By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
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.
Proctor & Gamble, the company that manufactures Iams brand pet foods, is recalling even more— this time, its Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball cat food, The Greeley Tribune reports.
According to the source, the food, which is sold in blue, 6.8 pound bags is potentially contaminated with salmonella, which can be detrimental to pet health.
The news provider reports that any bags marked with a code date of 02304173 (B1-B6) and the UPC number 1901403921 should be immediately discarded.
This is one of three recalls the company has voluntarily alerted the public of in the past two months.
Although no salmonella-related illnesses have been reported for any of the three recalls, The New York Times has reported that the recalled products have the potential to be detrimental to both pet health and human health.
Proctor & Gamble has told Forbes that pet owners should wash their hands if they have direct contact with any of the recalled products, as it can be inadvertently passed to humans this way.
The news provider reports that pets who contract salmonella may display decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Symptoms in humans include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
If you believe your pet’s health has been affected by salmonella, visit your veterinarian immediately.
A full listing of recalled UPC codes can be found on the Iams.com website.
For more information, call P&G at 877-340-8823.
By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
Even before I began working for a pet insurance company I was a bonded pet owner. I’ve always let my cats sleep wherever they please—which is usually the top of my bed during the summer and under the covers when it gets chilly.
I like having my cats curled up beside me, but I’m not a fan of early morning annoyances when they decide they want to get up and eat. Over the years, I’ve gathered a few tips that might help other pet owners enjoy a little more shut-eye.
1. Ignore them
It’s easiest to establish good habits when your pet is new. Make it clear from the very beginning that the day begins when you choose to wake up. If a new pet is pestering you to wake up, try ignoring him or her and don’t get up until they stop. This will help establish a mind frame of, “Hey, my human gets up when I’m quiet.”
If a new puppy needs a potty break before you’re ready to be up for the day, quietly let him out without making eye contact, petting him or talking to him (aside from a little praise for going potty outside). After the break, it’s straight back to bed.
2. Give them a bedtime snack
My tabby Monica went through a phase where she’d wake me up by patting my face every day at 5 AM. After a few days of caving in and getting up to feed her, I realized she was going right back to sleep after eating. To ensure optimum cat health care, and also get some more shut-eye, I started giving her a few kibbles right before bed every night. I now enjoy an extra hour or two of sleep most mornings. For new cat owners, try feeding kittens right before bedtime as well for a more restful night’s sleep.
3. Keep your bedroom dark
When the sun comes up and the birds start chirping, your pet thinks it’s time to get moving. Install light-blocking curtains to help keep your house dark and quiet – they also act as a sound barrier and can even help lower your energy bills. Need proof this works? Think about the time change every spring: most pet owners enjoy a week or so of extra peaceful sleep in the mornings until their pets readjust.
4. Invest in an automatic pet feeder
If your pets don’t steal each others’ food, an automatic pet feeder might be a good idea for both cat health and racking up your Zzzzs. The device will dispense food at a certain time each day so you can sleep while they eat their kitty chow.
5. Keep a squirt bottle handy
Every once in a while, my cats will have a day where they just want to get up and play. Regardless of whether they’ve eaten, they want to jump around the bed and bite my toes and chew on my hair. In these cases, a fine mist of water from a squirt bottle is enough to send them running to another room while I keep snoozing. In fact, just hearing the water slosh in the bottle is enough to do the trick now.
No one likes to think about euthanizing animals—but one shelter in West Virginia makes a point of it.
According to the WOWK 13 news source, Kanawha Charleston Humane Society held a candlelight vigil last week to honor the thousands of animals that have been put to sleep.
Shelter volunteers strung 7,574 pet collars around the property to represent each pet that had been euthanized over the past year, the news provider reports.
“It is a terrible feeling because you know you could have helped them… those animals shouldn’t have to be killed because humans didn’t help them by getting them fixed or doing simple things for them,” shelter volunteer Autumn Lenn told the provider.
According to the source, 4 million animals are euthanized each year. In addition to overpopulation, some pets are put down due to expensive vet bills their owners can’t afford.
“Euthanasia of pets for other than humane reasons can be avoided,” explains Dr. Jack Stephens, founder of Pets Best Insurance. “This is why I started pet health insurance (in the US) nearly 30 years ago… as a veterinarian I hated euthanizing pets due to economics.”
In addition to helping cover vet bills due to accidents and illnesses, many pet insurance wellness plans offer spay/neuter coverage to help control pet populations. It’s a one-two punch against the leading factors contributing to euthanasia.
For more information about pet insurance, visit www.petsbest.com.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
Being an animal lover and a dog owner, I’m always searching for interesting toys and pet products for my Chihuahua, La La. One of my favorites thus far, was a “Chewy Vuitton” squeaky purse my mother bought for her “grand-dog” for Christmas one year.
There is truly nothing more hilarious than watching a tiny Chihuahua trot around the house, holding her designer handbag by the handle.
Now that I work for a pet insurance company, I literally spend hours doing very important “research“ on new and upcoming pet health and other pet related products. The following were some I stumbled upon that were too funny not to share.
1. Does your mother-in-law drop by unexpectedly- maybe every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM? Throw her to the dogs with the KyJen Funny Fleece In-Law doll. Not only is this passive aggressive toy a funny way to get your point across, but this in-law will never remind you that you forgot to dust your shelf.
2. Have you always thought that your dog was rather, dapper, suave… maybe even a touch debonair? If so, your pet is likely still missing one thing—the Humunga Stache Rubber Funny Dog Toy. Give your pet this knee-slapping chew toy and entertain your family and friends alike. Try to keep it together as your pet trots around the house with a black, curled moustache on his upper lip.
3. Ever wish you could kick back and share a cold one with man’s best friend? Well, although real alcohol can be detrimental to pet health, you and your pet can now imbibe together with the Silly Squeakers Hiney Sniffen Funny Dog Toy. With an obvious nod to the well-known Heineken beer, laugh for hours as your dog chews on this silly bottle-shaped toy.
4. Do you have a coprophagic dog on your hands? This common medical condition refers to a pet that eats, ahem, its own, or other animals’ poo. Although that’s pretty much the grossest thing I can picture, you can at least try to deter your dog’s affection for excrement by offering up the Mr. Poops Funny Squeaker Dog Toy instead. It even comes in two sizes.
5. Finally, there is nothing more hilarious than a dog with a really long tongue—especially if it’s also a fetch toy. This Humunga Tongue Rubber Funny Dog Toy has a gigantic red tongue on one end, and a ball attached to the other. Is your dog sticking its tongue out because he’s hot, or is he just being sassy? You’ll never know.