My Vet’s the Best Finalist: Dr. Greta Stamberg

My Vet's the Best finalist, Dr. Greta Stamberg.

Each year, Pets Best receives thousands of nominations for our annual My Vet’s the Best Contest—a contest developed to acknowledge the best veterinarians around the nation. This year, we’ve again completed the arduous process of selecting a group of finalists and we are pleased to announce the top seven.

Meet Dr. Greta Stamberg of Clarksburg Animal Hospital in Maryland. Dr. Stamberg was raised on a small farm in rural Barnesville, only a few miles from the clinic. She spent much of her childhood around animals—she rode horses, helped her family breed and raise sheep, and her mother showed Newfoundlands, so Dr. Stamberg was exposed to canine handling and training from an early age. She received her Bachelors degree in Animal Science from Cornell University, and graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (Virginia Tech) in 1998.

During college, Dr. Stamberg worked as a technician and also remained actively involved in her family’s llama breeding program. After graduation, she worked at a local practice for 5 years. In 2004, Dr. Stamberg’s dream of owning her own practice came true as she opened the doors to Clarksburg Animal Hospital—a clinic housed in a historic building which was once home to the town’s post office. In her spare time, Dr. Stamberg enjoys spending time with her husband Dewey, their son Trevor, and their cat Blinker. You can also find her hiking with the family’s two flat-coated retrievers, Maddie and Daphne.

What do you enjoy most about being a veterinarian?Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Javanese

A Javanese cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Javanese

Weight:  Males 8-12 lb, Females < 8 lbs.

Points of conformation: Slender, long, medium sized, fine boned body but more muscular than their Siamese cousins.  Long triangle shaped head with wide set ears meant to accentuate this.

Coat: Soft, silky coat lacks an undercoat.  Medium length.

Color: Red, Cream, Seal, Chocolate, Blue, Lilac, Blue-cream, Lilac Cream. Tabby is accepted.

Grooming needs: Moderately sheds with moderate grooming needs.

Origin: United States.

Behavior Traits: Vocal and athletic.

Is a Javanese cat right for You?Read More…

Rescue Dog Becomes Service Pet for Vietnam Veteran

Gander, the Labradoodle, a service dog for a Vietnam veteran.

By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert and author of 26 best-selling pet books. She hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio and is a writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Lon Hodge is a Vietnam veteran who was paired with a service dog named Gander, a Labradoodle. Gander was rescued from a kill shelter and is a recipient of the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence.

Hodge copes with autoimmune arthritis as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety. Hodge said his world has changed for the better after being paired with Gander, who was trained by the Freedom Services Dogs of America. Together, they travel across the country to visit people at military hospitals, schools, pet expos, and other places.

“He [Gander] literally saved my life. My heart rate was 120 beats per minute average for two years…It is not about 80. I was having night terrors and panic attacks daily and had to take addicting medication to stop symptoms. Life is 100% better with Gander in it,” says Hodge.Read More…

Tips on Greeting a Working Service Dog

A black Labrador puppy working service dog.

By Arden Moore, a dog and cat behavior expert and author of 26 best-selling pet books. She hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio and is a writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

It is easy to understand the conflicting emotions you may feel you encounter a service dog on the job assisting a person with physical or mental limitations. The dog may be walking with the person or sitting quietly under a table at a restaurant. You instinctively want to pet and praise this dog for the great job they’re doing, but then you see those words stitched on his service vest: “Working Service Dog. Please Do Not Pet.”

You may feel like you just collided with a stop sign. You freeze, not knowing what to do or what to say next.

To assist you on practicing the proper pet etiquette around service dogs, we talked to Jennifer Arnold, co-founder of Canine Assistants, based in Milton, Ga. Arnold, who has trained more than 1,000 service dogs at Canine Assistants, has come up with a novel way to satisfy pet lovers who spot one of her trained service dogs.

“About six months ago, I replaced the patches on our service dogs that read, ‘Don’t pet me. I’m working’ with the new message: ‘Ask to pet me. I’m friendly.’ The reason? Our service dogs are friendly and part of what I think helps our clients as well as people in the community is when they are allowed to interact in a positive way with the service dogs,” Arnold explained to us.

Here are three tips from Arnold when encountering a service pet:

1. Never run up and pet a service dog without permission. You may startle the dog and his person, who may fall and get injured.Read More…

Teach Your Dog to Turn Lights On and Off

Train your dog to turn the lights on or off.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency.

No one likes having a high utility bill. Perhaps you are getting tired of nagging your spouse and family members to turn off the light switch when they leave a room. Solution: solicit the aid of your happy-to-help dog.

Your dog will need to have learned “touch it,” “leap up” and “watch me” cues before learning this trick. Also, this trick applies only for the wall light switches with toggles or flips to turn on and off. Do not attempt to teach your dog to turn off a lamp with a cord that is situated on a table. You risk breaking the lamp and the pieces of the broken light bulb can cut your dog’s paws and cause bleeding.


Here’s your step-by-step guide to helping your dog master this cool feat.

1. Stand next to a light switch that is easy for your dog to reach. Call your dog and put him in a sit.

2. Hold a treat on the wall just an inch above the light switch. Tap it a few times against the wall as you encourage your dog to leap up with his front paws near the treat. Give him the treat and praise.

3. Repeat the above step a few times so your dog gets use to leaping up and touching the wall with his front paws.Read More…

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