Author Archives: Hadley Rush

Top 10 things to consider when selecting a pet health insurance plan

A cat and a dog peer over a white wall.
Choosing the best pet insurance plan for your pet can seem confusing, but researching all of your options will help you compare pet insurance and decide which plan is the best fit for you and your pet.

The SPCA has come up with a list of “10 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing a Policy” to help you understand what you should look for when choosing a pet insurance company and an insurance plan for your pet.

1. The first thing they recommend is choosing a deductible that fits your family’s financial situation the best. Which type of plan would work better for your family– a plan with a lower monthly premium but a higher out-of-pocket cost, or a plan with a higher monthly premium with a lower out-of-pocket cost?

2. Another thing to look consider are policy limitations. Check the per-incident limit and the lifetime limit allowed. Make sure the limits are high enough to realistically cover the expenses of pet health care for your furry friend.

3. One of the most important things to look for when choosing a cat or dog health care policy is what the plan will cover. Review all of the details regarding what the plan covers and what is does not cover so you are sure of the coverage you will receive.

4. You and your veterianarian should choose the course of treatment for your pet. Choose a plan that won’t limit your treatment choices.

5. Make sure that you clearly understand how the reimbursement process works. There are two ways your reimbursement can be calculated. Either a percentage of your total bill will be repaid to you, or a percentage of a “benefit schedule” (which can limit reimbursement amounts) will be reimbursed to you. Be sure you understand how much of your pet health bills the plan will actually cover.

6. Find out if they allow you to choose any vet you wish or if there is a network of vets that you must choose from. You will want to be able to use your primary veterinarian, and any specialists your vet may refer you to.

7. Choose a plan that doesn’t limit your treatment choices based on a benefit schedule. Benefit schedules will also limit the amount you are reimbursed for treatment.

8. Go with a company that your vet recommends. Veterinarians will likely know which companies are better than others.

9. Check that the pet insurance is licensed in your state. If the company is licensed in your state then the state government regulates the company.

10. Give customer service a call to make sure they are helpful and available to answer any questions you may have. You want a company that you will enjoy working with not a company that you will have to work against.

How to potty train your puppy

A small brown puppy sits in the grass.
A dog crate is an essential tool for both dog health care and puppy training. According to Cheri Lucas, the founder and president of Second Chance at Love Humane Society, “Crate training has been proven to be the fastest and most effective way to housebreak a puppy.”

Dogs like to be in confined areas that simulate a den and they feel safe in enclosed areas where they can curl up. A crate provides the type of environment that will make a puppy feel secure.

Dogs naturally won’t want to go potty in the area where they sleep. This makes using a crate ideal for potty training. Choose a dog crate that is large enough for the puppy to stand up in, turn around, and lay in comfortably.

You want to avoid choosing a crate that is too large as the dog may use one end for a bathroom area and sleep in the other end. Crates that come with divider panels will allow you to buy a crate that will fit your dog when they are full grown but can be divided to a smaller size for when your dog is a puppy.

The best way to crate train a puppy is to start the first day you take the puppy home. The crate should be placed in an area of the house where the rest of the family will be. Dogs are pack animals and like to be with the rest of their pack, the family. Take the dog outside to go potty after taking them out of the crate and before putting them into the crate.

To ensure proper dog health care and good behavior, the crate should never be used as an area for punishment.

Cat health care for aging cats

An old cat sits patiently.
As a cat enters each stage of life, the care she requires changes. Cats are living longer now than they ever have.

According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the percentage of cats over six years of age has nearly doubled in just over a decade, and there is every reason to expect that the “graying cat” population will continue to grow.

With aging cats comes increased risks for disease and illnesses. Having cat insurance for your cat from the time they are kittens can help you ensure they receive the veterinary care they need throughout their life.

Symptoms of diseases are often noticed by cat owners but are thought to be due to the cat aging. Some of the symptoms that owners dismiss are changes in the amount their cats are eating and drinking, changes in activity levels and changes in sleeping patterns. To keep older cats healthy, have your cat examined if they exhibit any changes in behavior or eating, drinking or sleeping patterns.

Take your senior cat to the veterinarian for more frequent check-ups. Older cats should be seen every 6 months to monitor their weight and to get a thorough exam. Any changes in your cat’s health will then be further evaluated. Having pet insurance for older cats can help offset the additional costs of pet health issues that come with aging.

How to stop your dog’s excessive barking

Posted by: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager

Jayda the dog learns to contol her barking in a doggie class.An occasional bark from a dog can be a bit annoying in itself, but a dog that is constantly barking can bring on a whole new level of annoyance, especially when all you want is the dog to stop barking.

According to the dog health care expert and self proclaimed Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, continuous, excessive barking is your dog’s manner of sending you a distress signal and occurs if the dog’s needs are not being met.

Excessive barking often stems from boredom. When dogs aren’t stimulated daily, both mentally and physically, they can become mentally frustrated. A dog will communicate this frustration with barking. Being in control of your dog will stop his barking.

Some dog health care advice Cesar Milan offers to stop a dog from barking, is to use a physical correction or a sound correction. Once the dog stops barking, you need to make sure the dog is still not caught up in the moment before you step away. If the dog’s brain is still on alert he will begin barking as soon as you are not around him.

Remain calm when correcting the dog. Excessive barking will make you frustrated and will cause you to want to yell at your dog to stop barking. Dogs pick up on the energy of their owner. If you are agitated, the dog will pick up on it and will not calm down. A calm energy will help the dog become calm and stop barking.

Getting your dog out of the habit of barking will take time on your part to make sure his needs are being met. If you have exhausted all of your options, and you still have excessive barking, consult a behaviorist to help with the issue.

Pet health worry: Heartworm in cats

A cat sits in a bed.
Most dog owners are aware of pet health needs and the necessity of heartworm preventatives, but it’s also a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about cat heartworm prevention too.

Heartworms are becoming more and more prevalent in cats. The increase is likely due to the fact that testing for heartworm is not necessarily done as part of a routine annual visit. Because of this, the definitive number of cats with heartworm is widely unknown. Giving your cat a heartworm preventative should be a part of your cat pet care regimen.

Heartworms are transmitted to cats when an infected mosquito bites the cat. The mosquito injects the heartworm larvae into the cat, which eventually ends up in the cat’s heart. Approximately 6 months later, the larvae become adult worms and begin to release microfilaria, or immature heartworms.

Indoor cats are not immune to the disease. Approximately 25% of the cats diagnosed with heartworm are indoor cats. The cat illness symptoms of feline heartworms are inconsistent, which makes diagnosing the disease difficult. The most common signs that pet health has been compromised are rapid breathing and coughing. These symptoms are also common in other feline diseases.

Feline heartworms are diagnosed via blood tests. Currently there are no safe treatment options for feline heartworms. Any symptoms caused by the disease are treated to keep the animal comfortable until the heartworms die. The lifecycle of the heartworms is approximately 2 years. Cat health issues, like feline heartworms, can be avoided by giving your cat heartworm prevention.

Pets Best Insurance has a limited benefit for the testing of heartworms with its BestWellness plan—which can be added on to any illness and accident cat insurance policy for $22 per month.

For more information on what is covered under the BestWellness plan, or general information about health insurance for cats, visit

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