By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.
Adopting a cat or kitten should never be a spur of the moment decision. This is especially true when adopting a shelter kitten or cat, whose medical and social history is often unknown. Before visiting the shelter, please ask yourself some important questions. Here are five tips when looking to adopt a shelter cat or kitten.
1. How much time will you have to devote to your cat or kitten’s needs for food and water, grooming, affection, litter box maintenance and play? Are you financially able to provide what your cat will need in terms of food, litter, grooming supplies and veterinary care?
Cats tend to be less expensive pets than dogs, on average, but cats can become costly if they develop serious medical problems. Consider purchasing pet health insurance while your cat or kitten is healthy before any major health issues occur.
2. Once you’ve considered these questions, you may want to consult your veterinarian for help selecting the right cat or kitten. A veterinarian can help you decide if a kitten or cat is more appropriate, and explain grooming requirements for longhaired versus shorthaired cats.
3. Visit a veterinarian as soon as you adopt your new friend, preferably on your way home. This is especially important if you already have pets at home. If you will have to delay that first veterinary visit, make sure you keep your new kitty separate from your other pets until he or she can be checked for parasites and infectious disease.
The veterinary staff of the North Royalton Animal Hospital in Ohio. The hospital offers pet insurance from Pets Best as a staff benefit.
We’ve seen a record number of new veterinary hospitals introduce pet insurance as a staff benefit this year. If you’ve considered offering pet insurance to your staff, check out some advice and learnings from other practice managers and clinic owners who offer pet insurance plans from Pets Best as an employee benefit.
Why offer pet insurance?
1) Less tax implications for the clinic and staff members
Practice manager, Lorna Hamilton, introduced pet insurance as a staff benefit at the recommendation of their CPA. Hamilton wanted to provide a valued benefit to the employees of their Pet Kare Clinic that also limited the tax liabilities to their employees. All businesses are required by law to report discounts as taxable income and withhold taxes if the discount is greater than 20% on services or less than cost on products. A 50% discount on a $2,000 surgery can result in a hefty and unexpected tax liability for the employee. For more information on offering discounts to your staff and the tax implications, consult your tax consultant or accountant.
2) Pet insurance goes further than discounts
In addition to offering her employees products at a reduced cost and a 20% discount on services, Dr. Paige Garnett of Care Animal Hospital in Arvada, Colorado, offers full time staff members an additional $1,000 annual benefit to use towards the cost of veterinary care for their pets or pet insurance policies. “I urge folks to use some of that money for pet insurance policies so that it will go further. Staff members are well aware that should a serious medical event happen to one of their pets, $1,000 won’t go very far.” What’s more, pet insurance continues to cover employees if they need to seek care from an emergency veterinarian or a specialist.
3) Pet insurance is more economical than discounts
Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.
About the Bernese Mountain Dog
Height (to base of neck): female 23-26,” male 25-27.5″
Weight: female 75-95lbs, male 80-115lb
Color: Black with well-defined rust and white markings.
Coat: Thick, glossy straight coat that is moderately long and wavy.
Life Expectancy: 7-9 years
Energy level: Moderate
Exercise needs: Moderate
Is a Bernese Mountain Dog the Right Dog Breed for You?
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.
These days you see dogs on all sorts of motorized water crafts, from sail boats, to jet boats, to house boats. The ways to enjoy our rivers, lakes and the open sea are endless. So if you plan to have your pet play on the water with you in a motorized boat, it’s important to know how to keep your pets safe on the water.
For starters, not all dogs or cats relish being boat pets. Be candid when assessing if your pet wants to cruise as much as you do. Gradually acclimate your pet to the boating life. Spend time in the boat with them without turning on the motor. The next time, turn on the motor but stay at the dock. Gradually build up their sea legs.
Heed these other tips to ensure a safe boating voyage for all:
1. School your pet
Boat pets must also heed basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay and come. They must also know nautical commands, such as “on boat” and “off boat.” Practice rescue drills to ensure your pet will paddle to safety spots – floatable doggy ramps or stairs.
2. Invest in pet life vests
Boat pets should wear lightweight pet life vests that feature hand grips on top so you can easily grab your pet. This makes it much easier to grab them whether they fell into the water or are caught in a strong current.
3. Provide a poop deck
A favorite among boats with longer-term pet guests is to designate an area of the boat to have a grass-like turf that contains a canine-beckoning scent and is easily washed with a hose. Place a litter box in the galley for your cat.
4. Don’t slip up
Provide non-skid flooring to ensure steady footing by your pet and do not let your pet venture on the deck without your supervision and without being leashed.
5. Be a stair master
Work out a plan for your dogs to reach the top deck and head back down. In the houseboat we rented, the stairs were steep and narrow, but feature slip-proof backings. We were able to easily cradle our small dog but for our 60-pound dog, we learned to have someone on the top deck and someone on the bottom deck so we could usher her carefully up one step to the next.
6. Keep them healthy
Ensure your pet is current on all necessary vaccinations to especially protect against parasites and giardia. Always rinse your pet thoroughly with clean water after each swim and always keep your Pets Best pet insurance policy current. Know the location of the nearest veterinary clinic at each harbor should a pet emergency arise.
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By Coleen Ellis, founder of the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency.
I know the old cliché is really very true: birds of a feather flock together. Or, maybe better said, people who are alike can relate to others like them! Whichever way, I love the organic raw truthfulness of the nature of the comment.
When others find out that I’m in the pet industry, in particular as a pet loss professional and dealing with the very intimate topic of the death of these amazing pets that we love, I hear the most incredible stories. Stories from the heart, stories that speak of such love and innocence. Stories like this from a colleague of mine in the death-care profession, Faye Bonini.
Here’s Faye’s story:
My daughter Allison has some special needs (autism spectrum) and can be repetitive in her conversation. When she meets someone (waitress, cashier, person sitting near us in a restaurant), she always (and I mean always!) asks: Do you have a dog?
Allison has found this to be a great intro-statement, because everyone either has a dog or has had a dog – and everyone loves to talk about their dog. They show her pictures and sometimes even give her a picture of their dog. People absolutely light up when they tell her about their pet.
When I’ve enjoyed this most is when it’s a senior…perhaps sitting alone at a restaurant or standing next to us in a store. It is heartwarming to see the spark in their eyes when they talk about their pet – perhaps a pet who died many years ago. It brightens their day to have someone take the time to talk to them – and allow them to talk about their beloved pet.