Luxating Patella Recovery
Care & Health

Luxating Patella in Cavapoos

One of my dogs has been diagnosed and treated for this condition so I unfortunately know it well. Luxating Patella in Cavapoos is quite common so don't panic.

Although not life threatening it can, if severe enough, have a huge impact on your Cavapoo's quality of life if left untreated.

Tucker (my Cavalier) was diagnosed with a grade 3 luxating patella, had surgery and is now 100% fine.

I am not a registered Veterinarian but am basing this article on my own experience with this condition.

Please note: If you suspect your dog might be suffering with a luxating patella or if they start to limp or not put any weight on one of there legs then please take your dog immediately for veterinarian care.

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Table Of Contents

Introduction

The term luxating means “out of place” and the term patella means “kneecap”, which is usually located in a groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur), right above the knee (stifle).

Luxating patella is a common issue among small dogs like Cavapoos, although dogs with bigger sizes can suffer from it too.

It can cause problems like recurring pain, inflammation, and cartilage damage in your Cavapoo.

Knowing what luxating patella is and how to recognize its symptoms in your dog is a great first step towards reaching a solution.

From there, you can understand what can be done about it, and even how to prevent it in the future.

What is Luxating Patella?

Dog kneecaps or patellas are not as obvious and visible as human ones.

They are almond-shaped and are located right at the knee joint.

The kneecap and its tendon form what is called the extensor mechanism. They are both usually aligned with each other.

When your dog moves his knee joint in or out, the kneecap glides up and down along a groove.

"A luxating patella is when the kneecap is dislocated and moves out of the conventional groove that it is supposed to glide along."

When this happens, your Cavapoo will not be able to move his knee properly resulting in limping or an abnormal gait.

Depending on the severity of your Cavapoo’s luxating patella, a grade or degree of severity will be assigned ranging from one to four.

This is what those grades mean:

Grade 1: The kneecap has moved out of the groove but is easily able to move back by itself.

Grade 2: The kneecap moves out of the groove quite often but can still easily move back to the correct location by itself. In this case, the dog is still usually able to walk on it.

Grade 3: The kneecap is out of the groove most of the time and one of the lower leg bones, called the tibia, is a bit twisted.

Grade 4: The patella or kneecap is permanently displaced and the tibia is severely twisted. The groove where the kneecap is supposed to rest is almost non-existent or shaped convexly.

How is Luxating Patella Diagnosed?

For grade 1 luxating patella, dogs usually do not show very visible symptoms.

Oftentimes, grade 1 luxating patella is accidentally stumbled upon by your vet during a regular checkup.

For higher grades, your dog may show symptoms like limping for shorter or longer periods depending on the severity, picking their leg up while walking, and exhibiting an abnormal gait (skipping) with knees that do not extend properly.

If you notice your dog showing any of the above symptoms, he should be taken to the vet.

Your vet will feel the dog’s knee along with performing multiple tests and physical examinations to ensure the stability of the kneecap. 

If diagnosed, your vet will then assess what grade of luxating patella your dog is suffering from.

Is Luxating Patella in Dogs Serious?

Luxating patella is not a life-threatening situation for your dog.

In most dogs, the severity level of a luxating patella is mild.

If your dog suffers from frequent limping and is in severe pain, surgery might be the best option.

However, if the limping only happens once every few weeks, your dog’s luxating patella can be fixed by simply massaging the kneecap back into its place or some physiotherapy. 

Can a Luxating Patella Correct Itself?

For dogs suffering from grade 1 luxating patella, it can resolve itself and the kneecap can be pushed back into its place without any outside intervention.

For dogs suffering from grade 2 luxating patella, the kneecap does usually go back into the femur groove, however, due to the frequent sliding out of the kneecap, the knee can suffer trauma, putting the dog in pain.

For higher degrees of patellar luxation, professional treatment is required.

Treating luxating patella

Is Luxating Patella Painful For Dogs?

If the luxating patella is mild, the dogs commonly don’t show any signs of pain.

They may simply hold the leg up, hyper extending the knee which will slide the kneecap back into its normal position.

However, in moderate to severe cases, luxating patella can be a very painful condition for your Cavapoo.

Many dogs cry out in pain and constantly hold their leg up over and over again due to the pain.

Moreover, the chronic dislocation of the patella can lead to the development of arthritis in older dogs as well as the presence of joint pain and increased immobility.

Patellar luxation also exposes the dog to other knee injuries, such as torn cruciate ligaments.

Can a Dog Live With Luxating Patella?

While definitely painful, luxating patella will not kill your dog.

Most dogs, including Cavapoos, can live their entire lives with a grade 1 or grade 2 luxating patella without any severe pain or developing arthritic knees.

For dogs with more moderate to severe luxations, surgery is needed as soon as possible to prevent any further bone problems and mobility issues in the dog.

Does Luxating Patella Get Worse With Age?

Since luxating patella is a degenerative and, oftentimes, chronic condition, it does get worse with age in most cases unless it is extremely mild.

In mild cases, it is just something that is occasionally there and does not affect the dog’s quality of life significantly.

However, unfortunately, as dogs age, they may develop arthritis due to their luxating patella.

This happens in severe cases, especially if treatment is not sought in time which leads the dog to develop arthritis and other bone problems that get worse with age.

Cavapoo luxating patella symptoms

Should You Walk a Cavapoo With a Luxating Patella?

Yes, you can walk your Cavapoo if they have a grade 1 or grade 2 luxating patella. 

If they have a grade 3 or 4 then they may be in too much pain to go for a walk. You will need to access how they are doing before considering taking them out.

The key thing to keep in mind is to go for light activities for shorter periods.

For example, you can take your dog for a short 15 minute walk, 5 days a week and then rest up for the other 2 days. 

This routine can then be built up gradually as your dog gets better.

How to Prevent Luxating Patella in Cavapoos?

In most cases, a luxating patella is genetic. The only way to avoid this happening is for breeders to only breed with dogs that have sound knees.

Unfortunately, a lot of breeders do not test there dogs. Also, some genetic diseases can skip a few generations only to surface later on.

Managing Mild Luxating Patella

The first stepping stone towards managing mild luxating patella is a quality diet consisting of premium kibble, or raw food diet geared towards improving your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Moreover, your dog should be kept lean and should not be obese.

Your Cavapoo’s weight may not seem like a big issue to you but even a few extra pounds on your Cavapoo can really put their joints under considerable stress resulting in patellar luxation or worsening of it.

Surgery for luxating patella

Treatments, Cost, and Recovery

Treatments

The specific treatment that your Cavapoo requires for its luxating patella will depend on the degree or grade of luxation.

There are several different treatment courses that are usually taken.

Diet and Weight

It is very important to keep your dog's weight under control. If they become overweight then it puts extra strain on there kneecaps which cause the kneecap to dislocate more often.

Exercise

To keep your Cavapoo’s muscles strong and healthy, it is important to incorporate light exercise into the dog’s lifestyle.

Keeping the dog inactive for long periods of time will weaken their muscles and bones, dropping their immunity against bone diseases.

When it comes to keeping a dog that suffers from a luxating kneecap active, moderate exercise is the way to go.

They should be taken on regular walks along with walking up and down a slight incline whenever possible.

This is going to strengthen the muscles around their knees.

Supplements

Supplements can significantly help with the treatment of luxating patella.

Supplements such as glucosamine that contain minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and lubricating agents are especially helpful.

These supplements help build cartilage and lubrication in injured joints.

Another great supplement to ensure your Cavapoo’s nutritional needs are met is Vitamin C.

It is a vital source of increased immunity and also strengthens the dog’s ligaments.

Physiotherapy

In grade 1 and grade 2 instances of patellar luxation, physiotherapy can play a huge role in treatment as well as recovery.

The goal of physiotherapy is to bring the dog’s affected body part back to its maximum functioning state through the use of exercises.

