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Breed Information

Pugs

Pugs have been weaving their way into people's hearts for over 2000 years. Bred by Chinese royalty as companion dogs, pugs are some of the most loving and loyal of all dog breeds. Called "adorable" by some and "quite bizarre" by others, pugs are easy to spot with their squished noses, solid square bodies and tightly curled tails.

As a true companion, pugs cannot be beat. They love nothing more than to cuddle with their owner, and want to be by your side (or on your lap) virtually 24/7/365. Great travelers who always seem to get the attention they so seem to relish, pugs have a positive disposition that can draw a smile out of the coldest heart.

Special Considerations

  • Pugs are amazing animals and great for many of us, but if you want your pug to be that rock-star athlete that runs with you on your morning jog, think again. Your average pug will probably run out of gas by the time you leave the driveway. You would have trouble breathing too if your nose was deliberately bred to be nonexistent and your nasal passages smooshed to smithereens! Make sure you have a comfy bed for them around the house, they're going to use it! But be warned, if you dumped your ex because he or she snored too loud, don’t get a pug. Their snoring and snorting has been compared to a 747 at takeoff, and it doesn’t stop when they are sleeping. In fact, their snoring always seems to get worse when they cuddle right next to your head at 3:00 A.M. in the morning.
  • If considering a pug (or any dog) make sure you get it from a trusted reliable breeder from stock not prone to common pug health conditions.

 

Health Problems

  • Snoring and snorting are not the only issues resulting from their smooshed nose. Pugs suffer from almost constant nasal and respiratory issues.
  • As a small dog, pugs seem to be heavily inclined to anal gland issues. If not pre-addressed, pugs are likely to have a very foul discharge about every 2 to 4 weeks, and are prone to “boot scooting” across the carpet to help them with this problem.
  • Other common issues confronting pugs are eye problems (often seemingly bulging right out of their sockets), a propensity to be overweight (make sure they're on a healthy diet) with corresponding joint issues (as a result of too little exercise) and an epileptic condition called Pug Dog Encephalitis.

 

Personally, I couldn’t think of a better dog than my pug shadow Annie. Sweet, loyal, and always ready to play. Just wish I could hear myself think over this din!

 

Maine Coon

There’s something special about a Maine Coon. With their remarkable size (they are one of the largest domestic cats), magnificent long coats, bobcat-tufted ears, and playful, intelligent personalities, Maine Coons make wonderful companions. One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, their origin is unknown, although folk tales abound! One such tale says that Marie Antoinette tried to escape France with 6 of her favorite Turkish Angora cats, and while she did not make it out of France, the cats arrived in New England and mixed with local breeds.

Known as ‘gentle giants,’ Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 lbs, although the females are generally smaller then the males. They're affectionate, loyal, and intelligent disposition makes them excellent for families with small children or dogs. Maine Coons are playful even as adults, and are known for their unusual fascination with water and their tendency to talk a lot – chattering, chirping, and especially ‘talking back’ to their humans.

Special Considerations

  • Known as ‘gentle giants,’ Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 lbs, although the females are generally smaller then the males.
  • Their affectionate, loyal, and intelligent disposition makes them excellent for families with small children or dogs. Maine Coons are playful even as adults, and are known for their unusual fascination with water and their tendency to talk a lot – chattering, chirping, and especially ‘talking back’ to their humans. They love interaction and it's important to have plenty of toys and entertainment around for them.
  • Maine Coons can have either medium or long coats, but minimal grooming is required compared to other long-haired breeds. Their long coats are specially adapted to harsh winter climates, and developed when the cats were self-sufficient outdoor animals, so they do not require much maintenance. A simple brush and occasional bath with shampoo and conditioner should do the trick.

 

Health Problems

  • Generally a hardy, robust breed, there are a few hereditary problems to look out for, and screening and testing is available for most.
  • Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common heart disease in cats, is also a concern for Maine Coons. Cardiovascular support is important.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetically inherited disease which usually manifests in the first 3-4 months of age. Keeping up with joint support and neurological conditions can help.
  • As large cats, hip dysplasia can be common, particularly in the larger males.
  • Urinary conditions, specifically polycystic kidney disease, can be a problem and generally show up around 7 years of age.

