Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

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…

How to Curb Kitty’s Countertop Walking

A cat lays on the countertop.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 dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Is the ‘honeymoon’ over now that the cuddly, tiny kitten you adopted is evolving into a fast-growing mobile mischief maker? Welcome to what I call the Wonder Year – that first year of a feline’s life in which you wonder if you can maintain your sanity as your kitten investigates his world (your home) seemingly 24-7.

You have my sympathy – and solutions to address this far-too common kitty misbehavior: prancing on kitchen countertops and dining room tables.

Like many of you, I share my home with a young feline who wakes up from cat naps ready to take on new heights and discover new places inside my home. I adopted Casey, now a 10-month-old orange striped-tabby, five months ago from the San Diego Humane Society. His then-sweet demeanor has evolved into a confident, outgoing mannerism that I am constantly channeling into desired behavior.

In order to modify your kitten’s behavior, you need to first understand what’s going on in his young mind. Let’s start with why many kittens insist on leaping up on countertops, usually right before a special meal and in full view of your startled dinner guests. And why your kitten sees no problem in leaping up on the dining room table to share your bowl of cereal.

Why Cats Like Countertops

Cats like perching on high places. They enjoy being able to survey their surroundings from an elevated spot, which explains why some cats hang out on the top of refrigerators or even balance on the top of doors that are ajar. They also like to investigate tempting smells, which is why they conduct patrols multi-times a day on your kitchen counters and hope you will share milk from your cereal bowl during breakfast.

Here are Some Savvy Solutions

1. Cookie Sheets

To break your cat of the habit of leaping on the dining room table or kitchen counters, you need to temporarily make those surfaces anything but feline friendly. Stop your stubborn countertop climber by placing cookie sheets on your table or counter. Add water to these sheets. Then the next time your cat leaps up, SPLASH! Her paws land in this unexpected lake.

2. Double-Sided Tape

Instead of the cookie sheets filled with water, another option is to place double-sided tape on the surfaces. Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Burmese

A Burmese 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 Burmese 

Weight:  8-13lb

Points of conformation: Small to medium sized body with round head, short to medium length muzzle with small round tipped ears.

Coat: Distinctive highly glossy thick, close-lying short hairs that are satin-like in texture

Color: Sable, frost, lilac, champagne and blue.

Grooming needs: low

Origin: Rangoon, Burma

Behavior Traits: Calm and friendly

Is a Burmese cat right for You?

Read More…

My Vet’s the Best 2014 Grand Prize Winner

Dr. Mary Felt of Villa Park, Illinois is the Pets Best My Vet's the Best grand prize winner of 2014.

Dr. Mary Felt of DuPage Animal Hospital in Villa Park, Illinois is the 2014 grand prize winner of the My Vet’s the Best contest. Each year, a panel of veterinary peers chooses one My Vet’s the Best finalist out of 24, as the grand prize winner. The winning veterinarian receives a paid trip (for two)  to the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, the winner is awarded $1,000 from Pets Best, to use toward animal non-profit organization of choice.

Dr. Felt was nominated by pet owner, Ellen Greer:

“Tuffy was a wonderful dog! He belonged to a captain in the US Army, who was a friend of our son’s. We agreed to watch Tuffy during the captain’s year long deployment.  Tuffy became ill two months into his stay.  His blood work revealed liver disease and treatment costs started at $1,700.00 which was more than a soldier can afford.  Dr. Mary Felt stepped in and waived all her veterinarian fees so the money could be used toward tests and medicine for the dog.  At first it looked like Tuffy was going to win the battle, however he developed a complication from the medicine and we took him to an emergency clinic.  The following morning Dr. Felt had us transport Tuffy to their clinic where she devoted two days trying to get the situation turned around.  I was able to have Captain Dan and Dr. Felt communicate during this time.  Captain Dan was heartbroken over his dog, so Dr. Felt called specialists and researched all options. She went above and beyond her vet duties while never charging the serviceman her fees. Unfortunately, Tuffy died while receiving treatment.  Dr. Felt held him during this time and she cried right along with me. The soldier knew Tuffy received the best possible care.  We  will all be forever grateful for the care and compassion she administered to us all.”

To nominate your outstanding veterinarian for the My Vet’s the Best contest, click here.


7 Tips to Train Your New Dog

A Labrador puppy with Pets Best pet insurance sits for training.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.

Sit. Stay. Lie down. Come. Good puppy! What’s the secret to training your newly adopted puppy to ensure that he will master these must-know cues? Two words: positive reinforcement.

Puppies, just like us, are more eager to learn when the teacher makes the lesson fun and engaging. So, out with the word, “no” and in with the word, “yes.” Accentuate the positive in schooling your pup. And most importantly, canine class should begin on Day 1.

Proper doggy etiquette is within your reach. It starts with proper training. Motivate with food lures and be consistent with voice commands and hand signals. You – and your pup – can be successful in mastering the basic cues if you pay heed to these training strategies:

1. Ahem: Attention, please! Some puppies can get distracted easily. The only way to get your pup to successfully comply with your training is if you have his undivided attention.  So, when you begin any training session, pick a place and a time where distractions are kept to a minimum. When you’re ready, say your pup’s name and wait for his eyes to meet yours. Clap your hands or whistle if you have to, but make sure he is watching you and waiting for his cue to see what to do next.

2. Be a leader, not a bully. No need to shout or berate your young canine. You will win his unconditional loyalty by being an effective teacher who relies on positive reinforcement techniques. Praise your pup’s correct moves and ignore his mistakes during training sessions. Dogs learn by association and are apt to repeat an action when it is reinforced by you in a positive manner.

3. Give me a C — for consistency. Decide on what verbal and physical cues you want for the must-know canine cues of “sit,” “lie down,” “stay,” and “come.” And then, stick with them. If you use the command, “stay” in one training session and then “don’t move” in the next, you will create canine confusion. If you’re consistent with the cues, your puppy will eventually catch on.Read More…

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