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Designer Dogs: Furry Status Symbols

Posted on: October 17th, 2008 by

Posted by Pets Best on 10/17/2008 in General Articles

Designer dogs have become the new trend both in and outside of Hollywood. Since their arrival on shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show, these pets have become the hottest thing around, with many A-list celebrities standing in line to pick theirs out. These new breeds of dogs have become little more than little furry status symbols, with everyone fighting to be the first to own one.

Designer dogs are created by the mating of two purebred dogs of different breeds. These new breeds of dogs often lack the flaws of the individual breeds, while keeping all the cuteness and desirable qualities. For instance, a puggle is a mix between a beagle and a pug, lacking the bulging eyes and stubbornness of its parents, while staying just as adorable. Some of these designer dogs also boast even temperaments and allergen-free fur, which is a big plus for people who have children or allergies. Puggles and other breeds – such as labradoodles, a mix of a poodle and a Labrador retriever, and schnoodles, a miniature schnauzer and poodle mix – are the newest status symbols among celebrities, and the waiting lists for the top breeders can be full for up to a year or more.

Just like designer jeans and jewelry, which are also marketed to the rich and famous, these designer pups do not come at a small price. Prices for these mixed breeds start around $900, and can often go up to $2,000 for dogs from the best breeders. Celebrities are not the only ones love-struck by these pooches; many middle class families have taken to purchasing their own designer pups, a new way of keeping up with the Joneses, as it were. Although these dogs will never be pedigreed animals, they can currently be registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).

What is the difference between a designer dog and a mutt? With mutts, the bloodlines of the animal can’t be traced, whereas with designer dogs, both parents are known, and the dog may even come from champion bloodlines. There has been some controversy surrounding these mixed breeds lately. Some believe that people are buying the dogs just to say they own a designer dog, and then dumping them when the dogs turn out to be less than they expected. Others believe that it is wrong to be breeding more mixed breed animals when there are many of the same mixes in the shelters.

Even with the high price tags and lack of pedigree, breeders have found a hot market in designer dogs. Status symbol or not, there is no denying the cuteness of these pups, and their ability to win the hearts of their owners.

What to Know About Sending Your Pet to the ER

Posted on: October 17th, 2008 by

Posted by Pets Best on 10/17/2008 in General Articles

Caring for a pet can be an expensive but necessary venture. The cost of pet ownership is soaring through the roof, and even a simple trip to the vet can set you back several hundred dollars. Therefore, there are many factors that you need to consider, should your pet need treatment at an animal ER.

Emergencies happen, and there isn’t much we can do to change that. What we can do, however, is be prepared financially in the event of an emergency. The fact is that emergency care for animals, much like for humans, is much more expensive than a regular veterinary visit. Procedures often cost twice what they would during normal office hours. Sometimes you just can’t wait, and emergency care is required. There are steps that can be taken to lessen the financial burden to ensure that you can afford to give your pet the care it needs.

Pet insurance is quickly becoming popular among pet owners. It makes sense, especially if you have an older animal or a breed that is prone to medical problems. Pet insurance, just like people insurance, comes in a variety of plans and costs. There are different policies that reimburse you for costs and some that pay a percentage of the costs for you up-front.

Start thinking about to what to do in an emergency while your pet is still healthy. Talk with your local veterinarian, and ask what their policy is for emergencies. Many times, veterinarians will take emergency clients for an added fee, and other times they will refer you to a local animal emergency shelter that they are affiliated with. You need to make sure that you know all of your pet’s vital information, including their name, date of birth, shot records, and any medications they may taking, because you will be asked to fill out paperwork when there is an emergency. Other than that, a trip to the emergency care center is often like a trip to a veterinary office. The vet will examine your animal and keep you updated on what is going on, and what procedures or treatments your pet may need.

No matter what kind of pet you own, being prepared for emergency care is a smart thing to do.

Healthy. Happy.

Posted on: September 27th, 2008 by

Posted by Pets Best on 10/27/2008 in Articles from Newsletters

For humans, staying happy can be a complicated issue. Not so for pets, who, as long as they are healthy, loved and well cared for, are almost always happy. With National Pet Health Month in full swing, now is a great time to perform a check-up on your pet’s health care and make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your furry friends. Here’s what you should be doing to help maintain their good health, plus the top ten signs that your pet may be feeling ill.

Regular Wellness Exams
You probably visit your doctor, and your dentist, for a yearly checkup. Your pet, though, ages up to seven times faster than you do—if you take your pet to the veterinarian once a year, it’s like you seeing your doctor or dentist just once every seven years! Pets who have reached middle age should have a wellness exam every six months.

What should your wellness exam include? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorses this list of ten important health screenings for adult dogs and cats. Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests, depending on your pet’s age and other factors.

