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Breed Guide: Bernese Mountain Dog

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by

A Bernese Mountain DogDr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Bernese Mountain Dog

Height (to base of neck): female 23-26,” male 25-27.5″

Weight: female 75-95lbs, male 80-115lb

Color: Black with well-defined rust and white markings.

Origin: Switzerland

Coat: Thick, glossy straight coat that is moderately long and wavy.

Life Expectancy: 7-9 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Is a Bernese Mountain Dog the Right Dog Breed for You?

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6 Boat Safety Tips for Pets

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by

a dog standing on a boat deckBy 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 insurance agency for dogs and cats.

These days you see dogs on all sorts of motorized water crafts, from sail boats, to jet boats, to house boats. The ways to enjoy our rivers, lakes and the open sea are endless. So if you plan to have your pet play on the water with you in a motorized boat, it’s important to know how to keep your pets safe on the water.

For starters, not all dogs or cats relish being boat pets. Be candid when assessing if your pet wants to cruise as much as you do. Gradually acclimate your pet to the boating life. Spend time in the boat with them without turning on the motor. The next time, turn on the motor but stay at the dock. Gradually build up their sea legs.

Heed these other tips to ensure a safe boating voyage for all:

1. School your pet

Boat pets must also heed basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay and come. They must also know nautical commands, such as “on boat” and “off boat.” Practice rescue drills to ensure your pet will paddle to safety spots – floatable doggy ramps or stairs.

2. Invest in pet life vests

Boat pets should wear lightweight pet life vests that feature hand grips on top so you can easily grab your pet. This makes it much easier to grab them whether they fell into the water or are caught in a strong current.

3. Provide a poop deck

A favorite among boats with longer-term pet guests is to designate an area of the boat to have a grass-like turf that contains a canine-beckoning scent and is easily washed with a hose. Place a litter box in the galley for your cat.

4. Don’t slip up

Provide non-skid flooring to ensure steady footing by your pet and do not let your pet venture on the deck without your supervision and without being leashed.

5. Be a stair master

Work out a plan for your dogs to reach the top deck and head back down. In the houseboat we rented, the stairs were steep and narrow, but feature slip-proof backings. We were able to easily cradle our small dog but for our 60-pound dog, we learned to have someone on the top deck and someone on the bottom deck so we could usher her carefully up one step to the next.

6. Keep them healthy

Ensure your pet is current on all necessary vaccinations to especially protect against parasites and giardia. Always rinse your pet thoroughly with clean water after each swim and always keep your Pets Best pet insurance policy current. Know the location of the nearest veterinary clinic at each harbor should a pet emergency arise.

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Pets Bring Us Together – A Great Lesson from an Autistic Girl

Posted on: May 28th, 2014 by

A little girl and Great Pyrenees dog sit on a dock together.By Coleen Ellis, founder of the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency.

I know the old cliché is really very true: birds of a feather flock together.  Or, maybe better said, people who are alike can relate to others like them! Whichever way, I love the organic raw truthfulness of the nature of the comment.

When others find out that I’m in the pet industry, in particular as a pet loss professional and dealing with the very intimate topic of the death of these amazing pets that we love, I hear the most incredible stories.  Stories from the heart, stories that speak of such love and innocence.  Stories like this from a colleague of mine in the death-care profession, Faye Bonini.

Here’s Faye’s story:

My daughter Allison has some special needs (autism spectrum) and can be repetitive in her conversation. When she meets someone (waitress, cashier, person sitting near us in a restaurant), she always (and I mean always!) asks: Do you have a dog?

Allison has found this to be a great intro-statement, because everyone either has a dog or has had a dog – and everyone loves to talk about their dog. They show her pictures and sometimes even give her a picture of their dog. People absolutely light up when they tell her about their pet.

When I’ve enjoyed this most is when it’s a senior…perhaps sitting alone at a restaurant or standing next to us in a store. It is heartwarming to see the spark in their eyes when they talk about their pet – perhaps a pet who died many years ago. It brightens their day to have someone take the time to talk to them – and allow them to talk about their beloved pet.

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Breed Guide: Pug

Posted on: May 26th, 2014 by

A Pug dog looks at the cameraDr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Pug

Height (to base of neck): 10-11″

Weight: 14-18lbs

Color: Fawn, apricot, silver and black. Black or dark ears and muzzle.

Origin: Asia

Coat: Fine short double coat.

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Low to moderate

Is a Pug the Right Dog Breed for You?

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8 Tips for Staying at Pet Friendly Hotels

Posted on: May 23rd, 2014 by

dog in hotel roomBy 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 insurance agency for dogs and cats.

More often than not, my business road trips include the company of my dogs, Chipper and Cleo or my therapy cat, Zeki. In the past few years, we’ve traveled to seven states inside my SUV.

Let me share eight tips to guarantee that the hotel staff will put out the welcome mat for your four-legged travel mate:

1. Hit the Internet before you hit the road

With the popularity of pets joining their people on road trips, there are more pet travel websites that offer lots of details on pet-welcoming hotels and their specific pet policies. Sites such as BringFido.com and GoPetFriendly.com include candid guest reviews and Fido Friendly Magazine’s fidofriendly.com team of roving correspondents give first-person accounts of their stays with their pets at lodgings throughout North America.

2. Heed the hotel rules

Some hotels prohibit leaving pets in your hotel room unsupervised. Other guests do not want to hear yapping dogs or howling cats who may be frightened and wondering where you are when you want to go out for dinner or sightsee. Budget to include paying for a dog walker or doggy day care for times you will be out and about without your pet.

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