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How to Tell a Cat’s Personality from its Face Shape

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by

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.

When searching for a kitten or cat to adopt, how can you tell if your selection will be a lap lounger, a shy cat, or an adventure seeker?

Purebred cats tend to have certain characteristic personality traits, though individuals within breeds may be very different. With the typical shelter cat, personality clues may be linked to the shape of the cat’s face.

Kit Jenkins, program manager for PetSmart Charities, has spent more than 20 years in the animal sheltering world studying the behavior of cats and dogs. She has developed a theory of cat face geometry, based on the fact that feline faces usually fall into one of three physical shapes: square, round, or triangle. While genetics and life experiences play major roles in how cats think and act, Jenkins contends that personality is also influenced by a cat’s physical shape. Here’s how she describes the various types:

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Dog Breed Guide: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog lies outside in front of the tulips.

By Dr. Marc, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

About the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Height (to base of neck): 12-13″

Weight: 13-18 lbs

Color: Black and tan, Tricolored, white with red patches (Blenheim), and red.

Origin: United Kingdom.

Coat: Moderately long and silky with feathering on ears and feet.

Life Expectancy: 9-14 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the Right Dog Breed for You?

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3 Essential Dog Obedience Commands

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by

A dog sits.

By G. Elaine Acker for Pets Best, a pet insurance company for dogs and cats. Elaine is the author of the Pet First Aid and Disaster Response Guide. Elaine is developing an online Pet First Aid course along with Dr. Larry Newell.

I have two small dogs. One is a Jack Russell mix that my veterinarian describes as an “American Terrier,” and the other is a suspected Chiweenie (although he was found on the side of the road, and his heritage is forever a mystery). They both have a willful streak, and even though my husband and I have been through advanced obedience training with them, we find that it takes regular obedience reviews, for both dogs and humans, for that training to be effective.

When we train, we focus on the following three obedience commands, which we consider the life-and-death essentials.

1. Sit/Stay
When your dog will sit and stay until released, you’re able to comfortably place your dog in a specific location, knowing that they’re safely out of harm’s way, until you return. This command makes it easy to do something as simple as take your dog onto a restaurant patio with the confidence that they’ll be well behaved and welcome.

It’s also valuable in emergency situations. For example, you’re visiting a local park with your kiddo and he or she takes a tumble off a swing. You’re able to put your dog into a “stay,” and go help your child without having your dog suddenly invading another family’s picnic, or getting into a tussle with another nearby dog.

Once your dog has learned the basics, you can practice by putting your dog into a sit/stay and gradually increasing the amount of time he or she remains in that position. Our goal is five minutes, and we always return to our dogs with a treat before releasing them.

2. Come

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Dog Breed Guide: Pomeranian

Posted on: February 19th, 2014 by


Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

About the Pomeranian

Height (to base of neck): 5-11″

Weight: 4-7.5 lbs

Color: Most common are orange, black and cream, but Poms have a wide variety of accepted colors, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, black and tan, spotted and brindled.

Origin: Pomerania region of Central Europe (today part of northern Poland and eastern Germany)

Coat: Abundant and textured with plumed tail and thick double coat, the top coat creates a mane around the neck.

Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Energy level: Low to moderate

Exercise needs: Minimal

Is a Pomeranian the Right Dog Breed for You? 

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Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer?

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by

Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital and I’m answering questions from pet owners today for Pets Best. This question is, “Why do small dogs typically live longer than larger dogs?” This is a great question and it’s definitely very true. Your typical Great Dane or Mastiff really only has a lifespan of sometimes just seven to nine years, and Chihuahuas or Yorkies or your other little breed dogs, it’s not uncommon for us to see them live over 15 years.

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