These Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes Could Keep Your Sneezes at Bay

Designer dogs or hybrid dogs are becoming more and more popular. If you are an allergy sufferer, consider these hypoallergenic dog mixes. They have little to no shedding, which means less dander to trigger your allergy symptoms.


A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle breeds, the Labradoodle was originally developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. The Labradoodle comes in three different sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first generation breeding. The Standard Labradoodle stands 22 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. The Medium Labradoodle stands 17 to 20 inches high and weighs 30 to 45 pounds. The Miniature Labradoodle stands 14 to 16 inches and weighs about 15 to 25 pounds. This widely popular dog takes after both of its parents. It is friendly, playful and intelligent. Its shaggy curly coat does not shed. This loving family dog is happiest when she is with her human companions. Intelligent and eager to please, the Labradoodle is easy to train. This is an excellent dog for first-time dog owners. This breed is good with children and other pets. This high-energy breed requires regular daily exercise. This is an intelligent dog that also needs mental stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive. The Labradoodle comes in a wide variety of colors. The Labradoodle was designed to be hypoallergenic, but it really depends on the coat type of the particular dog. If your Labradoodle’s coat is more like a Lab, it is likely to be high shedding, so be careful in choosing the right Labradoodle for you. If this is an issue for you, ask your breeder to help select a puppy that is less likely to shed. Expect to brush your Labradoodle once or twice a week. To learn more about the Labradoodle, go to Choosing a Labradoodle.


Developed in the 1980s, the Schnoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer. It was bred to be a low shedding family dog. Since both the Poodle and the Schnauzer come in three different sizes, the size of the Schnoodle can vary greatly, but the average Schnoodle is small, weighing about 20 pounds. This breed can stand from 10 to 26 inches tall and can weigh from 6 to 75 pounds. Schnoodles have no to low shedding, so this is a very good breed for people with allergies. This is a smart, cheerful, active breed that is eager to please. This wonderful family pet is playful and fun-loving. This dog loves to play with children and to be the center of attention. He is a loyal watchdog like the Schnauzer, and he is smart and affectionate like a Poodle. They get along well with other family pets. The Schnoodle will like the entire family but often will bond with one member more than the others. They love being around their people and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. This high-energy breed requires plenty of daily exercise. And because the dog is so intelligent, it also requires plenty of mental stimulation to avoid destructive behaviors. An apartment can be a good home for a small Schnoodle, but a large Schnoodle needs a home with a fenced yard. They make very good watchdogs because they are protective of their families. You will need to brush your Schnoodle once or twice a week. To learn more about the Schnoodle, go to Choosing a Schnoodle.


This fun-loving designer dog is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. It stands between 7 and 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 3 and 14 pounds. The life expectancy for this breed is 10 to 15 years. This is an excellent companion dog – loving and fun, he loves being in the company of his family. This is also a good dog for allergy sufferers because it has low dander and is low shedding. This breed is intelligent, making Yorkipoos quick learners – although they do have a stubborn streak. With a gentle and loving disposition, Yorkipoos are good with the elderly and make good therapy dogs. And while they do well with older children, this breed is not recommended for homes with small children. They may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. The Yorkipoo makes a good watchdog. Active and energetic, this breed requires daily exercise. The Yorkipoo is known to bark a lot, although he can be trained to bark less. They usually do well with other pets. The silky coat requires daily brushing and comes in a variety of colors.


A cross between the Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle, the Maltipoo stands about 8 to 14 inches high and weighs between 5 and 20 pounds. The life expectancy for this breed is about 10 to 13 years. This designer dog is gentle and very affectionate, making it a good therapy dog. They are great with the elderly and with older children who know how to handle them carefully. The Maltipoo is among the more popular of the designer breeds and prized by celebrities. Maltipoos can get along with other dogs and pets. Since both the Maltese and the Poodle are hypoallergenic dogs, the Maltipoo sheds very little and is a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. The intelligent Maltipoo is easy to train and is a good dog for first-time dog owners. These fun-loving dogs love being with people and are not a good choice for homes where they will be left alone for long periods of time. A good lap dog, the Maltipoo can be a little barker, so he makes a good watchdog, but he may not be a good choice for apartments or housing where there are noise restrictions. They are active and energetic, needing daily exercise. The Maltipoo’s fluffy coat is low shedding and low dander. It comes in a variety of colors with the most common being cream and white. This dog requires daily brushing.


