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Pet health: IBD in cats

Posted on: April 4th, 2011 by

A cat with pet health insurance eats from a dish.
Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance

For years, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that my cats occasionally couldn’t keep down their food. I accepted it as something cats just did.

After all, they received fine cat health care, and when the vet asked if there was any vomiting and my usual answer was “sometimes,” they never seemed concerned. Friends would tell me it was “just hair balls.”

However, I have since realized that healthy cats really shouldn’t get sick to their stomach so often. According to Dr. Jason Doukas, a veterinarian with the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine, vomiting is our cat’s way of telling us that something isn’t right. Because I had pet insurance for my cat, I was able to get him the care he needed without worrying about the vet bill.

“Dogs and cats exhibit different signs of illness,” Dr. Doukas was quoted as saying in a January, 2011 press release on pet health. “Cats will be more likely to not eat and to vomit, whereas dogs may still eat and have a decreased activity level from the same disease.”

When one of my cats started throwing up weekly, I really started researching what the problem could be. Thanks to cat health insurance, some tests, and some diet changing, I learned that he had Irritable Bowel Disease, or IBD.

According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, IBD is essentially inflammation of the cells of the digestive tract lining, and the cause is unknown. For months I just thought he had a “sensitive stomach,” but switching his food to sensitive formulas didn’t help.

Cornell reports that corticosteroids are commonly used to help treat cats with IBD.
According to their website, corticosteroids have “potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties with relatively few side effects in cats.” Antibiotics are also commonly used, although what ultimately helped my cat was switching him to a grain-free diet.

Ask yourself if your cat is sick more often than may be healthy. If so, consider a visit to the vet for some tests and look into cat insurance to help support your cat’s future health.

Adopt your next pet from a shelter

Posted on: April 1st, 2011 by

Kittens wait to be adopted.

Shelters offer a large array of dogs and cats for adoption. There are numerous benefits to adopt your next pet from a shelter.

In most cases the animals will be up-to-date on their vaccines and altered. Some shelters may even provide dog and cat insurance coverage upon adotion.

Adopting a shelter pet is one of the best ways to acquire a new pet for your family. Animals often end up at the shelter when their families can no longer care for them, or they are rescued from poor living conditions. A shelter should be one of the first places you look for a new pet.

Shelters have animals ranging in age from new born puppies and new born kittens to older animals. If you are looking for a pet that is past the puppy and kitten stage, an adult pet makes a great choice. Adult pets are usually house trained and may even be obedience trained.

Once you have adopted your new pet, be sure to take them to your veterinarian. If you have adopted a new pet, it is good idea to enroll them in an obedience class and start looking into pet insurance if you don’t yet have it. Be sure to ask your veterinarian or trainer for pet behavior tips to practice at home.

The most important thing to remember is that a pet is a lifelong commitment. Don’t adopt a pet unless you are committed to keeping the pet permanently.

Save money on routine pet health care with pet insurance

Posted on: March 31st, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance cuddles in a blanket.
Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance

Does the cost of veterinary care prevent you from getting your pet the healthcare it deserves? Lessen the expense with pet insurance.

Pet insurance provides coverage for those accidents and illnesses that can leave us in financial trouble. If you want pet insurance to help with the cost of annual check ups and vaccines, be sure that you choose a plan that offers this coverage.

Annual checkups and vaccines should be a part of your pet’s routine care. These yearly expenses can add up. Once heartworm and flea preventatives are included on your bill, you can easily be paying hundreds of dollars.

If you have an aging pet, your veterinarian might want yearly blood work and urinalysis to be a part of their annual checkup. This is where having a pet insurance plan that helps cover these procedures is beneficial. You won’t have to make a decision on whether your pet can get a procedure or not because you can’t afford it.

Pet insurance plans can also help if your veterinarian finds a health concern during your pet’s annual exam. Perhaps your pet needs to have their teeth cleaned or they have an ear infection—pet insurance can help cover the costs.

Pet health insurance plans help you to afford the care that your pet needs without having to worry about veterinary costs. For more information visit

Pet insurance tip: Vaccines for puppies and kittens

Posted on: March 30th, 2011 by

A new born kitten with pet insurance drinks milk from a bottle.

Booster vaccines play an important role in keeping your new puppy or kitten in the best pet health possible.

The vaccines that your pet receives when they are young help ensure they are protected from potentially deadly illnesses. Having your new pet covered by pet insurance plans can help you keep your new pet healthy by allowing you to get them the vaccinations that they need.

Puppies and kittens, like many other mammals, receive antibodies through their mother’s milk via colostrum. This is the milk that is produced during the first 36-48 hours after birth. The antibodies help to protect the new born puppies and kittens from illnesses and disease. After the second day, the puppies and kittens can no longer absorb the antibodies. This is why it is so important for newborn kittens and puppies to nurse the first two days of life.

The mother has a concentration of antibodies that is directly related to the antibodies that she will pass on to her young. The higher the level of antibodies, the longer their effect will last in the new born kittens and puppies.

It is important to get all of the booster vaccines for your puppy or kitten to ensure that they are protected against these illnesses.

Obesity in dogs: Nothing to wag about

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by

A dog with pet health insurance is ready to go for a walk.

Dog lovers can agree—one of the best things about sharing our home with a pooch is spoiling them rotten from time to time.

We love our dogs, and we love making them happy with comfy resting spots, the best pet insurance, lots of love, and of course, treats that make their eyes light up. But we can also go overboard in the treats department, which can create an overweight dog– and be detrimental to pet health overall.

According to the school of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, “Obesity is the most common nutritional problem in companion animals.” Risks associated with overweight dogs include:

• Heart disease
• Diabetes
• Orthopedic disease (arthritis)
• Liver disease
• Increased risks in surgery

So while it may be fun to spoil dogs when they’re young and healthy, that feeling can turn to regret as they age and we realize we didn’t provide them with the best pet health care. No amount of dog insurance or even older dog insurance can reverse years of bad habits, or take away the pain a senior dog may develop because of it.

Take stock in what is being done for your dog’s health and eating habits:

1. Reconsider the brand and type of food; is it still a good fit for your dog’s age and activity level?

2. Re-read and re-calculate the feed guide on their food packaging to make sure you aren’t over-feeding.

3. Add some exercise to your dog’s routine. If you only walk him on weekends, start walking him at least every other day. If you already walk your dog daily, add five minutes to each walk.

4. Cut out treats altogether, or switch to healthier treats. Carrots make a healthy, crunchy way to say “good boy.”

5. Finally, set a household rule that no one is to feed the dog table scraps.