Potty Training Issues? Preparing Your Pet for a New Baby?

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Hi. I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital and I’m at home today answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page. And this question comes from Dee, who asks, Our one and a half year old dog was completely house-trained, but has regressed to pooing in the house. Any suggestions? First thing I would ask is, I would make sure that the stools are normal. If they’re looser, or a different color, or changed in consistency, it could actually mean there’s something wrong. Submitting a fecal sample to your veterinarian could rule out things like parasites or giardia or some other problem that could be making your dog want to poo more.
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Appreciate your pet? Here are 10 ways to show it!

A dog with pet health insurance goes for a car ride.

By: Dr. Fiona Caldwell
Idaho Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance

National Pet Appreciation Week is July 10th through the 16th! This week is meant to remind us to pause and be thankful for the unconditional love our pets provide for us daily, and to shed light on the epidemic of homeless pets that don’t have a person to love. Animals are unique in their ability to bring so much joy and ask for so little in return. Why not take some time to give back to the furry loved one in your life? Here are some ways that you can show how much you care, even if you don’t have a pet.

1. Consider pet health insurance
This is the ultimate way to show your pet you care. Pet insurance will allow you to give your beloved the treatment they need in a time of emergency. Veterinary medicine can be expensive and having dog or cat insurance may help alleviate the financial strain.

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Is your pet limping? It could be deadly

A dog without dog insurance awaits treatment for bone cancer.

By: Dr. Fiona Caldwell
Idaho Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance

‘Mack’ is a 4 year old Newfoundland with a sweet, goofy disposition and a whole LOT of hair. He tops the scales at over 160 pounds, but wouldn’t harm a fly. He came to my vet hospital recently for evaluation of a progressive lameness over several weeks. By the time he came into the clinic he wasn’t bearing any weight on his left hind leg. When I examined him, I could see is lower shin bone was swollen, hot and very painful. Concerned, I convinced the owners to let me do some diagnostic testing of the affected area. This confirmed my fears. Mack had bone cancer.

It is estimated that up to 50% of dogs and 30 to 35% of cats will be affected with some type of cancer in their lifetimes. This is one of the reasons pet insurance agency, Pets Best Insurance has just launched a new “Cancer Only” pet insurance policy— which may significantly help make cancer treatment more affordable for pet owners. Purebred dogs can be at an increased risk, and there are certain breeds that tend to be over-represented, such as Golden Retrievers and Boxers. It is postulated that the documented increase in cancer cases in our companion pets is likely related to the fact that pets are living longer. Many people are keeping their pets in their homes and feeding high quality diets, which is translating to longer life spans.

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Adopt a shelter cat this month!

A shelter cat with pet health insurance waits to be adopted.
By: Dr. Jane Matheys
Associate Veterinarian
The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance

Just think, your next lovable, huggable, furry feline friend could be waiting for you at your local animal shelter right now! June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month, and it’s no coincidence that this special month falls right at the height of kitten season (when kittens are being born in large numbers.) Each spring, shelters across the country are inundated with thousands of newborn kittens that join the millions of cats already in the shelters. This means that your local shelter has lots of cute, cuddly kittens in addition to adult cats of all shapes, sizes, ages, energy levels and temperaments. There’s never been a better time to add a feline to your family than right now!

Shelter cats can be a “purrfect” addition to your family for several reasons. Many shelters will be promoting adoption through a variety of special adoption deals such as free older cats and reduced adoption fees for younger cats and kittens. Shelter cats are often already spayed or neutered, dewormed, vaccinated, treated for fleas or ear mites, microchipped and checked for feline leukemia.

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Home cookin': The do’s and don’ts for your pet

By: Dr. Fiona Caldwell
Idaho Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance

A dog with pet health insurance watches as his master prepares a meal.

We all want our pets to be as healthy as possible, this is why many people purchase a pet health insurance policy for their pets and take them to the vet for routine visits. Obviously your pet’s diet is an important part of staying healthy. If you want to treat your furry family member to a feast for a special occasion, or if you prefer a daily home-cooked diet, here are some tips to ensure whatever you whip up in the kitchen is alright to share with your pet.

If you are exclusively cooking for your dog or cat, it is crucial that you make it a balanced diet. Cats, for example, cannot synthesize Taurine, and a diet deficient in this will cause heart disease. Commercial pet foods are nutritionally balanced to meet the meets of your pet, if you plan on foregoing commercial pet food completely, talk with your veterinarian about supplements you will need to add to meals you cook to create a balanced diet. This can be hard work, and is important that it is done right.

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Dogs are Omnivores
Dogs are actually not obligate carnivores like cats are. A healthy canine diet should consist of a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, in addition to meat.

Cook Meats the Same as You Would for Yourself
Raw food diets are controversial in the veterinary world. The bottom line for feeding raw foods is that uncooked meat can carry harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and E. Coli or even internal parasites. Ideally meat and egg type ingredients should be cooked to prevent potential GI disease.

Foods to Avoid
Almost everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but did you know you should also avoid grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions and garlic?

Be Wary About Enticing with Human Foods
Dogs are smart! If you whip up a fried egg every time they refuse their kibbles, they will quickly learn to turn up their nose to dog food. In a sense, Fido is training you! Most dogs will eat when they are hungry, and refusing a meal might just be due to being full. Of course, if your dog is generally an enthusiastic eater and suddenly starts to refuse food, this could be a sign that something is wrong and you should consult with your veterinarian. Having a dog or cat insurance policy may help with diagnostic and treatment costs.

Be Cautious About Portions
Pet obesity is unfortunately a pretty common problem. Some estimates suggest up to a third of cats and dogs in the US suffer from being overweight. Obesity can cause a slew of health problems and can ultimately short your pet’s life. Visit www.petfit.com or www.petobesityprevention.com for tools to help you determine the right amount of food for your pet. Your veterinarian should also be able to calculate the right daily caloric requirements; the amount may surprise you!

Cooking for your cat or dog is a nice way to show them you care. If you are planning to cook every day, be sure to do your research, it can be fairly involved to ensure a balanced diet. If you are just interested in a special feast for a birthday or to celebrate graduating puppy classes, using these tips can help ensure a safe and yummy meal that is guaranteed to bring a smile.

Learn more about pet health and the benefits of cat and dog insurance today.

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