Author Archives: Hadley Rush

Top four most poisonous foods for dogs

A pet owner shares some food with a dog .

We’ve all had the temptation. You’re eating something delicious and your dog looks up at you with those big puppy dog eyes, silently begging you to share your food with him. He may even do a trick or let out a little bark to get your attention.

Even though you want to give in and offer him a little bite from your plate, don’t do it! You never know what’s going to upset your pet’s tummy, or worse, make him sick. There are numerous foods that humans eat daily that are actually toxic and can even be deadly to dogs. Having the knowledge of which foods are poisonous foods to dogs can prevent you from accidentally harming your four legged best friend.

The following is a list of four of the most dangerous human foods your dog could ingest:

1. Chocolate and caffeine: The chemicals found in chocolate and caffeine are toxic and can lead to health issues including increased heart rate and seizures. Ingestion of chocolate can be fatal—dogs should get treatment immediately if they have consumed chocolate.
2. Onions and Garlic: These foods contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which cause anemia by damaging red blood cells. Onions are more toxic to dogs than garlic but both should be avoided.
3. Grapes—including raisins: Grapes can cause kidney damage that can eventually lead to kidney failure.
4. Macadamia nuts: The toxins found in these nuts have an effect on the nervous system, muscles and digestive system.

Although no pet owner wants to think about their pet in an emergency situation, for those who have purchased pet insurance, the emotional and financial stress can be alleviated if a pet ingests something toxic unexpectedly. When talking with your veterinarian about pet health and which human foods might be safe to share, it’s a good idea to also inquire about dog insurance.

Many veterinarians are quick to offer up the name of their favorite dog or cat insurance company, and they may even have first hand experience helping other clients file a pet insurance claim.

The next time your pet gobbles up something without your knowledge, or you offer up human food, contact your vet just to be sure your pet won’t have a bad reaction.

Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pet

A tasty Thanksgiving dinner could be bad for pet health.By Chryssa Rich, a Marketing Associate for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats

Our 16 year-old dog Hunter is so old he needs help getting on the couch or into a car. But somehow, he’s as agile as a puppy when the family gathers at the dining room table for a big meal. He strategically navigates the chair legs and places himself at our feet to catch what we drop. I’m pretty sure Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday.

Although table scraps may not be good for pet health as a whole, some can be far worse. So before you sit down for this year’s big feast, take a look at which parts of Thanksgiving dinner our pets can enjoy with us, and which they should stay away from, from a pet insurance company’s point of view.

Turkey: Cats and dogs both love turkey, and it’s good for them. In fact, some homemade pet food diets include as much as 75% turkey. Go ahead and share a small piece of lean meat, but don’t give them skin or bones. Turkey skin is high in fat and sodium and can cause digestive issues and choking, and bones can splinter and cause serious pet health problems.

Stuffing: Stuffing is mostly bread, salt and fat, so it won’t offer any real nutritional value or crunch satisfaction for your pets. Go ahead and eat it all yourself.

Green Bean Casserole: Fido and Fluffy will have to skip this classic side dish. Onions can be toxic to dogs, and neither should have dairy, as it can cause diarrhea. However, raw green beans are good for them, so feel free to “accidentally” drop a couple of fresh bean bites on the kitchen floor while you’re preparing the meal.

Sweet Potato Casserole: This is another side dish your pets will have to enjoy before it reaches the dining room table. Prepared traditionally with marshmallows and brown sugar, sweet potato casserole is a bad idea for your pets. Instead, offer the occasional slice of raw sweet potato as a treat. Both will find it satisfying to chew on.

Cranberry Sauce: If you’ve ever watched a dog try to eat Jello, you can imagine why cranberry sauce or jelly might not be the best treat for yours. And it’s not likely a cat would take to the tart stuff, so you can skip trying to share this one. (They’ll be too busy bugging you for more turkey, anyway.) About 1/3 of pet food manufacturers currently use cranberries in their recipes, but the pet health benefits haven’t yet been proven.

Pumpkin Pie: Admit it; you don’t want to share your dessert with anyone. But just in case pleading eyes beg for a bite, you should know the truth about pie: it’s delicious, and it’s just for humans. The high fat content of the crust, plus the spices, sugar and dairy in the filling could cause digestive issues in pets. (If you let kitty lick a little ice cream or whipped cream, I won’t tell.) Canned natural pumpkin is good for cats and dogs, though, and small amounts mixed in with their regular food can help regulate the digestive system.

