Author Archives: Hadley Rush

Pet insurance: A rise in responsible pet ownership

A Poodle with pet insurance is safe from the shelters.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

Because the holidays are a popular time for acquiring new family pets, there are likely many new dogs and cats adjusting to their new home right now. However, 2010 was an expensive year to dive into pet ownership in the US, where $20 billion was spent on vet bills according to market research firm Packaged Facts. Despite the lingering recession, this is an increase of 100% from over a decade ago.

It’s no surprise then that another pet care industry is also seeing an increase: pet insurance. More pet owners are gathering cat and dog insurance information and seeking security from high veterinary bills for the pets they love.

One possible future benefit to the rise in interest for pet health insurance may be less homeless pets in shelters.

According to two recent articles on the cost of owning animals published in the New York Times, one common reason pets are relinquished to shelters is because the adoptive family failed to realize the true cost of pet ownership. However, this may reverse if more pet owners think ahead, do a pet insurance comparison, and purchase policies.

For now, while most shelters are still seeing an increase in pets at their facilities, some, like Portland’s Oregon Humane Society, are noting an increase in adoption numbers. With two weeks left in 2010, the shelter had already adopted out over 130 more pets than 2009, according to an article. By Christmas, the number of adoptions posted on their website was 10,764, topping 2009 adoptions by 651 lucky dogs and cats.

Tips to keep pets warm this winter

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance
A pug with pet insurance keeps warm by the fire.

With the cold winter months upon us, it is imperative that pet owners take precautions when it comes to pet health in the winter. Betsy McFarland, senior director of companion animals for the Humane Society of The United States, cautions pet owners that, “our pets are particularly vulnerable during this frigid season, and with just a few extra precautions you can help make sure that they stay safe and healthy.”

For outdoor dogs and cats, the best way to ensure your pet stays warm is by providing a shelter to protect them from the wind and cold. An insulated dog or cat house should be placed off of the ground to help keep it warmer. The floor of the house should be covered with straw or cedar shavings.

Pets that live indoors are not used to being in the cold. Also, dogs and cats that are young, old, or those with short hair are more likely to be affected by the cold. Small dogs can be kept warm while outside by putting a small dog sweater or coat on them.

Once dogs come in from being outside, make sure you dry them off thoroughly. If you live in a home without a carpet, be sure to provide a warm place for them to lay, such as a blanket or dog bed. It will provide a place for your dog to curl up for a long winter’s nap.

Pet insurance can help when pets show signs of illness

A sick dog with pet insurance is tended to by a veterinarian.

When a pet has a change in behavior, owners need to take it as a sign that something can be amiss with their pet. According to Mike Stickney, DVM, director of general surgery services at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, “dogs and cats can’t tell us when something hurts or doesn’t feel good.

But the owners that see them everyday will realize when they’re not just being their regular selves. Any change in your pet’s behavior from what it normally does is a reason to see your veterinarian.”

Ensure that your pet is covered by pet insurance plans to keep them healthy. Having pet insurance allows you to get treatment when your pet shows signs of pet illness.

The first sign of a serious health issue that your pet can exhibit is vomiting or diarrhea. Blood in vomit or diarrhea can be a sign of gastric ulcers or a foreign body (when a pet eats something they shouldn’t have, like a tennis ball or a piece of ribbon.)

Another possible sign of a serious illness is an increase or decrease in urination. Increased urination can be a sign diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or adrenal gland disease. A lack of urinating or straining to urinate can be a sign of bladder stones or an obstruction of the urethra. An obstruction of the urethra is a life threatening condition.

Lack of appetite or lethargy is a serious concern, especially if it lasts more than 24 hours. Cats are more prone to consequences from not eating. Often times, lack of appetite or lethargy accompany other signs of illness.

Though the symptoms may be caused by an easy to treat diagnosis, they could also be signs of a serious illness—don’t take any chances. Anytime your pet acts abnormally, get them examined by a veterinarian. Having pet insurance will ensure that your pet’s health isn’t dictated by your finances.

How to be your dog’s best friend: The classic training manual for dog owners

A brown dog listens to a command.

With over 30 years experience in raising and training dogs, the Monks of New Skete have compiled their knowledge in the updated edition of their book How To Be Your Dog’s Best friend: The Classic Training Manual For Dog Owners.

The book is comprised of two main sections including and step-by-step training manual and an explanation of the spiritual benefits of owning a dog. The original version of the book was first published in 1978 and has sold over a half million copies. The book is one of the most popular dog training books.

The focus of the book is honest and effective communication between you and your dog. The book gives details about dog training techniques, grooming, feeding, and behavior. The updated version includes up-to-date equipment, the newest trends when it comes to care and training of dogs and case studies to help with the training concepts found in the book.

The Monk’s believe that praise and discipline are an extension of a dog owner’s caring attitude and communication with their canine companion. The book covers topics from naming your new puppy, establishing the best sleeping arrangements, and dealing with dog loneliness. The focus of the book is the spiritual connection owners have with their dogs. The book expands and strengthens this relations with its training techniques.

This book is great choice for new or experienced dog owners and can help to build on the relationship you have with your dog.

Shelter dogs: The end of a year doesn’t have to be the end of a life

A shelter dog waits to be adopted.
Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

You’ve likely seen someone post an urgent plea on Facebook or other social media sites to adopt a dog whose time is running out. And how can you resist to help spread the news when the dog looks so thin, defeated and sad?

Perhaps you’ve even replied, sending your hopes that someone has room in their home for this dog. Maybe you’ve read through the replies nervously, wondering if this dog with the mysterious past would ever take another warm nap on a soft couch.

As heartbreaking as this is, it’s understandable and commonplace for older dogs to miss out on adoption opportunities. Puppies are cute and cuddly, we know their background, can train them to our liking, buy them best pet insurance from an early age and hope to have at least a decade of worry-free pet ownership. But I know for myself, as cute as puppies are, older shelter dogs can be just as great of a companion.

When I adopted my dog, Mr. Blue, I was told he was “middle-aged” and that no one knew how old he really was. But I didn’t care. What I got when I adopted him was a happy, mellow dog who loved my cats the first time he saw them and already knew many commands. It was fun testing new tricks to see whether or not he already knew them.

His past is a mystery, and that made for some trying getting-to-know-you times, but positive training saw us through it. I could see in his eyes just how much he loves having a home of his own. It warms my heart knowing that I can provide him with his own couch to sleep on, rather than the concrete bed of his past.

Whether you opt to adopt a puppy or a senior-aged dog, one thing is certain: dog health is never a sure bet. I researched pet insurance for older dogs to help me avoid ever having to choose between Mr. Blue and my bank account. Something tells me that when he isn’t here any longer, another senior dog will find his way into my heart.

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