The Cockapoo comes in a variety of sizes. The Teacup size stands under 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 pounds. The Toy Cockapoo stands about 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds. The Miniature Cockapoo stands between 11 and 14 inches high and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. The Standard Cockapoo stands at least 15 inches high and weighs more than 19 pounds. A cross between the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, this dog loves people, children, other dogs, and pets. This happy-go-lucky dog is the first designer dog, dating back to the 1960s. A real companion dog, the Cockapoo is very affectionate and will follow you around. He loves being around his family and is known to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, which can lead to excessive barking and destructive behaviors. He is very outgoing and gets along with everyone. This lapdog makes a good therapy dog. The Cockapoo is intelligent and easy to train. This breed hardly sheds at all, making it a good choice for people who suffer from allergies; however, the Cockapoo requires daily brushing. The breed has moderate energy levels and requires daily exercise. To learn more about the Cockapoo, go to Choosing a Cockapoo.

Got Allergies? Here Are Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

If you’ve got pet allergies but you still want to own a dog, you should look for a breed that does not shed or one that sheds very little. Dander gets trapped on a dog’s fur, so the less the dog sheds, the less dander there is to cause an allergic reaction. Shedding is also a big concern for allergy sufferers because shedded hair can collect other allergens like dust and pollen.

Small hypoallergenic dog breeds make great companions. If you’re looking for small breeds that don’t shed, then take a look at these small hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise descended from the Water Spaniel in the Mediterranean region and is beloved in that area. This small hypoallergenic breed is a truly non-shedding small dog, making it an ideal pet for people with allergies. It has a sweet disposition and is a very popular house dog. The Bichon Frise looks like a little white powder puff. It does not shed a lot but its fluffy white double coat requires regular brushing and trimming. This breed needs daily exercise. This is a playful, happy dog that is extremely affectionate and loving. The Bichon Frise craves attention from its human companions and they are good with children. They do not do well with being left alone for long periods of time. They are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. Because of its small size and nature, the Bichon Frise makes a good apartment dog. To learn more about the Bichon Frise, go to Choosing a Bichon Frise.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn terrier dog

The Cairn Terrier stands 10 inches high and weighs about 13 to 14 pounds. The most famous Cairn Terrier is Toto from The Wizard of Oz. Their weather resistant double coat should be brushed regularly, and their coat can be any color except for white. This is a very active breed with lots of energy to burn. They need to run every day. This is an active and adventurous dog. It is important to provide enough daily exercise for your Cairn Terrier so that he will not get bored, which could lead to nuisance behaviors like barking, chewing and digging. This breed is brave and adventurous. They are very intelligent dogs that have a loving, playful nature. They make great companions for both adults and children. This breed is easy to train and they love to learn new tricks. Cairn Terriers are known to have a stubborn streak. They will chase and bark at small animals and they love to dig and swim. To learn more about the Cairn Terrier, go to Choosing a Cairn Terrier.

Coton De Tulear

Coton de TulearThe Coton De Tulear originated in Madagascar. It is about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs between 8 to 13 pounds. This dog has a life expectancy of about 14 years. The Coton De Tulear is related to the Bichon Frise and the Maltese and it has a long fluffy coat. This breed is hypoallergenic. As a small dog that doesn’t shed, it is a good choice for allergy sufferers. This dog’s coat requires regular grooming. The Coton De Tulear has a gentle nature – it is sweet and cuddly. A real people pleaser, this dog enjoys spending time with his family and his favorite activity is to cuddle up on the couch with you. Cotons are good with older children and children who know how to be gentle. This is a smart dog that quickly learns what is expected of him. The Coton De Tulear requires daily walks and playtime. He is well socialized – he loves being with people and doesn’t like being separated from them. Although they prefer the company of humans, the Coton will get along with other pets.


