Dog Breed Guide: Basset Hound

A Basset HoundDr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Basset Hound

Height (to base of neck): less than 14″

Weight: 40-60lbs

Color: Tricolor and red and white are most common, but any hound color is accepted.

Origin: France and Belgium

Coat: Dense, short, smooth and glossy.

Life Expectancy: 12 years

Energy level: Low to moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Breed Nicknames:

Is a Basset Hound the Right Dog Breed for You?

Basset Hounds have an excellent nose and excel in tracking and field trials.  They are typically gentle and devoted and well suited as family pets, but some lineages have had problems with an aggressive, uneven temperament.  They can be quite stubborn and independent but are of moderate trainability.  They are good with children, especially when well socialized.  They have low grooming needs but special consideration should be made to ear hygiene.

5 Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for the Basset Hound

According to the number of dog insurance claims Pets Best receives

Medical Issue  Average Claim Amount  Most Expensive Claim 
Ear Infection $287 $3,294
Lipoma $497 $1,190
Skin Allergies $641 $6,562
Foreign Body- Intestinal $4,394 $6,882
Cyst $587 $1,955

 

Protect Your Basset Hound with Pet Insurance

Pet insurance quote button

Get a Quick, Free Quote Online

or Call Pets Best at 877-738-7237

5 Tips to Keep Your Dog from Digging

A dog digging in a yard 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 cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Far too many dogs put the “d” in dig. Understanding this canine motivation is the first step in protecting your prized roses, your herb garden and your lawn.  Here is the prime reason why behind this gotta-dig mentality: Thousands of years ago, dogs in the wild did not know where their next meal would come from, so after a kill, they would bury any uneaten food to hide it from scavengers. They returned to this “canine pantry” when they were hungry again. The dirt also helped to keep their food fresher longer by protecting it from sunlight.

Your 21st Century canine is just following that ancestral urge – doesn’t matter that you feed your dog every day. It’s hard to take that “must stash food for a hungry day” mentality out of your dog.

Another reason dogs dig is to burn off energy and relieve boredom. These are signs that your dog needs to be exercised more often – and more vigorously. Take long walks in the morning and evening and vary the routes.

You can’t take the “dig” out of the dog, but you can re-direct this innate desire and save a few petunias in the process. Here are five creative, compromising ways to tame your dig-minded dog and maintain a beautiful backyard:

1. Create a mini “doggyland” by devoting a portion of your backyard to your dog. Buy an inexpensive plastic kiddy pool, fill it with dirt and hide a few dog treats and toys for your dog to discover. Or put about one foot of water and create an instant doggy pool. Encourage your dog to bob for balls and replace the water each day to keep it fresh.

2. Treat your dog to his own made-in-the-shade spot in the backyard by taking an old picnic table, sawing the legs in half to make it lower in height. This gives your dog the option of lounging under the picnic table for shade or sitting on top for sun.

3. Stash your delicate flowers and herbs in hanging pots out of paw’s reach. Designate a small section in your backyard to grow greens like alfalfa, barley or wheatgrass if your dog likes to nibble on grass.

4. Spritz your garden with what seasoned gardeners refer to as “pepper pooch.” Mix two tablespoons of cayenne pepper and 6 drops of dishwashing soap in a gallon of water. Place this solution in a spray bottle and apply it to your plants. Schedule this spraying when your dog is not around. Wait at least 10 minutes for it to dry before you allow your dog in the backyard.

5. Fill in the holes where you dog has dug and place heavy rocks on top of these spots. Dogs usually prefer soft dirt to carry out their excavations.

 

Protect Your Dog with Pet Insurance
Pet insurance quote button

Get an Instant Quote Online

or Call Pets Best at 877-738-7237

3 Tips to Select Safe Halloween Costumes for Your Dog

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 cat insurance and dog insurance agency.A bullgog wearing a fairy costume

With Halloween approaching, more people are pairing up with their dogs to go trick-or-treating or attending costume parties.  According to a 2012 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Americans spent a record $370 million on pet costumes in 2011.  Among the most popular costumes are dogs dressed up as ghosts, action or super heroes, witches, pumpkins, devils and bumblebees.

Some outgoing, confident dogs happily and effortlessly turn into clothes hounds for Halloween. They seem to love the attention they garner by sporting a Halloween costume. Other dogs who are more apprehensive and unsure do their best to communicate that they want no part of donning any clothing.

