Not only can pet spaying & neutering be good for pet health and for the general pet population, but it’s also becoming more affordable.
As towns across the country seek to get pet overpopulation under control, spay and neuter clinics are becoming easier to find. Also, those looking for low cost spaying and pet neutering should check with their pet insurance provider, as the procedure is often covered.
Some cat and dog insurance companies will provide limited coverage for spaying and neutering with wellness and routine care plans. Why? Because having a pet spayed or neutered is part of responsible pet ownership, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The AVMA website is a wealth of information on pet health topics. The non-profit association, established in 1863, posted an entire collection of scientific papers related to pet neutering. Topics range from establishing the ideal age for the procedure, benefits and impacts, and risks.
One of the published studies, Determining the Optimal Age for Gonadectomy of Dogs and Cats by Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, PhD, DACT, found that having pets fixed helps pet overpopulation in two ways. First, animals are unable to breed. Second, fixed pets are happier and more comfortable, and that means less dog behavior problems, less cat spraying to mark territory, and fewer pets relinquished to already-crowded shelters.
On the flip side, some industry professionals argue that spaying or neutering your dog can introduce some negative risk factors as well, including a greater incidence of obesity, a tripling of the risk for developing hypothyroidism and the possibility of acquired incontinence in female dogs. While most vets strongly believe that the risks outweigh the benefits, you should talk to your vet about what is right for your pet.
The scientific review concluded that complications from spaying and neutering are less likely when a dog is less than 2 years old, all pets in shelters should be fixed prior to adoption, and healthy dogs and cats not intended for breeding should be fixed before their first heat cycle.
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.
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.
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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.
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 www.petsbest.com.
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.
Posted by: HR
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manger
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.