 

Siamese Cat

Certainly among the most distinct breeds, the Siamese originated in Thailand, and the name translates to ‘moon diamond’. Legend has it that they keep away evil spirits and bring good luck to their owners and was often seen around in temples and royal households. This is a very popular breed in Europe and North America, largely due to their social nature, inquisitive nature, playfulness, intelligence, and affection. Their sleek lines, striking color contrast, chiseled aristocratic heads, deem blue eyes, and short silky coats are a type of living art.

Things to Consider:

  • Brushing your Siamese could harm the color and texture of his coat. Finger brush your Siamese with wet hands to remove loose hairs from his fur.
  • As with many cats, Siamese love attention and form strong bonds. Be sure to give lots of love!
  • They are prone to respiratory infections, especially when young.
  • Vestibular disease can be an issue, creating nausea.
  • Hairballs can certainly be common.
  • Any kind of stress can be difficult for cats, so preventing stress is recommended.
  • Clean teeth and gums can help stave off diseases, and it’s easier to do than you think!

 

Originally the vast majority of Siamese had seal (extremely dark brown, almost black) points, but occasionally Siamese were born with the blue (cool grey) points, chocolate (lighter brown) points, or lilac (pale warm gray) points. Points are the colors that accent the typically cream color of the cat. There are quite a few types of Siamese, including Balinese, Burmese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Himalayan, Javanese, Ocicat, and others. Please send us a picture of your Siamese!

Siamese are one of the more vocal breeds and are typically pretty extroverted. Keep some fun toys, catnip, and loungers around for their relaxation and entertainment pleasure!

Labrador Retriever

Because of their even temperament and trainability, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the United States. Labs are people-oriented dogs, always ready for a jog, a hike or an endless game of fetch. Labs are reliable, willing and patient—a true best friend. They're eager to please, are family friendly, and have a fun loving, easy-going temperament.

Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, Labs worked alongside fisherman, helping pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. After being crossed with Setters, Spaniels and other Retrievers, the Lab honed its skills as a true retriever. From then on, Labs were bred as an efficient retriever of game, with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities beyond hunting.

Health Problems

 

  • Labs are thankfully not prone to a huge amount of health problems. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in the breed, and having them on a joint support supplement throughout their life will let them maintain a high level of activity, even into older age.
  • Ear infections and eye disorders can also be a problem, and maintaining proper eye care and ear care throughout their lives is very important.

 

Special Considerations for Labs

 

  • Labs love to eat! To avoid weight gain, feed them a healthy diet (like EasyRaw) supplemented with wholesome treats (we recommend freeze-dried, all meat treats). Make sure they are exercised regularly and have plenty of indoor play time as well.
  • Labs love to chew! Everything from kids’ toys to drywall is fair game. Make sure young labs are supervised at all times and have plenty of healthy chews and bones (like Bully Sticks) and chew toys.
  • Labs have lots of energy! Labs are great for hunting, agility sports, search and rescue, water sports, fetching, and hiking. They tend to get bored and need a constructive outlet for their energy so switch up the routine to keep them entertained with a wide selection of toys.
  • Labs are easy to train! Training requires time and consistency from you, the leader. But labs are smart and love to please. Training treats are a must and in no time, your buddy will learn to sit, stay, fetch, hunt, or play hide-n-seek.
  • Labs Love You! Labs consider themselves one of the family so your time and attention is important to them. They welcome kids and other dogs and need to be social, so make sure you get out there!

 

 

Bengal Cat

Bengals are a man-made breed, developed in the U.S. in the 1980s by out-crossing domestic cats to Asian wildcats. The F4 generation or further out make the best pets. This wild heritage makes the Bengal a unique and challenging pet!
Bengals retain many of their wild characteristics, including their large size, muscular frames, stunning coat patterns, as well as a great need for strenuous exercise and mental stimulation. Bengals are extremely smart, but not necessarily friendly; they can actually be quite aggressive if their hunting instincts are not properly channeled.

