10 Problems Only Dog Owners Understand

10 Problems Only Dog Owners Understand

To know dogs is to love them, but it’s also to put up with their idiosyncrasies. 

1. Stolen Food

Unless your dog is a picky eater, you’ve probably placed your plate down on a table, counter, or desk only to have it grabbed and gobbled by a fuzzy little thief. Exceptionally brave pups will even snatch treats right from your hand!

2. The Dreaded Doorbell

No guest may enter and no mail may be delivered without the thunderous alarm of barking followed by the clattering of doggie feet against your hardwood floors. Say goodbye to your security deposit.

3. The Lower Legs Straight Jacket

A simple walk always seems to end with untangling yourself from the leash your dog just weaved in and out of your legs 6 times while you unlocked the door. For owners of multiple dogs, this tends to happen mid-walk, and they never fail to trip you up.

4. Drool

It’s on your hands, your brand-new pants, and, of course, your face. You either have or have considered keeping a rag with you for clean-up. 

5. Fur. Everywhere.

No matter how often you vacuum or sweep, there’s always a spot you missed. Most of us gave up on solid color shirts a long time ago, but you can’t deny the build-up in the dryer lint catcher. 

6. Wet Dog Smell

Even the smallest drops of rain bring out the musk, and doggie cologne never seems to fully mask it. 

7. Even Worse, The Smell of Wet Food

You’re happy to spoil them with their special food, but that doesn’t make the smell or the texture any more inviting. Even the expensive stuff is gag-worthy.

8. Early Morning Potty Breaks in the Cold and/or Rain

They hate being out in the cold and the wet almost as much as you hate freezing in your pjs for all of your neighbors to see. 

9. New Dog Anxiety

When you come across another dog on a walk, it’s impossible to know if the other dog is dog-aggressive or if their owner knows proper etiquette for introducing the animals. Some people will let their dog just run up to yours, which is terrifying for owners who know their dogs don’t play well with others. 

10. Puppy Dog Eyes

Nothing tugs on the heartstrings more than the sad look your dog gets when you have to leave them at home, and you spend all day thinking about what your dog is up to. That end-of-day reunion is pretty sweet, though. 

Now Boarding: The Pampered Pet Shuttle

Now Boarding: The Pampered Pet Shuttle

There's nothing keeping your pet from getting pampered!

There are so many different reasons that our clients choose to send their dogs to our enrichment-based daycare, but we don’t normally talk about the reasons pet parents don’t. Whether it’s distance from your home or work, a tight schedule, or perhaps that you just can’t get yourself out of the house some days, Pampered Pet Resorts has a solution: The Pampered Pet Shuttle! 

The shuttle service runs Monday through Friday, and we offer options that meet any pet parent’s needs. For only $20 per ride, the shuttle can take your pet to or from Pampered Pet Inn, Pampered Pet Recreation Center, or home. Payments can even be processed directly from your driveway!

For only $10 per ride, we can shuttle dogs between facilities, so you can drop off your dog at Pampered Pet Inn and have them shuttled to Pampered Pet Rec for daycare! Guests must arrive at PPI for drop-off no later than 9:00 am and arrive at PPI for pick-up no later than 5:00 pm to guarantee that their pet can ride the shuttle to or from PPRC.

Our shuttle is climate controlled and equipped with stabilized kennel space to keep our guests secure during the entirety of their ride. Pets are never left unattended, and they are unloaded one at a time, once they reach their destination, to ensure their safety. Inn-The-Pack members also receive 50% off this service, and we offer special rates to frequent shuttle users and parents with multiple pets.

So what are you waiting for? Reservations are required in advance for the shuttle, so book your pets’ ride today!

The History of Pampered Pet Resorts

The History of Pampered Pet Resorts

Pampering Houston's Pets for Nearly 40 Years

Pampered Pet Inn has been serving generations of pets since 1982 in the very same spot where it stands today. Originally a modest grooming and lodging business, PPI has become a landmark in the Rice/West U area and expanded to offer even more services as the years went by. While the original owners may have started the business, the PPI that we all know and love was inspired by the passion of one woman: Ellen O’Connor. 

Ellen grew up in Houston, attending Marian Christian High School and graduating the year that PPI was founded. She began as a groomer’s apprentice in early 1988, and, soon after, found herself at Pampered Pet Inn doing what she loves,
My whim of being a dog groomer after trying many other fields turned into my passion. It was an unexpected joy, and I discovered I had a talent for it. I had always believed you should be happy, find your passion, and then find a way to make a living doing it. Sometimes you have to follow a whim.

