Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Cat Breed Guide: Korat

A Korat cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Korat

Weight:  6-10lb

Points of conformation: Small to medium sized semi-cobby (compact) body with heart shaped head and a downward turned nose. Large rounded ears, medium length tail may have a kink palpable.

Coat: Single short coat that lies close and is silky in texture.

Color: Hairs are dark grey in the center and the ends are tipped with silver. (Termed silver-blue)

Grooming needs: Minimal, weekly brushing.

Origin: Thailand (then was Siam)

Behavior Traits: Gentle and affectionate

Is a Korat cat right for You?Read More…

Reasons Dogs Spin In Circles

A Jack Russell Terrier dog spins in circles. Learn reasons dogs spin around.

By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert and author of 26 best-selling pet books. She hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio and is a writer for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Okay, time for a little canine potty talk disclosure. I can predict with 100-percent accuracy when Chipper, my Husky-golden retriever mix, is about to poop. Seconds before, she circles a few times clockwise and may do a couple short hops before getting into the parked position to defecate.

And, when she is really tired or investigating a new doggy bed, I’ve noticed that she also circles her bed before unleashing a sigh and plopping down for a snooze.

All this circling action displayed by our dogs is enough to make a person dizzy watching – and a bit bewildered.

We don’t know for sure, but here are two leading explanations regarding the circle-before-pooping ritual. Your modern-day dog still retains this 360-degree movement that prevailed in her ancestors who lived in the wild. Circling before squatting down was a smart way to survey the surroundings and sniff for possible predators to prevent any surprise attacks while in a vulnerable posture. The second reasonable explanation is that your dog needs to kick start the bowel movement, and circling helps accomplish this.

Now, let’s address the circle-pawing ritual performed by some dogs about to nap. Your dog is cleverly circling to release her scent that serves as an aromatic alert to other dogs that this bed belongs to her, and her alone. And, even though she enjoys a pampered indoor life, she may methodically circle and paw the bed before plopping down to sleep because this behavior has also been passed down for generators. Her ancestors living in the wild would circle and paw at twigs and leaves to create just the right bowl shape to fit their bodies to sleep. This also made them a little harder for potential predators to see.Read More…

Are There Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?

A Balinese cat, which is one of the hypoallergenic breeds.

By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a cat health insurance agency.

When it comes to cats, allergies can be a real problem! Many American households do not own a cat because one or more of the household members is allergic to cats. With the hype of “hypoallergenic dog breeds,” are there similar breeds of cats?

While dander and hair can be a source of allergens, saliva is the most common allergen for people that are allergic to cats. Cats that are low in the protein Fel D1, will shed fewer allergens into the environment. When cats groom themselves, their saliva, which contains this Fel D1 protein, sticks to the hair. Then, the hair falls out with normal shedding and can create symptomatic problems such as red, watery eyes and itchy skin in humans with a Fel DI protein allergy.

The important thing to remember when it comes to hypoallergenic breeds, is that this term refers to “low allergen” and not “zero allergen” which means that all felines will shed some allergens. However, some breeds are less allergenic than others.Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Whippet

A Whippet dog 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 Whippet

Height (to base of neck): female 18 – 21″, male 19 – 22″

Weight:  females 14 – 25 lb, male 17 – 28 lb

Color: Any color is accepted.

Origin: England

Coat: Very short straight coat has firm texture that is not coarse and lays flat.

Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: Moderate

Breed Nicknames: Snap-dog

Is a Whippet the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

My Vet’s the Best Finalist: Dr. Mariliz Hernandez

My Vet's the Best finalist, Dr. Mariliz Hernandez.

Each year, Pets Best receives thousands of nominations for our annual My Vet’s the Best Contest—a contest developed to acknowledge the best veterinarians around the nation. This year, we’ve again completed the arduous process of selecting a group of finalists and we are pleased to announce the top seven.

Meet Dr. Mariliz Hernanadez. As a student at the University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo, Dr. Hernandez earned a deep-sea diving certificate, which allowed her to research diseases of the coral reef. After earning her bachelor’s degree in microbiology, she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University in 2002. She then worked in private practice in Queens, New York, before joining Bellerose Animal Hospital in November 2006.

Dr. Hernandez greatly enjoys practicing general veterinary medicine, and additionally focuses on surgery and dermatology of dogs and cats. She is fluent in Spanish, and uses her bilingual skills to interact positively with her clients to better help their pets. Her approach is one of warmth, genuine concern, and compassion—which her many clients appreciate. In her spare time, Dr. Hernandez enjoys traveling with her family, diving, and enjoying the outdoors.Read More…

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