The Havanese stands about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs about 7 to 14 pounds. Its life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. This small dog originated in Cuba and it is hypoallergenic. This is a loving lap dog that loves being with his family. He will follow you from room to room. But the Havanese does not like being alone and is known to bark and howl when you are gone. This breed gets along with people of all ages and all animals. The Havanese is intelligent and sensitive. They love attention and they closely bond with their human companions. This breed is smart, eager to please and very trainable. For a small breed, the Havanese has a lot of energy and needs a daily walk and playtime. Frequent brushing is recommended to keep your Havanese’s thick, soft coat free from mats.


maltese small hypoallergenic dogThe Maltese stands about 8 to 10 inches high and weighs between 4 to 7 pounds, making it one of the smallest of the toy breeds. The life expectancy of the Maltese is about 12 to 15 years. Although the exact origin of this breed is unknown, it has been around for thousands of years. This is an elegant and energetic small dog. This breed can become very attached to its owners. They dislike being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to barking and destruction. This dog has a protective nature, making it suspicious of strangers. In an attempt to protect their owners they are known to bark and bite. The Maltese also has an impatient nature, so children and other pets may annoy this breed. Also, because of their small size, they are not recommended for households with small children. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trained. They enjoy a daily walk and playtime and often remain playful even into old age. The Maltese has a long, soft, white coat and low shedding. It needs to be brushed regularly to avoid mats. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Maltese.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer stands about 12 to 14 inches high and weighs about 10 to 15 pounds. It was created in Germany using a cross between the Affenpinscher, the Poodle, and the Standard Schnauzer. With a long beard and bushy eyebrows, he is a very popular breed that truly enjoys the company of people. He wants to be next to you all the time. This active and intelligent breed loves to be the center of attention. They are affectionate and make wonderful companions. This is an energetic small dog that needs daily exercise and mental stimulation so they don’t become bored and destructive. They love being in the middle of the action. He is protective of his family and wary of strangers. The Miniature Schnauzer can be noisy, but he’s good with children and other dogs. This intelligent breed is a quick learner, but he can be very stubborn. Their wiry double coat requires regular grooming and many owners prefer a shortcut for easier maintenance.

Shih Tzu

shih tzu hypoallergenicThe Shih Tzu (which means “little lion”) stands about 9 to 11 inches high and weighs about 9 to 16 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 10 to 16 years. This breed was developed in China and has a very recognizable appearance. This lovable dog is playful and loves to be the center of attention. These good-natured dogs will follow you around the house and make very good companions. They are good with people of all ages, children and other pets. The Shih Tzu is friendly, outgoing and affectionate. He is very loyal to his family and makes a great family pet. This small dog has a lot of energy and loves to play. The Shih Tzu may be difficult to housebreak. This is not an extremely active dog. Their soft, silky, long coat needs daily brushing. Many owners decide to keep their dogs in a short puppy cut to make grooming easier. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Shih Tzu.

Toy Poodle

The Poodle is one of the most popular house pet breeds. The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three sizes that Poodles come in. The Toy Poodle stands up to 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 to 9 pounds. Poodles rank as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please their owners and very easily trained. This athletic dog needs daily exercise so they do not become bored and resort to destructive behavior. The Toy Poodle is outgoing and friendly with plenty of energy. They enjoy being around people of all ages, including children, and they make great family pets. The Toy Poodle is protective of his home and family.This is a hypoallergenic dog with little to no shedding. Still, you’ll need to brush this dog every day and visit the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain that fluffy coat. The coat comes in many different colors and the hair is curly and dense. To learn more about the Toy Poodle, go to Choosing a Toy Poodle.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier HypoallergenicThe Yorkshire Terrier or “Yorkie” as it is also known is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. The Yorkie stands about 7 to 9 inches high and weighs about 4 to 7 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. This breed is smart and self-confident. The spunky Yorkie is often the center of attention. These small dogs are big on personality and they make loving companions. Their small size is great for apartment living. This lovable lap dog has lots of energy and loves to play. They do not do well being left alone for long periods of time. The Yorkie will form an extremely close bond with its primary caretaker and is often not good with strangers and other dogs, but they can get along well with other dogs and cats if they are socialized to them at a young age. The Yorkie is bold and fearless, often going after much larger dogs. Because of their small size and their tendency to be aggressive, they are not recommended for families with small children. The Yorkie’s silky coat should be brushed daily. Many owners will clip their Yorkshire Terriers to reduce the amount of grooming needed. This breed can be difficult to housebreak. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Yorkshire Terrier.

