Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

7 Tips to Slim Down Your Overweight Dog

A very overweight dog sits down.

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.

Does your dog display more waddle than wiggle? Nearly half of the world’s beloved pets are overweight or obese. Extra pounds in dogs hikes their risk for developing diabetes, respiratory and arthritic conditions. Sadly, these are often chronic, incurable and generally preventable diseases.

The root cause for pet obesity is guilt. Far too many people feel guilty that they live busy lives and don’t have time to walk or exercise their pets, so they show their love by doling out too much food and too many treats. Pet obesity starts at the food bowl.

To curb chow hound tendencies and shed excess pounds gradually but steadily off your dog, try these tactics:

1. Smile, doggy.
Help your dog slim down smartly by taking a “before” photo of her and put this photo in a visible place such as on your refrigerator door. Start a food diary and weigh your dog once every week.

2. Set realistic weight-loss goals.
It’s best for a dog to lose only a few ounces per week (or a pound or so for large breeds) so that the excess weight comes off gradually and doesn’t return. Don’t cut back too quickly. In dogs, the dangers of “crash dieting” can lead to hepatic lipidosis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease.

3. Count the kibble.
Feeding as little as 10 extra pieces of kibble per day would add one pound of weight in a year in your small dog who weighs 10 pounds. So, use a measuring cup at meal times.

4. Scheduled feedings.
Opt for scheduled feedings instead of free feeding. Instead of filling up your dog’s bowl whenever it is empty, use a measuring cup and portion out your dog’s daily meals twice a day. If you are unable to be home at a specific mealtime, consider buying a timed self-feeder that can dispense controlled portions of kibble at designated times.Read More…

$100 Million in Claims Paid – Customer Story

Kiki a miniature Schnauzer mix with pet insurance from Pets Best.

Meet the policyholder whose most recent paid claim, put Pets Best over the $100 million mark and learn why she values pet insurance from Pets Best.

Carly Iannaco and her husband Jon may not have any children of their own, but they’re undeniably devoted pet parents to their three small dogs—all of which have benefited from a Pets Best pet health insurance policy.

There’s Kiki, the two-year-old miniature schnauzer mix the Iannocos got from a rescue group just last summer; Lemon, the 5-year-old Bichon Frise; and Mazzy, the 17-year-old Chihuahua mix they brought home from the pound when she was only six months old.

Since Pets Best recently hit the $100 million milestone of paid claims to our policyholders, we contacted the Iannacos—the policyholders who put us over the $100 million mark. Pets Best paid $101.70 for Kiki’s most recent claim, an “undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition” – a condition some companies won’t cover. We asked the Iannacos about their experience with pet insurance. Here is their Pets Best story.Read More…

Tips to Assess your Dog’s Physique

A thin dog and an overweight dog sit next to each other.

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.

Not sure if your dog is too thin or how about if your dog is packing extra weight? Assess your dog’s physique by following these steps:

1. Stand in front of your standing dog. Exam her body profile. She should have a clearly defined abdomen slightly tucked up behind her rib cage.

2. Stand over your standing dog. Most healthy canines have an hourglass shape and you should be able to see her waist.

3. Gently run your fingers over your dog’s backbone and spread your hands across her rib cage. You should be able to feel each rib.

The results

Obese dogs: Fat deposits are readily visible on the neck, limbs, base of tall and spine.

Overweight dogs: The waist is barely visible and you can see fat deposits over the lumbar area and base of the tail. You can feel the ribs, but just barely.Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Himalayan

A Himalayan 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 Himalayan

Weight: 8-15 lb

Points of conformation:  Similar to the Persian with large round head, short upturned nose and solid body.

Coat:  Thick and silky hair coat that is plush without being wooly. Same as the Persian.

Color: Siamese points are the breed standard. Any color of pointing is accepted.

Grooming needs: High grooming needs, with daily or even twice daily brushing required especially when shedding.  Face needs to be regularly cleaned as well.

Origin: Europe.

Behavior Traits: Outgoing and affectionate.

Is a Himalayan cat right for You?Read More…

Dog and Cat Travel Safety Tips

A dog with pet insurance sits in a packed car.

By Dr. Fiona Caldwell, veterinarian and writer for Pets Best Insurance, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Summer is here, which means it’s vacation time! Each year, more and more pet owners take their dogs or cats on the road, but traveling can be a little trickier with a furry family member. It’s always a good idea to research and invest in pet insurance, well before you take off traveling with your pet. Here are a few things to consider before toting your pet wherever you go, and some tips to help make traveling less stressful for you and your pet.

Dogs in cars

When driving, there are a few different options for safely transporting pets.  Use a dog carrier that is large enough for them to stand and turn around in. Letting your dog roam free in the car without restraint is never a good idea, however some dogs might tolerate a canine seatbelt, which is a harness that attaches to the car’s seatbelt. Another option would be to use a dog car divider or barrier, for safe transportation of larger dogs in the back of a hatchback or SUV.Read More…

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