Author Archives: Hadley Rush

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.

How pet insurance saved our puppy’s life

By: Jacqueline White
A Rottweiler puppy rests in his bed.
My family recently lost our wonderful Rottweiler, Maddox, to dog lymphoma. We were saddened by the sudden loss. He had been to the veterinarian’s office in March for his annual check-up and was deemed to be in good health. Just three short months later we noticed the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen.

We took him into the vet the next day and our worst fears became a reality. The cancer had already spread to his other lymph nodes. We knew that his time here with us was going to be cut short. We tried to make him as comfortable as possible. Even though we provided him prompt dog health care, in just four short weeks his health had declined to the point where euthanasia was our only option.

After Maddox passed away, we knew that we wanted to get another Rottweiler. We searched online and found a puppy that had been an “owner surrender” at the local animal control office. With our three girls in tow, we headed to meet the puppy face-to-face. Although initially the little ball of fluff was very scared– my husband and I determined that we would adopt it.

We had our new puppy, Duke, checked out by our veterinarian the day we picked him up from animal control to ensure he received the best possible dog health care. Soon, however, he became very ill.

We took little Duke back to the veterinarian’s office and he was diagnosed with parvo virus, which can be life threatening to dogs. The estimate, a whopping $600 for treatment was startling, but luckily for us the puppy came with a three-month membership of pet dog insurance.

The insurance ended up paying for most of Duke’s treatment. If it wasn’t for Duke having dog insurance I don’t know what we would have done.

Having pet health insurance kept our family from suffering another loss. After our experience with both

Maddox and Duke, I would never own another pet without getting pet insurance—you never know when you might need it.

For more information about pet insurance visit

Vet preaches importance of pet insurance

A cute puppy raises his paw.
Dr. Andrew Ward wishes more people would buy pet insurance for their pets, The Observer website reports.

According to the source, the vet feels that insuring pets allows their owners to provide tip top treatment.

“It is a great idea that gives financial backing to us as vets that an animal’s treatment isn’t limited,” Ward told the Observer.

“Quite often people can’t afford things such as tests or surgery.”

Ward told the news provider that he makes it a point to discuss the benefits of a pet care insurance plan with each of his clients—because too often, the only other option is euthanasia.

“Sometimes we have no choice but to euthanize an animal for financial reasons because their owners can’t afford treatment which wouldn’t happen if they had pet insurance,” Ward told the source.

Ward told the provider that when his clients opt to buy insurance for dogs and cats, there are more methods of treatment available.

“I really do hope it is a trend that will catch on.”

Five tips for choosing the perfect doggie daycare

By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
Jayda smiling after her first daycare visit.
In the past few months, I’ve become one of “those people.” You know, the type of person who purchases a pet insurance policy, buys clothes for her dog and shells out money for doggie daycare.

I’ve become a doting pet owner who wants to ensure my pets’ health and happiness. But in my defense, my short-haired American Dingo (aka Carolina Dog) shivers like crazy when we camp in the summer, and sleeps much better with a hoodie or jacket.

As for the doggie daycare—she goes once a week and it’s well worth the money. She plays like crazy and I get about 36 hours of peace and quiet afterwards while she rests up. It’s also nice to know that she has a familiar place to stay if I ever need to board her overnight.

If you’re considering a doggie daycare or hotel for your best friend, here are a few things to look for:

Friendly and Professional Staff
The staff should be friendly and show sincere care for your pet. (This is not the place for apathetic teenagers saving up for spring break.) At my dog’s daycare, they remembered Jayda after just two visits. They sent us home with a cute picture after her first day, and they are genuinely concerned about dog health care, as they always give her a breath-freshening treat before we leave.

Free Trials and Perks
Most pet daycares and hotels will offer at least a half-day free to be sure your pet is friendly and is a good fit. In addition to offering a warm-up session for your pet, it ensures the buddies he’ll be staying with are also well-adjusted. Once you’ve chosen a place, you should inquire about competitive pricing, discounts or rewards when you purchase multiple days or refer a friend. The amount you should expect to pay for doggie day care will vary by region, but can range anywhere from $17 to $30 per day.

Attention to Pet Health
The doggie daycare you choose should require vaccination records for every pet, no exceptions. If they don’t ask for your pet’s records, they’re probably not getting them from anyone else. You should also sign a plan outlining what to do in the case of a pet health emergency. Because Jayda has Pets Best Insurance, I was able to pre-approve veterinary care up to a high limit without requiring the doggie day care to contact me first. I can relax knowing that if anything happens, they’ll get her to the vet pronto and I won’t be in financial distress.

Amenities and a Webcam
Remember that we’re talking dogs, here. They don’t care about marble countertops or spa-like atmospheres. Jayda’s daycare has two large rooms: one for small dogs and one for large, both with couches, plus a fenced outdoor area. And for me, a webcam is available 24/7 so I can see what she’s up to anytime.

Listen to Your Pet
If your dog seems scared or uncomfortable when you pick her up, or tries to avoid going into the daycare after a few visits, it’s time to shop around. I know Jayda loves hers because she takes me to the appropriate doors to get in, and rarely looks back once she’s off her leash inside. It makes me happy to know she’s excited about where she’ll be spending the day.

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