Author Archives: Hadley Rush

Shopping for the best pet insurance rates

By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
Jayda relaxes in the grass after a game of Frisbee.
I first heard about pet insurance almost six years ago when I saw a magazine ad which directed me to a website for a quote.

I can’t remember which company it was for, but I remember the pet insurance rates listed were about $20 per month, per pet. Being a broke graduate student at the time, I didn’t make the purchase.

It surprises me today how many pet owners have faced daunting vet bills, yet how few have heard of pet health insurance. And now that I work for Pets Best Insurance, people always ask “How much would it be for my 8 year-old Great Dane?” or “Would your plans cover my cat’s urinary tract problems?” I can’t provide pet insurance rates off the top of my head, of course, but I do always let them know they can get an instant quote any time at

There are a few things to consider when shopping for a pet health insurance company. While excellent customer service, fast payment and easy online account maintenance is a plus (Pets Best Insurance offers all of these), for many of us, it comes down to monthly pet insurance rates. When I adopted my dog Jayda last spring, I was pleased to discover I would’ve chosen Pets Best Insurance even if I didn’t work here. Because Jayda was a shelter dog, one company gave us 45 days of coverage included with her adoption fee, and offered a discount for the first month after that. However, after doing a little research, switching to Pets Best Insurance was a no-brainer.

For me, it was important to have a variety of deductibles to choose from, in order to get the perfect monthly pet insurance rates. I also didn’t want to be nickled-and-dimed to death with things like extra cancer coverage. (Pets Best Insurance plans cover cancer, so long as the cancer isn’t pre-existing.)

I was surprised to see some companies require a full 30-day waiting period, so you’re paying for an entire month with no coverage—which didn’t seem very fair to me, and didn’t seem to make sense for my dog’s health care.

Other factors in my search included age limits and continuous care. Some companies won’t insure older pets. Still others start their policies fresh every year, meaning that anything previously covered can be regarded as a pre-existing condition. That defeats the entire purpose of dog health care insurance, if you ask me. And what if my dog were to get sick just before our policy renewed? We wouldn’t have much coverage at all. Thankfully with Pets Best Insurance, we don’t have to worry about any of that.

When you’re comparing pet insurance rates, make sure you consider all the above. It’s also important to determine what you can afford each month, and how much you can comfortably part with as a deductible. All Pets Best Insurance plans cover 80% of covered expenses after a deductible is subtracted. Additionally my company’s pet insurance rates are all inclusive and include some of the highest payout limits in the industry.

Upscale cat and dog health care at new hotel

A fancy dog sits on a plush pink pillow.
A new hotel is opening in Fort Worth, Texas later this month that will boast custom beds, satin blankets, and flat screen TVs—but the hotel isn’t for humans, it’s for pets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the $4.4 million hotel, called the Spa Paws Hotel, will offer pet facials, turn-down service and bottles of Evian water.

“There isn’t another hotel like this. It’s a hotel like you and I would stay in,” hotel owner Janice Ford Grimes told the source, adding that pet health will also be a primary focus.

Ford Grimes told the news provider that pets will be able to enjoy a wellness center that will offer Eastern medicine to ensure exquisite cat and dog health care.

While many people consider dog and cat insurance to be the up-and-coming pet trend, Ford Grimes wants to push the envelope even more.

The hotel owner plans to host pet weddings and birthday parties and guests will even be able to sit for a portrait by a professional photographer.

Ford Grimes told the news provider that the part of the hotel she’s most passionate about is the wellness center, which is inspired by Ford Grime’s cat Dakota, who died of a serious pet health condition—a brain tumor.

With rooms costing around $200 per night, Ford Grimes thinks animal lovers will see her pet hotel is worth every penny.

“Ford Grimes is prepared to subsidize the clinic with earnings from the hotel,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Her business plan has her making money within the first six months with occupancy at the hotel and salon.”

With Ford Grimes’ pet hotel opening its doors—pet health and luxury will never be regarded the same.

Five tips for introducing pets to new people

By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
A dog waits at the door as someone approaches.
Before I returned to my hometown about three years ago, I moved every 18 months or so, cats in tow. There was never a shortage of new people for my cats to meet. Luisa always did well, but her daughter Monica, a shy orange tabby, is typically afraid of new people. My dad commented that in a week of cat-sitting, he didn’t see her once. This type of fear and anxiety in a pet isn’t good for pet health or the overall happiness of a home.

Adding to the mix, I adopted my dog last spring. She’s presented a new set of issues when it comes to meeting new people, namely fear-based aggression. If anything she’s helped me understand and develop numerous dog health care and behavioral tactics.