If action is taken early on, physiotherapy can also save your dog from undergoing a surgical process.

Not only that, physiotherapy will greatly reduce the chances of a future injury.

Medication

To reduce inflammation and pain in your Cavapoo’s joints and knees, your dog may be prescribed some form of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

However, it is important to keep in mind that this drug mostly just acts as a painkiller and is a temporary solution for the inflammation and its resulting pain.

Surgery

Surgery is the last solution when all other treatments fail to work.

Surgery is done in moderate to severe cases – grade 3 and grade 4 – where the knee cap refuses to stay in its normal place.

The surgery involves grinding away some of your Cavapoo’s femur groove bone which deepens the groove for the patellar ligament.

This realigns the ligament and allows the kneecap to fit properly in the groove instead of sliding out over and over again.

If your vet performs the surgery before arthritis sets in then the prognosis is very good.

In these cases, your Cavapoo is able to regain the full use of its leg in no time.

However, if arthritis has already set in then your dog may experience bouts of occasional pain.

Moreover, the arthritis is likely to progress from there on out as the dog ages, resulting in poorer health.

Costs

How Much Does a Luxating Patella Operation Cost in the USA?

To correct the position or the luxation of the kneecap, medial patellar luxation (MLP) surgery is performed.

The surgery is fairly expensive but has a really high success rate.

Before performing the surgery, your vet will need to test your dog’s blood. 

The blood work is performed in order to ensure that the dog’s basic kidney and liver functions are safe for anesthesia.

As for the main surgery itself, the usual fee falls around $1500-$3000 per knee.

The amount will depend on how much of the procedure and tests are included in the price.

It would be wise to make sure that the Vet gives you a complete quote that includes everything so that you do not get any surprises.

After the surgery is done and when the dog is in recovery mode, e-collars are strongly recommended.

E-collars are necessary since animals have a tendency to chew or lick open their incisions after surgery.

If an e-collar is not used, the animal will open his incision, costing you even more to close the wound again. E-collars usually cost around $15 to $20.

Recovery 1 - 3 Weeks

When it comes to the treatment process of luxating patella, the surgery itself is the easy part. The challenging part will fall on you which is the recovery phase of your Cavapoo.

The first three weeks of the recovery process will require your dog to undergo strict crate rest. 

This is because you don’t want your dog jumping or performing pulling/pushing motions and a crate is the only way to ensure that that does not happen.

The confined crating is crucial to your dog's recovery and will be very stressful for you and them.

This is what I found the hardest with Tucker.

I had to take him out on lead every time he wanted to go potty.

Do not be tempted to let them walk around without a lead. It will only take one leap or spurt of energy to destroy what the surgeon has done. 

As soon as they are finished with their potty they have to go back into there crate. 

How I handled Tucker's Crate Confinement

At Work

There is no one at home during the day as I work full time so I had to take him with me to work.

Luckily my boss was very understanding.

I set up a plastic  playpen right next to my desk. The playpen made it easier for me to pick Tucker up to take him out.

It was the small one with 4 sides like this one.

IRIS USA Ci-604E, Pet Playpen With Door, Black, 1 Pack, Black-R, 24''H

I did not want it to be too big as I really wanted him not to be able to move around too much. This playpen was perfect.

I made sure that it was really comfy for him with a big pillow at the bottom to make it nice and soft for him to lie on.

I also put in a few toys for him to chew on.

I found that he was tipping his water bowl over so instead I offered him a drink every now and again when he was awake and removed the bowl when he had finished drinking.

He handled the confinement at work very well. He slept a lot which made it a lot easier.

I took him to work with me for the first 3 weeks.

At Home

I have other dogs at home so I needed him to be protected from them and I wanted to make sure that Tucker could not get out.

I was worried that he would try and get to the other dogs.

I had to use metal closed crates for his safety just like this one. A medium sized crate will be perfect.

MidWest I Crate 1524 -24 Inch Folding Metal Dog Crate w/ Divider Panel, Small Dog Breed, Black

I worked out where I would be most of the time when I was home.

So, I knew that the kitchen, lounge and bedroom was were I wanted Tucker to be so that I could keep a close eye on him.

I set up a metal crate in each of these areas so that I could move him to wherever I was going to be without having to move the crate.

In each crate I put soft bedding and toys for him to play with.

You do not need so many crates if you are on a budget or are planning on only keeping your Cavapoo in one area of the house.

Then it was literally just a case of moving him from room to room and taking him out on lead whenever he needed to go potty.

Also, just like at work, I would give him water throughout the day.

Recovery after 3 Weeks

After three weeks, it is advisable to take your dog to your Vet for a checkup to see how everything is going. 

The Vet will then discuss with you about light exercise and taking your dog for short walks on lead to start strengthening the knee muscles.

They might also recommend physiotherapy to speed up recovery.

After that it is just a case of longer walks and allowing more freedom until your Cavapoo has fully recovered.

Normally, it should take about 6 weeks to 2 months for your Cavapoo to fully recover from the surgery.

The external wound heals fairly quickly – 2 to 3 weeks more or less – but the bone inside needs a little more time to repair and get back to normal because it will be inflamed from the surgery.

Conclusion

If you feel that your Cavapoo exhibits symptoms of patellar luxation, he should be taken to the vet sooner than later.

If your dog is then diagnosed with luxating patella after a physical examination by your vet, there is no need to worry.

It is a common condition diagnosed in dogs and is very much treatable.

A successful treatment involves you discussing the best possible options with your Vet that caters to the specific needs of your dog and its health condition.

​Read More
Cavapoo and other animals
Care & Health

Introducing Your New Cavapoo Puppy to Family Animals

Dogs being social animals should love the company of other dogs. Introducing your new Cavapoo puppy can be tricky because first impressions are very important.

This is even more important if your resident dog is used to being the only dog and has been enjoying all your attention.

A Cavapoo is an adorable mixed breed dog. 

It is a cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Cavapoos usually go by several names including Cavoodles and Cavadoodles.

Cavapoos inherit the best of both worlds from their parents resulting in a dog that is playful, outgoing, and super friendly.

They make for great pets due to their extroverted nature.

They also adore all kinds of attention and love playing and engaging with humans.

Like most dogs, Cavapoos thrive in packs although they can also work with less dogs.

Getting a Cavapoo is a great way to add even more joy to your home.

But a new dog may have difficulty transitioning and settling in a new place.

Moreover, it can become a challenge for the new dog to become friends with existing animals.

However, there are a few steps you can take to facilitate the bonding process between the older animals and your new pup. Keep reading to find out how.

Settling Your Cavapoo Puppy into its New Home

Settling your Cavapoo puppy into its new home can be a tricky challenge but with appropriate planning and preparation beforehand, the whole transitioning process can become a lot less stressful.

Before bringing your Cavapoo puppy to its new home, organization is key.

A lack of organization can lead to stressful and sometimes potentially harmful situations for your puppy.

For this reason, you should be well-prepared before you bring your little buddy from its old home to its new future home.

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your puppy’s home transition goes smoothly.

Have Everything Ready

You don’t want an anxious scrambling to be the first thing the puppy witnesses as soon as they enter your house.

Prior to your puppy’s arrival, prepare all their supplies and essentials beforehand instead of anxiously running around to find what is where after they arrive.

Things like their poo bag or their treats should be ready before your Cavapoo puppy is brought home.

Moreover, you should also have their bed (or crate) all set up for them along with all their relevant accessories stored where they need to be.

Cavapoo Introducing to the other animals

Collect Your Cavapoo Puppy Early in the Day

This may not sound important but collecting your puppy early in the day instead of late at night can be an important step that either adds or subtracts from its confusion.

It is better to pick your new puppy up as early in the morning as you can so that they get enough time to familiarize themselves with their new environment and people for the rest of the day.

Puppy-Proof Your House

One of the more important steps before opening your home to a new puppy is to puppy-proof it.