-Osteoarthritis check
-Parasite check
-Chest radiograph
-Heartworm check
-Thyroid check
-Dental health
-Blood panel (CBC)
-Chemistry panel

Keep in mind that BestWellness, an optional plan available to Pets Best policyholders, provides annual benefits toward wellness exams as well as tests including blood panel, heart worm, and urinalysis, plus numerous vaccinations and more, all with no deductibles.

Which Vaccinations? How Often?
According to the AVMA, not all pets should be vaccinated with all vaccines. Your veterinarian should determine your pet’s needs based on the pet’s health, potential exposure, access to other animals, and travel to other geographic locations, since these factors affect your pet’s risk of disease.

Likewise, the best vaccination schedule should take a number of factors into account. A set of annual vaccinations used to be the norm, but doctors now recognize that while some vaccinations offer disease protection that lasts longer than a year, others may fail to protect for a full year. Your veterinarian should design the most effective vaccination routine around the specific needs of your pet.

Signs of Trouble
Even with the help of regular exams and vaccinations, your pet may still get sick from time to time. But pets, unlike people, won’t tell you when they don’t feel good, especially our feline companions—it is up you to watch for the signs of illness. Pet health problems are easier to treat when they are addressed quickly. Remember that the list below is not exhaustive. Pets have plenty of ways to let you know they are not feeling well, but you should definitely call your veterinarian if your pet shows any of these common symptoms:

-Loss of appetite for more than a day
-Drinking more than usual for days
-Gaining or losing a lot of weight quickly
-Strange behavior including sudden viciousness
-Being unusually sluggish and tired
-Trouble getting up or laying down
-Strange lumps
-Abnormal discharge from eyes, nose, or elsewhere
-Excessive head shaking, scratching, licking or biting
-Dandruff, loss of hair, skin sores, a ragged or dull coat

Torrey’s diary September 2008

Posted on: September 26th, 2008 by

By: Dr. Jack Stephens

Hello All! Oh it’s an excellent month to be a dog! The weather is changing and it is finally getting cooler in my office, I no longer have to lie around all day in the scorching heat! For a while now I thought I might have been gaining a few more ounces, since I haven’t been able to make my daily treat trips around the building which help me keep my slim figure!

For all of you who weren’t able to wish me a Happy Birthday, I celebrated my glorious 6th year of life last week! It was fabulous! I was able to catch up on my beauty rest, had one or two treats here and there…… Ok, ok, I may have fibbed just a little, I had a few more than that, but it was my birthday, I deserved something special! Later that afternoon I had a few pictures taken for my portfolio. I was enjoying myself until they attempted to put a birthday bow on my head. Yeah right, like I was going to let that happen. I look fantastic just the way I am.

Some other current events that are going in my life… My dad enrolled me in these Positive Pet Parenting courses. So far I haven’t notice a difference. I am not surprised because, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with me. I may be a little bit more vocal than some of my fellow canine friends, but hey, I am pint sized and have to speak up or no one would be able to hear me. I also don’t think that “asking” politely and putting on my “cute face” really translates to “begging.”

So have you all seen the previews for this upcoming movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua?”

Well I did, and I am appalled that my dad didn’t get any offers for me to be one of the main stars! I am cute, full of spunk and have a great talent for acting. I mean half of the people that work for Pets Best who give me treats, really think I like them. Now that’s “real” acting. I should get an Oscar for that….hmm maybe they should start calling them the “Torrey” awards, that has a nice ring to it. Anyway, not to babble on about how I am not in the movie, I am just thankful I am insured, because I bet most of the Chihuahuas in that movie aren’t. What happens if they were to get hurt on the job? Like break a nail or something? At least they would be protected by Pets Best Insurance. Hmm maybe we should give their parents a call!

Well my paw is getting awfully tired of writing, so until next time everyone!

P.S. For anyone who may have forgotten to send me a belated birthday gift, you know where I work!

Be good! I know I will try, just for my dad’s sake!

And The Winners Are . . . !

Posted on: September 26th, 2008 by

Posted by Angela Klein on 9/26/2008 in Articles from Newsletters

What a wonderful group of pets we are able to insure! When we asked you for your photos, we had no idea that we’d get such an overwhelming and amazing response. Your pets are BEAUTIFUL!!

We want to thank each person who took the time to send in a photo or two of your cherished dog or cat. We know that behind each beautiful face is a story of love and friendship that goes deeper than words.

It was unbelievably hard to choose a winner, harder because of the hundreds of photos we had to choose from. We debated, we laughed, we smiled and – in the end – we decided we had taken on a much bigger task than we had originally envisioned. Everyone was so good looking!

So, along with the winners, we had to choose several Honorable Mentions, even though we think that all the pets deserve recognition. In order to showcase all the photos, we’ve also put together a photo gallery that you can view by clicking here.

Thank you for joining in our summer fun and for the kind words that many of you sent. Knowing we are able to help so many pets and that we are making a difference is what keeps us going. We’re glad we’ve been able to help.

We hope you enjoy the pictures and thanks again to everyone who took the time to send a photo!