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Study Proves Mixed Breeds Live Longer than Purebreds

Posted on: April 26th, 2011 by

A cat with cat insurance is tucked into a red bag.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

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.

Keeping Kids Safe Around Pets—and Vice Versa

Posted on: April 26th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance sits with a baby.

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.

Pet owners veterinary fears and confusion

Posted on: April 25th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance is checked out at the vet.

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.

Pet health and your health: Walk that dog!

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 by

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

A puppy with pet insurance gets ready to go for a walk.

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.

Owner Health
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.

Dog Health
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.

Use Caution
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.

Pet acupuncture and chiropractic care

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 by

A cat with pet insurance gets holistic care from a vet.

Until recently acupuncture for people was considered a kind of “out there” treatment. It has now become a rather mainstream, but still alternative, treatment option for many medical issues.

It’s especially helpful for relieving pain. Amazingly, it is now even used in pet health care and some pet insurance companies even provide coverage.

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that uses small gauge needles inserted into various points in the body. It is a painless procedure. The acupuncture points correspond to areas that generate physiological responses. It’s used to treat many diseases and conditions.

Acupuncture is almost always combined with other treatments including massage, breathing exercises, herbal medicines, and healthy nutrition. The effectiveness of acupuncture, which was previously doubted, has been scientifically proven.

Acupuncture Can Be a Pet Health Benefit
There are now vets who are trained in administering acupuncture to pets. If you are considering it, you should consult with a properly certified veterinary acupuncturist. Various illnesses and medical conditions have shown to be effectively treated with acupuncture.
Incontinence, different orthopedic conditions, chronic respiratory conditions, immune-related disorders, arthritis and neurological disorders have all been treated successfully with acupuncture.

Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is treatment for the health of the musculoskeletal system, with the main focus being the spine. Chiropractors perform procedures that align the body’s joints. Chiropractic care can help neck and back pain and arthritis.

Within the past decade, pets have been increasingly treated with chiropractic care. Many of the ailments for which people seek relief can be helped.

Pet Insurance
Some pet insurance plans will cover acupuncture and chiropractic care. These are usually on plans that included “extras” that go beyond basic coverage. Ask a potential pet insurance company if they offer coverage for these services.