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Pets Best Insurance reminds owners to celebrate National Dog Biscuit Day

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance begs for a treat.
Posted by: H.R.

February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day. In celebration, give your dog a healthy treat. And while your at it, get them the gift of a pet insurance plan.

Eric Ward, DVM, and president of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention says that many of the commercial treats available contain too much fat and sugar.

According to Dr. Ward, one high calorie treat can contain as much as one-forth of a small dog’s daily caloric needs. He states that, “it’s really dangerous because pet owners are in the habit of giving two of three treats at a time. Voila-obesity.”

There are several benefits to making your own treats for your dog. The first benefit is the safety of the treat. With all of the dog food and treat recalls over the past few years, making your dog’s treats is safer.

Making treats for your pet also ensures they are healthier, as you control the ingredients, which means they contain no preservatives or chemicals. These homemade treats will also be lower in fat and calories than commercial treats. Another benefit is the taste. Home made treats will taste better than store bough treats due to the fresh ingredients. They won’t be full of processed fillers.

Making treats at home is much cheaper than buying store bought treats. Most dog treats can be made from ingredients that you already have in your pantry. Get cooking and get those tails wagging!

Dog Flu and Hormone Problems After Being Spayed

Posted on: February 22nd, 2011 by

Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m at home today answering some questions from our Facebook page.

The first question is, “I think my dog got a flu or a cold bug. His poop isn’t solid and he needs to go out every half-hour and he’s miserable. Is there something I can give him? I’ve been watching him to make sure that he’s drinking fluids and eating his dry food, but I’m not sure if it’s upsetting his tummy.”

This is a great question. Dogs can catch a flu or cold bugs just like people can, and sometimes it can manifest as an upset tummy. There are some things you can do at home to try to correct the situation before you need to call your veterinarian.

If they’re continuing to eat and drink, you could try switching to a bland diet, something like boiled chicken or rice. You might reduce the amount or even skip a meal altogether to see if that helps to make the stools a little bit more solid. If your pet is vomiting or isn’t eating, that’s the time to call your veterinarian, as well as if the stool doesn’t become more firm within about 24 hours after the onset of signs. If you’ve got questions or concerns, call your veterinarian about that one.

The next question is, “Do spayed females still give off hormones or a scent when they would have otherwise come into heat that other dogs can pick up? My male dog goes crazy around my spayed female for about two weeks a couple of times a year.”

The answer to this question is probably not. If a female dog is spayed correctly, both ovaries are completely removed, and the ovaries are the organs that produce hormones. It would be really unlikely that your female dog was able to produce these hormones or even have a regular heat cycle. If you’re concerned about something like this, contact your veterinarian.

Keeping cats healthy

Posted on: February 22nd, 2011 by

A cat with cat insurance eats a snack.

Keeping your cat healthy can help them live a longer, healthier life, and there are several things you should consider to keep your cat healthy.

While cat insurance can help you provide the best veterinary care for your cat, Al Townshend, DVM, of Wellpet, offers several tips to keep your cat healthy at home.

First, focus on your cat’s nutrition. It is important that your cat eats a quality cat food that includes ingredients like probiotics and Omega fatty acids. These ingredients will give your cat a shiny coat and increased energy.

You should also ensure that your cat is adequately exercised. Feline obesity is one of the top pet health concerns when it comes to cats. Obesity can lead to diabetes, hip and joint problems, and heart issues.

Many people don’t realize that cats need to be socialized. Your cat should be socialized from the time they are a kitten. Socialize your kitten as much as possible—pick him up, hold him, pet him, and introduce him to new people. Socialization will allow your cat to be a part of the family.

It is important to ensure that your cat is in a safe environment. Avoid using chemicals around your cat because they are more sensitive to the ingredients found in these types of products. Air fresheners and cleaners can also lead to asthma. Keeping your cat’s environment as safe as possible can help eliminate unnecessary pet illnesses and injuries.

Cancer in dogs, common but treatable

Posted on: February 21st, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance sits outside.

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and dog owners should be aware of the cost savings pet insurance provides in the event of a common dog ailment.

Lymphoma is the most common cancer in dogs, according to “When the Diagnosis is Canine Cancer,” a January, 2011 article in the Times Herald-Record of Middleton, NY.

The article reports that Canine Lymphoma can affect just one organ, or spread throughout the body, just like human cancer. Most commonly, it attacks the lymph nodes. Other common areas affected are the liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract. The cause of the disease is not known, but the treatment includes expensive chemotherapy. Because of the high rate of this cancer, pet insurance is recommended to help pay for both wellness exams to catch potential cancer early, and to help pay for treatment.

At the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, chemotherapy for dogs involves a 25-week course that costs $180 per week on average. Chemotherapy is the most effective treatment for Canine Lymphoma; remission occurs in 70%-90% of dogs treated, and some dogs are cured completely. Golden Retrievers are at the highest risk of developing Lymphoma, and other dogs in the high-risk pool include Beagles, Boxers, and Rottweilers. However, any dog can develop this common cancer.

Dog owners concerned about treatment costs can ease their fears with pet insurance comparison. By researching pet insurance online, responsible pet owners can find the best plan for their budget, their dog’s breed, and health risks.

Dental disease in pets

Posted on: February 18th, 2011 by

A dog with pet health insurance waits for a dental check up.

“Gum disease is the most common disease affecting dogs and cats, according to the Veterinary Oral Health Council.”

This dog and cat dental health fact was published by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in a November, 2010 article titled, “Brush Up on Preventing the Most Common Disease in Dogs and Cats.”

According to the article, bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease can cause pet health problems in the rest of the body when bacteria travels through the blood stream.

Symptoms, if there are any, could include loss of appetite, dropping food while eating, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Any of these symptoms presented by a dog or cat should result in a veterinary exam.

Many pet insurance companies include cat and dog dental insurance in their plan options. This coverage can help pet owners pay for routine dental cleanings performed by veterinarians.

During February, Pet Dental Health Month, pet owners can help their pets’ overall health by taking them in for a dental exam and teeth cleaning. Owners should also begin an oral care routine at home.

This might include daily or weekly tooth brushings with pet-formulated toothpaste, the use of water additives, and introducing tartar control treats. While gum disease might be the most common disease for dogs and cats, it is also one of the most preventable.