These Pooches Are Large Breeds That Don’t Shed

Dogs that don’t shed or dogs that have low shedding are typically better choices for people who suffer from pet allergies. It is not the actual dog hair that we are allergic to, rather it is the dog’s dander, saliva, urine, skin and other proteins. Allergens, especially dander, get trapped on a dog’s fur and then transferred to the carpet or furniture and eventually into the nose of an allergic person. So the less the dog sheds, the less dander there is to aggravate your allergies. Shedded dog hair can also collect allergens like dust and pollen, which can cause symptoms in allergy suffers.

Looking for large breeds that don’t shed? Then you should take a look at these large hypoallergenic dogs.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier originated in England. It is a good working dog that was used to guard the home, for hunting small game and for police work. They excel in protection, agility, and obedience. The Airedale Terrier is an active and athletic dog that needs regular exercise. It is a good idea to have a fenced backyard when owning an Airedale. The Airedale is loyal and protective of their family, but the Airedale is willing to accept outsiders once their family has welcomed them inside. This breed is also good with children. The Airedale is high spirited and should be supervised around cats and small animals. This intelligent dog is highly trainable and should be socialized from a young age. These giant British Terriers have a double coat with soft fur underneath and a coarse top coat that requires regular brushing. Because it is the largest of the terriers, the Airedale has been given the nickname “King of the Terriers.” This breed stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 45 pounds. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing an Airedale.

Bouvier Des Flandres

This breed is a working dog. It is also a very good guard and police dog that was used as an army dog during the two World Wars, carrying messages and hunting out the wounded. The Bouvier Des Flandres originated in Belgium and France and was introduced to North America in the 1930s. This loyal breed is protective of the children in his herd. They learn commands easily but some Bouviers can be strong willed with less assertive owners. The breed can be aggressive towards strangers. The Bouvier needs regular exercise and at least two long walks every day. Its long, shaggy coat requires regular brushing and trimming. For a large dog, this breed is quite agile and light on its feet. This is a large dog measuring 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 90 pounds. Health concerns for this breed include hip dysplasia.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer averages about 23 to 27 inches high and weighs between 65 to 100 pounds. The males are typically larger than the females. This breed has a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. This handsome bearded dog has a wiry and dense double coat that requires regular brushing and occasional grooming. It can be either black or salt and pepper gray in color. The Giant Schnauzer was developed in Germany in the late 1800s as a working farm dog. It was originally bred by cattlemen to move livestock to market. During WWI, this breed was trained as police dogs. This fiercely loyal breed is very protective of their human companions. This breed makes an excellent guard dog or watchdog. A very willful breed, the Giant Schnauzer should be trained and socialized from a young age. This is an active dog that needs daily exercise. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Giant Schnauzer.

Irish Water Spaniel

Standing between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds, this large dog is known for its unusual tail – it has curly hair on the first four inches from the base of the tail, and the rest of the tail is nearly hairless. This is an intelligent breed. The Irish Water Spaniel was bred as a bird dog. Unlike other spaniels, this breed was not developed to flush out birds, but rather to jump into the frigid waters of Ireland to retrieve dead or wounded fowl. This breed loves the water. They have webbed feet and their coat is naturally water resistant. The Irish Water Spaniel has a double coat with tight ringlets. Its tight curly coat should be brushed and groomed regularly to prevent matting. This loving dog bonds closely with their family and is anxious to please, but they are naturally reserved towards strangers. The Irish Water Spaniel requires plenty of social interaction, toys, and playtime to keep them entertained. This dog would be happy with a large fenced backyard. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing an Irish Water Spaniel.


The Komondor stands about 25 to 31 inches tall and weighs about 70 to 80 pounds. This breed looks like a big dust mop with a long, soft white coat that is corded into dreadlocks. This coat would help him to blend in with sheep if he were caring for them. A big muscular dog, the Komondor comes from Hungary. This breed is at its best when it is working. If they are left without a job to do they become bored quickly. Traditionally this breed has been used as a herder and a police dog. A great guardian, the Komondor is loyal, devoted and protective. He tends to protect his family, his home and his possessions. He is easily trained but because of his protective nature, he may not be gentle enough for every family. The Komondor enjoys long daily walks and outdoor country living. This is an independent thinker so begin training and socialization early and establish yourself as the dominant member of the pack. Common health problems in the Komondor are hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, and skin problems.


