Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

3 Tips to Stop Kitty from Ambushing Your Ankles

A kitten with Pets Best pet insurance, leaps in the air, ready to ambush its owner's ankles.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Far too often, kittens are misunderstood by people. What people may regard as a misdeed, to a fast-growing kitten is a perfectly acceptable behavior. Let’s address a far-too common kitten that can have painful consequences to you and any other person in your home–ambushing ankles. That timid kitten you may have adopted recently may have doubled in size and confidence. And, his inner, innate hunter is surfacing.

The scenario: You walk down the hallway, turn the corner, and e-owww!! Your feisty kitten has been patiently lying in wait. When he spies you approaching, he elevates his back end and wiggles quickly side to side. Then he springs from his hiding spot, wrapping his front claws around your ankle. Ouch!

In order to cease this undesired action, you need to understand your kitten’s mindset. Indoor cats need opportunities to hone their hunting skills. Their ‘prey’ is not the rodents or birds abundant in the great outdoors, but possibly, anything that moves inside the home for him to stalk and attack. Your kitten is simply redirecting the need for natural play toward lucky you. If you only have one cat, this behavior could indicate that he feels deprived of sufficient play time. He is desperately looking for ways to act out his play-prey aggression.

Here are three savvy solutions to tame that tabby tiger of yours.

1. Give him the cold shoulder. Try to ignore him during the attack and walk away. Your reactions (leaping and screaming) only reinforce his need to ambush you. When your kitten is calm, avoid overstimulation by limiting friendly pats and strokes to 10-second intervals and never engage in roughhouse play. And remember to trim the tips of his sharp claws on a regular basis, about every two weeks.

2. Invest in interactive toys like wands with feathers or low-power, low-voltage laser lights made specifically for cats. Schedule at least 5 to 10 minutes twice a day to play with your kitten. This time can also strengthen the friendship bond between you both.Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Akita

An Akita with pet insurance from Pets Best.

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Akita

Height (to base of neck): females 24-26″ males 26-28″

Weight:  females 75-85 lb, males 85-110 lb

Color: Many accepted including brindle, pinto and white

Origin: Japan

Coat: Thick double coat, outer hairs stand out and undercoat is soft and dense.

Life Expectancy: 11-12 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Is an Akita the Right Dog Breed for You?

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How to Make Your Dog Vomit in an Emergency

A dog who ate something toxic and needs to throw up to get it out.By Dr. Eva Evans. A veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats. 

Sometimes dogs get into things they shouldn’t. Occasionally they eat toxic foods, chemicals or entire indigestible objects. When this happens, your dog may need to vomit up the product that it ate to prevent further problems from occurring. This list outlines what you should know about making your dog throw up with hydrogen peroxide. First and foremost, call your veterinarian immediately to discuss the situation. There are many instances in which inducing vomiting is not the best treatment.

After you consult with your veterinarian, they may instruct you to bring your dog in for treatment, or they may recommend giving your dog hydrogen peroxide at home to induce vomiting. If your veterinarian instructs you to give hydrogen peroxide, they will tell you how much to give your dog. The rule of thumb is to give 1 teaspoon (5 ml) for every 10 pounds of body weight. This can be repeated once if your dog does not vomit within 15 minutes.

Here are four things you should know before attempting to induce vomiting in your dog with hydrogen peroxide.

1. Know The Time Frame – if your dog ingested something more than 2 hours ago, it is probably too late to get the substance out of his stomach. Typically, two hours after ingestion, the substance has already been absorbed or has moved out of the stomach and into the small intestines. When this happens, making your dog throw up will not help. If you do not know when your dog ingested the substance, it may still be beneficial to induce vomiting, but don’t be surprised if nothing comes up.

2. Know The Product – Certain chemicals such as bleach and Drain-O are caustic. This means that they can cause more damage to the esophagus and mouth if they are vomited back up. Read More…

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