If you’re like many pet owners today, you’ll do whatever it takes to keep your pet happy and healthy. Our plans help make that possible by offering reimbursement levels of 70%, 80% or 90%, after a deductible. We also offer a 100% level of reimbursement.
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital and I’m answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page today.
The first question comes from Donna who asks what I would recommend to feed a Schipperke with a sensitive stomach. She’s tried various formulas with salmon as the main ingredient but he doesn’t like it.
Schipperkes are a little, usually dark-colored haired breed with kind of fluffy hair. I wouldn’t say necessarily that they’re prone to sensitive stomachs, per se, as a breed in general, but sensitive stomachs as a whole in the population certainly can occur.
There are some things that you can do to try to find a dog food that’s going to work well for him and also provide the nutrients that he needs. Make sure when you purchase food from a pet store or wherever you’re getting the food to see if they have a money-back guarantee. A lot of times you can return these bags of food if he doesn’t like it. That way as you’re doing your experimenting to see what he likes and what works for his stomach, you can return these bags in the meantime.
There are a lot of brands that are actually advertised as meant for sensitive stomachs. That would be a great place to start. You could also contact your veterinarian. There are some prescription diets available that are formulated to be really easy on the stomach.
The next question comes from Kristin. “Why isn’t the smell of poop disgusting to my dog and why will she eat it when humans can’t get near it?” This is unfortunately a common thing for dogs, especially young dogs and puppies, and it is really disconcerting. There is probably an evolutionary reason for it. In the wild, dogs were trying to get the most nutrients as possible from their food so by eating their stool they might be able to get another kind of second run.
Obviously, in this day and age, this is not a behavior that you want to encourage because it can help perpetuate the life cycle of certain types of internal parasites. There are some medications available that make poop less interesting to dogs. This seems a little counterintuitive but they are out there. A lot of them are over-the-counter. Given to pets, they can sometimes help them to recognize that this isn’t something that they should eat. www.petsbest.com
Soon after leaving home for college, I got my first cat in 1996. While I wasn’t aware of pet insurance back then, it’s become something that I’ve contemplated in depth.
While I’ve owned various dogs and cats, one pet I will never forget is Charlie. Charlie was found on the streets of Chicago and picked up by animal control. He was a scrappy, naughty, tabby tom cat and he scratched his way into my heart.
With all this changeover in pets and the consistency of Charlie, it occurred to me that those pets who were or seemed to appear purebred had more pet health issues. Whereas I found myself comparing dog and cat insurance companies for my Persian and Ragdoll cats, the idea never occurred to me for Charlie. I began to wonder if there wasn’t some merit to being deemed a “rescue” animal. Maybe Charlie came from a long line of scrappers, and he somehow inherited “heartier” genes. Regardless, I wasn’t sure that pet insurance was right for him.
Then I found a study published in 1997 by the Department of Veterinary Sciences and others at Purdue University. In a study of over 23,000 dogs treated at North American veterinary teaching hospitals, it was found that, “the median age at death was lower for pure breed dogs compared with mix breed dogs.”
In speculating as to why this may be, the study suggested that, “selective breeding of dogs over time…has accelerated physiological aging.”
The study also made it clear that all the dogs in the study were well cared-for pets or show dogs. As all the observed pets were patients at teaching hospitals where costs are likely high, and many were likely referred from their own vets to these hospitals, the dogs had a history of proper veterinary care and vaccinations and were likely even covered by pet insurance companies.
Colleen Paige is founder of the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network and National Kids & Pets Day, April 26.
On kidsandpetsday.com, she offers tips for keeping kids and pets safe around each other.
According to the site, “National Kids & Pets Day is dedicated to furthering the magical bond between children and animals and to help bring awareness to the plight of pets in shelters awaiting new homes.”
Dogs, cats, and kids have a lot in common. Both pets and kids often try to push their boundaries and challenge their parents. Both can get cranky and lash out when sleepy or hurting. And both have potential to hurt the other, either by accident or on purpose. However, children and pets have a lot to offer each other, as well.
Some of the tips Paige offers on her site include:
•Teaching children to always ask first before petting a dog. Even friendly dogs can be startled by the sudden appearance of another set of eyes right at their level.
•Teaching children how to pet animals nicely and gently, avoiding running toward, yelling at, or pulling on an animal’s body parts.
•Never leaving children and pets unsupervised.
Just as pets can cause sudden and even accidental injury to children, children can cause injury to pets. Pet insurance should be on the list of all policies that parents with pets own. These policies can keep unexpected vet visits more affordable when sudden dog or cat health care is needed due to a cut paw, broken tail, or ingestion of crayons.
Even though people have pet insurance for their pets, they “are not seeing the veterinarian as frequently as they used to,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
In an article published in the Calgary Herald titled “Why Pet Owners Fear Vet Visits,” pets are potentially not getting the proper veterinary attention for two reasons: lack of information and “higher than expected costs for vet services.”
The article was written by veterinarian Dr. Wendy McClelland, who recommends one or two wellness visits per year—one for younger pets, two for older. She reminds pet owners that those visits can be used to discuss pet health, nutrition, care options, and preventative care to prepare for the future and eliminate fear, “instead of just putting out the fire of the latest illness or injury.”
Because one or two vet visits per year—even when an animal is seemingly healthy—does cost money, McClelland admits, she says pet owners should “think of them as insurance.” Alternately, pet owners may think of insurance for wellness exams. Pet insurance companies like Pets Best Insurance offer coverage for wellness visits. Such visits help find potential pet health issues early on, eliminating unnecessary soaring expenses.
Online pet insurance company websites offer a wealth of information as well, from pet health tips to the ability to thoroughly compare pet insurance to find the best financial fit. This could be the answer that those pet owners mentioned in the article were looking for.
Pets rely on their owners for all their needs. Even if pet owners weren’t fully aware of the full expense of pet ownership when they adopted a dog or cat, pets shouldn’t have to suffer because their owner is afraid of a diagnosis or a bill.
Are you sitting comfortably in your favorite chair only to be met with a pair of pleading eyes begging for your attention? Your dog is ready for his walk. One of the greatest things about having a dog is that they keep you active. Aside from ensuring your pet has pet insurance, daily walks are also a core component of dog health care.
People, who are physically able, in any age group, should be getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day. Ideally, 60 minutes, but moving for even 10 minutes is beneficial to your overall good health. What better way to keep that promise to yourself than getting outdoors with your dog!
Not only does physical exercise keep you physically fit, it is good for you psychologically. Being outside prevents you from being isolated and has been proven to help alleviate depression. Fresh air is invigorating, too.
All breeds of dogs need exercise. Some of the larger and working dog breeds require more exercise than others. The act of walking outside helps your dog release pent-up energy and can also prevent destructive behavior in your home. A bored dog with too much indoor time alone is not a good combination– they could injure themselves (which is when pet insurance might come in handy) or even do damage to your home.
Like humans, dogs maintain good mental health by going on daily walks. It’s helpful for their socialization to see and be around other dogs, especially if they are in a single-dog household. But it is important that your dog have some basic training for proper walking with his owner.
If you have a well-socialized dog, don’t assume that everyone else is as conscientious. Your dog could be harmed by an aggressive dog that isn’t being handled by their owner. Keep your dog safe—be cautious. You might also look into pet insurance as an added safety measure.
Insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit, www.ihcgroup.com. In states in which Independence American Insurance Company’s new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, policies will be underwritten by Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut. To determine the underwriter in your state, please call Pets Best at 1-877-738-7237.
Please note: This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pets Best Insurance. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.