Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Breed Guide: Abyssinian

An AbssinianDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Abyssinian

Weight:  9-12lb

Points of conformation: Lithe, medium sized body with slender legs and a long arched neck.  Wide set ears and wedge shaped face.

Coat: Short, fine, shiny hairs in agouti pattern

Color: White chin and chest. Ruddy, blue, sorrel, fawn and lilac and silver.

Grooming needs: low

Origin: Southeast Asia

Behavior Traits: Athletic, playful and very active.

Is an Abyssinian cat right for You? Read More…

Breed Guide: Mastiff

A MastiffDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Mastiff

Height (to base of neck): female 27.5″, male 30″

Weight:  170-190lb

Color: Brindle, apricot and fawn with black mask and ears.

Origin: Popular in England for centuries, but likely originated from Southwest Asia.

Coat: Double coat with short dense undercoat and straight coarse outer coat.

Life Expectancy: 8-9 years

Energy level: Low to moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

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

Doing the Math: Pet Insurance vs. Savings Accounts

A dog with dog insurance rests his paws on a bundle of money.

As someone who loves to travel, I often tell myself I’m going to start a special savings account. I’ll save a few bucks every week and before long, I’ll have enough to take an amazing vacation somewhere exotic.

Like many people, though, I haven’t actually started that savings account. And even if I did, there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t end up going toward car repairs, medical bills or other emergencies (water leaking through the kitchen ceiling, anyone?)

Because I can’t save for a fun vacation, I know I won’t have the discipline to save for un-fun veterinary bills. And I don’t think I’m alone– this is why pet insurance exists.

Can You Save Fast Enough?
Financial advisers sometimes recommend savings accounts instead of pet insurance. They argue that you can put a little away each month in anticipation of future vet bills. In theory, that sounds okay. But what if your “future” vet bill comes next week, or even a year from now? Will your savings account hold enough to cover it?

Even if you’re putting around $35 into the account each month, (which is more than the approximate cost of a pet insurance plan, monthly) basic math exposes the real weaknesses of pet health savings accounts. If your pet gets sick or injured two months in, you’ll only have around $70 at your disposal.Read More…

Breed Guide: Havanese

A HavansesDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Havanese

Height (to base of neck): 9-10.5″

Weight:  8-11lb

Color: Many accepted colors including black, blue silver, gold, cream, white, champagne or chocolate.

Origin: Isle of Malta

Coat: Silky double coat with soft short undercoat covered by long profuse outer coat which can be curly or straight.

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: Moderate

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

5 Tips to Tame Your Nippy, Swatting Kitten

an orange kittenBy 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 cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Don’t let that minute size of your newly adopted kitten fool you. Your tiny tabby shares the same prey drive to stalk, chase and hunt as lions roaming in the jungle.

That’s why it is vital that you don’t initially dismiss your kitten’s playful love nips to your hand or ankle as merely playful love bites. Unchecked, her biting and paw swatting will intensify and could cause physical harm to you and your house guests. Deep puncture wounds from cats have landed people in hospitals to receive treatment for Cat Scratch Fever, a disease caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria. Affected persons can develop skin lesions, fever, fatigue and in severe instances, systemic infections.

When you bring home your kitten, school her on what is acceptable play and interaction with people immediately. Here are five effective strategies designed to tone down your kitten’s desire to nip and claw people:Read More…

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