She spent 15 years gaining experience and honing her craft before being diagnosed with Lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. After six months of chemotherapy, Ellen decided it was time to jump into life head-on and achieve her dream of owning her own grooming salon. In 2003, she approached PPI’s original owners to submit her resignation and start her new journey, but was met with an unexpected offer: purchasing Pampered Pet Inn. In 2004, PPI was hers, and the adventure began!

Pampered Pet Inn quickly became a family business. Ellen raised her two daughters, Erin and Mary Kate, at the shop, having them help out here and there and gradually take on more responsibility. Her employees included their children in the PPI family as well. Jose Martinez, a manager that worked for PPI for many years, raised his daughter, Sam, alongside Erin and Mary Kate. Sam went on to succeed him in his role, and all three women work together to this day. 

Sadly, 30 years of grooming has taken its toll on Ellen, and she has stepped down from many of her responsibilities. While she continues to groom, arthritis makes it continuously more difficult to take on long hours in the grooming room. However, she plans to continue as long as she is physically able, and hopes to pass on her skill by teaching an apprentice of her own.

Erin has taken over as the acting CEO of Pampered Pet Resorts, and Mary Kate has taken on the role of Doggie Daycare Coordinator. Together, the sisters are now raising their own children in the PPI family. Along with working together to grow PPI, they devised a plan to create Pampered Pet Recreation Center, a brand-new facility specializing in PPI’s enrichment-based daycare program. This facility opens September 2020, and offers fantastic new features like a state-of-the-art doggie splash pad, a sensory garden, and over 16,000 sq. ft. of play space. In honor of this addition to the Pampered Pet portfolio, they created a parent company called Pampered Pet Resorts to oversee the two (and, hopefully, more to come) facilities. 

As always, Pampered Pet Resorts will continue their mission of serving generations of pets for years to come and honoring Ellen’s dream. While Erin and Mary Kate would never pressure their children into continuing the family tradition of taking on Pampered Pet Resorts, they hope that the cousins will find a passion for the family business, much like they did, and work together to continue pampering pets when they feel ready. The future is truly bright for Pampered Pet Resorts!

 

The Truth About Pet Obesity

The Truth About Pet Obesity

Your pet doesn't need a personal trainer to shed those extra pounds.

Over half of all pet dogs and cats are obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. The obesity epidemic doesn’t just affect cats and dogs, either. Obesity is the number one health problem in pet birds as well as several other household pets. What’s causing this problem? Why are our pets obese? The truth is, misinformation about pets’ dietary needs is running rampant in the pet care community, and pet parents don’t know what the right choices are for their animals’ health. 

Dogs and cats are considered overweight if they are at least 10%–20% heavier than their ideal weight. Obesity can take up to two years off of a pet’s life and is associated with serious health conditions, including the following:
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancers
  • Heart and respiratory disease
Over 80% of pet parents have tried to help their pet lose weight, but, of that 80%, less than 10% of those pets successfully lost weight following their obesity diagnosis. Of those, roughly 40% gained it back within 12 months. The statistics don’t look great for pets on the heavy side, but what are pet parents to do? Some say portion control is the best option, but others recommend increased exercise or fat free foods. “Prescription” foods can be way too expensive, and the latest pet food trends have been grain free diets, non GMO or “human-grade” foods, and alternative proteins. 
 
It’s been shown that portion reduction can result in malnutrition, fat free or “prescription” foods don’t always help in the case of weight loss, and there’s not enough research to determine if the latest trends in pet foods are truly healthy for your pet. Exercise is always great, but pets need ample time to rest, and some animals are sensitive to extreme temperatures and exercise conditions. The only way to help your pet stay a healthy weight is to consult your veterinarian, and to devise a structured plan. 
 
Just like humans, every animal is different. Some will thrive with more exercise and a reduced-fat diet, and some could face serious consequences of that same regimen. The best possible course of action for your pet is to get with their veterinarian and work out a weight loss plan that is tailored to their needs. It’s also essential to understand what kind of nutrition your pet needs, and to choose a food that reflects those needs.
 
At Pampered Pet Inn, we believe knowledge is power! We do our best to model our enrichment-based daycare off of dogs' natural sleep/wake cycles, and offer full and half days to fit every pet's stamina. This structure guarantees that our pampered pups get the most from their time at The Inn. When it comes to your pets' time at home, the more you know about your pet’s specific needs, the better you and your veterinarian will be able to organize a plan to keep them at a healthy weight. As always, our dedicated staff is more than happy to accommodate any special requests that you and your veterinarian deem necessary for your pet's health!
 