The Saluki stands about 23 to 28 inches high and weighs up to 65 pounds. Female Salukis can be much smaller. One of the world’s oldest breeds, Salukis were never sold – they were given as gifts. This breed can have either a smooth or feathered coat which is short and close. The coat is smooth, soft and silky. The Saluki requires occasional brushing, maybe once a week. Salukis are friendly, loving and gentle. They do not tolerate roughhousing and do better with older, gentle children. This breed is devoted to its family members and often has one special person. Salukis become so attached to their family members that they can become depressed if left alone for long periods of time. The Saluki has a strong hunting instinct. This breed needs room to exercise in a large fenced yard.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle stands about 15 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. This breed has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. The Poodle has been used in France and Germany since the 1400s for hunting and retrieving, as water dogs and as companions. This breed was known as a circus trick dog and it was also known for its ability to sniff out the famous truffle mushrooms. Poodles have webbed feet. They have thick, curly, short hair. Poodles should be brushed on a daily basis and they need regular grooming. This is a very intelligent breed that learns quickly. They are very friendly dogs and make great companions. Poodles get along well with children and they enjoy being around other people and animals. They are very obedient. The Poodle is very active and requires a healthy amount of daily exercise. Health concerns for this breed includes progressive retinal atrophy, digestive tract disorders, skin problems and heart problems. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Standard Poodle.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Also known as a Griff, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon stands about 20 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 60 pounds. This breed came into existence in Europe in the mid to late 1800s. This active dog is a strong swimmer and an excellent water retriever. It has a rough double coat that needs to be brushed twice a week. This is a graceful dog. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is friendly and easy to train. It is an intelligent and obedient dog that is deeply devoted to his family. This breed makes a great family pet. Extremely sociable, the Griff gets along well with children and other dogs, but does not do well with cats and other small pets. This breed does well in an active country setting with plenty of room for running.

Mixed Breeds

If a breed is hypoallergenic, you may wonder if mixed breeds of these dogs also have that same trait. The answer is, maybe. It depends on which traits the hybrid dog has inherited from which parent. In fact, different puppies in the same litter may or may not be hypoallergenic, depending on which type of coat they have inherited.

Factors to Consider Before You Compare Pet Insurance Policies

According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), close to 1.8 million pets were insured by the end of 2016 in North America. Approximately 1.6 million pets were insured in the United States and approximately 220,000 pets were insured in Canada. This represents an 11.5% growth in insured pets from 2015. There are currently 12 major pet insurance companies in North America, but the number of companies is expected to grow. This means that there are many options for you to compare pet insurance policies.

Pet Ownership Is On The Rise

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.

Currently, it is estimated that less than 1% of North America’s dogs and cats are insured. This number is quite low compared to other countries. For example, the UK reports about 25% of their dogs and cats as having pet insurance and Sweden is at over 30%.

However, in the United States, each year the number of insured pets continues to grow and more and more pet owners will explore pet insurance and will need to compare pet insurance companies and compare pet insurance plans to find the right company and plan for their fur family member.

Factors to Consider Before You Compare Pet Insurance?

With over 12 pet insurance companies, the prospect of finding and comparing pet insurance companies and comparing pet insurance plans can seem complicated. The good news is that it is actually not that complicated. We’ve created the following tips that should help you compare pet insurance and help you find the plan that is right for your pet and your family.

#1.  Know the Players  – Research all the available companies and plans to understand the details and differences. A simple “pet insurance” google search will provide the majority of players or you could visit this article: The Pet Insurance Providers In North America.

#2. Compare Pet Insurance Providers – Start a comparison chart to do a side-by-side comparison of pet insurance companies based on the key factors that impact your plan, coverage and costs. These details include: plans, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, sample reimbursements and plan details, including exclusions and any additional features.

