Puppies for Sale: How to Find a Reputable Dog Breeder
What is a Reputable Dog Breeder? A reputable dog breeder is one that breeds the best dog to the best dog, and hopes for the best puppies. They take their dogs to shows to prove they are worth breeding, and have them tested by a veterinarian for genetic health problems and concerns. They never breed their dogs until they have approved buyers interested in their pups.
Reputable dog breeders never breed anything other than registered purebred dogs, often focusing only on one breed, and only having one litter per year.
What Does this Mean?
Since reputable breeders never breed until they have buyers for their pups it means they never advertise puppies for sale in the newspaper or on sites such as craigslist. It means reputable breeders never sell to pet stores, and in general are harder for people to find.
This is not because reputable breeders want to be hard to find, but rather that they require a person to put some thought into getting a puppy, rather than selling to the first person who happens upon a sign in a store window for pups for sale as a whim purchase. Reputable breeders put a lot effort into producing top puppies and they don't want to sell them to somebody who might get “bored” a few months later, or be angry when the formerly cute puppy grows up and destroys their yard.
Why Buy from a Reputable Dog Breeder?
As mentioned earlier the reputable breeder invested time and money into making sure their dogs produce excellent pups. Of course this is not a guarantee that there will not be problems, but be assured that most reputable breeders do offer health and genetic guarantees on their pups, and most will take them back if there are any problems in their lifetime. You will not get this from a pet store, backyard breeder, or other seller of puppies.
The pups will be vaccinated, wormed, and vet checked prior to leaving the breeders home, and as the parents have had genetic checks (hips, eyes, ears) the pups are likely to be genetically healthy as well. Always ask to see the veterinary checks for these factors, as well as ask to see the parent dogs championship titles (proving they were worth breeding). These titles should be relevant to the type of dog you are buying, be it for companionship (conformation may show the dogs are physically correct for that breed), showing/breeding, or performance (hunting, or herding). You should be able to meet the parents and see that indeed they are friendly and otherwise good dogs (puppies tend to learn their mother's personality).
The reputable dog breeder will make sure you are selecting the right breed for your goals, thus they will not sell you a puppy just to get a sale, but they want you to be happy with the puppy you buy.
weimaraner puppies - photo source
How to Find a Reputable Dog Breeder
The best place to find a reputable dog breeder is at a dog show. Most people are unaware of dog shows in their community as they are not always advertised. One can contact the local dog club to learn more about when shows are on.
Another place to find reputable dog breeders is by picking up a Dog Magazine. Reputable breeders often advertise their dogs. You can find breeders advertisements and by contacting a few they can put you in touch with others. Many reputable breeders also have websites but so do many lower quality, or backyard breeders. The best way of distinguishing the quality of a breeder is through the tips mentioned above in “What is a Reputable Dog Breeder”, meaning if (for example) they are advertising pups for sale, they are probably not reputable (remember the reputable breeder gets the waiting list).
Please Note: Registries do not keep track of who is a good breeder, and who is not. Registration only shows parentage of a dog, and not its quality, or the ethics of its breeder.
What to Expect with a Reputable Dog Breeder?
The reputable breeder will screen you to make sure you are ready to own a dog of that breed, and if you are a first time owner they will help you learn more. They will talk you out of making a bad decision, but will work with you if you are making the right choice. The reputable dog breeder will give you contracts and guarantees and make themselves of service to you if you have problems or concerns. They will help you select the right pup for you out of the litter, and will always take the puppy back if you are unable to care for it.
Prices from reputable breeders tend to be high, but these breeders are not making a profit, they feed top foods and spend a lot of money proving the value of their dogs and for veterinarian expenses on the genetic testing.
Don't be Fooled
Buying a pup from a reputable breeder will save you a lot of stress if you want a quality purebred puppy. Remember - registration is not proof of quality, you can buy a purebred from anyone and may end up with a dog that needs $3000 of dental work. You can buy a purebred (or even an overpriced designer dog) only to find the puppy was only bred to make the seller a profit, and was not worth what you paid (Pet stores and backyard breeders often inflate their prices because the public is generally ignorant on why pups from reputable breeders cost so much).
