Pet Insurance Blog – Pets Best Insurance
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Pet health: Brush their teeth to keep them healthy

Posted on: March 8th, 2011 by

A dog with pet health insurance gets his teeth brushed.

Brushing your pet’s teeth is an important step in maintaining proper pet health. A daily tooth brushing is the first line of defense against dental disease. Dental disease is a common health concern with an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats having some form by the age of 2.

Take the steps to help your pet avoid this common health issue by including pet dental care into your daily routine. Some pet insurance companies, like Pets Best Insurance, will even help with the costs of annual teeth cleaning with their wellness plans.

You may be thinking that brushing your pet’s teeth is impossible. At first, your pet may not like having their teeth brushed, but you can make it a tolerable experience. The key to success in dog and cat dental care is having the right tools for the job and taking your time when brushing.

Make sure that you have the appropriate sized toothbrush. If you have a cat or small dog you will want to choose a small sized toothbrush. Choose toothpaste formulated for pets. Pet toothpaste comes in many flavors such as bacon or liver—choose a flavor that you think your pet will enjoy.

Once you have your pet’s toothbrush and toothpaste, you are ready to brush their teeth. If this is the first time, take it slowly. Begin by brushing their teeth in circular motion until you have brushed the entire surface of each tooth. Take breaks if your pet needs them. Keep the experience a positive one by offering treats and praise when you are finished.

Pet Insurance tips: The well-behaved dog

Posted on: March 8th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance waits for a treat.

Did you adopt your dog with visions of having a perfectly trained pooch that obeyed your every word, only to realize three years later that all you had taught him was sit? Making sure a dog is well-trained and listens to you can help save his life just as much as dog insurance and vet visits can.

Why not spend some time training and teaching tricks? Not only is it easy, as most dogs learn cues quickly, it’s also mentally stimulating for the dog—which is excellent for pet health care—and a wonderful bonding activity.

My favorite way to start training a dog is with the Nothing in Life is Free method. And it only requires a slight change in the dog-owner’s mindset. That is, the dog gets nothing for free. Don’t we teach our kids to “ask nicely?” The same should be taught to your dog. From now on, he doesn’t get fed for free, pet for free, or let outside for free. When a dog realizes that he has to look to you for everything he wants or needs, he’ll start paying closer attention.

If your dog knows “sit” and “stay,” you can start this method today, or you can use any trick or command your dog understands. Just ask your dog to do something before you give him anything he wants. Meal time? He has to sit before you put down the bowl. Walk time? He has to sit and stay before you open the door and invite him out. And he doesn’t get to bolt out ahead of you. Is he giving you the cute “pet me” eyes? You can pet him—as soon as he sits.

That’s it! Just change your mindset and stick with this method from now on, and people will be commenting on what a well-behaved dog you have. Your dog will learn to watch you when he wants something, rather than run towards whatever he wants to devour or trample. Good boy!

Combine this easy method with the best pet insurance and canine health care, and you get an A+ in responsible dog ownership! Good dog owner!

Pet health: Annual check ups

Posted on: March 7th, 2011 by

Posted by: H.R.
A dog with pet insurance gets an annual check up.

The health of your pet should be a top priority, and annual check-ups help you and your veterinarian stay on top of it. You can lessen veterinary costs with a pet insurance plan. Many cat and dog insurance companies, like Pets Best Insurance, even offer wellness packages to help cover the cost of routine care.

The most important part of your pet’s annual check-up is the physical exam. Your veterinarian will start at your pets’ nose and end at their tail. They will check the nose, eyes, and ears for any abnormalities. They will then move on to check your pets mouth and examine the health of the teeth and gums. The skin and coat are then examined for any irritation or signs of parasites. The veterinarian will palpate the abdomen feeling for any abnormalities, and he will listen to the heart and lungs. Any abnormal finding will be discussed, and you should mention any concerns you may have about your pet during the exam.

Annual dog and cat vaccinations are usually given during the annual check-up. The vaccinations your pet will need depends on the lifestyle of your pet. There are basic vaccines that pets should get, along with vaccines that are given depending on your pet’s activity level or in which region you live. For example, if you take your dog hiking often, your veterinarian might recommend that your dog be vaccinated for Lyme disease which is carried by ticks.

Pet adoption tips

Posted on: March 7th, 2011 by

A puppy with dog insurance looks up at his owner.

Choosing to add a new member to your family is a huge responsibility.

Once you have decided that you have the time to commit to a new pet, you are ready to begin your research. When looking to adopt a new pet you will also need to consider purchasing pet insurance.

Below are several pet adoption tips that will help you choose the type of dog or cat that will be the best fit for your family.

• Costs: The first thing you’ll want to consider is the cost that is involved with owning a pet. Besides food, there is the cost of annual veterinary care. To help with the cost of pet heath care, consider pet health insurance. Companies like Pets Best Insurance offer reasonable rates for cat and dog insurance.

• Family Dynamics: You will want to consider when choosing a new pet for your family is family dynamics. Do you have children? If so, you need to evaluate which breeds of dogs tend to be better with children.

• Exercise: Consider the amount of time you have to properly exercise your new dog. If you lead an active lifestyle, you will probably want to choose a breed that enjoys being active, too.

• Location: You also want to examine where you live. If you live in an apartment, then a large breed dog may not be the best choice for you. Also, check the stipulations regarding having a dog in your apartment—there may be weight limits and breed restrictions.

Western Vet Conference: Why you need pet insurance

Posted on: March 4th, 2011 by

Torrey the Chihuahua promotes pet insurance at the WVC.
By: Dr. Jack Stephens
Pets Best Insurance President and Founder

Last week Torrey and I visited the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in Las Vegas, Nevada to tout the benefits of pet insurance. There were nearly 10,000 veterinarians and technicians in attendance gaining their required continuing education, as well as hundreds of lectures on diseases, treatments, surgery and diagnostics for animals. There was also a huge exhibit hall displaying a variety of products, services, and diagnostic equipment for veterinarians.

This was the fifth conference Torrey has attended. She assists the Pets Best Insurance staff in our booth and helps promote pet health insurance to veterinarians and hospital staff. She has the distinction of being the smallest attendee at the conference. She enjoys walking the exhibit floor and looking at the products and technology available for pets. This time we were struck by the increased costs of all the new technology and products that were not available when I had my companion pet practices.

For instance, MRI’s were once only available only for humans. The access for pets was limited to a few veterinary schools and some after hours or weekends when the MRI units were closed for humans. Later, a few used units became available for pets in larger metro areas. Now there are special smaller MRI units being produced especially for pets.

MRI’s can diagnose disease and abnormalities that normal radiographs (x-rays) can miss. However, they are expensive. A typical pet unit can cost from $200,000 to $400,000, and a single MRI diagnostic session for a pet is around $800 to $1,000. Over time this cost will be reduced as more pets have access to the technology—but for now a pet MRI is still very costly.

At the conference we also were surprised to learn the cost of digital radiograph can be $100,000 or higher. Of course digital radiographs, just like your dentist may use, are faster and produce better resolution than the old fashion way. Digital radiography is also easier on the pet because it doesn’t require as much restraint, which can ease the pets’ stress level.

Because the cost of treating pets with expensive equipment can drive the vet bill up, it often becomes a huge financial burden on the pet owner. Pets Best Insurance plans will leverage pet owners’ finances for pet care by nearly 5X when we pay 80% after the deductible. With Pets Best Insurance, that $1,000 MRI can cost you $200 because of our flat rate reimbursement model. With pet insurance there is peace -of-mind knowing you can afford the best in diagnostics should your pet need an MRI or other costly diagnostic procedures.