Puppies, by nature, are inquisitive and want to touch and try everything. You have to make sure that all the areas that are accessible by the puppy are escape-proof.

Objects that can potentially cause them harm should be placed at a safe distance.

 This includes things like:

  • Your children’s toys
  • Any and all electrical wires
  • Toxic foods like chocolates
  • Houseplants that can be poisonous for the pup

Toilet Train Them

We get it! We can all get a little too excited as soon as we get a new pupper.

However, that excitement can make us forget everything and rush the pet indoors as soon as we can.

But practice patience!

Because you do not want your new friend to piddle on the carpet indoors as soon as you guys reach home.

Toilet train your new Cavapoo pup as soon as you get home.

In fact, a good practice is to not even take them indoors before showing them their potty spot.

Let Them Explore

Rather than dragging around your puppy throughout the house the whole day, show them where they can and cannot go.

You can start by showing them one room at a time.

Doing this will allow your puppy to explore his new surroundings at his own pace instead of feeling constantly over-shadowed by you.  

It is also a great way for the pup to pick up smells and sounds around the house and figure things out on their own.

Introduce Your Pup to the Children

Keeping your excitement in control for the arrival of a new pup is hard enough for an adult, let alone for kids.

If you have kids around the house, try and control their enthusiasm while introducing them to the new dog.

Guide them to stay as calm as possible in the animal’s presence.

This includes changing their body language to be inviting like crouching down to the Cavapoo’s level instead of towering over it.

A treat or two will go a long way along with pats, strokes, and some cuddles.

 However, no matter how comfortable children and dogs get with each other, their company should still be supervised at all times.

Introducing Your Cavapoo to an Older Dog

Bringing a second dog into your house might cause tension with the older dog.

Cavapoo puppy intro

This can be due to dogs and their territorial nature. 

The older dog might find the new dog to be a threat to their territory.

As a result of this, the older dog might act out aggressively towards the new dog, if not monitored wisely.

Nurturing a bond between your older dog and the new dog is a time-taking process and it is something that you should not rush through.

They will become buddies on their own time. Nothing should be forced.

Before You Bring the New Cavapoo to Your home

Before your new puppy arrives home, you need to take a few steps to avoid conflict between the two dogs:

  • Buy separate food dishes for the new dog and the old dog.
  • Create enough empty space in your house for the dogs to get away from each other if need be.
  • Buy new toys for the new dog and keep the older dog’s chews and toys away from it.

During Introduction

When you bring a new dog into the household, the older dog’s routine is somewhat disrupted.

Your older dog considers your home their home and can view your new Cavapoo puppy as a threat.

Territorial aggression should be prevented by providing a neutral area for both the dogs to get acquainted in.

Arrange for the older dog to be at a park or friend’s house.

This will stop the older dog from defending their territory.

Then bring the puppy to where the other dog is.

Let them sniff each other and get used to each other’s scents in the neutral area.

It is important to stay calm during the introduction.

There is a big possibility that the dog, sensing a tension in you, might become tensed too.

As you are the caretaker, your dog is going to take your emotions and feelings into consideration while meeting the new dog.

Spend a few hours and do not rush this introduction.

Once they are both settled then take them home together.

After the Introduction

Cavapoo and older dog

To avoid an aggressive situation, the older dog should be monitored constantly around the new dog for the first few weeks.

You need to build your new dog’s daily routine without disrupting that of the older one.

Additionally, keep an eye on your older dog’s body language. This will help you gauge where their feelings lie for the new dog. Some signs to look for-

  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Display of teeth
  • Prolonged stares
  • Raised fur

Things to Do

Listed below are things you should do to accelerate the bonding process:

Introduce both dogs by smell

You might have noticed dogs sniffing each other’s butts rather enthusiastically when they first meet.

This is because dogs use scents and smell as a way of identification.

Use this to your advantage by introducing your older dog to different things that are used by the new Cavapoo puppy and let them smell it.

This will help the older dog get familiarized with the new puppy’s scent. This should result in a smoother introduction.

Try not to overwhelm the older dog

Cavapoos are generally energetic and love to run around and play.

This can overwhelm your old dog since their energy level may not match that of the newer puppy.

This could irritate the older animal and it may react to it by simply walking away. But, it may also react by being aggressive towards the little pup.

Make sure that if you see the older dog not tolerating the playfulness of the puppy, that they have a way or area that they can retreat to.

Cavapoo running

Keep Both Dogs on Leashes

While introducing your dogs, keep them on leashes so that you can prevent either of them being hurt or frightened.

Dogs organize themselves in packs and the leader of the pack expects the others to respect him.

If the leader feels like he is not getting the respect he deserves, he can get rough or aggressive.

When you bring your new dog into the house, the old dog might feel threatened and hurt the new dog.

Therefore, leashes and proper supervision are necessary to avoid this happening.

Things to Avoid

A few things that should be avoided at all costs include:

  • Do not hold the new Cavapoo in your arms during the introduction. 
  • Do not force the two dogs to be together.
  • Do not allow the two dogs to fight with each other.
  • Both dogs should have separate crates and beds.

Introducing Your Puppy to Other Animals

Bringing a new animal to the house can be a stressful time for all the animals involved.

It is important to exercise patience and let all the animals get used to each other’s presence.

The introduction among all the animals should not be forced or rushed.

Rather, it should take place over at least a week or even longer if needed.

Cats

If you have a resident cat that needs to be introduced to your new Cavapoo, there should be a few things to consider before both the animals interact with each other.

Cavapoo and cat

Think back to any past instance where your cat might have experienced the presence of a dog.

Maybe you took care of a friend’s dog for a few days or for some other reason. How did your cat react?

Did she stand at a far distance? Did she flee the house and refuse to come in until the dog was gone? Did she hide in a corner?

Each of these scenarios will give you an indication of how your cat will react to new puppy in the house.

Additionally, you should keep in mind that while your cat probably won’t be impressed by the new dog, the pup might be excited to meet his new friend.

Dogs, in general, like cats. The important thing to make sure here is that they don’t hurt each other.

Then there are some cats who are quite bold and, in fact, even a little aggressive towards new pups.

They hate giving up their feline privileges and will bully the new puppy to get their way.

Bold cats should be supervised since they can attack and harm the little puppy.

Rabbits

Rabbits are generally very well-behaved and get along with most animals.

However, dogs and rabbits differ from each other in one key aspect: dogs are predators by nature and rabbits are prey.

Cavapoo and rabbit

Rabbits are fragile creatures and can also suffer heart attacks if chased or frightened.

Never allow your Cavapoo to interact with your bunny unsupervised.

It is advisable to re-think your decision of bringing a dog into your home if you already have a free roaming house rabbit.

However, if you want both those animals in your house to co-exist, here are a few introduction steps you should partake in:

  • Find a neutral space for the introduction to take place in.
  • Place the rabbit in a secure crate or cage before the introduction.
  • Secure the dog with a leash.
  • Let them get acquainted at their own pace and don’t rush the process.
  • Keep an eye on them, especially the dog.
  • Keep the session short.
  • Practice the introduction multiple times.
  • Separate feeding areas.
  • Conclusion

    Animals need all the help they can get when first introduced into your home and as their owners; we should be diligent in our efforts to provide them with that care.

    Preparation is key when it comes to helping your new puppy feel at home.

    Following the steps mentioned above will make sure that the transition and settling of your new Cavapoo puppy and the older family animals go smoothly.

    This avoids the confusion and fear associated with meeting a new animal and will make them feel comfortable in each other’s presence.

    ​Read More
    How to Get Rid of Tear Stains on Dogs
    Care & Health

    How to Get Rid of Tear Stains on Dogs

    It may be a cause for concern if you are not familiar with the sight of tear stains on your Cavapoo’s face.

    Many curly coated dogs suffer from tear stains with the Cavapoo being one of them.

     In this article I will cover how to get rid of tear stains on dogs and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

    What are tear stains?

