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What Breeds Are Your Mutt? Georgie’s Genetic Test Reveal

Posted on: December 2nd, 2014 by

A mixed breed dog.

In July we asked our over 40,000 Pets Best Facebook fans to share photos and stories of their adopted mixed breed dogs for a chance to win a genetic test in honor of National Mutt Day, which is celebrated bi-annually in both July and December. The winner was a spirited, three-legged dog named Georgie.

Mixed breed dogs are by far the number one insured dog breed with the pet insurance agency, Pets Best, accounting for about 30% of all the dogs insured. Many pet parents guess or assume the breeds of their mutt, but actually discovering what breeds the dog is can be surprising!

Prior to receiving the genetic test, we interviewed Georgie’s pet parent, Lisa, to see what her thoughts were before learning of his results.

What breed(s) do you think Georgie is?
I’m guessing Georgie is a pit bull/Labrador/German shepherd mix. My husband thinks there may be some Rhodesian Ridgeback and my veterinarian is leaning towards Boxer.

When did you get Georgie and do you know anything about his history prior to you adopting him?
Georgie was left in front of the Terre Haute Humane Society, overnight in an outside kennel with his back left paw cut off and no explanation. With the help of community donations and a generous fourth-grader selling t-shirts and raffle tickets, they raised enough money to cover the cost of Georgie’s amputation surgery. He entered foster care, but was still unable to find a home in Indiana. At five months old, he was rescued by S.A.F.E. Sanctuary, here in Minnesota. We then adopted Georgie through PetFinders in 2005.

What are some of your favorite things about Georgie’s personality?
He is so darn happy all the time. He loves everyone and is such a sweetheart. Anyone who meets Georgie falls in love with him. Georgie really loves life on the farm. He enjoys riding in the Kawasaki Mule with me and finding a shady spot in the vineyard while I’m working. He is crazy about broccoli, green beans, and carrots and thinks having his teeth brushed is so much fun, probably because I get excited about it. He also loves to run around in big circles as fast as he can.

How has Georgie impacted your life?

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Dog Breed Guide: Bloodhound

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by
A Bloodhound puppy with pet insurance from Pets Best.

A Bloodhound.

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

About the Bloodhound

Height (to base of neck): females 23-25″ males 25-27″
Weight:  females 80-100 lb, males 90-110 lb
Color: Black and tan, liver and tan or red.
Origin: Mediterranean
Coat: Smooth, short and hard hairs with softer texture hair on the ears.
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Energy level: Moderate to high
Exercise needs: Moderate to high

Is a Bloodhound the Right Dog Breed for You?

The bloodhound was bred to follow scents for hunting and they continue to excel in tracking, often used by the military and police force for search and rescue.  They are determined and hardworking.  They tend to be even tempered, docile and can be a little shy.  They are friendly with other dogs and people.  Puppies are highly curious and have been known to eat inappropriate objects.  They are not trust-worthy off leash because of their tendency to follow scents.  They are high energy outside, but tend to be pretty quiet indoors. Bloodhounds are droolers, and can be vocal and prone to howling, baying and whining.

Common Illnesses, Medical Conditions and Accidents for the Bloodhound 

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Dog Paws & Santa Claus 2014, Photo Event Recap

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by

A dog poses with Santa Claus.

The 2nd annual Pets Best “Dog Paws & Santa Claus” photo event was held this past Tuesday evening on November 18th at the Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC office in Boise, Idaho. Community members came to pose alongside Santa with their family members and pets for a $10 donation. The event raised $630, which will be donated to two local Boise-area animal shelters: the Idaho Humane Society and the Meridian Valley Humane Society.

Despite the local Boise, Idaho roads still being covered with packed snow and ice from a recent storm, the pet-loving community turned out to support the two local animal shelters. People and dogs of all ages showed up to pose with Santa, the youngest being a 7 week-old baby boy who was accompanied by his 8 month-old puppy brother, a very large Bernese Mountain Dog!

Many of the dogs that came to get their photo with Santa were adopted from the Idaho Humane Society or the Meridian Valley Humane Society, demonstrating what amazing companions shelter pets can make. Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats is a strong supporter of pet adoption. Over 40% of Pets Best customers adopted their dog or cat from an animal shelter. Not to mention the many Pets Best employee adopted dogs (and occasional cat) who regularly come to work with their pet parent at the Pets Best office.

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Cat Breed Guide: Bombay

Posted on: November 21st, 2014 by

A bombay cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the  Bombay

Weight:  6 -11 lb

Points of conformation: The Bombay cat is heavier than the Burmese with a proportionately larger head and longer body.  Muzzle is short and ears have a rounded tip.

Coat: Very glossy close laying short single hair coat.

Color: Jet black. Some tabby markings may be seen in kittens that usually fade.

Grooming needs: Low

Origin: Kentucky, USA

Behavior Traits: Gregarious, calm and friendly.

Is a Bombay cat right for You?

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4 Fall & Winter Hazards for Cats

Posted on: November 21st, 2014 by

A cat outside in lots of snow.

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance agency.

While Fall is definitely my favorite season, it does bring certain hazards to watch for when it comes to your cat.  Knowledge of these potential dangers gives you the power to keep your cat safe. Prevention is much better than treatment! Here are four hazards you should be aware of:

1. Antifreeze

Cooler weather often brings the necessity for changing or adding antifreeze to your car. If your radiator leaks, which occurs more commonly in older cars, antifreeze can end up on your garage floor, driveway or the gutter.

Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol is extremely poisonous to cats. Because ethylene glycol has a sweet taste, cats, dogs and wildlife are attracted to it. As little as a teaspoon of antifreeze can cause irreversible kidney damage and death, if not treated within the first few hours after ingestion. Antifreeze causes harm, first by gastrointestinal irritation and then by the formation of calcium oxalate crystals that destroy a cat’s kidneys, if prompt action isn’t taken to remove as much of the toxin as possible, followed by intravenous fluids to flush the kidneys, for two to three days. You might see initial neurologic signs of confusion, weakness and a wobbly gait. If given soon enough, 4-MP or 20% ethanol can prevent severe kidney damage caused by antifreeze toxicity.  Consider using one of the newer nontoxic antifreeze compounds in your car’s radiator.

2. Cold Weather

Another cold weather hazard is the actual weather itself. Extreme cold weather can cause life-threatening hypothermia, despite cats’ fur coats. While certain breeds such as Maine Coons have adapted to withstand harsh weather conditions, and most shorthaired cats can develop a thick undercoat when exposed to cold temperatures over time, the combination of cold and wet can be deadly.

If your cats live outdoors, shelter from cold, wind and damp will be very helpful, and indeed lifesaving in extreme weather conditions. If bringing your outdoor cat indoors into your home is not an option, please make sure he or she has an insulated doghouse, barn or out building to shelter in. The floor needs to be raised enough to stay dry, even in heavy rain.  Certain breeds cannot withstand severe weather, even with shelter. The “oriental” breeds, such as Siamese, Burmese, Tonkinese and Abyssinians have sleek coats with little undercoat. They love warmth and would be miserable and at risk in cold weather.

3. Turkey

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