Pet Insurance Blog – Pets Best Insurance
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Hairball help

Posted on: April 11th, 2011 by

A cat with cat insurance gets groomed to diminish hairballs.

Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance

You’re probably wondering if National Hairball Awareness Day is a joke. As funny as it may seem, hairballs are really quite misunderstood and often a preventable irritation for cats. This misunderstanding can go both ways, as well. While cat owners generally ensure proper pet health with good nutrition and cat insurance, it’s important to make sure kitty is as healthy as possible– especially when it comes to the dreaded hairball.

To one end, vomiting can be mistaken for—and even shrugged off as—”just hairballs,” when in fact the cat may need medical attention. Conversely, hairballs can be mistaken for vomiting and the opportunity to improve a cat’s grooming routine may be missed.

Hairballs can usually be identified by their long, smooth appearance. They are caused when a cat grooms with their scratchy tongue, made up of hundreds of tiny barbs specifically designed to remove excess hair. Spring often brings an increase in hairballs when cats begin to shed their extra winter coat.

According to a pet column by Jennifer Stone, published on the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne website, “One of the most effective ways of reducing hairballs is to brush the cat on a regular basis. This will reduce the amount of hair that is swallowed.”

One effective tool for removing excess hair before the cat does is the Furminator, which gently removes more hair than a brush or comb.

Another method for hairballs is lubrication using a petroleum jelly-based gel called Laxatone. The gel is often flavored, and many cats readily lick it off a finger or spoon. The lubricant assists the hair through the cat’s digestive system.

According to Stone’s column, hairballs are usually harmless unless the cat is dehydrated. Dehydration can cause any blockage to become dry and stuck. Because blockage is dangerous for cats, pet insurance can assist in treatment in case of an emergency.

With proper pet health care, frequent vomiting and hairballs should not be an all-too-common occurrence.

Animal DNA used to investigate abuse cases

Posted on: April 8th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance is at the vet.

Animal DNA has been used for years in crime scene investigation. For example, hairs located on a victim’s clothing might be a DNA match to a dog belonging to a suspect, aiding in an arrest and possible conviction.

Now, just in time for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, animal DNA is being used for the animals themselves—to help find and convict animal abusers.

Animal abusers were convicted in two separate cases last month, according to the City Room blog on the New York Times website. In one case, the DNA of a cat named Scruffy was harvested in 2008, when he was burned by teenagers in a Brooklyn apartment.

He was only treated when a superintendent for the building, who often fed Scruffy, found him injured. Although Scruffy didn’t survive, his DNA did. And thanks to that DNA sample, investigators were able to positively identify which apartment Scruffy was harmed in, and residents of the apartment building eventually confessed.

For animal lovers who care for their pets with quality food, care, and respect their fragile health with insurance for dogs and cats, the use of DNA to help convict animal abusers means two things. First and most important, that fewer animals may be harmed while, second, more abusers may be found and held accountable for their actions.

According to the City Room blog, there is even now a dog DNA database, which was started for dogs used in dog fighting. The animal loving community can thank science for a future that now looks brighter for pets.

Dog Tries to Eat a Spider

Posted on: April 8th, 2011 by

Pets Best Insurance dog tries to eat a spider.

Mickey the Chihuahua Plays with her Favorite Toy

Posted on: April 8th, 2011 by

Cutie pie Chihuahua Mickey nibbles on a toy.

First aid for dog and cat health

Posted on: April 8th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance is at the vet.

Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness month, bringing to light tips for dog and cat owners to absorb now so that they will know what to do in case of future emergencies.

While responsible pet owners might have the basics covered, like vaccinations and emergency pet insurance, a pet first aid course offered through The Red Cross, instructs on more in-depth topics.

The American Red Cross offers pet first aid classes nationwide, including dog first aid, cat first aid, or cat and dog first aid courses.

Participants can learn how to manage breathing and cardiac emergencies in dogs and cats, as well as what to do if pets are injured, shocked, or wounded. Eye, foot, and ear injuries are also covered in the courses, which last about 2-3 hours.

Those interested in taking a Red Cross pet first aid course can search for classes by zip code at the Red Cross website. The site also offers cat and dog first aid quick reference guides to purchase and download.
In addition to the valuable knowledge to be gained from these courses, insurance for dogs and cats can also help save pets’ lives by making pet health care more financially manageable at all times.