    According to Animal Eye Specialists, tears are necessary to protect the eye surface and to help with vision.

    Tear staining happens when there are too many tears and they accumulate on your Cavapoo’s face.

    There are a few reasons why these tear stains develop.

    • Ingrown eyelashes – these ingrown eyelashes can cause irritation and can even damage the eye because they rub against the eye surface.
    • Allergies – Your Cavapoo could be allergic to either a food source or something in there environment like grass or certain flowers.
    • Poor quality food
    • Eye Disease or Infection – In rare cases, tear stains can be an indication of a serious condition like glaucoma or corneal ulcers.
    • Abnormally large tear producing glands
    • Teething – Puppies are prone to tear stains when they are in their teething stage. They should grow out of it once they are done.
    • Ear Infection – Just like with humans, eyes and ears are inter connected so if there is a problem with one of their ears then this can cause excessive tearing.
    • Certain breeds – Cavaliers are prone to tear stains because of their short noses.

    Always consult with your Veterinarian before deciding that tear stains are just cosmetic.

    Although tear stains can be unsightly, there are plenty of remedies available to clean away the stains as well as preventative measures to stop it happening in the first place.

    What do tear stains look like?

    Normally they are visible as brown, black or reddish stains around your Cavapoos eyes. They are more prominent in white or lightly colored dogs.

    Darker colored Cavapoos might have ‘wet’ streaks on their faces.

    If you are not aware of tear stains then it might look like your dog is actually crying. This is not the case.

    Why do Cavapoos get tear stains?

    Short-nosed dogs like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to tear stains.

    The short nose causes the tear ducts to be narrow or even blocked resulting in the tears not being able to flow or drain as they should.

    The red color of the tear stains is from a pigment molecule called Porphyrins. This pigment contains iron and this is why the stains are reddish in color.

    All dogs produce porphyrins and these molecules can be present in saliva as well as tears.

    That is why when a dog licks itself consistently in one area that the fur will turn iron-brown in color.

    Cavapoo Puppy

    Preventing tear stains

    If you know that your Cavapoo is prone to tear stains then there are a few steps you can take to prevent them from forming.

  • Clean your dog’s face twice daily – Use a damp cloth and wipe away any excess tears
  • Regularly trim the hair around the eyes and nose
  • Change their food – If your dog is allergic to food sources like gluten or chicken then you will need to switch them over to a different food
  • Let your dog only drink bottled or pre-boiled water
  • Feed your dog a high quality balanced diet
  • Can tear stains be removed?

    First you need to make sure there is no underlying problem that is causing the tear stains to form. If you don't then they will just return.

    If they are just cosmetic then yes, there are a few ways that you can remove tear stains.

    It will take a few consecutive days of treatment before they will totally disappear so do not expect it to be instant.

    Make sure that any product that you do use is safe for dogs and never get any of it into the dog's eyes. The recommended products are only for use around the eyes and not in the eyes.

    You can try the following:

    Clean the eye area with a washcloth or cotton ball dampened with warm water or saline solution. Make sure you dry the area afterwards.

    You can also use diluted baby shampoo in place of the saline solution.

    The next option is commercially available eye wash made especially for dogs.

    Below are some recommendations that you can look into.

    What is the best tear stain remover?

    There are a few very popular options.

    Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs

    Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs - 100 Ct - Presoaked Textured

    The most common product is 'Angel's Eyes.

    These eye wipes are easy to use and can be taken with wherever you go.

    The textured presoaked wipes help to remove eye secretions and staining from around your dog’s eyes.

    Use daily to reduce itchiness and inflammation

    There is no need to rinse after using the wipes and they will not lighten the fur on dark-coated dogs.

    The solution is made up of natural ingredients like juniper oil, aloe leaf extract and safflower oil and is also free of antibiotics.

    Remember to close the container after use to make sure the wipes stay moist.

    Eye Envy Dog Tear Stain Remover Starter Kit

    This value pack is perfect for households with more than one dog.

    Not only is the tear stain remover for use around the eyes but it can also be used anywhere on your Cavapoo like the paws and mouth.

    Eye Envy Dog Tear Stain Remover Starter Kit | Tear Stain Essentials in one kit at a 2-Step System | Lasts 30-45 Days | Solution 2 fl.oz, Applicator Pads 30 Count and Powder 0.5oz

    The two step process involves first cleaning the area and then applying the powder.

    The powder prevents bacterial growth which is the cause of tear stains.

    It is safe for puppies.

    This product does need to be refrigerated once it has been opened.

    It does not contain any preservatives or steroids.

    Eye Envy, when used daily, should remove stains within 7 days.

    To keep your dog's eye clear of future stains then it is advisable to use weekly or twice a week if needed.

    TropiClean Spa Tear Stain Cleanser for Dogs

    TropiClean is made from natural ingredients like blueberries and oatmeal.

    The face wash is tear-free and gently lifts the dirt away while exfoliating the skin and removing tear stains.

    Great for dogs and cats 12 weeks and older.

    SPA by TropiClean Tear Stain Remover for Pets, 8oz - Made in USA

    Environmentally safe and cruelty free.

    Does not contain any preservatives or parabens.

    It is made from oatmeal, vanilla, kiwi, white tea, ginger and blueberry.

    It's a gorgeous product, smells delicious and when used daily it will get you the desired results.

    Shake the bottle well, wet the area where the stains are and apply the cleaner.

    Gently scrub the area and then let it set for 3 to 5 mins.

    Remember to keep it out of the eyes.

    After a few minutes rinse your Cavapoo's face and pat dry.

    Apply weekly to prevent future stains.

    Does coconut oil remove dog tear stains?

    Organic unrefined coconut oil is a natural anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory agent. 

    The oil can help eliminate tear stains and is completely safe to use around your dog’s eyes.

    Gently blot away any moisture and dry the hair and skin as much as possible.

    Make sure your hands are clean.

    Apply a small amount of the coconut oil where the tear stains are.

    Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce

    The coconut oil forms a water resistant barrier which repels tears and does not allow them to soak in.

    It also naturally fights bacteria.

    If your dog has stubborn tear stains then use a soft, lint-free cloth to work in the coconut oil.

    Make sure the cloth is of a light color so that you will be able to see the gunk collecting on the cloth.

    Keep doing this twice a day until the stains are gone.

    Does yogurt help dog tear stains?

    Greek yogurt will not physically remove the tear stains from your Cavapoo's face.

    It is more of a preventative tool as it contains a probiotic that will help maintain your dog's overall health.

    You will first need to clear up the tear stains using any of the methods or products listed above.

    Once the tear stains are gone then give your dog 1 teaspoon of plain greek yogurt twice a day with there meals.

    Conclusion

    Tear stains are ugly to look at and they need to be addressed. It can be frustrating getting rid of them but it is very possible to not only get rid of tear stains but to make sure they do not return.

    ​Read More
    do cavapoos shed
    Care & Health

    Do Cavapoos Shed?

    One of the reasons that the Cavapoo has become so popular is because of the belief that Cavapoos are hypoallergenic but do Cavapoos shed?

    The Cavapoo is a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle.

    The Cavalier is a shedder and I know this first hand. Little Tucker loses so much hair that there are hair tumble weeds in my house, even though we vacuum every day.

    The Poodle, on the other hand, is a minimal shedder.

    Poodles are the breed of choice for people that are allergic to dogs. The reason for this is because poodles shed very little hair because of their wiry and curly coat.

    Whether your Cavapoo puppy will be high or low shedder depends totally on which coat type they have inherited.

    If their coat is wavy and straight like a Cavalier then in all likelihood your Cavapoo puppy will be high shedding.

    On the flip side, if your Cavapoo puppy has wiry curly hair like the Poodle, then there is a good chance that your pup will be very low shedding.

    Cavapoo puppy

    Cavapoo puppy coats up to 6 months

    A puppy coat is very different to an adult coat.

