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Winter dangers for indoor cats

Posted on: January 4th, 2011 by

A cat with pet insurance licks her dry winter coat.
Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

Winter is a time for curling up by the fire with your cat in your lap. While you are enjoying relaxing with your cat, make sure you keep up with your cat’s health care needs, as the winter months can cause added stress for your cat.

There are several inside dangers for your cat during the winter months. Be careful when using space heaters or fireplaces, as cats are curious and can easily get burned if they get too close or rub up against them.

In addition to cats being injured by space heaters, there is an increase in the chance of a cat accidentally knocking them over. A house fire can easily be started if a heater is not equipped with an automatic shutoff when knocked over.

The winter can also bring on extremely dry skin for cats. You can brush your cat daily to help stimulate the natural oils of their skin, which will help reduce the severity of the dryness.

The winter also poses an increased risk for cats getting lost. Cats can lose their sense of direction when the ground becomes covered in snow.

Make sure your cat is happy and healthy this winter by making sure they are covered by pet health insurance. Give Pets Best a call at 866-440-2020 or visit them at www.petsbest.com to get more information on the best pet insurance for your cat or dog.

Pet health dangers of antifreeze

Posted on: January 4th, 2011 by

A dog that ingested antifreeze is cared for by a vet.

Antifreeze is a sweet smelling chemical that is used to keep a car’s engine from becoming overheated in the summer and freezing in the winter.

The sweet smell attracts dogs and cats and causes them to ingest it.

According to Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of Pet Poison Helpline, “The most important thing to know about antifreeze is you have a really narrow window for treatment.” Dogs must get the antidote within 8 hours of ingestion, while cats must get the antidote within 3 hours.

If the pet receives treatment in time, the recovery prognosis is excellent. The treatment consists of a hospital stay of several days. For a medium sized dog, treatment can easily cost a few thousand dollars. This is one of the many reasons pet owners should have their pets covered by pet health insurance. Not only do companies like Pets Best Insurance offer affordable premiums, but having pet insurance provides owners peace of mind.

Antifreeze poisonings have two stages of symptoms:

• After ingestion, the pet will appear to be drunk with signs including lethargy, uncoordination, staggering, or disorientation. These symptoms will occur approximately 30 minutes to one hour after ingestion and can last for several hours.

• After the initial symptoms subside, the pet may then seem to be better. Symptoms that occur in the second stage can include vomiting and oral and gastric ulcers. During this stage, crystals begin to form in the kidneys. If left untreated, pets will go into kidney failure which will eventually cause death.

Anytime your pet is behaving abnormally or showing signs of pet illnesses, they should be examined by your veterinarian.

Book review: Cat Training in 10 Minutes

Posted on: January 3rd, 2011 by

A small cat plays with string.

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

With over 22 years experience in animal training field, Miriam Fields-Babineau has finally written a book for cat owners. Cat Training In 10 Minutes is an easy guide to help train your cat to perform simple tricks. The book uses operant conditioning as its cat training method. The cat is trained by the use of a clicker followed by a reward when the desired action is performed. Verbal commands and hand signals are used in conjunction with the clicker training.

Each trick has simple instructions on how to teach your cat. In addition, color photos accompany each trick.
The book is organized into chapters with each being dedicated to a specific command or behavior. The chapters begin with easy tricks and advance to more difficult tricks in later chapters.

The bonus chapters at the end of the book discuss correcting cat behavior problems and movie cat trainers.
The book also features cat training tips for real life scenarios listed in boxes on the sides of the pages. These tips make for some lighthearted reading. Another great feature of this book is the alphabetical index and various appendices.

The book is a fun read that can help you teach your cat some amazing tricks. Impress your friends and family by teaching your cat entertaining skills.

Pet health: Winter diet needs

Posted on: January 3rd, 2011 by

A dog sits with some healthy veggies.

It is important that your pet be fed a high quality diet throughout the year. This will provide them the nutrients they need to live a healthier life.

In addition to providing a healthy pet food, you should consider providing your pet quality health care, too, including pet insurance.

According to Richard Pitcairn, DVM, author of “The Complete Guide to Natural Health For Dogs And Cats,” exposure to cold weather demands increased calories to keep them warm. He suggests these calories are best supplied by a high-fat diet. Some examples of foods that provide a balanced protein to fat content include lean hamburger or roasted chicken. Never give your dog bones to eat. Make sure any meat you give your dog is fully cooked to avoid any illnesses due to bacteria.

The amount of food that indoor pets are fed should be monitored as well. During the cold winter months, indoor pets are often less active. This can cause them to gain weight even though they are eating the same amount of food they eat when they are active. To prevent weight gain this winter, engage in daily physical activity with your pet. This can mean a few short walks throughout the day or a game of fetch in the backyard.

Pet health: Keep outdoor cats safe and warm

Posted on: January 2nd, 2011 by

An old cat keeps warm during the winter.
Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

While our beloved pets are safest inside the home, especially in the winter and if they are aging or ill, cats that are found as strays are sometimes hard to break of their outdoor habits and roots.

There’s something to be said for cats that have spent some time “on the street.” They’ve learned extra skills and know how to adapt to their environment. But that doesn’t mean an outdoor cats health won’t benefit from their owner practicing some cold weather safety tips. Having cat insurance for your pet can also help to be prepared for any accidents or illnesses that occur during the winter months. Companies like Pets Best Insurance can help to cover a portion of vet bills.

As winter approaches, a cat who spends time outdoors will grow a thicker coat and shed less often to stay warm. However, they burn more calories to stay warm as well. According to the Oregon Humane Society, outdoor kitties can be fed more during the winter so that they get extra calories. They will burn off those calories staying warm and getting extra exercise.

Only plastic or heated bowls should be used outside, as opposed to metal. While metal is the best bowl for indoor use, as it promotes pet health because it is non-porous and resists bacterial overgrowth, metal will freeze outdoors in the winter.

Supply safe outdoor cat shelter that is covered, insulated with straw, and is turned away from the direction of the wind. The organization Alley Cat Advocates put a simple idea for a homemade cat shelter on their site, made from a styrofoam cooler. Heated beds specifically for outdoor use are also available for purchase at pet stores and online.