If a breeder has this many different pups, they are a puppy mill. photo source
If you are not partial to what kind of dog you get, save your money, and adopt a dog from an animal shelter. Shelter prices are lower than even the most unethical breeders, and yet the shelters offer basic health guarantees and will provide the new owner with support.
The past few years the quality of many of the commercial dog food brands has come in to question. Many dog foods contain corn, which is nothing but filler, questionable meat bi-products, chemicals and preservatives. Multiple dog food scares have left owners uncertain on what brands are safe to feed their beloved pets. More and more people are choosing to feed their dogs something different from commercial food. Many people are feeding their dogs a raw diet and loving it. Those who would like an alternative to commercial food but are not quite comfortable with a raw diet, making your own dog food might be a perfect compromise.
Making your own dog food is quite easy to do and can be done for cheaper than buying a high quality commercial dog food. Homemade food can also be made in large amounts and frozen so you do not need to spend time daily making it. There are many dog food recipes online but it is just as easy to make your own. Be sure the foods you use are safe and that the food consists of 30% starch, 30% vegetable and 40% meat.
For the starch, brown rice, oats or pasta work well.
Vegetables and fruits you can choose from are carrots, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, cauliflower, yams, sweet potatoes, lettuce, beets, peas, parsnips, zucchini, watermelon, other melons, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples (no seeds, they are poisonous), cooked beans.
Lean beef, lamb, skinless chicken, venison, buffalo, elk, moose, musk Ox, turkey, rabbit, duck, boneless fish, cooked eggs, small amounts of beef and chicken liver are all excellent meat choices.
Vegetables/fruits that are not safe to use are spinach, beet greens, chard, onions, garlic, leek, tomato, potato, bell peppers, corn on the cob/corn, grapes, raisins, rhubarb, mushrooms, avocadoes, broccoli and raw beans.
Chicken skin and fat trimming are not healthy and raw fish should be avoided. Tuna sadly contains too much mercury to be safe. Large amounts of Liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity so should never be given.
Nutmeg, sugar, chocolate, nuts, milk, yeast dough, seeds and fruit pits, wheat, baby food, coffee/tea, hops, potato, salt, dairy products, apple seeds, apricot/cherry/peach pits and mustard seeds should never be given.
Calcium is also a vital aspect of your dog’s diet and can by simply added by topping their food each night with some unflavoured no fat yogurt. Yogurt can help dogs keep a balanced digestive tract and can help stop gassiness.
A few points to keep in mind:
Fresh or frozen veggies are best; do not use canned veggies as they have additives.
Dogs have shorter digestive tracts than humans have and cannot digest most vegetables whole or in large chunks. Be sure to mash vegetables up well.
Remember to feed no white coloured/bleached foods. When possible try to avoid wheat too, as it tends to make dogs gassy.
All Fish and Pork should be well cooked.
A canine multivitamin can be added to insure he gets everything he needs.
When preparing homemade dog food, it is best to vary the recipes so that your dog gets an array of nutrients.
Talk to your vet before changing to a homemade diet.
All meat should be lean and not covered in fat.
Feeding a homemade diet does take more work than simply buying a bag of kibble. However, knowing you are doing the best you can to keep your dog healthy is well worth the effort.
Some cat owners will have a strange thing happen at some time or another... their cat will pee on their bed. We all know cats are suppose to urinate in their litter box, but what are the reasons that some don't?
Some of the places that cats will select to urinate, other than their litter box, are on a bed, sofa, towels, laundry, or even carpeting. You will note they seldom pee on the floor. Just to clear things up – we are not referring to “Spraying” or marking behavior which is most often seen in male cats and is characterized by them standing with their rear end facing a (usually) vertical surface. They “shoot” their urine, and typically twitch their tail at this time. This article is about cats who empty their bladder on the bed, towels, and such, rather than "marking territory" with small amounts of urine.
There are basically three reasons why cats pee on the bed, towels, or what have you. One is that they have a reason for not using their litter box (there are many reasons for this), an other is because you have made these sources available to them, and finally it is because these things smell like you. Let us look into these factors further.
Reasons for a Cat Not Using the Litter Box
There are a multitude of reasons cats fail to use their litter box to urinate. They could have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), they could have a behavioral problem, or somehow you failed to keep the litter clean, locatable, and of the right type of litter. Perhaps another cat is not allowing them to use their litter box, or the door was shut to the room where it is.