    When your puppy is younger than six months then there coats will be soft and fluffy. This is to protect them against the cold and to provide protection against injury.

    As your puppy starts to mature then they will gradually lose their puppy coat which will be replaced by a harder and denser adult coat.

    During this time, your Cavapoo will shed. There is no escaping this.

    It is important that you brush your puppy very well daily during this phase.

    Brushing will help to remove the puppy hair quicker and avoid matting which will happen if the puppy hair is trapped by the adult hair.

    The second benefit is that you will not end up with the hair all over your house.

    Thirdly, it will help your puppy get accustomed to being groomed which is important as they will need to be groomed on a regular basis during their life time.

    I recommend a steel comb to get rid of tangles and dirt and a slicker brush to remove loose undercoat.

    dog slicker brush

    Do adult Cavapoos shed?

    Yes, all adult Cavapoos shed but the amount of shedding is totally dependent on a few factors.

    Coat type

    As I have already mentioned, if your Cavapoo puppy has wavy hair like a Cavalier then they will shed quite a lot. Spaniels are heavy shedders.

    If their coat is curly like a Poodle then the shedding should be a lot less to none.

    Season

    It is a known fact that animals shed during spring.

    The reason dogs shed in spring is because they need to lose their winter coats.

    Summer is coming and they will get too hot if they keep their winter coats.

    Nutrition

    Just like in humans, dogs are heavily affected by what they eat.

    Dogs need at least 20-25% protein in their diet. A lack of protein results in weak hair follicles which in turn results in more shedding.

    So, it is important that your Cavapoo has nutritious and balanced meals.

    Read this post about the best food for your Cavapoo.

    Incorrect Bathing

    Bathing your Cavapoo too often will cause dry skin and this will result in heavy shedding.

    So, try to only bath your dog when they go for professional grooming every four to six weeks unless they have been skunked or have had a nice romp in a pool of mud.

    Never use human shampoo or soap on your dog as their skin has a different ph level to humans.

    Use a natural dog shampoo that will not dry out the skin.

    Bathing a cavapoo

    Conclusion

    Cavapoos are not 100% non-shedding, no dog is.

    But if you are looking for a dog that will not leave a trail of hair all over your house, that is smart cute and adorable, then the Cavapoo is the perfect choice.

    ​Read More
    Dog activities
    Care & Health

    Activities for Dogs and Owners During Lock Down

    Lock down involves staying at home and avoiding contact with other people. This can seem terrifying but it does not need to be.

    Try and see the positive side to all this because this means that we get to spend a lot and I mean a lot of time with our dogs.

    So what can us as dog owners do during this time of forced isolation?

    A lot does depend on where you stay and how strict your lock down is so please make sure that you know exactly what the rules are for where you stay.

    Please ignore any suggestions I give if they go against what the rules are in your area.

    Walk your dog

    Walking your Cavapoo is not only beneficial for your dog but it will also help you to get some fresh air and to not feel closed in.

    Walking dogs

    Make sure that you do not come in contact with other people during your walk. If you see someone approaching you then change direction and walk away from them.

    Do not let your dog off lead at any time even if they are trained to come back to you.

    You will not be able to catch him if he bounds up to someone else and it will also not be fair to the other person who is also trying to avoid contact.

    Dog parks are not recommended unless you know for sure that it will be empty. Everyone else will have the same idea which can mean that other people and dogs will already be there.

    Keep the walk short and rather take your dog out a few times a day if necessary.

    Let them sniff as much as they want to as this is very rewarding for them.

    Play games with your dog

    Dogs love to play and even more so if they get to play with you.

    A good old fashioned game of fetch can quickly drain some of their energy and if your yard is big enough then I highly recommend a ball thrower.

    It helps you to throw the ball much further then you normally can so your dog will get tired quicker.

    If you are stuck inside your house or apartment then try to play fetch in a hallway or passage in your house.  Move away any furniture to create a clear path so your dog does not get hurt.

    Chuckit! Classic Launcher smaller
    KONG Tug Toy


    You can also play a game of tug-of-war.  Just make sure that you allow your dog to win sometimes so he does not get bored.

    Do not allow his teeth to touch your hand and if they do then stop playing immediately to let him know that it is not acceptable.

    Make your dog work for his food

    Dogs are natural scavengers and have excellent noses and making them work for their food is not mean. It can be very rewarding and stimulating for them.

    This only applies to dry kibble.

    You can try a food dispensing toy or encourage them to perform some tricks.

    You can alternate between the two to make meal time more interesting.

    Puzzle Toys

    Puzzle toys are a great way to mentally stimulate your dog as well as relieving any stress they may be feeling. You will be surprised at how these toys will tire your dog out.

    Outward Hound Ottosson Puzzle Brick

    The Puzzle Brick Toy is a great beginner puzzle toy worth considering.

    You can make it really simple or take it up a level to really challenge your Cavapoo.

    Hyper Pet LickiMat


    LickiMats are extremely popular because they just flat out work.

    Smear some doggie peanut butter, dog food or yogurt over the mat to keep your dog entertained and to avoid boredom.

    Snuffle mats are used to hide dog food in. The mats encourage natural foraging and help to relieve stress and built up energy.

    PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Dog Feeding Mat

    Wash and repair old toys

    If you are anything like me then I wait until I have a pile of toys that need washing and fixing before I do anything about it because I never have time to get to them.

    Now that we are being forced to stay at home, time is no longer an issue.

    So, collect all the old toys that can be fixed give them a wash and repair them.

    Pack them away and only give one toy at a time. Rotate them so that he has variety.

    Bake some dog treats

    Why not try your hand at baking some doggy treats?

    They are so simple and quick to make using ingredients that you probably have lying around the house. Even if you get it totally wrong, I am sure that your dog will still love them.

    Avoid recipes that use sugar, artificial flavouring and chemicals and never use artificial sweeteners as these are very toxic to your dog and will kill them.

    Try and keep the treats as natural as possible and do not feed too often as you do not want a fat dog :))

    Go HERE to see a great book that I highly recommend.

    Teach your Cavapoo basic obedience

    Basic obedience at home is just as important as anywhere else.

    A well behaved dog is a pleasure to own so do not underestimate how important this is.

    Keep the sessions short and as fun as possible.

    Start with the basic ‘sit’ command.

    There are many Youtube videos that will show you how to teach your dog basic obedience.

    The dog trainer that I prefer and HIGHLY recommend is Doggy Dan.

    He has an online course that uses positive and rewarding training so your dog will never be stressed.

    728 x 90

    Teach your dog some tricks

    Cavapoos are such smart dogs that they will easily learn new tricks.

    It can be fun for you as well to show off how great your dog is.

    Teach them how to roll over or ‘high five’ on command.

    Again, keep the sessions short and fun and reward as soon as even slight progress has been made.

    Praise your dog and let them know what a good dog they are.

    Groom your Cavapoo

    It is most likely that groomers are also in self isolation so your Cavapoo will not be able to be professionally groomed.

    So why not take the plunge and learn to do it yourself?

    Not only will you save money in the long run but it gives you another bonding opportunity with your dog.

    Grooming is actually quite easy. I groom my own dogs. You will make mistakes with your first attempt but with everyone not being allowed to make contact with other people, who will see it?

    Luckily their hair grows back quite quickly so mistakes will be covered up in no time.

    The really simple way is to buy an electric clipper as well as a good hair scissors.

    I have the Andis clipper because it lasts for years and is used by many professional groomers.

    Be careful of buying cheap clippers as they will not last and will cost you more in the long run. They will also ruin your dog's hair and not give you the result you want.

    I use a 3/4 inch blade over there whole body, head and legs. I suggest doing the same as it makes it easier if you are not worried about using different shortness of blades. It leaves the hair roughly 16-19 mm long.

    You might need to buy this blade separately.

    Always bath your dog and make sure they are totally dry before clipping them.