Holiday Hazards Happen to Pets

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When all is said and done, you can relax on Thanksgiving knowing that nothing in the traditional spread will likely cause serious pet health issues. Keep human food out of your pets’ reach, go easy on the treats and table scraps, and enjoy a lazy nap on the couch next to the fireplace after the big meal. I hear cats love football.

Pet health: Keep kitty from being a picky eater

A cat is tended to by a veterinarian.
Good cat health care means finding the best pet insurance for your cat, researching what goes in your pet’s food dish, and ensuring your cat is getting the proper vitamins and nutrients. The second step is making sure they’re eating the proper amount.

One of the oldest documented cats in the U.S., Baby from Duluth, Minnesota, was allowed to eat what his owners ate. Baby lived to the reported age of 38 on a diet of steak, peas, olives, corn off the cob sans butter or salt, cheese, and some cat food for good measure.

Of course, vets may not recommend a diet of table scraps for housecats, but there might be something to be said about the variety in Baby’s diet.

As long as a cat isn’t overfed or given anything potentially harmful, a high-variety diet may help some cats stay excited about food, refrain from becoming picky eaters, and avoid pet health issues like allergies.

Remember: if a cat ever accidently ingests potentially toxic foods like grapes, raisins, tomatoes or onions, cat insurance will be your best friend, allowing you to go straight to the vet without worrying about the bottom line.

Some cat insurance companies also include wellness and routine care benefits in addition to accident and emergency benefits. For more information about cat and dog insurance, visit

If you do have a picky cat, you’ll need to get him used to new foods slowly. Quickly changing from one food to another can cause cat illness symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and food refusal.

When changing a finicky cat from one food to another, plan on devoting one to two weeks to the process. Be sure to also include your vet in the process and consult her, should your cat display any odd behaviors.

Pet health: Chocolate poisoning, and knowing what to look for

Posted by: HR
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manger
A veterinarian holds a sick dog.
Chocolate poisoning is one of the most common types of poisonings in dogs and cats. The occurrence of chocolate poisoning is of concern, especially as the holidays approach. Because of its toxic effect on dogs and cats, chocolate should be kept out of reach of pets.

It is important to make children aware that giving chocolate or any type of “people food” to your pets is not allowed. Having dog and cat insurance for your pets gives you peace of mind that you can care for your pets in case of an accident or emergency. Some pet insurance companies, like Pets Best Insurance, reimburse at flat rates, which ease financial strain.

Cat and dog poisoning symptoms from chocolate can include diarrhea, vomiting, an increase in reflex responses and body temperature, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, muscle rigidity, low blood pressure and seizures. More serious signs may include cardiac failure, weakness and even coma.

Chocolate in any form can be toxic to dogs and cats. The most potent and therefore the most toxic type of chocolate is baking chocolate. Keep all forms of chocolate, including milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate away from pets.

The best way to prevent chocolate poisonings is to make sure that all types of chocolate are kept where your pets can not access them. If your pet does ingest chocolate, immediate treatment is key for his recovery.

Pet health and well being: Choosing pet friendly travel accomodations

A dog sits in a suitcase waiting to depart on vacation.
When traveling with pets, you will want to make sure that the place you plan to stay is pet friendly.

Whether you are staying in a hotel, renting a cottage, roughing it at a campground or anything in between, you’ll want to ensure that they will accommodate both you and your pet. There are several things you should consider when choosing a pet-friendly place to stay.

There are numerous websites that offer listings of pet-friendly lodging. You can search listings for places to stay along your travel route and places to stay once you’ve reached your final destination. It is important that you call the place you are considering to ensure that the information listed is accurate. Also consider the following tips when finding a pet-friendly place to stay:

•When calling, ask about any restrictions they may have on the size of your pet or even the number of pets you can have. Some facilities have weight and shedding restrictions.

•Ask about the pet fee. Some places allow pets to stay free of charge while others charge by the night. Also ask if a pet deposit is required and if it is refundable or non-refundable.

•You will want to ask about what pet amenities are offered. Amenities range from complimentary treats and bowls to pet menus for room service and dog sitters.

•Find out if there is a designated area where you can walk your dog or if there is a dog park nearby.

•Make sure that you have reservations for you and your pet as some places have a limited number of pet-friendly rooms available.

A few minutes of research before traveling with your pet will ensure you’re prepared for the voyage ahead. When traveling, it is also a good idea to scout out local veterinarians in advance, and make sure your pet insurance is up-to-date. Some companies, like Pets Best Insurance even offer a vet locator service on their website.

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