There are so many reasons, in fact, that if a cat is having this problem, one should try to determine the source, a link is available here to help finding out the cause of a cats refusal to use the litter box.
Peeing on the floor is not fun, it splatters, and cats know this. They sometimes have the same problem when their litter box gets so low that all the litter is piled up on one side of the box. They know that fabric is absorbent, and will not cause urine to splatter on their legs. When a kitten cannot find a litter box it will look to whatever is available.
Smells Like You
Your bed, your towels, your dirty laundry on the floor, these things all smell like you. Of course people will try saying that your cat is marking your stuff as its own, but really we do not know what the cat is thinking when it urinates on your bed or clothing. Many theories exist, including that they use this as a way of stating their anger with you, but this is really just guess work. The fact is your cat does not pee on you (hopefully), just your soft stuff, so perhaps your cat thinks of this in a familiar sort of way.
What Can be Done to Prevent, or End, the Problem of a Cat Peeing on your Stuff
Assuming again that the cat is spayed or neutered, and is not spraying... and assuming the cat is not suffering from any kind of urinary tract infect, diabetes, and so forth, there are some things we can do. First amend the problem as mentioned in the link also mentioned above relating to why it cats fail to use the litter box in the first place.
Keep bedroom doors shut and/or keep clothing picked up or in a hamper (with a lid). Try spending a few minutes every day with the cat, patting it, or giving it treats. Keep the home as stress free as possible (do not allow kids to chase your cats). If you must, shut the cat up in the room where the litter box is located at night (with food and water of course), or when you are away, thus reinforcing it to use the litter box, but only if you have filled it with the correct litter, and it is placed in an appropriate spot to begin with (not next to a laundry machine or furnace).
Be aware that cats do not understand discipline for this problem. Rubbing the cats nose in “it” will not help, and may only add to the stress and confusion the cat is experiencing – thus making the problem worse.
Please read the link on why cats fail to use their litter box as this is the start to the problem of them using your bed, towels, and so forth, as a litter option.
The nose is a vital part of the cat’s ability to perceive his surroundings. His sense of smell is often remarkable as he can smell all sorts of scents. His sense of smell however, may get affected due to several illnesses caused by viruses, pollens and bacteria. Some of these may manifest with symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing and fever. It is important for cat owners to isolate their sick cat from other pets in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Owners are also encouraged to bring their cat to the vet for evaluation.
But can a cat get a runny nose cold from being too cold? How do cats cope with this cold? These are just some of the more common questions that cat owners pose regarding the health of their pet cat when the cat is exposed to cold weather or especially during winter.
During Cold Weather
When the cat is exposed to cold temperatures during cold weather, the nose of the feline becomes dry. This usually results in the drying of the nose’s sensitive membrane which blocks irritants that cause colds. When the sensitive membrane is unable to block off pollens, bacteria and viruses from passing into the respiratory system of the cat, the feline becomes more susceptible to infection that usually results in a runny nose.
The most prominent sign of cat nasal infection is the presence of a thick mucus coming out from the cat’s nose. Other symptoms of cat colds include heavy breathing, lethargy, sneezing, and breathing through its mouth. Runny nose among cats is characterized by a watery discharge from the nose for a few hours, which in such case, the cat should be brought to a veterinarian. The discharge may also turn yellow and this is often associated with a bacterial infection.
When the cat sneezes for several hours and then the sneezing suddenly stops, then it may be because of an irritation in the nose. When the cat grabs its nose and sneezes hard, then something may have been stuck in its nose. If the cat sneezes and has sniffles for a whole day, then it may have a respiratory infection.
It is recommended that cats with colds are brought to a veterinarian given the complex nasal passages of the feline. Veterinarians usually advise cat owners to increase air humidity using a vaporizer particularly in a small space to help in liquifying the nasal discharge. A humidifier can also help stop nasal irritation.
Veterinarians also will prescribe antibiotics to help the feline avoid certain bacterial infections, allowing its body to fight to resist the viral infection that caused the cold. Veterinarians will also look into the symptoms and its eating behavior.
So can a cat get a runny nose cold from being too cold? The answer is yes. It is therefore best to take measures to avoid exposing the cat for prolonged periods in cold weather. Many owners opt to keep their pets indoor during these conditions.