    Also, give your Cavapoo a good brush beforehand and remove any knots so that the clipper does not jam.

    Be very careful when you are trimming their heads to avoid poking their eyes or mouth.

    The scissors is used to trim the feet, eye brow area and the sides of the muzzle.

    Take them on a car ride

    First make sure that you are allowed to do this.

    If you are able to then put them in the car and take a slow drive. Make sure that they can see out the window and just allow them to watch outside as you drive. Do not open the window.

    This is fun and exciting for them and gives them and you a much needed change of scenery.

    Watch telly and snuggle up

    Most Cavapoos love nothing more than to just be with you.

    You also need time to recharge and relax so make the most of this time.

    Put on your favorite movie, make some popcorn and snuggle up to each other.

    Bonding with your dog has never been easier.

    ​Read More
    Heartworm Disease in dogs
    Care & Health

    Heartworm Symptoms in Dogs – The Silent Killer

    Discover what heartworm symptoms in dogs are. This silent killer can be prevented with simple medication.

    It is devastating when your precious pet has been diagnosed with a deadly disease but it is even more tragic to know that it could have been avoided in the first place.

    Heartworm is very common in the USA with some states showing larger numbers of dogs with heartworm being recorded. Heartworm disease is expensive and difficult to treat so prevention is vital.

    According to Banfield’s stats shown below, Mississippi tops the chart with 1 in 26 dogs testing positive for heartworm. It has however, been reported in all 50 States.

    1. Mississippi – 1 in 26 canine heartworm tests were positive
    2. Louisiana – 1 in 28 canine heartworm tests were positive
    3. Arkansas – 1 in 31 canine heartworm tests were positive
    4. Alabama – 1 in 60 canine heartworm tests were positive
    5. South Carolina and Texas – nearly 1 in 70 canine heartworm tests were positive

    What is heartworm in dogs?

    Heartworm is a devastating and potentially fatal disease found in pets in the USA and also in some other areas of the world.

    Heartworms can cause heart failure, severe lung damage and can even damage other organs in your pet’s body.

    They can affect dogs, cats and ferrets and are also found in foxes and coyotes.

    This disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.

    Heartworm Disease in dogs

    How do dogs get heartworms?

    The mosquito is the main player and host in the heartworm cycle.

    Adult female heartworms that are present in a dog, coyote or wolf produce offspring called microfilariae. These baby worms are then released into the bloodstream of the infected animal.

    When a mosquito bites an infected animal then the microfilariae are transferred to the mosquito.

    The microfilariae then mature inside the mosquito. This takes between 10-14 days.

    The infected mosquito then bites another dog transferring the larvae via the bite wound into the dog’s bloodstream.

    It then takes about 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms that are then capable of reproducing.

    Heartworms can live for 5-7 years and can reach a length of 12 inches.

    They look like thin strands of cooked spaghetti. The worm burden can be as high as 250 in some dogs.

    Every mosquito season can lead to even more heartworms infesting your pet.

    Heartworm lifecycle

    How often does a dog need to be tested for heartworms?

    Your dog needs to be tested annually when it goes for its usual annual check-up.

    If you have a puppy younger than 7 months, then they can be started on heartworm prevention medicine without doing a heartworm test.

    This is because it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after been infected.

    It will be wise to have young puppies tested twice (once they have been started on heartworm preventatives) within the first year to make sure they stay free of heartworm.

     After that they can be tested annually.

    Dogs over 7 months that are not on heartworm preventatives must first be tested before starting heartworm preventatives.

    Then when they start they will need to be tested every 6 months for the first year and then annually after that.

    It is really important that your dog gets the heartworm preventative every month.

    Missing a single monthly dose can cause your dog to be unprotected and exposed to the risk of getting heartworms.

    Testing them annually, even when they are on heartworm preventatives, is necessary to make sure that the preventative is working.

    This test can be done at the same time as there normal annual check for diseases common to Cavapoos.

    Heartworm preventatives are highly effective but there is never a 100% guarantee that your dog will not get this disease.

    Signs of heartworm in dogs

    Heartworms can be present in your dog long before any symptoms appear.

    The first symptoms can be fatigue after moderate exercise, a mild persistent cough, lack of appetite and a reluctance to exercise.

    As the disease progresses then your pet can develop heart failure accompanied with a swollen belly.

    Sudden blockages of blood can occur when your dog has large amounts of heartworms. This is life-threatening.

    Symptoms are labored and difficulty breathing, pale gums because of blood loss and dark colored urine. Very few dogs survive without immediate surgical intervention.

    Cavapoo teeth

    Can humans get heartworms?

    Heartworm is only transmitted via mosquitoes so you cannot catch it from your dog.

    But if a human is bitten by an infected mosquito then you can be infected with heartworm. This is however very rare.

    Even if you are bitten, the parasite does not mature in the human body.

    The typical sign of heartworm in humans is a small nodule in the lungs that is shown up in x-rays. This is just the tissue reacting to the dead parasite.

     Heartworms do not live for very long in human blood so they do not need to be surgically removed. Medication is also not necessary.


    Is heartworm contagious?

    Short answer is No.

    Infected dogs cannot transfer the heartworms to other dogs.

    Only mosquitos can transfer the heartworms from one dog to another.

    Can heartworm in dogs be cured?

    Most dogs that have tested positive for heartworm can be treated but the treatment is expensive and complex.

    Your veterinarian will first want to confirm the test results by performing a second different test.

    The last thing you want is for your dog to be treated for heartworm when it does not have any.

    If both tests are positive then your veterinarian will first work on stabilizing your pet to make sure they can handle the heartworm treatment.

    This can take a few weeks or even months if your pet is heavily infected or has other serious health conditions.

    The veterinarian might already start your dog on heartworm preventatives while stabilizing it. This helps to stop further infections and keeps your dog from being a source of heartworm larvae infecting more mosquitoes.

    Your dog’s daily activities will be restricted because physical activity increases the rate at which the heartworms cause damage to the lungs and heart.

    If your dog has severe symptoms then you can expect your dog to be heavily restricted and you will probably be told to keep them in a crate to avoid as much damage as possible.

    Once your dog is stable then your veterinarian will begin the necessary treatment. This involves several steps depending on how severe the disease is.

    Dogs that have no or mild symptoms have a high rate of success.

    Severe cases can be successfully treated but complications can occur.

    A drug called Melarsomine is injected into your dog. This needs to be done at a veterinary hospital.

    This drug kills the adults worms quickly which are then eliminated within a 1 to 3 month period.

    Cage rest will be necessary with reduced exercise to avoid complications.

    Several other medications can also be used to help make sure the treatment is a success.

    One of these is to start the dog on heartworm preventative medication at least 2 months before giving them the melarsomine injection.

    About 6 months after the completion of treatment, your veterinarian will need to test your dog again for heartworm to make sure it was a success and all the heartworms are gone.

    Sick Cavapoo

    My dog has heartworms how long will she live?

    There are a lot of factors that will determine how long a Cavapoo will live for if they have heartworms but firstly let me say that treatment is available and very successful so this would be the first option.

    If the dog is not given any treatment then it will eventually die from the damage that heartworms cause.

    It is difficult to say how long this will take because it depends totally on the age of the dog, the size of the dog, how badly it has been infected and also what damage has already been done.

    Heartworms can live for between 5-7 years but this does not mean your dog has 5-7 years. As mentioned above, there are a lot of factors involved.

    Can a dog cough up heartworms?

    A Cavapoo with heartworms will have a dry persistent cough which in the later stages of the disease is also accompanied with labored breathing.

    This is the result of the worms causing damage to the lungs.

    In dogs with advanced heartworms, your dog may cough up blood but will not cough up heartworms. They can also experience nose bleeds.

    How to prevent heartworm in dogs

    Heartworm is totally preventable with the monthly use of heartworm preventative medication. It needs to be administered on the same day every month and cannot be skipped.

    Even skipping just one dose can result in your dog getting heartworms.