#3 Research What’s Covered and What’s Not – Many plans may have exclusions or things that are not covered, which can impact your plan costs and coverage when you submit a claim. The top exclusion categories include: pre-existing conditions, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, or conditions related to breeding.

#4 Pick A Plan For You and Your Pet – Determine what’s most important for you and your pet. Many providers offer custom plans that allow you to build options based on annual limits, deductibles and copay options. Research your pet’s breed and talk to your vet about breed-related health issues and your pet’s health history. Explore all the plan options for accidents, illnesses and wellness care.

#5 Compare Cost and Value – Compare the plan options based on your pet’s needs. Explore any details around deductible – are they per incident or annual? How do these factors impact your choice and cost? Most providers have quick quote tools that make getting this information simple.

#6 Get To Know The Company – How long has the company been in business, how many pets do they insure?  Search for company reviews and find out what others have to say about the company and plans. Look for the most recent reviews to ensure accurate details on the current plans and customer experiences.

#7 Explore Discounts – Many companies offer discounts and there are also discounts when you enroll multiple pets. Does your employer offer pet insurance?  Many employers are now offering pet insurance as part of your benefits package and there may be group discounts.

#8 Start When Pets are Young and Healthy – The age of your pet and current health status play an important role in costs coverage. The younger the pet typically means lower costs and less limitations for pre-existing conditions.

How To Find Full Pet Insurance Coverage

It is very easy to find full pet insurance coverage. However, in order to find full pet insurance coverage, it is important to understand what type of coverage pet insurance provides for our dogs and cats.  Pet insurance plans were designed to cover unexpected and unplanned accidents and illnesses. With the rising costs of pet healthcare, having pet insurance and full pet insurance coverage can ensure that pet owners can provide both important and costly medical care for their dogs and cats.

Pet Insurance Providers In North America

At the time of this post, we identified 12 pet insurance companies that insure dogs and cats in North America. All of the pet insurance providers listed below offer comprehensive and major medical coverage and some also include wellness plans for cats and dogs. Some pet insurance companies offer plans for fish, birds, and horses also.

Pet Insurance in North America

Pet Insurance was founded in the U.S. by Dr. Jack Stephens and in 1982 the first pet insurance plan was issued in North America to Lassie. Between 1997 and 2017 over 11 new pet insurance companies started in the U.S. To date, less than 2% of U.S. dogs and cats are insured.  Outside of the U.S. pet insurance is much more popular Sweden tops the list with over 30% of their pets having pet insurance. The U.K. has the second highest at 25% of their pets having pet insurance.

Pet Insurance Companies in North America

  1. Nationwide
  2. Embrace
  3. Pets Best
  4. ASPCA
  5. PetPremium
  6. AKC
  7. 4Paws
  8. Healthy Paws
  9. Trupanion
  10. Petplan
  11. PetPartners
  12. Figo

The Value of Pet Insurance

It is our opinion (and this is an opinion shared by many professionals and pet owners),  pet insurance saves lives. It is fact that cannot be disputed.

We all know that one of the biggest costs of pet ownership is the vet bills. Each day pet healthcare becomes more sophisticated and more expensive. Pet Insurance can ensure that you can always provide the best care for your dog or cat and help put an end the practice of economic euthanasia.


Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed

If you’re thinking about getting a Doberman pinscher, here’s what you and your family should know about the Doberman breed. Officially recognized in 1900, the Doberman is a relatively new breed. Developed in Germany, the Doberman breed was imported to the United States. By 1921, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was founded and the dog quickly gained popularity as a working breed. The Doberman was originally developed as a fiercely protective guard dog, but its temperament has been toned down to be a loyal, loving and devoted, yet still protective, family pet. On average, the Doberman breed has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and is one of the smartest of all dogs.

Although the Doberman breed has a reputation as an attack dog, he is also considered a loving and loyal companion. A good Doberman is a stable and friendly dog, but all of that changes if you threaten his family.

Is Doberman Ear Cropping Necessary?

The adult Doberman pinscher stands 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 60 to 100 pounds. The Doberman has a wedge-shaped head and the ears may or may not be cropped. Uncropped ears naturally hang and the tail is docked.

