Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Cat Breed Guide: Cornish Rex

A Cornish Rex cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

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

About the Cornish Rex

Weight:  6-8 lb

Points of conformation: English and American standards differ, but in general possesses small to medium body with narrow muzzle and crinkled brow.  Long legs and arched back.

Coat:  Short coat is very soft and curly.  Shorter coats are termed nappy, and longer coats are plush. No guard hairs are present, only the undercoat.

Color: Many colors and patterns are accepted.

Grooming needs: This breed doesn’t shed and has minimal grooming requirements.

Origin: England.

Behavior Traits: Highly intelligent and playful.

Is a Cornish Rex cat right for You?Read More…

7 Tips When Traveling with Your Cat to the Vet

A kitten waits in a crate after traveling to the veterinarian.

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 health insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Unlike dogs, cats prefer to be homebodies. The first sighting of you lugging out the pet carrier just may send your cat dashing to under the middle of your king-sized bed – strategically positioned just out of arm’s reach from any side of the bed.

Most cats practice what I call feline algebra: C (Car) + C (Carrier) = C (Veterinary Clinic). That is an equation that can cause much disdain and even a bit of fright in some felines.

We humans need to take most of the blame for our cats’ panic attacks. After all, we don’t travel with our cats like we do with our dogs and usually the only time cats are in crates are when they must go someplace unpleasant ­ like a visit to the veterinary clinic. If you knew each time you heard the jingle of car keys that you were going to see your least favorite – and chattiest – relative you would want to dash and hide too.

Here are seven ways to make the visit to the veterinary clinic far more appealing to your cat:

1. Make the carrier a friend, not a foe. Do so by purposely leaving your cat’s carrier out and open inside your home. Located it in a favorite catnap spot. Up its feline real estate appeal by lining the carrier’s floor with a comfy towel or bedding.

2. Toss in treats and toys inside the carrier for your cat to pursue and enjoy. Casually, close the carrier door for a few seconds and then open it. Gradually, lengthen the duration to build up your cat’s tolerance of being inside.

3. Do a test drive inside your home. Tote your cat inside his carrier around your house and then open the door. Time this in-home trip right before meal time, so your cat’s travel “reward” is awaiting him after his trek.Read More…

Puppy Milestones: 4 Things You Need to Know

A group of white, fluffy Slovakian chuvach breed puppies play together in the grass.

By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for the Pets Best Pet Insurance Agency, offering pet health insurance for puppies and dogs.

In honor of National Puppy Day, here are some fun facts about puppies. Do you have a new puppy at home? Do you know the important milestones of puppy development? Find them out below!

1. When do puppies lose their baby teeth?

Puppies begin losing their baby teeth around 12-16 weeks of age. The first teeth that fall out are the incisors (the tiny little teeth at the front of the mouth). Around age 4-6 months, puppies will lose their canine teeth which are those sharp little fang teeth. Puppies lose their molars last, usually around 5-7 months of age. The age at which your puppy will lose its baby teeth depends on the breed and size of the dog.

2. When will my puppy be house trained?

As soon as you get your new puppy you can begin the process of house training and teaching the puppy to go potty outside. However, if you don’t provide enough trips outdoors, your puppy may not be able to hold it for very long! As a rule of thumb, you can expect your puppy to hold its bladder for 1 hour for every month of its age. That means that a 5 month old puppy cannot be expected to hold his bladder for more than 5 hours. Your best bet for minimizing accidents is to take your puppy outside to potty right after he wakes up from a nap and right after eating and playing. Once puppies reach 6 months and older, they have full control over their bladders and they can start to sharpen their housetraining skills into perfection as adults. Keep in mind that even older puppies and adult dogs can still have accidents in the house sometimes!

3. When will my puppy lose his baby fur?Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Portuguese Water Dog

A Portuguese Water 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 Portuguese Water Dog

Height (to base of neck): females 17-21″ males 20-23″

Weight:  females 35-50  lb, males 40-60 lb

Color: Black, white, black and white, brown and brown and white.

Origin: Portugal

Coat: Single, dense, waterproof coat with two varieties, curly and wavy.

Life Expectancy: 12-14  years

Energy level: Moderate to high

Exercise needs: High

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

10 Cat Household Poisons

A list of 20 household items that can potentially poison your cat from Pets Best Pet Insurance.
By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

These common items may be found in or around your house and they can make your cat very ill, many are toxic. So keep cats safe, by keeping these potential poisons away.

1. Rat Poison
Also known as Rodenticide, this toxic substance inhibits Vitamin K and causes severe and potentially fatal internal bleeding if not treated.

2. Lilies
Perhaps the most common deadly house plant for cats. Cats that eat any part of the plant and even drink the water from the lily vase can develop fatal kidney failure if not caught early and treated aggressively.

3. Marijuana
This recreational drug can cause profound effects in cats including hallucination, muscle tremors, depression and difficulty breathing.

4. Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine which is toxic to cats. Cats are more sensitive to caffeine (also found in coffee, tea, caffeine pills and energy drinks) than dogs. Cats may have tremors, seizures, coma and death from consumption of chocolate and other caffeine containing products.

5. Aspirin
This anti-inflammatory can cause the same kidney and stomach problems as Ibuprofen. However, it is an anti-coagulant which means that it prevents platelets from clotting. This can cause internal bleeding in cats. There are rare circumstances in which Aspirin may be useful in ultra-low doses, but do not give Aspirin to your cat unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian.Read More…

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