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.

The Dawg Days of Summer

The Dawg Days of Summer

If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!

The most intense heat of the summer is upon us, and it’s more important than ever to protect your pet against overheating and heat exhaustion. Dogs’ natural body temperature is about 101°. At around 104°, heat exhaustion begins to set in, and heatstroke becomes more likely as their temperature rises. The goal is to intervene before this point, but it’s also important to know what to do in the off chance that your pet does reach that threshold.

The most important thing is to know the signs of overheating:

  1. Excessive Panting
  2. Excessive Drooling
  3. Elevated Heart Rate
  4. Disorientation
  5. Tongue and Gums Turning Red or Blue
  6. Vomiting/Diarrhea
  7. Stumbling/Fainting
  8. Convulsions

Symptoms of heat exhaustion are relatively easy to prevent. Avoid leaving your pet in a car or other extremely hot spaces, and leave water in places that are easily accessible. Try to take walks or potty breaks in the morning or afternoon, not during the heat of the day. Not only does this protect your pet from overheating, but hot asphalt and concrete can burn their paws. Lastly, keep your pet in a well-ventilated, cool area, whether that be indoors in the air conditioning or outdoors in a shady spot. Additionally, it is important to know if your pet’s breed has any notable risk factors. For example, flat-faced breeds like pugs and bulldogs are extremely susceptible to overheating, and must be monitored in elevated temperatures. 

Should your pet experience overheating or heat exhaustion, it’s imperative to know how to get their body temperature down, and what circumstances require a veterinarian’s attention. In extreme cases, overheated pets should be directly transported to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Heatstroke can be fatal if left untreated. However, most cases are very treatable, and can be remedied in a few simple ways:

  1. Immediately get the pet to a cooler area. Indoors is best, but placing them in cool water - not cold, as rapid cooling can do just as much harm as overheating - will help to lower the body temperature.
  2. Offer them cool - again, not cold - water to drink.
  3. Check their temperature, if possible, and monitor it until it is at a normal level.
  4. Contact their veterinarian if their symptoms continue or they show persistent signs of lethargy. 

Fifty-four companion animals died of heat-related causes in 2020. If every pet parent worked towards responsibly monitoring their animals for overheating, that number could be brought down exponentially. At Pampered Pet Inn, our goal is to encourage responsible pet ownership, and to prevent these kinds of incidents. A great phrase to remember this summer is, “If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!”

 

Matted No More! 6 Tips For Tangle-Free Fur

Matted No More! 6 Tips For Tangle-Free Fur

Want to make grooming like a walk in the park? Check out our tips for a purrrfect coat!

Sometimes, coat maintenance can be the difference between grooming trips being a breeze or a nightmare. Matting happens when hair twists together to form clumps that can be impossible to remove with a comb alone. While different coats require different care, mat prevention is a huge part of making sure that your pet is happy and healthy. Regular coat maintenance and grooming is the key to preventing severe matting, which can cause your pet extreme discomfort. We’ve put together our best tips for keeping your pet’s coat in great condition. 

1. Brush your pet at least two to three times per week.

It really is that easy! A simple weekly brush out that goes all the way through the coat to the skin can prevent mats from forming, exfoliate your pet’s skin, and guarantee your pet’s comfort as their fur grows out between grooms.

2. Bathe your pet regularly.

Regular baths also help to exfoliate your pet’s skin and prevent any dirt or oil build-up that contributes to heavy matting. As an added bonus, they smell amazing!

3. Use the right tools.

Every project requires the appropriate tools, and maintaining your pet’s coat is no different. There are seven types of brushes for pet grooming: slicker brush, pin brush, bristle brush, shedding blade, undercoat rake, dematting rake, and the furminator deshedder. 

  • Slicker brushes are great for all coat types, and have thin pins that help to remove loose fur and detangle mats. It is important to remember to always be gentle when using a slicker brush. The fine, tightly-spaced wires can cause your dog discomfort if too much pressure is used or the brush is pulled while caught on a matted or tangled area.
  • Pin brushes are similar to human hair brushes. They generally have long, plastic-tipped pins that are great for getting through longer coats. These are best to finish off a groom, and aren’t recommended for the dematting or detangling process.
  • Bristle brushes are best for shorter coats, and act as a means of removing excess fur from the coat and stimulating the skin. These are not great for detangling, as they usually can’t get down to the undercoat on dogs with longer fur. 
  • Shedding blades are great for removing built-up fur as well. These are best for shorter to medium-length coats, and help to scrape out excess shed from the short undercoat. 
  • Undercoat rakes are best for medium to long hair pets, and they get deep into the undercoat to remove fur build-up. Rakes are amazing tools for preventing matting in a longer-haired or double-coated animal. 
  • Dematting rakes have their purpose in the name: they demat! This tool has special curved blades specifically made to get through long double-coats without pulling or hurting the skin. Even without mats, it gets down into the undercoat and does an amazing job of removing fur build-up or tangling. This tool should not be used on pets with thinner coats, as it may cause skin irritation. 
  • Furminators are a pet owner’s best friend (other than their pet, of course)! This brush claims to reduce shedding by up to 90% by removing loose fur from below the top coat, and has a button to release collected fur. It’s perfect for everyday maintenance, and is a favorite among pet owners.

4. Use the right products.

If a pet has difficult fur and brushing regularly becomes a dematting session, pet safe detangling sprays or conditioners can be a life saver! Additionally, daily fish oil supplements support your pet's heart health, promote a silky coat, reduce itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain. However, be sure to ask your veterinarian before starting your pet on any new vitamins or supplements to make sure that it’s right for them. 

5. Distraction is key.

Use licking mats, peanut butter Kongs, or other time-consuming treats to distract your pet during the brushing process. When they’re focused on something else, they’re less likely to experience discomfort during coat maintenance. 

6. Get pets groomed professionally regularly.

The most important thing you can do to maintain your pet’s coat is to get them groomed regularly by a professional. Best practice is to start pets off with grooming early on so that they get used to the sensation, especially the feeling of someone touching their face and feet. At PPI, we offer contact appointments specifically for young pets to help condition them to the feeling of being groomed. We also have the option of scheduling standing appointments for pets every 4-6 weeks. A regular grooming schedule is an amazing way to keep your pet’s coat under control with the least amount of stress!

 My pet's coat is matted, now what?

When pets’ coats aren’t properly cared for, owners face a new issue: dematting. The solution varies depending on the severity of the mats. For smaller mats, a brush can be used to gently detangle the spots using small strokes. You should never try to cut out mats with scissors, as you may cut your pet’s skin in the process. Instead, if a mat can’t be removed by gentle brushing, a professional groomer should be seen to discuss shaving them out. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that the length of a pet’s fur can’t be saved. 

Extreme matting is referred to as pelting. This happens when large mats merge together into a solid mass covering a large area of a pet’s skin. When this happens, pets can experience extreme discomfort, loss of mobility, and circulatory issues. A veterinarian is required to fully sedate and shave an animal in this situation. Animals in this condition are usually victims of severe neglect, and have been left ungroomed for months at a time. 

Matting and pelting is completely preventable through regular coat maintenance. All of us at Pampered Pet Inn are committed to the health and proper care of our guests’ pets, and we are happy to provide more information about coat maintenance upon request. Most of the time, though, it’s as easy as regular brush outs!