Oct 15 2017

Breed Spot Light

Tabby Maine Coon kitten, Logan, 12 weeks old, with guinea pig

Welcome to breed spot light! Where we touch base on two breeds every month regarding their health and overall care.

Happy reading!


Maine Coon

Weighing in at 9-18 pounds, this “sailor” cat is a gentle giant to its humans but perhaps not so much to strangers. They originate from New England, specifically Maine, and are the official state cat. It is rumoured that Vikings brought the Maine Coon to North America and the breed was first referenced in 1861, belonging to Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines.
With large paws, broad chest, and long hair, they were perfect for the harsh Maine climate, moussing around the barn. Ranging in a variety of different colors from brown or silver tabby to solid colors such as black, red or white, there is definitely a variety of these beauties to choose from!
Although adaptable to many lifestyles and personalities, this is not a lap cat. This breed is highly independent but will accept occasional cuddles under their own terms. They are very smart and can learn such things as playing catch, different tricks, how to open doors or even turn on and off lights. This breed gets along very well with other pets, both cat and dog alike. They also behave very well around children, but take a little longer to warm up to strangers. A Maine Coon is a great choice if you want a companion that will entertain you, love you, but is also content to be alone.
Health Concerns
Like any breed of animal, Maine Coon’s are susceptible to certain health issues, such as:
• Hip Dysplasia
• Heart disease
• Kidney disease
• Spinal muscular atrophy
All of these diseases are genetically inherited, so getting your cat from a trustworthy, professional breeder will prevent the probability of these diseases.
Although the Maine Coon does boast a long coat, it is surprisingly silky and does not mat easily. Combing twice a week usually keeps the coat healthy. They are very patient, and usually do not mind having their fur brushed. Their hind end can be wiped with a baby wipe to remove any mess left behind. Maine coons love water and can be bathed as often as every few weeks. If the coat feels greasy or looks stringy, get out that rubber ducky, its bath time!
Like all cats, keeping the litter box fresh and clean is a must. They are very particular on about their bathroom hygiene.


Alaskan Malamute

Despite their appearance, Alaskan Malamutes aren’t part wolf, but full, fluffy domestic dog. This breed of dog is known for its great strength, energy, independence and intelligence. Alaskan Malamutes, famously remembered as the oldest arctic sled dogs, used to be breeds sought out for hunting and pulling sleds loaded with food and camp supplies. These days, they’re a breed that’s known for their great companionship and love for activities. Despite their large, intimidating stature, Alaskan Malamutes are one of the friendliest breeds when meeting new people! If you were thinking they might be great watchdogs…think again! They’ll pamper your intruders with kisses instead. Because of their love for activity, they can easily become bored and frustrated. Independent breeds such as the Alaskan malamutes need to be provided with endless opportunities to have fun and exercise!  Take your dog for long walks, hikes, runs and enjoy the perfect exercise companion. If you’re looking for company on your wildest adventures, this dog is for you! Although this breed may come off as stubborn, with the correct training, they will make a perfect addition to your family. Their intelligence and stubbornness can be a difficult trait to handle, so usually the Malamute breed isn’t recommended for first time dog owners. Even for long time dog owners, it’s important to consider the time and training required to properly train this breed. Dig, dig, dig! The Malamute loves to dig! Keep that in mind when letting them roam outdoor areas. It may be a hard to control, so consider providing your dog with their own area for digging where it won’t affect your home. Although they can be very sociable, Malamutes are known to have a high prey drive, so always keep that in mind.  Despite this, if your Malamute pup is properly socialized from the start, they can share their homes with smaller pets and children! Due to their heavy coat, hot climates aren’t up their alley. Always make sure to provide them with water, shade and proper conditioning during the summer. Don’t over exercise them in hot weather either. That doesn’t mean they don’t make great indoor dogs! Furthermore, their heavy coats require continuous grooming. Always comb your Malamutes hair to prevent matted clumps from appearing because not only is it unappealing, but they can be a source of discomfort for your pet. There are certain predisposed health concerns that most people should be aware of before bringing in a Malamute to their home. One of the main health concerns to look out for is Hip Dysplasia. “Hip Dysplasia is a deformity of the hip joint in which the head of the femur (ball section of the joint) fits poorly into the acetabulum (the socket). Due to the poor fit of the joint, the ball moves in the socket in an abnormal manner leading to wear and tear on the surfaces of the joint and the development of arthritis. The ligament and capsule around the joint become slack and the muscles of the hindquarters waste away” (Alaskan Malamute Club, page 1). Whenever you plan on bringing home a pet from a breeder, always ask for the proper documentation. In the case of Alaskan malamutes, asking for Hip Evaluation reports from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHip) is highly recommended. Malamutes love being surrounded by family more than anything, and will stay loyal to you till the end. If this breed sounds like a match for your family, go on and find the perfect Alaskan malamute to join your FUREVER home!

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