Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Cat Breed Guide: Javanese

A Javanese 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 Javanese

Weight:  Males 8-12 lb, Females < 8 lbs.

Points of conformation: Slender, long, medium sized, fine boned body but more muscular than their Siamese cousins.  Long triangle shaped head with wide set ears meant to accentuate this.

Coat: Soft, silky coat lacks an undercoat.  Medium length.

Color: Red, Cream, Seal, Chocolate, Blue, Lilac, Blue-cream, Lilac Cream. Tabby is accepted.

Grooming needs: Moderately sheds with moderate grooming needs.

Origin: United States.

Behavior Traits: Vocal and athletic.

Is a Javanese cat right for You?Read More…

Rescue Dog Becomes Service Pet for Vietnam Veteran

Gander, the Labradoodle, a service dog for a Vietnam veteran.

By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert and author of 26 best-selling pet books. She hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio and is a writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Lon Hodge is a Vietnam veteran who was paired with a service dog named Gander, a Labradoodle. Gander was rescued from a kill shelter and is a recipient of the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence.

Hodge copes with autoimmune arthritis as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety. Hodge said his world has changed for the better after being paired with Gander, who was trained by the Freedom Services Dogs of America. Together, they travel across the country to visit people at military hospitals, schools, pet expos, and other places.

“He [Gander] literally saved my life. My heart rate was 120 beats per minute average for two years…It is not about 80. I was having night terrors and panic attacks daily and had to take addicting medication to stop symptoms. Life is 100% better with Gander in it,” says Hodge.Read More…

Tips on Greeting a Working Service Dog

A black Labrador puppy working service dog.

By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert and author of 26 best-selling pet books. She hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio and is a writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

It is easy to understand the conflicting emotions you may feel you encounter a service dog on the job assisting a person with physical or mental limitations. The dog may be walking with the person or sitting quietly under a table at a restaurant. You instinctively want to pet and praise this dog for the great job they’re doing, but then you see those words stitched on his service vest: “Working Service Dog. Please Do Not Pet.”

You may feel like you just collided with a stop sign. You freeze, not knowing what to do or what to say next.

To assist you on practicing the proper pet etiquette around service dogs, we talked to Jennifer Arnold, co-founder of Canine Assistants, based in Milton, Ga. Arnold, who has trained more than 1,000 service dogs at Canine Assistants, has come up with a novel way to satisfy pet lovers who spot one of her trained service dogs.

“About six months ago, I replaced the patches on our service dogs that read, ‘Don’t pet me. I’m working’ with the new message: ‘Ask to pet me. I’m friendly.’ The reason? Our service dogs are friendly and part of what I think helps our clients as well as people in the community is when they are allowed to interact in a positive way with the service dogs,” Arnold explained to us.

Here are three tips from Arnold when encountering a service pet:

1. Never run up and pet a service dog without permission. You may startle the dog and his person, who may fall and get injured.Read More…

Teach Your Dog to Turn Lights On and Off

Train your dog to turn the lights on or off.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.

No one likes having a high utility bill. Perhaps you are getting tired of nagging your spouse and family members to turn off the light switch when they leave a room. Solution: solicit the aid of your happy-to-help dog.

Your dog will need to have learned “touch it,” “leap up” and “watch me” cues before learning this trick. Also, this trick applies only for the wall light switches with toggles or flips to turn on and off. Do not attempt to teach your dog to turn off a lamp with a cord that is situated on a table. You risk breaking the lamp and the pieces of the broken light bulb can cut your dog’s paws and cause bleeding.


Here’s your step-by-step guide to helping your dog master this cool feat.

1. Stand next to a light switch that is easy for your dog to reach. Call your dog and put him in a sit.

2. Hold a treat on the wall just an inch above the light switch. Tap it a few times against the wall as you encourage your dog to leap up with his front paws near the treat. Give him the treat and praise.

3. Repeat the above step a few times so your dog gets use to leaping up and touching the wall with his front paws.Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Australian Cattle Dog

An Australian Cattle Dog with pet insurance from Pets Best.

About the Australian Cattle Dog

Height (to base of neck): female 17 – 19″, male 18 – 20″

Weight:  35 – 45 lb

Color: Blue, or red, mottle and speckled are accepted.

Origin: Native Australian Dingo crossed with the Highland Collie from Scotland

Coat: Weather resistant, hard, straight double coat, with dense and short undercoat.

Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: High

Breed Nicknames: Cattle Dog, Heeler, Blue Heeler, Queen’s Heeler

Is an Australian Cattle Dog the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

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