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5 Tips to Tame Your Nippy, Swatting Kitten

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by

an orange kittenBy Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Don’t let that minute size of your newly adopted kitten fool you. Your tiny tabby shares the same prey drive to stalk, chase and hunt as lions roaming in the jungle.

That’s why it is vital that you don’t initially dismiss your kitten’s playful love nips to your hand or ankle as merely playful love bites. Unchecked, her biting and paw swatting will intensify and could cause physical harm to you and your house guests. Deep puncture wounds from cats have landed people in hospitals to receive treatment for Cat Scratch Fever, a disease caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria. Affected persons can develop skin lesions, fever, fatigue and in severe instances, systemic infections.

When you bring home your kitten, school her on what is acceptable play and interaction with people immediately. Here are five effective strategies designed to tone down your kitten’s desire to nip and claw people:

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3 Steps to Treat Burns on Cats & 5 Things to Not Do

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by

A cat with a wrapped up burned paw.

By Arden Moore, a master pet first aid/CPR instructor with Pet Tech, a hands-on training program. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Keeping your cat safe is a year-round commitment. That’s why knowing what to do and what not to do in a pet emergency is one of the best ways to be your cat’s best health ally.

Even if your cat spends 24-7 indoors, she is at risk for one of three types of burns: chemical, electrical and thermal. She could be trapped in the dryer that is turned on, chew on exposed electrical cords, brush up against a burning candle or leap up on the hot surface of a ceramic stovetop.

Just like in people, cats can suffer first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree burns. First-degree burns cause mild discomfort, second-degree burns penetrate several skin layers and are very painful, and third-degree burns injure all layers of the skin and can cause your cat to go into shock.

If your cat gets burned, DO take these three steps:

1. Grab a bath towel and wrap your cat to safely restrain her and reduce your chances of being bitten or scratched. Do not wrap her too tightly in the towel because she can overheat en route to the veterinary clinic.

2. Gently place a damp cloth soaked in cool clean water on the burn site. This will act as a compress to help take away some of the heat from the burn site.

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Breed Guide: Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by

A Pembroke Welsh CorgiDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Height (to base of neck): 10-12″

Weight:  female under 28lb, male under 30lb

Color: Black and tan, red, fawn and sable.

Origin: Pembrokeshire, Wales

Coat: Short to medium length with undercoat and coarser outercoat.

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Breed Nicknames: Corgi

Is a Corgi the Right Dog Breed for You?

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10 Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by

blue sign saying dogs welcome on patioBy Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Look closely under the tables at outdoor eateries – perhaps, even seated on chairs – and you will discover a fast-growing segment of cuisine clientele – dogs. Tapping into America’s love of pets, some savvy restaurant owners with outdoor patios are catering to canines to drum up business and boost their bottom line.

To ensure that the number of pet-welcoming eateries steadily increases, here are 10 etiquette tips for you to heed the next time you leash your dog and head to the nearest pet-welcoming café of bistro:

1. Test your dog’s obedience-heeding commands at home and on walks. Your dog should be able to ace the “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it” commands.

2. Exercise your dog before dining out. A tired dog is less apt to be rambunctious and more apt to want to snooze under your table while you enjoy your meal.

3. Give your dog ample time to take care of his bathroom needs before you head to a restaurant. Just in case: bring extra poop disposable bags so your dog doesn’t create a “stink” at the restaurant.

4. Come prepared. Bring a portable water bowl and perhaps a bag of healthy doggy treats.

5. Play it low key. Don’t make a big fuss about your dog joining you at an eatery. Tether your dog’s leash to your chair.

6. Reel in that leash. Keep your dog on a short rein – about 4 feet. Do not let your dog, even those itty-bitty cute ones, wander into tables occupied by other patrons.

7. Be prepared to request a doggy bag to go if your dog acts up by barking, lunging at other dogs or insisting on sniffing the lower extremities of other patrons.

8. Set your dog up for success by selecting times to test his dining manners at non-peak serving times.

9. Be candid with yourself. If you know your dog can not bring his A-level manners to the restaurant, then keep him at home.

10. Refrain from letting your dog perch on your lap – or worse – lap up leftovers from your plate. Keep those habits inside the privacy of your own home so other patrons can enjoy their meals.

Advice to restaurant owners: I highly recommend you invite a professional dog trainer to give a dog behavior workshop to your staff to keep them safe when serving people and their dogs.

And, finally, show your appreciation to the restaurant staff for allowing your dog to dine with you by providing a tip of at least 20 percent. Bone appétit!

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MVTB Contest Finalist: Dr. Mel Falk

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by

My Vet's the Best finalist Dr. Mel Falk at Hidden Valley Animal Hospital in Independence, Missouri.

Meet Dr. Mel Falk, one of the six finalists in the Pets Best Summer 2014 round of the My Vet’s the Best Contest. Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency developed the contest to recognize the country’s best veterinarians. Each year, thousands of veterinarians receive nominations from grateful pet owners.

Dr. Falk grew up on a farm in the tiny town of Alta Vista, Kansas. He developed a love for animals and knew he wanted to be a veterinarian at a young age. In 1974 he graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University, and then made the move to Independence, Missouri.

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