    Heartworm preventative medicine for dogs

    There are a few options presently available but the most common and recommended one is Heartgard Plus.

    This medicine not only kills heartworms but it also helps to treat and control hookworms. It is a chewable tablet that has a beef flavour. Dogs love to eat Heartgard Plus.

    Heartgard Plus is the No1 heartworm preventative medicine recommended by veterinarians.

    It kills the larvae stage of the heartworm so that they cannot become adults and thus prevents heartworm disease from happening.

    This medicine can be given to puppies as young as 6 weeks of age.

    Heartgard contains Ivermectin and Pyrantel and needs to be stored at a temperature below 68° - 77°F and not in direct sunlight.

    Nexgard Plus

    Heartgard Plus comes in 3 sizes.

    1. Brown Box for dogs between 51-100lbs
    2. Green Box for dogs 26-50lbs
    3. Blue Box for dogs below 25lbs
    Heartgard Plus Green Box
    Heartgard Plus Blue Box

    You will need to chose the one closest to your dog's weight. If in doubt then get in contact with your veterinarian and ask there advice.

    All 3 boxes contain 6 months worth of treatment.


    Difference between Heartgard and Heartgard plus

    The only ingredient found in Heartgard is Ivermectin which means that it only kills heartworms.

    Heartgard Plus contains Ivermectin and Pyrantel so this medicine not only kills heartworms but can also control roundworms and hookworms


    Dangers of heartworm medication

    Every dog or puppy needs to first be tested for heartworm before taking Heartgard.

    The reason for this is because Heartgard Plus does not kill adult heartworms so it be will ineffective for dogs already hosting adult heartworms.

    This is purely a preventative medication.

    Side effects of Heartgard Plus

    When using the correct dosage, then side effects are very rare.

    Possible non-serious side effects include vomiting and diarrhoea.

    Possible serious side effects can include central nervous system toxicity or blindness if too high a dosage has been given.

    If you see any of the following signs then contact of your veterinarian immediately:

    1. Weakness
    2. Big pupils
    3. Excessive drooling
    4. Coma
    5. Being clumsy
    6. Pressing their heads against a wall
    7. Trembling
    8. Foaming at the mouth

    Heartgard Plus has been shown to be safe for pregnant dogs, breeding dogs, puppies older than 6 weeks and male dogs.

    In clinical trials it has been used in conjunction with antibiotics, vaccines, flea collars, shampoos and dips.

    ​Read More
    Cavapoo travelling
    Care & Health

    Traveling With Your Cavapoo

    Tips for traveling with your Cavapoo so that you both can enjoy a relaxing vacation together and be well prepared for whatever may happen.

    Taking any dog on vacation requires extra planning to ensure your canine companion is well taken care of and happy while you're traveling, but Cavapoos are a breed that needs a bit more attention.

    Outgoing and playful, this cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle is curious and likes going on adventures. While their spunky spirit makes them the perfect playmate at home, they can make for a challenging travel companion if you're not well-prepared.

    These tips will have you and your Cavapoo on your way to enjoying a relaxing vacation together without any travel hurdles to overcome.

    Focus on pet-friendly destinations.

    Many cities across the United States make for a wonderful destination to take your pet for a memorable vacation. When choosing where to visit with your Cavapoo, focus on warmer climates where they'll be able to get plenty of exercise outdoors. A few of the top options include:

    • San Diego, CA
    • Austin, TX
    • Key Largo, FL
    • Alexandria, VA
    • Little Rock, AR

    All of these locations are warm and inviting, especially to dog owners. You'll find several pet-friendly restaurants and resorts in these cities.

    Only stay in dog-friendly accommodations.

    There's nothing worse than booking a hotel, arriving after a long day of traveling, and finding out that dogs aren’t allowed on the premises.

    Avoid this catastrophe by finding out ahead of time whether or not a hotel or other lodging location accommodates dogs.

    Many hotels list right on their website whether or not they are pet-friendly. If you want to confirm this information, contact the hotel directly.

    Cavapoo friendly hotel

    It's better to know in advance that they accept dogs than to have to scramble at the last minute to find another place to stay.

    Many booking sites also allow you to filter for hotels that are pet-friendly.

    Give your dog enough time to exercise.

    Cavapoos are a very active breed and, therefore, require plenty of exercise throughout the day. A day or more of travel can be tough on humans, but dogs can really struggle with sitting in a car or plane, especially if they are in a crate the entire time.

    Whenever you get up to stretch or take a bathroom break, allow your dog to do the same. In addition, prior to traveling, be sure to take them on a long walk to tire them out so they rest throughout the trip.

    During the actual vacation, make a note to visit a dog park frequently to allow your dog some freedom to run, jump, and play. Be sure to focus on safety when taking your dog to the dog park.

    That means supervising at all times, making sure your dog is vaccinated prior to going to the park, cleaning up after your dog, and using an ID tag for easy identification.

    Cavapoo in dog park

    Take extra care if your Cavapoo is a puppy.

    Puppies are more work than older dogs, so naturally, you’ll have your hands full when traveling with a puppy.

    They have more energy than adult dogs and don't have the training experience that adult dogs often have. They also may not have all of their vaccinations, so the proper care should be taken while traveling to protect their health.

    Give puppies extra time to exercise and go to the bathroom. Take advantage of this opportunity to train them on the proper way to travel by reinforcing good behavior with treats.

    Make sure they're up-to-date on vaccinations.

    Just like people can get sick while traveling, so can dogs.

    Things like intestinal parasites, kennel cough, heartworm, or even allergies can leave your Cavapoo feeling anything but relaxed while on vacation.

    These types of illnesses can be avoided by seeking the proper veterinary care prior to leaving for vacation. Be sure your dog is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and that they are receiving monthly flea and heartworm preventatives.

    If they have any health problems that require medications, make sure you have enough or get them refilled before traveling.

    Bring the necessities.

    As necessities are often the focus for packing your own items, you should also place special attention on ensuring your Cavapoo has all of their essentials.

     These must-haves include a food dish, water bowl, leash and harness, waste scoop, medications, food, treats, and a pet bed.

    Cavapoo treats

     If they have a favorite toy or blanket, you might also want to bring that to help calm them during travel.

    Make your pet feel extra special by buying them their own suitcase to house all of their necessities.

    They'll feel like a true member of the family when they see all of their items packed neatly inside.

    Enlist professional help.

    Every parent needs time away, even dog parents.

    Although you love your pooch dearly, some relaxation time without your dog is necessary when you're vacationing.

    If you are traveling for work, this is particularly important. Research dog walkers and dog sitters in the area you'll be traveling to. Many pet stores offer dog sitting right in their facility, so that's an excellent place to start.

    You can also check with the hotel you're staying at to see if they have any suggestions. Your pet will get love and attention while you're able to enjoy your vacation.

    Cavapoo on bed

    Invest in some extra insurance coverage. 

    Traveling with your Cavapoo increases the number of potential mishaps that you could experience while on the road.

    As any experienced traveler knows, it’s foolish to think that everything will go your way. From weather emergencies and public protests to sudden illnesses or flight delays, there are a number of unforeseen events which you purchase insurance to cover.

    With your Cavapoo in tow, you’ll be subject to an even higher number of potential issues. Investing in pet insurance can help cover you for any unexpected veterinarian fees, extra medications, and other possible issues.

    Traveling with your adorable Cavapoo is an opportunity to make your vacation even more memorable and exciting. Although it won’t be as easy as traveling alone, this special plus one will certainly make the trip even more special.

    Be sure to follow these tips to avoid any problems that could occur while taking your vacation.

    Guest post by Nick Burton of ourbestdoggo.com.

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    Care & Health

    Cavapoo Puppies

    Cavapoo puppies are so cute with there little button noses and teddy bear looks.

    An added bonus is there sweet temperaments and fantastic personalities.

    There really is nothing as adorable as a Cavapoo puppy.

