Last week, thousands of Pets Best Insurance Facebook friends and other pet lovers shared our picture of an adorable found dog, hoping to help reunite him with his family. Pets Best claims adjuster Kate had found him wandering alone one night. The Pomeranian wasn’t injured or starving, but he looked a little rough and didn’t have a microchip or a collar.
Days went by and we pursued a dozen leads as the pup’s picture went viral on Facebook, but none of them panned out. Kate notified the local shelters and placed ads on Craigslist, and pet insurance employee Shirle took the little guy under her wing. He was treated to a bath, grooming, lots of treats, cuddles and playtime with other doggies. Shirle was falling in love with the dog (like so many of our friends who offered to take him), and was thinking about naming him Panda.
Meanwhile, Idaho Falls resident Melissa was just wrapping up a long camping trip on the other side of the state. When she got home, she logged into Facebook to see what she had missed. Scrolling through her newsfeed, she saw a picture of a familiar little dog on her friend’s page. “Dang, that dog looks just like mine!” she said to her daughter. She called her dog sitter, her niece, who reassured her that Mikey was still with her in Boise.
I recently had a nerve-wracking experience while camping with my dog and infant son. One afternoon as we walked through the campground, I noticed two large dogs running toward us: ears alert, eyes focused on us.There were no people nearby and the closest campsite was about 100 yards away.
Working in the pet insurance industry, I understand the importance of ensuring my dog always wears her leash, but despite her barking and my commands for the other dogs to “get outta here!” the dogs continued to come at us. With my baby in a front carrier, I couldn’t help but worry I was about to watch a gruesome dog fight happen.
Just before all heck broke loose, the dogs’ owners came running. It took them a few minutes because no one had noticed the dogs had left their campsite until they heard me yelling. The dogs wouldn’t obey a single command until the owners had them by their collars.
A recent survey on the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page revealed 27% of dog owners don’t always follow leash laws – and that includes the nearly 4% who think their dogs never need to be on leashes. Here are the top 3 reasons why leash laws should be followed 100% of the time:
When I bought my house a few years ago, before I worked for a pet insurance company, I spent a good deal of time choosing the perfect shade of laminate flooring for my kitchen and dining room.
It had to be dark to complement the cupboards, but not too red. And it couldn’t be too light, because then it would compete with the countertops. I settled on a lovely shade with a fancy name… and then I adopted a dog.
Ever since then, especially in the spring, my floors have been more of a Mud Bog Brown or a Dusty Gray. I’ve been at a loss when it comes to keeping them shiny and clean. Obviously, I want a happy dog, and leaving her inside all day isn’t the best option for good dog health.
Thankfully, our Facebook friends have some great tips. Here are five ways you can keep muddy dog footprints at bay:
1. Use lots of rugs
Rafaela of Colorado recommends laying down rugs anywhere muddy paws might land. We like this idea, especially if those rugs are machine-washable.
2. Hang on to the winter booties
In Missouri, Dallas lets her dogs continue to wear their winter booties into spring. As long as you can get those booties off between the muddy outdoors and your floors, there’s no floor or dog clean-up needed at all.
3. Baby your dogs
Lorali of Maryland recommends using unscented baby wipes to clean off muddy paws after every outing. Keep a tub of them by the door and your pups will not only have clean feet, but conditioned pads that are protected against cracking. Cracked paw pads can be a real dog health concern – left untreated, they may become infected and require veterinary care.
4. Double up
In Texas, Frankie has a welcome mat outside, an extra piece of carpet inside, and a carpet shampooer nearby just in case.
5. Look the other way
Jill from Idaho recommends ignoring the dirt till summer unless guests are expected, and jokes, “Then we’ll decide if they’re worthy of the time it takes us to clean up.” She does make a good point, though. How many hours a day can we be expected to mop our floors? Kristen seconds that, saying, “Mostly I just close my eyes.”
Whether you choose to clean daily or look the other way, you can feel good knowing your dog will be happier and healthier when allowed to run and play, even in the mud. Before you know it, we’ll all be chilling in front of air conditioners and wishing for cooler weather!
By: Chryssa Rich
For Pets Best Insurance
If you’re traveling internationally and want to adopt a pet, make sure you do your homework so it all goes smoothly. A little time and effort will help you bring home the best souvenir ever! Here’s my story.
It was September 16th in San Miguel de Allende, and the city was absolutely chaotic with Dia de la Independencia celebrations and preparations for the Running of the Bulls. I walked the decorated cobblestone streets to my job at a New Orleans-style restaurant, but when I got there, realized I had arrived for the wrong shift.
To kill time, I headed to an Internet café two blocks from home. The woman behind the counter had a fluffy white kitten in each hand, and she explained they’d been found on the street and didn’t belong to anyone. Over the next 10 seconds, my thoughts went like this… “I wonder if I’m still allergic to cats? I think white cats are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Delta had pet tickets for $80, funny, but I could take her back to the states with me. She looks part Siamese, so I bet she’s smart.”
I pointed to the kitten that looked female, and asked in Spanish “Can I have it?” She said “sure” and handed it to me. I then asked “Is it a girl?” and she giggled, because in Mexico they have special gender words for animals, macho and hembra, so I had basically asked her if the kitten was a human girl. Either way, she wasn’t sure.
A pet shop owner confirmed kitty was hembra, and the next day I flipped though a Spanish magazine and found the name “Luisa”. I was so afraid I’d be allergic, I tried to make her sleep in a small box at the foot of my bed. But every night she’d dig into the bed covers with her little nails and climb up to curl up behind my knees, where she still sleeps today.
Almost a year went by, and I wasn’t able to get Luisa spayed because it was too expensive. Even though I earned pesos, I was American and therefore presumed wealthy. Vets wanted to charge me US$300 – $500. Luisa was an indoor cat and in heat for the third time. Her caterwauling was so bad, I had to sleep at friend’s houses. Despite feeling guilty about adding more cats to this world, I figured the only solution was to let her get pregnant. One night I waited for her boyfriend to appear – a giant orange tomcat with no tail – and let her out to play. Luisa ate an entire bowl of food the next morning and slept for 12 hours.
A few weeks later I decided it was time to head back to the United States. Luisa needed proof of rabies vaccination, a bill of good health from a vet and one of those $80 airline tickets to return home with me. The well-cat checkup only took a few minutes – the vet simply checked for signs of illness or infection.
I had a special harness so Luisa could walk around in the airport (and pee in the fake soil of a decorative plant) and we got through Customs no problem. One security guard was supposed to remove her from her airline-approved pet carrier and check the lining of the bag, but didn’t because “Last time I tried that, I got scratched.” They didn’t notice she was pregnant, and I’m not sure if that would have affected anything. There is some evidence that stress can trigger pre-term labor in pets, but I preferred to take that risk over leaving my beautiful kitty with strangers in Mexico.
Luisa’s five kittens were born in Boise, Idaho the morning of her due date, September 23rd, 2003. Two kittens didn’t survive, but I was happy to keep one myself and adopted the others out. I had both cats spayed as soon as possible.
Today, Luisa and her daughter Monica are 8 and 7 years old. They have moved with me countless times, including cross-country twice. I’ve never been allergic to either of them; interestingly, I was allergic to the black calico kitten. Luisa still plays with her stuffed hippo, and Monica is a spitting image of her father, except that ironically, she has an extra-long tail.