The following tips have helped us welcome new people into our lives, and they just might help you too:

1. Stay calm and act natural
Before someone comes over, many of us tend to rush around the house cleaning with weird-smelling chemicals and big scary vacuums. This behavior sends the message that something new is about to happen and it can create anxiety. Keep your routine as normal as possible before your guests arrive to ensure pet health and happiness.

2. Don’t tolerate aggressive behavior
If you’re dealing with a dog, under no circumstances should you accept aggressive behavior. Growling, barking, lunging and jumping up are all dominance behaviors dogs can show. You may need to keep Fido on-leash at first to ensure a calm, happy meeting. If that doesn’t work, keep him in a crate or in another room, and only let him out when he’s quiet.

Special note for owners of small dogs: Resist the urge to pick up your dog when it growls, barks, lunges or jumps. This rewards the behavior with your attention and tells your little dog that it’s okay to behave aggressively. Instead, invest in a tiny prong collar or harness and leash, and use the same obedience commands you’d use with a large dog. This may seem mean to the average person, but asserting your dominance as pack leader will garner respect from your dog and guarantee proper dog health care and obedience.

3. Let the pet decide when to say hi
If your pet prefers to hide when someone new arrives, let her. Once your friend has arrived and settled in, see if you can coax your pet to come out using a soothing voice and maybe a treat or a favorite toy.

4. Use lots of praise
If I sit and chat with a new friend, my scaredy-cat Monica will usually come out from hiding within a few minutes. As long as I praise her and pet her, she’ll stick around. Most pets have amazing memories and will remember friends when they come back next time. So, if someone comes to visit and your pet doesn’t hide, recognize the progress and use lots of praise.

5. Keep treats by the front door
This works especially well for dogs. Keep a few treats near the front door, and if a guest is willing, ask him or her to tell your dog to sit before accepting the treat. This way, your dog has something to focus on (the “sit” command) and will be rewarded by the new friend. Having positive activities to focus on can prevent the nervous growling and barking seen in some dogs.

Heading back to school may take a toll on pet health

By: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
La La the Chihuahua sits on the bed waiting for her owner to return home from work.
As much as I hate to admit it, summer is coming to a swift end. And with the cooler temperatures and the start of football season, pets across the nation are beginning to adjust to their owners’ schedules for work or back to school.

Instead of spending warm days playing Frisbee in the park, your pet is getting back into the routine of patiently waiting for you by the front door, or hoping you might swing by at lunchtime for a potty break. And although many well-trained pets often do just fine, some will display increased anxiety and pet health can even be at risk.

Before I began working for a pet insurance company, my Chihuahua La La grew accustomed to spending most days with me. Upon heading back to work, I noticed my tiny dog was not happy. Although La La cannot speak her mind in plain English, she let me know she had an, ahem, bone to pick with me by leaving me a little brown present my first day back at work.

Similarly to humans, some pets may have adjustment issues with new schedules. It’s not all that uncommon for pets to act out if they’re unhappy with the new day-to-day activities just like La La did. With less interaction from their owner who is now elbow deep in text books, or leaving the house earlier in the morning and coming home later at night, pets are looking for an alternate means of entertainment.

Common signs that your pooch or kitty may not be happy with the end of summertime fun might include these pet health and pet behavioral issues:

• Urinating and defecating in the house
• Barking, howling or whimpering
• Digging in the yard or chewing off-limit items
• Pacing back and forth
• Eating more or less
• Sleeping more
• Increased anxiety or excitement when you try to leave

If you know your schedule will be changing, it’s a good idea to introduce the change slowly to your pet. You can do this by implementing shorter periods of separation and then gradually increasing the time you are away.

You can also reward your pet with a treat or play fetch a few times before departing for the morning. This can help your pet associate you leaving with something positive.

The most important thing to remember is that change can be hard for your pet, so attempt to work with your pooch or kitty until it feels comfortable with your new schedule.

If you notice increased anxiety or other pet health issues in your pet, talk to your veterinarian about options for treatment or medications that can help.

Dog health care a worry as Hartz recalls dog treats

A small dog begs for a treat.
Hartz Mountain Corp. has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 75,000 bags of dog treats due to possible salmonella contamination, CNN reports.

According to the source, some 8-ounce bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs were randomly tested for the presence of salmonella by the FDA, and the results indicated they might be contaminated.

“The company, based in Secaucus, New Jersey, has not received any reports of animals or people becoming ill as a result of contact with the treats,” the news provider reports.

According to the source, the recalled treats are stamped with the lot code BZ0969101E and could jeopardize pet health if eaten.

Hartz advises pet owners who have purchased the potentially-contaminated treats to dispose of them immediately.

The FDA suggests that pet owners whose dogs display symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea take their pets in for immediate dog health care.

Consumers who have additional questions can contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414.

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