Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Teaching Children How to Handle Cats

A dog sits.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 Pet Insurance, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

When I turned six, my mom gave me my first cat, a Siamese kitten I named Corky. He was a big cat with an apple-shaped head and a mouth that rarely stopped meowing. He followed me like a dog, especially whenever I carried a fishing pole. We had a small lake in our backyard and Corky astutely made the connection between the fishing pole and his favorite meal – a fresh-caught blue gill fish.

Most of all, he trusted me. He would wade into the water with me for a swim and jump in the canoe for a paddle ride around the horseshoe-shaped lake. I will never forget Corky. He was my first pet, my first confidant, my pal.

Even though I begged my mom for a cat since I could remember, my mom waited until I entered kindergarten. She later told me that she wanted to make sure that I was “mature” enough to handle the responsibilities of having a cat.

When it comes to setting up a successful connection in a safe manner, age plays a role. In general, toddlers lack the ability to understand how their actions impact others, including family pets. Childhood psychologists note the following:Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Devon Rex

A Devon Rex cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

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

About the Devon Rex

Weight:  6-9lb

Points of conformation: Prominent cheekbones with defined whisker pads. Short nose and large round ears set low, giving this breed an “elfin” look.  Long slender legs with small oval paws.

Coat: Very short coat lacks normal guard hairs and  is silky fine, the texture of crushed velvet.  It is whirled or curled more than wavy.

Color: Any color accepted.

Grooming needs: Minimal.

Origin: Devonshire, England

Behavior Traits: Playful and active.

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

The Dog IQ Test

A Pets Best Pet Insurance protected dog takes an IQ test to find out how smart he is.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 Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Is your dog an obvious Einstein, having mastered many human words and complex demands? What if your dog is a secret Einstein and you just didn’t know it yet? Well now you can find out with this fun dog IQ test.

Here’s how to test your dog’s IQ.

Step 1. Line up three empty plastic buckets on the floor. Turn them upside down.

Step 2. Get your dog to sit in front of the three buckets in a room free of distractions.

Step 3. Hold up your dog’s favorite treat in front of his face and then place it under one of these buckets.

Step 4. Distract him by telling him to stay and then walking behind him and asking him to heed the “watch me” cue. Do this for just a few seconds. You are intentionally testing his canine smarts by diverting his attention temporarily away from the hidden treat.

Step 5. Resume your position by the buckets and then ask him to find the hidden treat.

Canine IQ barometer. Brainy dogs make beelines to the correct bucket, knock it over and grab the treat in mere seconds. They possess the cognitive development to know to look behind – or underneath – a solid object to find the missing treat. Not—so-smart dogs may paw over the other two buckets first before finally realizing where the hidden treat really it.Read More…

7 Tips to Prepare Your Cat for the New Baby

A baby and kitten, with Pets Best Pet Insurance, take a nap together.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 Pet Insurance, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Aah, it’s truly a cat’s life for the pampered feline in your home until the day you enter the front door cradling your new baby. What kind of reaction can you expect from your cat when you bring home your newborn baby? And more importantly, how can you ensure a safe introduction between your cat and your infant?

Here are 7 tips to help prepare your cat, and your home, for life with a new baby.

1. Think like your cat. Felines are creatures of habit and some take a long time in adjusting to changes in the household routine, the addition or deletion of a person or pet in the home, and even relocating furniture in the living room. Cats don’t like surprises. Period.

2. Plan and plot now. While you’re pregnant, take advantage of the nine month preparation time to make your cat – and your home – baby ready. Designate a room in your home that serves as your cat’s welcoming getaway. This room, be it a spare bedroom, bathroom or other room with a door, should contain pet necessities and amenities: litter box, food and water bowls, comfy pet bed, elevated sturdy perch or shelf, scratching post and a couple favorite toys. Usher your cat into this room for a few minutes at a time, with the goal of expanding that time to a few hours.Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Bull Terrier

A Bull Terrier with pet insurance from Pets Best.

About the Bull Terrier

Height (to base of neck): 21-22″

Weight:  52-62 lb

Color: Two types, white and colored. White is generally all white with some markings on the head. Colored can be a variety of colors, but brindled is preferred.

Origin: Britain

Coat: Hair is short, hard and lies flat.

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: High

Breed Nicknames: White Cavalier, English Bull Terrier

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

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