Doberman ear cropping is very common. Ear cropping is a surgical procedure in which a portion of the dog’s ear is removed, producing ears that stand erect. The procedure is most often performed on Doberman puppies at around 8 to 12 weeks of age. The ears are then taped to a hard surface for several weeks while they heal. This is done so that the ears will stay upright. To learn more about the ear cropping procedure in dogs, go to Ear Cropping for Dogs.

Ear cropping is an elective surgery for dogs. It’s a choice. It has no known health benefit and is done solely at the dog owner’s preference. Ear cropping in the Doberman breed has long been routinely done to achieve a certain appearance. And while this routine procedure is not banned or regulated in the United States, it is becoming more controversial. Some states are considering legislation to ban ear cropping, but they have not yet done so.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that ear cropping is “integral to defining and preserving breed character” in certain breeds like the Doberman pinscher, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposes ear cropping in dogs. Because the procedure is purely cosmetic, they believe it poses unnecessary risks to the dog.

Ear cropping is becoming less common. Less veterinarians are willing to perform the surgery, and dog owners are becoming more aware of the controversial nature of the surgical procedure. If your Doberman competes, you should know that the AKC says dogs without docked tails or cropped ears are just as likely to win at dog shows.

To learn more about ear cropping in the Doberman breed, go to Is Doberman Ear Cropping Necessary?

What You Need to Know About the Doberman Breed’s Health History

One of the most serious breed-related health problems in the Doberman breed is cardiomyopathy, which causes an enlarged heart. The diseased heart muscles become enlarged and weak, making it harder and harder for the heart to pump blood. Eventually affected dogs die from heart failure. Early signs of the disease might include depression, coughing, exercise intolerance, weakness, respiratory distress, decreased appetite and even fainting. However, many dogs with this condition are asymptomatic. To help catch this condition early, you should have your dog examined every year. No dog with cardiomyopathy should ever be bred.

Cervical vertebral instability (CVI), commonly known as Wobbler’s disease, is another breed-related condition affecting the Doberman breed. In this condition, the vertebrae in the neck are malformed. This puts pressure on the spinal cord, which leads to weakness in the hindquarters and a wobbly gait. Sometimes complete paralysis results.

Here’s what you need to know about Doberman health. In general, the Doberman is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Wobbler’s disease is a malformation of the bones in the neck resulting in neck pain and a characteristic wobbly gait.
  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.
  • Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease is a disorder that results in the inability to clot blood. Affected animals will bleed extensively following trauma or surgery.
  • Melanoma is a tumor arising from melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment.
  • Cutaneous Histiocytoma – is a benign tumor of the skin that can affect young dogs.
  • Lipomas are benign fatty tumors of the subcutaneous tissue.
  • Fibrosarcoma is a type of cancer that arises from the fibrous connective tissues.
  • Alopecia is a disorder resulting in a loss of hair.
  • Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.
  • Lick granuloma is a condition in which the dog licks an area excessively, usually on the front leg, until a raised, firm ulcerated lesion is formed.
  • Parvovirus is a devastating gastrointestinal virus that primarily affects unvaccinated puppies.
  • Chronic hepatitis is a chronic and progressive inflammation of the liver of dogs that leads eventually to the replacement of normal liver tissue with scar tissue.
  • Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is a malformation of the blood flow associated with the liver. Blood is shunted away from the liver, resulting in accumulation of blood toxins and subsequent profound illness.
  • Drug reaction to a group of drugs called “sulphonamides” may cause skin reactions and polyarthritis in this breed.
  • In addition, the Doberman is prone to acne, osteosarcoma and elbow dysplasia.

To increase the chances that you will be getting a healthy puppy, choose a reputable breeder. Careful breeders screen their dogs for genetic diseases and breed only the best specimens. Still, there are no guarantees that the puppy will not develop one of these conditions despite good breeding practices.

How to Transition to Managing Old Cat Behavior

Today you can expect your cat to live a longer life than in the past. While some cats live into their twenties, most cats live to be 16 or 17 years of age.

Cats are like people. We are all unique and not all of us will age at the same rate. Your cat may begin to display old cat behavior as early as 7 years of age or as late as 10 years of age – most will change by age 12 at the latest.

What is old cat behavior and how will you be best prepared to manage it?