    Puppy Mill or Reputable Breeder

    There is also a dark side at play. Cavapoos became so popular that puppy mills quickly sprang up and people began breeding them to satisfy the demand. Health checks are never done and these poor dogs are raised in deplorable conditions without any human interaction.

    The mother dog is bred repeatedly until she either dies or is put down because she can no longer produce puppies. Puppy mills are despicable and are to be avoided at all costs.

    Cavapoo puppy mill

    It is crucial that you buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Great breeders do all the necessary health checks to make sure your puppy will live a long and happy life.

    They pour a lot of money into using the best specimens of the breed possible because they care. They keep there dogs clean and free of parasites and interact with the puppies every single day. The puppy area will be spotless and have toys for the puppies to play with.

    A good breeder will not be afraid of you visiting there premises and will welcome you into there home. Do first make an appointment though. They will ask you a ton of questions so be prepared to answer them and be totally honest with them. They will also answer any questions you have.

    The puppies will look healthy, be active and there eyes will sparkle. There will not be any discharge from there eyes or noses.

    The breeder will even start potty training your puppy before you take them home. Some breeders will supply puppy food and even a toy for your new puppy. They will send you regular updates on how the puppies are doing and only let them go after 8-10 weeks of age.

    The whole experience will be awesome!

    Questions to ask the breeder

    1. Has both parents been health certified? Cavapoos can be prone to hip problems, heart diseases and other genetic disorders. It is vital that both parents have clear health certificates and a good breeder will be more than willing to show these to you.
    2. Ask to see at least the mother - If at all possible try and see both parents. It might not be possible to see the father but you must definitely be able to see the mother. Is she in good health and is she clean? Does she has a good temperament or is she shy, aggressive or aloof?
    3. Do the puppies appear socialized and friendly? Are they afraid of you and run and hide away? Do they want to play with you or do they flinch at human contact? Ask if the puppies have been exposed to children, other dogs and general household items.
    4. Have the puppies been dewormed and vaccinated? A good breeder will make sure that the puppies have had the necessary vaccinations and routine deworming. Ask to see the vaccination cards. The vaccination card should come with the puppy when you finally take her home.
    5. Ask the breeder how long they have been breeding for? They should know what Cavapoo health risks are as well as what the perfect Cavapoo specimen should look and behave like.
    6. Do they supply a health guarantee and for how long? A great breeder will always supply a health guarantee in case the puppy develops a costly or life threatening condition.
    7. What food is the puppy currently eating? You want to keep your puppy eating the same food as what they are used to for a short while. You can then gradually change them over to the food of your choice over a period of time. This prevents an upset stomach.
    8. Has your puppy or any of the other puppies been sick? If the answer is 'Yes', then what was the problem and what treatment did they receive?
    9. Is there a contract? Breeders should by default make you sign a contract stating that you may not use the puppy for breeding. This is the responsible thing to do. The contract will also note that the dog needs to be neutered/spayed before a specific age. They should also state in the contract that they would be willing to take the puppy back if you are no longer able to take care of it but please note that they are not under any obligation to buy the puppy back from you.
    10. Ask for references. Do not just accept there written reviews as these could be falsified. Ask for name and phone numbers of previous puppy buyers. Phone these people and ask them about there puppies. Did they have health problems, were they socialized and would they recommend buying from the breeder.
    11. Will the breeder give you there phone number and contact details? The breeder should not have any problems with you contacting them both before the sale and after you take your puppy home. After all they should have the puppy's best interest at heart.
    12. Does the breeder belong to a breed club or kennel club? These clubs are a great place to get references from.
    13. What is the breeders requirements for owners of there puppies? Just as much as you need to ask questions about the breeder and puppies, the breeder should also ask you lots of questions. They want to make sure there puppies are going to good homes.

    How to spot a puppy mill

    Puppy mills are disgusting, filthy places that keep dogs in little cages with no regard to there health or well being.

    These dogs have little to almost no human interaction and are bred until they die. They are never health checked and usually have serious health issues.

    Dogs are never washed and stand in there own excrement. Puppies are pulled away from there mothers at extremely young ages.

    Never, every buy a puppy from a puppy mill. Please do not think you are 'rescuing' them because you are not. If you buy from a puppy mill then you are endorsing what they are doing and enabling them to carry on.

    If you discover a puppy mill, try and take some photos, leave without a puppy and report them to the nearest animal shelter. The animal shelter will then go rescue the dogs and put them up for adoption. They will also close down the place! You will not be able to do that.

    Cavapoo puppy mill

    Take note of what to look out for in the list below:

    1. You are not able to meet the parents - The puppy could have come from anywhere and might not even be the breed advertised if you cannot at least meet the mother.
    2. The breeder is far away - Scammers and puppy mills use this to there advantage. You will not be able to meet the parents or see where the puppies have been raised.
    3. The breeder wants to meet somewhere else - They normally want to meet at a parking lot or say that they are in your area and it would be easier for them to bring the puppy to you. Again, you will have no idea where this puppy came from. It could even have been stolen.
    4. Breed lots of other breeds - Puppy mills are just in it for the money so the more dog breeds they can breed the better. If a breeder lists that there are multiple breeds available then this is a sure sign of a puppy mill.
    5. The breeder has multiple litters ready to go - A good breeder will always have a waiting list and normally only has one litter ready to go at any given time. If a breeder has a large amount of puppies ready to go then it is a bad sign.
    6. Puppies are not vaccinated - Remember that puppy mills exist to make the owners lots of money. They will not be willing to spend money on vaccinations for the puppies or for the parents.
    7. Puppies are not clean and smell bad - Puppy mills are dirty places. Sometimes puppies will be bathed before you see them but usually puppy mills are so brazen that they will just present you with a smelly and dirty pup.
    8. Puppies look unhealthy and have discharge coming from there eyes or noses - The puppies are not taken care of and are often sick and have poor quality coats.
    9. No contract - A good breeder will always have a contract listing the terms of owning one of there puppies. Puppy mills do not care.
    10. Very young puppies - Puppies should never be under the age of at least 8 weeks when you take them home. They still need there mother and litter mates to teach them crucial skills and behavior.
    11. Puppies been sold at markets or off the street - You will never know where these puppies came from and what circumstances they were raised in. 
    12. No questions asked - A good breeder wants to know as much about you as you want to know about them. A puppy mill owner will not ask anything because they just want to sell the puppy.
    Black Cavapoo Puppy

    What is a Puppy Broker?

    A puppy broker is someone who buys puppies from mass breeders and then sells the puppy to you or to a pet store.

    They typically buy these puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills.

    How it works is that the broker may buy the pup from the backyard breeder, for $60 to $160. They sell it to the pet store for $220 to $420. The pet store then resells the puppy for $1,200 to $1,600. This is how the puppy broker makes there money.

    If you buy a puppy from a pet store then there is a high probability that a puppy broker was involved. The pet store will not be able to tell you who the breeder was and will always say that they do not buy from puppy mills. They can say this because they bought the puppy from a broker.

    Luckily many cities are now banning the sale of puppies from pet stores but there are still currently about 300 USDA-licensed puppy brokers in the United States. There are many more unlicensed brokers.


    If you buy from a puppy broker or from a pet store you will not know where your puppy was bred. You will not be able to see the parents and you definitely will not have the health checks been done that are so important to ensure your new puppies health and happiness.

    Conclusion

    The only place you should be buying a puppy from is from a reputable breeder. 

    When you decide to add a puppy to your family, then you are investing in around 12-15 years of being in that dog's life. You want the best start possible.

    Buying a sick and unhealthy puppy is going to cause you heartache and distress. Never mind the financial implications of operations and medicines to try and save your baby.

    Do not put yourself in that situation. Buy from a reputable breeder where you can see how the puppies have been raised and you can do all the necessary checks.

    Need to know what essentials you must buy for your puppy, then click here.

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