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Allergy sufferers give the Yorkie two paws up

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 by

Posted by: H.R
For Pets Best Insurance

A Yorkie with pet insurance sits in a crate.

For dog lovers who also happen to suffer from dog allergies, there’s good news. The number three most popular dog in the US also happens to be a favorite among allergy sufferers: The Yorkshire Terrier.

This little bundle of fuzzy fun jumped from the seventh spot on 2009’s popular pooch list to the top three, according to the American Kennel Club. Why? Maybe because these dogs are small—a member of the Toy Group—and their long, fine coats do not shed, perfect for those with pet allergies. Many owners opt to purchase pet insurance for this breed because of their small size and the possibility of accidents and illnesses.

The Yorkie dog weighs in at four to seven pounds and requires little exercise. But they do need daily grooming, could benefit from pet health insurance and regular vet visits, and of course a lot of love!

Although once a favored companion of high society families in Europe, these little furballs are feisty. Yorkies were originally used in the 19th century as a sort of working dog—they would catch rats in clothing mills so the staff could work in peace. So, while they are certainly compact and cute, they are also brave and brisk. The ego of the Yorkie may not match his outward appearance. The AKC describes the breed’s temperament as determined, investigative, and energetic, as they are indeed a terrier dog.

According to the AKC, dogs that belong to the terrier group tend to have a distinctive personality. Often, this may mean a dislike of other animals, including dogs, and an argumentative attitude. Of course, many dog lovers long for a pooch with some spunk. If you’re looking for a big personality in a small, sneeze-free package, the Yorkie may be the dog for you. Once you’ve decided to make this little guy a part of your family, do a pet insurance comparison to determine what level of care and coverage your Yorkie will need.

Dog Dewclaws and Fast-Growing Toenails

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 by

Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page today.

The first question comes from Hadley who asks, “Why to dogs have dewclaws and is removal necessary?”

Dewclaws probably don’t really have a purpose anymore. It’s probably just left over as an evolutionary trait when there were five fingers. Some dogs are born without them and some dogs have them. There’s not really a problem with leaving them there. The biggest problem that I see is that because of their location they often don’t wear down appropriately and therefore need to be trimmed more frequently.

Occasionally I’ve seen them kind of get snagged on things, especially the really active dogs that are outside a lot. If your dog is an adult and it has a dewclaw I wouldn’t recommend removing them. If you have a litter of puppies who are days old, that’s when removal happens. If you’re planning on breeding dogs and want to prevent the dewclaws from occurring you would want to do this when they’re first born.

The next question comes from Chrissa. She asks, “My dog has eight black toenails and two white ones, and one of the white ones grows insanely fast. It’s always at least half an inch longer than the rest. Any idea why?”

I’m not sure. There’s a possibility that this could be an outside toe that’s not wearing down as quickly as the others. It probably doesn’t have anything to do with the color. Dogs sometimes have a combination of black and white nails. It’s possible that there was an injury at one point and that caused the nail to grow abnormally. It’s not likely to be related to a problem; it just probably means that you have to trim it a little more frequently.

Pet health care keeps you healthy too

Posted on: May 2nd, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance plays with his owner.

It may sound odd, but keeping up with good pet health care as well as pet insurance can be good for you too.

Besides the obvious reason that we want our animal companions to be well, taking care of pets has physical and psychological health benefits. The following are some examples:

Pet Ownership Promotes Responsibility
You often hear a good reason to get a pet for a child is that is promotes responsibility—the child learns to feed and care for another living thing. But it can also be good for adults. Looking after a pet and ensuring they have pet insurance, food, water and exercise helps you be a responsible person.

Physical Comfort
Petting your dog or cat after a bad day can have a comforting and relaxing effect on your body and mind. A cat jumping in your lap or a dog putting his wet nose on your hand can help tremendously if you’re feeling overly stressed. Studies have shown that just being around animals reduces blood pressure.

Emotional Wellness
“Unconditional love” is an overused term, but it aptly describes the kind of love that pets give you. They don’t care if you’re feeling snarky or irritable, they still like to be around you. Having pets can reduce isolation and promotes social activity. Walking with your pet or taking your pet to the dog park can up your socialization as well as your dogs’.

Benefits for Older Adults
There’s a reason why companion and therapy animals are often taken into nursing homes. Older people in that environment, who have often had to give up a pet, crave contact with a loving animal. Research even shows that older adults who have a pet have fewer doctor visits.

Providing pets with the best digestive health

Posted on: May 2nd, 2011 by

A dog with dog insurance eats a treat.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

There is a lot of indecision about what kinds of pet foods are best for Fido—natural and organic, raw, and expensive manufactured food all claim to be the best. There are a number of cookbooks out there for owners who wish to make their own food for their pets rather than buy the processed brands.

Still, there are some very basic guidelines that should be followed to ensure that your pup has the best digestive health—from food to insurance for dogs. Here are a few tips:

• Find a great dog insurance plan to prepare for emergencies. Make sure to compare pet insurance policies to find one that would cover Fido accidentally eating something poisonous, as well as serious digestive complications. Take your dog to the vet for routine check-ups and monitor eating habits if your dog is vomiting or has unusual stools.

• Feed your pet nutrient-rich food. Whether it comes from a bag or you cook it up yourself, make sure that your dog is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs. Be mindful that the cook books out there often include supplemental powders in the recipes and make sure you include these supplements. They are absolutely vital for your pet’s digestive and overall nutrition.

• Refrain from giving table scraps. Most vets would agree that table scraps should be a no-no, for a couple of reasons. Our food contains a whole variety of ingredients, and we don’t always know every single one. You also don’t want him to think that he is the boss! Keep all food in his dish.

Though dog insurance may not seem necessary, serious digestive illnesses can become a huge financial burden. Finding pet health insurance is one way to alleviate those costs and keep your pup healthy. So don’t forget: avoid falling victim to the puppy dog eyes and refrain from giving table scraps—and be mindful of your pet’s nutrition!

World Veterinary Day Focuses on Rabies Prevention

Posted on: April 29th, 2011 by

A dog with dog insurance sits down.

In 2000, the World Veterinary Association set the last Saturday of April to be designated as World Veterinary Day. A theme is selected for the day each year, and the 2011 theme is to raise awareness of veterinarians’ role in rabies prevention and control.

Several rabies warnings have already been issued around the US in early 2011, mostly due to non-domestic animals found with rabies. This includes skunks in Allentown, PA, one of which bit a resident, and a raccoon in Titusville, FL. One horse was euthanized in Virginia after it was found to be suffering from rabies, as well.

When raccoons are found to have rabies, the first thought should be to keep dogs and cats safe while outside to avoid being bitten. According to a brochure printed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs and cats “that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanized or placed in strict isolation for six months.”

It’s easy to keep pets safe with rabies vaccinations, however, as part of a dog and cat health care regimen subsidized with lifelong pet insurance.

Other rabies control tips from the AVMA include:
•Don’t allow pets to roam free. Cats should be kept indoors and dogs supervised while outside.

Spay and neuter to prevent the urge to roam. This procedure is easily healed from when performed at a young age, and made affordable with cat and dog insurance.

•Don’t leave garbage or pet food exposed outdoors to prevent attracting wild animals.

•Don’t attempt to handle wild animals or keep them as pets.