Normal aging brings about changes in behavior. Old cat behavior includes being less active, playing less, sleeping more, grooming less, eating less heartily, and reacting less to surrounding events. Older cats may experience a disturbance in sleep patterns or disorientation. Suddenly your older cat begins forgetting previously learned behaviors, like the location of the litter box. These changes can cause a lot of anxiety and your cat may react in many different ways. Your cat may begin to display aggression or change its social relationships with other household members.

Feline cognitive dysfunction or FCD can begin as early as 11 years of age, affecting memory, sight, hearing and much more. Typical signs of FCD can be described by the acronym DISH.

  • D – Disorientation – Your senior cat may wander aimlessly and appear lost or confused at times. He may fail to recognize family members.
  • I – Reduced Social Interactions – Your cat may no longer greet people warmly or seek their attention as often.
  • S – Changes in Sleep-Wake Cycle – Your cat may sleep more during the daytime but wander aimlessly at night, perhaps crying out.
  • H – Loss of House Training – Breakdown of house training can occur because your cat forgets where the litter box is, or is no longer concerned about personal hygiene.

To learn more about old cat behavior, go to Behavior of the Senior Cat.

Why Increased Urination in Cats Happens

As our cat’s age, they tend to urinate more often, and sometimes they urinate outside the litter box. Incontinence or weak bladder is age-related. The bladder weakens with age, resulting in more frequent urination. Essentially, your cat will urinate as soon as pressure builds up in the bladder – and often, that can mean urinating outside the litter box.

Increased urination in cats is normal with age. It often results from diseases that are common to aging felines, like kidney failure, hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Increased urination in cats is often an early sign of diabetes in older or overweight cats. But don’t just assume that your cat’s more frequent urination is a sign of old age. If you have concerns, see your veterinarian. Your cat could be suffering from a urinary tract infection or bladder infection, or kidney disease.

More frequent urination will cause the litter box to become soiled more quickly. Many cats will stop using the litter box when they encounter a buildup of soil or odor. So increased urination in cats often means urinating outside the litter box. To help keep your cat from urinating outside the litter box, make sure to keep the litter box as clean as possible. Clean the litter box daily, or more often if necessary. To learn more about dealing with a cat urinating outside the litter box, go to How Do You Deal with a Cat Urinating Outside the Litter Box.

Arthritis is another condition that can contribute to urinating outside the litter box. Older cats can suffer from arthritis pain that makes it difficult for them to access the litter box. When this happens, they will simply find an “easier” place to go. Get a litter box with lower sides that is more easily accessible to your older cat.

If your cat is urinating outside the litter box, here are some things that you can try. Increase the number of litter boxes in your house. Make sure there’s one on every floor in case your cat is experiencing discomfort going up and down the stairs. Put the new litter boxes in areas where your cat can easily find them. Many cats also have trouble getting into and out of the litter box when they get older, so use litter boxes that have low sides. To learn more about increased urination in cats, go to Why Increased Urination Happens in Cats.

Here’s Why Your Cat Wants Attention More Often

Sometimes an older cat can become more needy. If your senior cat wants attention more often, she can show it in many different ways. Your cat may become more vocal. She may follow you around or brush up against your legs. If you are working at the computer or reading the newspaper, she may sit in front of the computer screen or on the keyboard, or she may jump up and sit on top of your newspaper. Essentially she is saying look at me! Pay attention to me!

Wagging In The Workplace Infographic: The Benefits of Pets At Work

You’ve probably read articles about the benefits of eating lunch at work somewhere else than your desk. You may have noticed information about the value of getting up and moving during the work day. But what about the value of having a pet at work? How much do you know about that?

Turns out, more and more of us have pets—about two-thirds of all U.S. households in fact—which means many of us don’t want to leave those furry friends all day long. But still, bringing a pet to work isn’t exactly accepted practice in most workplaces. But it might be, if companies began to consider the host of benefits.

Can Pets at Work Improve Employee Retention?

For example, pets at work are a great way to lessen stress and improve employee retention—and those are just two plusses. But how do you institute a pet-friendly workplace policy, and why should you consider it? This graphic explains it.

Wagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workWagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workInfographic by Quill