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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.

Periodontal disease: The silent killer

Posted on: March 28th, 2011 by

A pet with dog insurance shows off his pearly white teeth.

Periodontal disease is a pet health condition that has become known as the silent killer. This disease not only affects the teeth and gums, it has the potential to cause an array of other serious conditions.

But unlike most diseases, periodontal disease can be prevented with proper pet dental care. Partner with your veterinarian to help your pet avoid the consequences of this disease. Having dog and cat insurance can help you afford to give your pet the best dental care available.

The inflammation and infection that is caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a number of serious pet health conditions including: heart attacks, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, strokes and osteoporosis.

Periodontal disease causes the destruction of the periodontal ligament and jaw bone, which anchors the teeth into the mouth. Periodontal disease begins with plaque, which is caused from bacteria and food particles. The particles become attached to the surface of the teeth and form plaque on the teeth as well as below the gum line. The plaque under the gum line causes gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the saliva in the mouth causes the plaque to become calculus. In most cases this condition can be reversed with a professional dental cleaning.

If the condition is not treated, the gums will become inflamed to the point where the tooth will be lost. In most cases, periodontal disease is detected before it reaches this irreversible state. It is important that your pet receives proper dental care to keep periodontal disease at bay.

Helping pets through touch and massage

Posted on: March 25th, 2011 by

Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance
A pet with dog insurance waits for a massage.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes dog health care can elude us. Despite a safe home and lots of love, some dogs remain anxious or stressed.

Despite pet dog insurance and vast amounts of dog health care information at our fingertips, some issues keep recurring. This is when it’s time to explore other avenues, and for many, one of those avenues is Healing Touch for Animals.

The official website for this technique calls it a bridge between holistic health care and traditional veterinary medicine. Licensed practitioners apply healing energy with non-invasive, light touch. The result is reported to be a more relaxed animal that is better able to heal. According to the website, circulation is increased, endorphins are released, and nutrients are more easily absorbed.

A similar alternate that pet lovers sometimes explore is animal massage. According to AllAboutAnimalMassage, where pet owners can learn animal massage techniques, pet massage can help a dog heal emotionally as well as physically. Dog and cat massage therapists report similar benefits as Healing Touch, with additional benefits if pet owners learn and perform the massage themselves. Pet massage is not only a bonding experience where the pet lavishes in extra attention, but in the act of massage, pet health problems and abnormalities can be detected sooner, before they become more serious or result in an emergency vet trip. Performing massage on your pet acts as an additional level of pet insurance!

The next time you reach out to scratch your dog’s ear, give him a nice shoulder rub and see how he reacts. You might notice a change in breathing as your dog relaxes and remembers why he loves being your dog.

Pet health: Dental disease

Posted on: March 24th, 2011 by

A dog with pet health insurance waits for a teeth cleaning.

Dental disease is the most common issue affecting dog and cat health. Dental disease is caused by the buildup of bacteria and food particles on the teeth and along the gum line. The condition progresses when the plaque turns into tarter or calculus that forms a bond with the teeth.

Regular pet dental care is required for proper pet health and dental hygiene. Many pet insurance companies, like Pets Best Insurance, offer wellness and routine care packages that can help with the costs of teeth cleaning.

There are several factors that contribute to the formation of plaque and tarter on the teeth and gums. Older pets are more prone to dental disease due to having a longer amount of time for the plaque and calculus to form. The size of the pet and their breed also play a large role. Small dogs and cats are at higher risk of getting dental disease due to the small size of their mouths.

Dental exams shouldn’t just occur at your pet’s annual checkup. You should be examining your pets’ teeth and gums when you are brushing them. Signs of dental disease can include: difficulty eating or chewing, drooling, loose or missing teeth, red or inflamed gums, sensitivity around the mouth area, bleeding gums, bad breath, and pus around the tooth. Take note of any growths seen in the mouth as this can be a sign of oral cancer.

Be sure to research the best pet insurance options for your cat or dog to help with the costs of routine care. If you have any concerns about your dog or cat’s dental health, talk to your veterinarian.

It’s National Puppy Day!

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by

A puppy with dog insurance from pets best insurance sits in the grass.

Puppies are cute, fluffy, cuddly creatures that everyone wants to hold and play with. But they eventually grow into dogs and as puppies grow, their needs change, which is why it’s important to get pet insurance early.

“Puppies are a cross between a wayward bowling ball and a grasshopper…just add fur.” That’s animal behaviorist, “pet lifestyle expert,” and author Colleen Paiges’ apt description of a puppy. Anyone who’s been in the presence of puppyhood can attest to it. Paige is the founder of National Puppy Day, which falls on March 23, 2011.

Colleen Paige founded National Puppy Day in 2006 as a celebration of the joy that puppies bring to our lives. But it’s also to remind us of all the orphaned puppies that need adoption and the continued existence of abhorrent puppy mills. This holiday and others, like National Cat Day, are part of Paige’s Animal Miracle Foundation & Network that helps educate people and fund programs for pet health, safety, and awareness.

Puppy Facts
Newborn puppies are blind and deaf
• During their first week, about 90% of a puppy’s day is sleeping and the other 10% eating
• Puppy’s eyes open between one and two weeks old
• Puppies learn basic behaviors and discipline from their mother

A healthy dog depends on getting good puppy healthcare as they grow. Be sure and discuss your puppy’s health requirements, such as immunizations, with your vet. Celebrate a puppy on National Puppy Day!