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Dog Breed Guide: German Shepherds

Posted on: November 29th, 2013 by

A German Shepherd puppy sitting in the grass.By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats 

About the German Shepherd

Height (to base of neck): female 22-24″, male 24-26″

Weight: 75-95 lbs

Color: Most colors permitted, black to tan are most common.

Origin: Germany

Coat: Double coat with soft inner coat and medium length coarse outer coat. Long haired variety exists

Life Expectancy: 12-13 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: high

Is a German Shepherd the Right Dog Breed for You?

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4 Reasons Cats Get Runny Noses

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by

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

Hi, my name is Marc Caldwell. I’m a veterinarian in Boise, Idaho working with Pets Best Insurance to answer some web-based questions for you guys.

Our next question is:  “What are the top reasons that cats get runny noses?”

We see a lot of runny noses in cats, and the top four reasons that I see runny noses are, first, infectious problems. Most of these problems are going to be viral in nature. So we see a lot of herpes, calicivirus, things like that, that can actually cause runny noses and discharge in cats. We also see bacterial problems. Fungal issues can cause nasal discharge as well.

The second reason is going to be allergies. So allergies occur in cats just like they do in people. Typically, these cats will have a very clear nasal discharge. You can see a lot of sneezing with these types of problems. Sometimes that’s seasonal, sometimes it’s not.

Third problem it might be dental disease in cats. So with tooth root abscesses, sometimes those will actually communicate with the sinus above the tooth root itself, and those can cause a discharge as well. Sometimes you’ll see that as more of a bloody discharge or what we call serosanguinous, meaning a clear sort of a pinkish discharge as well.

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6 Things to Consider Before Getting a Cat

Posted on: November 25th, 2013 by

Two dogs sit at the conference table in the Pets Best Insurance office.

By Dr. Jane Matheys, a veterinarian at The Cat Doctor in Boise, Idaho; and blogger for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats

Many families choose the holidays as the “purrfect” time to add a feline friend to their home. Cats make wonderful companions for all ages, and bringing a new pet into your home is an exciting event. Often, though, people go out and get a cat without considering the long term commitment they are making or the financial aspect of providing excellent care for the cat. Here are some important things to consider before deciding to get a cat.

1. Get the family involved

Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat and agrees to adding a new member to the family. Is anyone in the family allergic to cats?  One of the most common reasons people give for surrendering cats to shelters is allergies. If you are not sure you have allergies, you should spend some time around cats to see if you have a reaction before you adopt. If allergies develop later on, will you consider treating the allergy before giving up your cat?

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‘Stache Bash Picture Contest!

Posted on: November 18th, 2013 by

A Boxer breed dog wears glasses and a fake mustache.

By Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats

In honor of raising awareness in November for Prostate Cancer, many men support the cause by growing mustaches and beards—while in turn raising donations. Well at Pets Best we thought, dogs and cats already have facial hair, so why shouldn’t they get in on the action?

So here’s the deal, we’re having a ‘Stache Bash Picture Contest! Post pictures of your dogs and cats sporting mustaches and beards (real or fake) on our Facebook, or email them to us at Submit photos now through November 30th.

We’ll choose one winner to receive a $25 gift card, and we’ll donate $100 to the Movember Foundation which supports “world-class men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.” (

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How Do Dogs and Cats Get Diabetes?

Posted on: November 18th, 2013 by

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

Hi, I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell. I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital, and I’m answering questions from pet owners today for Pets Best, and this question is, “Are dogs and cats born with diabetes, or can they develop it at any age?” The classic diabetes that you’re probably referring to, diabetes mellitus, well, they’re not born with it.

There are basically two different types of diabetes, and the same holds true in pets and your Type I diabetes typically happen in children. There’s nothing that they did to predispose themselves to it. Nobody really knows why it happens, but for whatever reason their bodies stop producing insulin.  These children need to have insulin in order to survive. The type II diabetes is your classic, generalizing here, overweight person, and sometimes changing their lifestyle, losing weight, becoming more active, and changing their diet, they can actually influence how their diabetes acts, and they don’t always have to rely on insulin.

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