Does Your Dog Have A Skincare Routine?

Does Your Dog Have A Skincare Routine?

6 of the most common doggie skin conditions and how to treat them.

Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to a number of common skin conditions that can make daily life extremely uncomfortable for them or even put their lives at risk. While dog skin may not need structured, regular maintenance like human skin does, skin issues are common for pets, and they need to be dealt with in the appropriate manner.

As a pet parent, it can be really hard to tell if a skin issue needs emergency treatment or if it can be treated at home. Some issues, like mild allergic reactions, dry skin after grooming, or hot spots, are fairly common and can be treated with store-bought wipes or topical creams, but a lack of knowledge about potential skin problems can make these perfectly manageable issues very scary. More extreme issues can be overwhelming, and a veterinarian should be consulted right away. It is crucial for pet parents to be able to determine the severity of their pet's symptoms so that they may receive proper care.

When a pet comes home from daycare or grooming with itchiness or inflammation, it can be especially concerning, as you weren’t there to see what could have caused it. While our staff is trained to alert parents of any signs of illness or discomfort while they are in our care, having the ability to examine and understand when your pet needs medical care outside of our facility is crucial. At PPI, we believe that knowledge is power! The first thing parents should know are potential symptoms of skin conditions.

Common symptoms include:

  • Itchiness
  • Dry/Flaky/Scaly Skin
  • Sores/Scabs/Lesions on the skin
  • Rashes
  • Lumps/Hives
  • Dandruff
  • Hair Loss/Bald Patches
  • Hot Spots

Any of these symptoms can range from mild to severe, and require physical examination in most cases to fully understand the severity. In mild cases, these symptoms, and most of the conditions that cause them, are very treatable. Some treatment methods do require a prescription from a veterinarian, as home treatments do not replace the help of an expert! Should you notice bleeding, puss, extreme swelling, major discomfort, or large amounts of hair loss, your dog should see a veterinarian immediately. 

 

Here are 6 of the most common skin conditions that affect dogs and how to treat them:

1. Topical Parasites

Fleas and Ticks are the most common form of parasites found on pets. They cause moderate to severe itchiness and irritation of the skin, and can even transfer other parasites to your pets like tapeworms or diseases such as Lyme Disease. Most flea and tick issues are easily controlled with a monthly topical flea treatment, regular washing of pet bedding, and flea and tick prevention used in or around the home.

2. Dry Skin/Dandruff

Dry skin can be caused by a number of things. Bathing too often or using certain shampoos can dry a dog’s skin out just like it would a human’s. Allergies and dehydration can also contribute to this issue. A simple solution is to make sure that your pet has consistent access to water and to use hypoallergenic or oatmeal moisturizing shampoo during their baths.

3. Allergies

Allergies can cause a multitude of symptoms, with the source sometimes being difficult to determine. If you know the source of the reaction, best practice is to minimize your pet’s interactions with that substance. However, if the source is unknown, hypoallergenic food and shampoo can work wonders. Always consult with your veterinarian for allergy tests and solutions.

4. Infection

Dogs can be exposed to both viral and bacterial infections during everyday activities, no matter where they are. Yeast infections are the most common infection that afflicts a dog’s skin. Depending on the severity and type of symptoms, infections can be treated with medicated baths, ointments, or prescription medication such as antibiotics. A veterinarian should be consulted to determine the best course of action. 

5. Mange

There are two different kinds of mange in dogs: sarcoptic and demodectic. Both are caused by an overabundance of mites on or in an animal’s skin.

 

Sarcoptic Mange: This type of mange is also known as scabies. Sarcoptic mange is very itchy and highly contagious to both pets and humans. However, it doesn’t typically live long on human hosts.

Demodectic Mange: Demodectic mange in dogs is not contagious; However, one form in cats can be contagious. This mite can cause hair loss and redness, among other symptoms.

6. Ringworm

Despite the misleading name, Ringworm is not a worm or a parasite -- it’s actually a fungus. The growth is highly contagious among dogs, cats, and people.In addition to the ring-shaped sore that appears, Ringworm may also cause scaly skin, bald patches, and inflammation around the rings. Like infections, Ringworm can be treated with medicated baths, ointments, or prescription medication such as antibiotics. A veterinarian should be consulted to determine the best course of action. 

 

Please refer to the infographic provided by BANIXX for a short list of common skin issues, their symptoms, and their treatments. Remember to always consult a veterinarian should your pet show any of these symptoms.