visit: premierpets.com today.

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Fighting Fleas

As a pet owner, you love your dog, but so do fleas. These pesky little mites are the number-one skin parasite of both dogs and cats and can jump from up to six feet away! Fleas have a reliable food source when it comes to your pet if they are not immediately treated. These blood suckers will burrow in to your little one’s coat and begin to reproduce at a rapid rate making treatment more difficult.

How can I tell if my dog has fleas?

Fleas can be very difficult to spot as they can burrow deep into your dog’s coat. There are many telltale sighs however to know if your pet is suffering from an infestation. Here are some signs to look out for:

• Increased scratching, biting and licking
• Behavioral changes, such as restlessness
• Bald spots or missing patches of fur
• Flea dirt (this resembles dark patches of dirt on your pet’s skin)
• Moving or crawling parasites
• Red bumps or scabs

How do I treat fleas?

To treat fleas you must first understand the four stages of fleas: Egg, Larva, Pupa and Adult. Adult fleas are the main culprits, they are the ones that live on your pet, and while they are there they lay eggs that can lay on top of the coat or they can roll off onto the carpet, furniture, bedding or other surface. They then hatch into larvae—the larvae form tiny cocoons during the pupa stage, where they hatch and become adults that infest their animal hosts. Why is this important to know you ask? Because, even if you kill all of the fleas on your pet there can still be eggs around other areas of the home that are just waiting to hatch. If these aren’t treated as well it will be a continuum of fleas.

Treat your pet

Quick-acting oral flea and tick control products can kill adult fleas on an animal within 24 hours. There are also topical treatments and sprays that your veterinarian can recommend based on your pet’s size and needs.

Treat your home

Getting fleas out of your home is not a simple task. It requires long hours of washing and vacuuming to make sure all surface areas are covered. It may take up to several weeks until your home is completely parasite free as these mites move about stealthily and can hid in places you’d never see. Begin by washing all bedding, blankets , curtains, towels and laundry in hot, soapy water. Next, clean and vacuum all carpets, hardwood floors, linoleum, and tiled floors- throw away the vacuum bag. Apply a flea control such as Methoprene insecticide inside the home or call an exterminator. It also a good idea to apply exterior flea treatments to your yard such as a spray, pellet, or non-toxic treatment as your dog likely carried these riders both indoor and out.

How can I prevent fleas?

The best way to deal with fleas is prevention. Year round oral flea and tick medications or collars are among the most popular preventatives recommended by veterinarians and used by millions of pet parents. Fleas are a major nuisance and can reek havoc on both your pet and your home. To save on aggravation and a sad and sick pup make sure to talk to your veterinarian about getting your fur baby on preventatives right away.

If you or someone you know is looking to bring home their furever friend, please visit: premierpups.com today.

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Does My Dog Have Allergies?

According to the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) allergies are sensitivities to things found in everyday environments like dust and pollen. Most often, these irritants aren’t harmful to dogs.

Just like humans, our pets can develop allergies to many of the same things that we do and thus respond in many of the same ways that we do. Common allergens can include: pollen, grass, molds, fungi, weeds, and certain foods. They can also have reactions from flea saliva if these little mites become attached to your pet.

What are the symptoms to look for?

• Dry, rough or patchy skin
• Watery Eyes
• Runny Nose
• Sneezing
• Constant licking of the paws or anal region
• Scratching of one or both ears
• Shaking of the head (similar to the movement of wicking away water)

The most commonly affected areas are the ears and paws, but other areas such as the groin, underarms, eyes and muzzle can also become affected.

How can I help to ease my dog’s allergy symptoms?

One of the most common things that you can give your pet is an Over the Counter (OTC) Antihistamine-most commonly Benadryl. However, it is not recommended to self-treat your pet with any medications before speaking to your veterinarian. Side effects of an antihistamine can vary in dogs. Some animals may be come drowsy, while others may become highly energized. It is also important to know if the OTC will be affected by other medications your pet may be taking.

There is also, a natural path of treatment that you can try with your pet. Regular bathing with sensitive/dry skin, oatmeal or hypoallergenic shampoos can help remove possible allergens from the coat and in between the pads and toes of your pet. Supplements containing fatty acids like omega-3 EPA & DHA fatty acids (from fish oil) and organic turmeric are also helpful in soothing itchy and/or irritated skin.

What dogs are prone to suffer from allergies?

Not all dogs have allergies, but there are some breeds that are more susceptible to them than other breeds. Some of these include: Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Terriers, Bichon Frise, Beagles, Shih Tzu’s, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Maltese, German Shepherds, Brussels Griffons. Though, purebred dogs are at greater risk for allergies than mixed breed dogs- mixed breed dogs can have allergies, too.

We want to take care of our pets and make sure that they live a happy and healthy lifestyle. As with any supplement or OTC, it is important to speak with your veterinary provider before you put your fur baby on any dosage.

To find out more on how you can bring home your “furever” friend and learn about health warranties for your pet, please visit: premierpups.com and talk to a member of the customer care team today.

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