Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Dog Paws & Santa Claus 2014, Photo Event Recap

A dog poses with Santa Claus.

The 2nd annual Pets Best “Dog Paws & Santa Claus” photo event was held this past Tuesday evening on November 18th at the Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC office in Boise, Idaho. Community members came to pose alongside Santa with their family members and pets for a $10 donation. The event raised $630, which will be donated to two local Boise-area animal shelters: the Idaho Humane Society and the Meridian Valley Humane Society.

Despite the local Boise, Idaho roads still being covered with packed snow and ice from a recent storm, the pet-loving community turned out to support the two local animal shelters. People and dogs of all ages showed up to pose with Santa, the youngest being a 7 week-old baby boy who was accompanied by his 8 month-old puppy brother, a very large Bernese Mountain Dog!

Many of the dogs that came to get their photo with Santa were adopted from the Idaho Humane Society or the Meridian Valley Humane Society, demonstrating what amazing companions shelter pets can make. Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats is a strong supporter of pet adoption. Over 40% of Pets Best customers adopted their dog or cat from an animal shelter. Not to mention the many Pets Best employee adopted dogs (and occasional cat) who regularly come to work with their pet parent at the Pets Best office.Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Bombay

A bombay 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  Bombay

Weight:  6 -11 lb

Points of conformation: The Bombay cat is heavier than the Burmese with a proportionately larger head and longer body.  Muzzle is short and ears have a rounded tip.

Coat: Very glossy close laying short single hair coat.

Color: Jet black. Some tabby markings may be seen in kittens that usually fade.

Grooming needs: Low

Origin: Kentucky, USA

Behavior Traits: Gregarious, calm and friendly.

Is a Bombay cat right for You?Read More…

4 Fall & Winter Hazards for Cats

A cat outside in lots of snow.

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance agency.

While Fall is definitely my favorite season, it does bring certain hazards to watch for when it comes to your cat.  Knowledge of these potential dangers gives you the power to keep your cat safe. Prevention is much better than treatment! Here are four hazards you should be aware of:

1. Antifreeze

Cooler weather often brings the necessity for changing or adding antifreeze to your car. If your radiator leaks, which occurs more commonly in older cars, antifreeze can end up on your garage floor, driveway or the gutter.

Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol is extremely poisonous to cats. Because ethylene glycol has a sweet taste, cats, dogs and wildlife are attracted to it. As little as a teaspoon of antifreeze can cause irreversible kidney damage and death, if not treated within the first few hours after ingestion. Antifreeze causes harm, first by gastrointestinal irritation and then by the formation of calcium oxalate crystals that destroy a cat’s kidneys, if prompt action isn’t taken to remove as much of the toxin as possible, followed by intravenous fluids to flush the kidneys, for two to three days. You might see initial neurologic signs of confusion, weakness and a wobbly gait. If given soon enough, 4-MP or 20% ethanol can prevent severe kidney damage caused by antifreeze toxicity.  Consider using one of the newer nontoxic antifreeze compounds in your car’s radiator.

2. Cold Weather

Another cold weather hazard is the actual weather itself. Extreme cold weather can cause life-threatening hypothermia, despite cats’ fur coats. While certain breeds such as Maine Coons have adapted to withstand harsh weather conditions, and most shorthaired cats can develop a thick undercoat when exposed to cold temperatures over time, the combination of cold and wet can be deadly.

If your cats live outdoors, shelter from cold, wind and damp will be very helpful, and indeed lifesaving in extreme weather conditions. If bringing your outdoor cat indoors into your home is not an option, please make sure he or she has an insulated doghouse, barn or out building to shelter in. The floor needs to be raised enough to stay dry, even in heavy rain.  Certain breeds cannot withstand severe weather, even with shelter. The “oriental” breeds, such as Siamese, Burmese, Tonkinese and Abyssinians have sleek coats with little undercoat. They love warmth and would be miserable and at risk in cold weather.

3. TurkeyRead More…

6 Thanksgiving Foods Dogs & Cats Shouldn’t Eat

A black labrador dog eyes a plate full of food at Thanksgiving.

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

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means an abundance of delicious food. However, many food items that people enjoy aren’t healthy for pets to consume. This is important to remember during holiday meals, when dogs and cats beg for table scraps and guests might fall for those cute faces. To ensure your pets remain healthy this Thanksgiving, below are six dishes to keep away from your pets. Be sure to inform your family and dinner guests about these potentially toxic or dangerous foods so they do not feed them to your pets.

1. Ham

Ham and other pork products can cause pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Ham tends to be high in fat as well, which can lead to obesity in pets. Even a small amount of ham can contribute a very large amount of calories in a small dog or cat.

 2. Turkey Bones

Bones can cause severe indigestion in dogs and cats, potentially causing vomiting and  obstructing the bowel. Bones may also splinter and cause damage to the inside of the stomach and intestines. In some cases, turkey bones may even puncture through the stomach and cause a potentially fatal abdominal infection.

3. StuffingRead More…

Dog Breed Guide: Bullmastiff

A bullmastiff puppy dog with pet insurance from Pets Best.

A Bullmastiff puppy.

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

About the Bullmastiff
Height (to base of neck): female 24-26″, male 25-27″
Weight: female 100-120lbs, male 110-130lbs
Color: Fawn, red and brindled
Origin: Great Britain
Coat: Short very dense hair coat.
Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
Energy level: Low to moderate
Exercise needs: Low to moderate

Is a Bullmastiff the Right Dog Breed for You?
Bullmastiffs were originally used as guard dogs and thus they have retained their protectiveness. They are intelligent, self assured and courageous, but also very aloof with strangers and can be prone to aggression without early socialization. They are sensitive to temperature extremes, but are suited to urban or rural lifestyles due to low to moderate exercise needs. They require minimal grooming and shed moderately. They are droolers.

Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for the Bullmastiff

According to the number of dog insurance claims Pets Best receives

Medical Issue  Average Claim Amount  Expensive Claim 
Skin Allergies $795 $8,397
Cruciate Ligament Injury $2,742 $11,294
Ear Infections $248 $4,616
Cancer $3,136 $12,133
Cystitis $529 $2,414


Protect Your Bullmastiff with Pet Insurance

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