It is important to take the time to heed your dog’s body cues on wearing outfits. Nix the notion if you put a costume on your dog and he displays any of these signs:

  • Panting excessively
  • Pacing
  • Pawing at the costume
  • Sitting or lying down and refusing to move

If your dog does enjoy wearing hats, coats and other costume clothing on occasion, size up the costume properly. And heed these safety tips:Read More…

Breed Guide: Bengal

Bengal CatDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Bengal

Weight:  female 10-15 lb, male 10-22 lb

Points of conformation: Large cat with small head and short ears. Broad muzzle with pronounced whisker pads. Long limbs and thick tail.

Coat: Short, dense and soft coat.

Color: Usually tabby with marbled or spotted patterns.

Grooming needs: Low

Origin: USA

Behavior Traits: Athletic and outgoing and highly energetic.

Is a Bengal cat right for You?

The Bengal is a cross between the Asian Leopard cat and the Domestic Shorthair, originally bred by researchers to explore natural resistances to Feline Leukemia Virus.  The early breeds were not easy to tame, but have been selected progressively for their temperament.  They tend to be dog-like and will fetch and tolerate being walked on a leash.  They are considered a very vocal cat and can have an unusual meow.

Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for the Bengal

According to the number of cat insurance claims Pets Best receives

Medical Issue  Average Claim Amount  Most Expensive Claim 
Oral Resorptive Lesion $528 $923
Ear Infection $145 $232
Diarrhea $223 $571
Enteritis $338 $1,066
Gastritis $520 $1,567

 

Protect Your Bengal with Pet Insurance

Pet insurance quote button

Get a Quick, Free Quote Online

or Call Pets Best at 877-738-7237

5 Ways to Deal with a Demanding Cat

a kitten lays  on a laptopBy 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 cat insurance and dog insurance agency. 

Does your cat nearly trip you with figure-eight maneuvers between your legs when you head for the kitchen? Does he sneak up on your desk and hover so closely that your elbow bumps him when you try to type on the computer keyboard? Or, worse, does he serenade you with loud meows at the foot of your bed an hour before your alarm clock is set to chime?

These irritating scenarios are just a few linked to demanding cats, felines who have clearly crossed the line of good manners. Animal behaviorists report that in the ranking of owner complaints about cats, demanding attention ranks third behind inappropriate urination and aggression toward another cat in the home.

Other examples of demanding behaviors include sitting on work papers or a book you are trying to read. And, leaping up on our lap the instant you sit down. Or pacing back and forth and vocalizing at you.

Why so demanding? Keep in mind that cats crave daily routines and some may vocalize when you’re an hour late to serve their meal or become irritated that you forgot to scoop their litter box.

And genetics also play a factor in the degree of demandingness displayed. In general, Siamese have reputations for being vocal and bossy. While breeds such as the Sphynx are noted for being clingy and wanting to spend every minute with their chosen person. It may be because they lack hair on their coats and need to be kept warm.

Medical conditions can also cause sudden insistent demands in a cat. If your mellow middle-aged cat suddenly starts conducting loud meow marathon sessions, he needs to be examined by a veterinarian. He could have hyperthyroidism, a glandular disease that causes the thyroid gland to produce excessive amounts of the hormone thryoxine, resulting in increased appetite, sudden weight loss and hyperactivity.  Or, your cat may yowl do to a painful injury or abscess.

Here are ways to tone down demanding behavior in your cat:

1. Don’t treat your cat as a small dog. Dogs usually respond appropriately when ushered into a closed bedroom or bathroom when annoying you or houseguests. Time outs do not work so well on cats. It doesn’t take much energy to meow for a long time. So, when you do usher your cat into a safe room, make it pleasant and engaging for your cat by providing a soft place to nap, food and water and a keep-busy toy. Also clip his claws so he won’t damage the doorframe by scratching.

2. Schedule daily play sessions with your cat – ideally 5- to 10-minute sessions in the morning and at night. Have him stalk and pursue a feather wand toy down the hall. Crinkle paper wads and toss them for him to chase and hunt.

3. Dine together. Some cats feel vulnerable when they lower their heads into food bowls to eat. They feel safer when they can eat their meals close to you while you eat your meal.

4. Practice the art of compromise. Position a cozy cat bed on your desk to stop your cat from standing between you and the computer monitor. For cats who dash into the kitchen each time you do, consider locating a towering cat tree near the kitchen to enable your cat to view your moves from a high secure perch. Be happy that your cat enjoys your company and wants to be with you.

5. Avoid engaging your cat in chatty conversations. The secret is to never answer a talkative cat when he meows. You unintentionally are encouraging him to continue the conversation louder and longer.

Protect Your Cat with Pet Insurance

Pet insurance quote button

Get a Quick, Free Quote Online

or Call Pets Best at 877-738-7237

1 19 20 21 22 23 305