Knock Knock, Doggie Door Manners

A dog with pet health insurance jumps in the air.

Arriving at my friend’s house, I prepared myself in anticipation of her 80 pound Chocolate Labrador Retriever waiting to greet me at the door. I knew Harley was inside because as I got out of my car I heard his enthusiastic barking and jumping at the door.

Harley loves visitors, but he truly needs to tone down his adolescent enthusiasm. When my friend opened the door, Harley bounded out to greet me, jumped up and grabbed my jacket sleeve. Being prepared for this boisterous guy, I grabbed a tennis ball out of my pocket and tossed it towards the porch. Harley released my arm and ran after the ball.

Once inside, my friend admitted to me that Harley was out of control when visitors arrived. She said while it was cute when he was a puppy, now that he’s full grown his behavior is no longer endearing. Her family was coming in town for a visit and she was concerned that Harley would hurt her elderly grandparents. Harley’s crazy greeting behavior needed to change.

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How To: Six Part Grooming

A puppy with dog insurance plays dries off after a bath.

We all want our pets to look and smell their best.’Grooming’ should involve more than just hair coat maintenance and all breeds, including cats, can benefit from it. Regular grooming, especially teeth brushing, is important for overall health. Most grooming routines can be done at home with a little know-how, practice and patience. How often grooming is necessary can be variable depending on your pet’s breed and lifestyle. For example, most cats don’t require regular bathing at all, but some dogs can require weekly bathing to stay odor free. Here are some tips for keeping your pet’s appearance in tip-top shape:

1. Pearly Whites
This is probably the trickiest part of a regular grooming routine. Many pets don’t care for it, and brushing can take time and patience. When just starting out, keep it fun and short. Allow your pet to sniff and chew on the toothbrush and taste the toothpaste. Use lots of praise and rewards. Gradually lengthen the time you spend actually brushing as your pet gets used to it. Always use a dog or cat formulated toothpaste, as our toothpaste is toxic to pets.

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Why String and Cats Don’t Mix

A cat with cat insurance plays with string.

I saw a case last week that served as a strong reminder of how rambunctious and mischievous kittens can be, and therefore, how important cat insurance really is. Kittens get into everything, and they can quickly get themselves into trouble if you don’t kitten-proof your home. Like the old adage says, curiosity can kill a cat, or at least make her very sick!

A cute little 5-month-old female kitten named Pearl presented to me because she had been vomiting for a week. She had been seen at another veterinary clinic five days earlier for vaccinations, but unfortunately the vomiting was not thoroughly addressed by the doctor.

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I’m Not Naughty, I’m Sick!

A dog with dog insurance gets in trouble for peeing on the floor.

At times, pets can be very expressive with their body language. A tail wag that moves the whole hind end easily translates feelings of happiness and joy. Conversely, dogs and cats can also communicate when they aren’t feeling well, but often the clues are more subtle. As a pet owner, being aware of behaviors that can indicate an illness are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Because accidents and illnesses can strike at anytime, I always recommend pet insurance to my clients. Here are nine subtle clues that might indicate it is time to call the veterinarian:

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Pet Insurance: Not Just for Celebrity Pets

Lassie, who was issued a pet insurance policy by Dr. Jack Stephens, sits with Timmy.

Nearly 30 years ago, famous TV dog Lassie was issued the first pet insurance policy by Dr. Jack Stephens. Dr. Stephens, who is considered the founder of the pet health insurance industry in North America, founded Pets Best Insurance in 2005.

“When I started Pets Best Insurance, I wanted to make pet insurance even better and more predictable for pet owners than it was. Pets Best Insurance and pet insurance as a whole continue to grow,” says Dr. Jack Stephens.

The pet health insurance industry has changed dramatically from its beginnings of insuring celebrity pets like Lassie. Now, many pet owners consider their dogs and cats to be members of their family and want to offer them protection from accidents and illnesses.

According to USA TODAY*, the adoption rate of pet insurance by pet owners is growing, though the number of dogs and cats insured in the U.S. is only about 1%, compared to around 20% of the pets in the U.K.

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