Health Problems to Watch for in Bengals:

 

  • Extreme sensitivities to anesthetics, vaccines, toxins, parasites, and pesticides.
  • Eye diseases (cataracts, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy)
  • Gastrointestinal problems (sensitive digestion, nervous diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
  • Heart problems (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Luxating patella (dislocated kneecap).

 

 

Special Considerations for Bengals:

Be sure to get your Bengal kitten from a reputable breeder; poorly run kennels tend to harbor contagious diseases such as ringworm, giardia, tritrichomonas, Feline Leukemia, FIV, FIP, Toxoplasma, upper respiratory diseases, and fleas. This cat needs a high quality, meat-based, cannedhomemade or raw diet. Digestive enzymes and probiotics will help keep the digestive process on an even keel. Omega-3 fatty acids will keep the sensitive skin and coat healthy and the brain functioning normally. Be especially vigilant about keeping your Bengal out of cupboards and garbage cans; their keen intelligence makes them highly curious, but also means they are likely to eat things they shouldn't!

The Boxer
 

The beautiful and athletic Boxer is a friendly, intelligent, mid-sized dog. They come in fawn and brindle colors. Boxers were developed to catch and hold large wild game. Boxers are patient and affectionate as well as instinctively protective. Their short coats require little maintenance.
Health Problems to Watch For in Boxers

 

  • Heart Problems (Aortic stenosis, cardiomyopathy, atrial septal defect, sick sinus syndrome)
  • Eye problems (Ectropion, Cataracts, Corneal dystrophopy, progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye)
  • Atopy (allergic inhalant dermatitis)
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Cervical vertebral instability ("Wobbler's")
  • Glandular diseases (Cushings, Hypothyroidism)
  • Deafness (albinos)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Immune weakness
  • Intestinal Problems (Gastric dilatation-volvulus ("bloat"), pyloric stenosis, ulcerative colitis)
  • Tumors (Histiocytoma, Lymphoma)

 

Special Considerations for Boxers
Boxers need plenty of exercise and an excellent nutritional foundation. Higher-moisture homemade or raw diets are great for Boxers as they reduce the risk of bloat. Supplements of special importance to Boxers include Omega-3 fatty acids to support the skin and immune systems; antioxidant Vitamins C and A to protect the joints and eyes; B vitamins to support nerve function; and digestive enzymes/probiotics for intestinal health. 

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are typical terriers. Small though they may be, their personalities are big and bold. Their long silky coats are blue and tan.
Yorkshire Terriers were bred in Yorkshire, England, and were used as ratters in textile mills. But eventually the tiny dogs left their working days behind them and ascended into high society as popular lapdogs.
Yorkies are fun, adaptable, travel well, and make good pets in almost any situation. They don't need a lot of exercise, but they do need grooming and lots of TLC.
Health Problems to Watch For in Yorkies

 

  • Clotting disorder (Von Willebrand's Disease)
  • Collapsing Trachea
  • Congenital Blood Vessel Disease (Portosystemic shunt, patent ductus arteriosus)
  • Eye problems (Retinal dysplasia, cataracts, entropion, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal dystrophy)
  • Glandular issues (Cryptorchidism, Cushing's Disease)
  • Hydrocephalus (congenital)
  • Orthopedic problems (Patellar luxation, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease)
  • Overcrowded teeth and dental disease
  • Shaker dog disease (tremors)
  • Skin and hair conditions (Colour dilution alopecia, Hypotrichosis, dermoid sinus)
  • Urolithiasis (bladder infections and stones)

 

Special Considerations for Yorkies

Due to their weak trachea, harnesses are ideal for these tough little dogs. Avoid collars, and never use a choke chain on a Yorkie. Keeping up with grooming--especially daily teeth-brushing, is essential for these beautiful little dogs. Moderate exercise will help keep their bones and joints strong. A high quality, protein-based, high-moisture diet is essential. Important supplements include Vitamin C for strong blood vessels, Omega-3 fatty acids for skin, coat, and eyes, and B-vitamins for brain and nerve support.

 

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