A Guide to Making Your Office Pet-Friendly

Office dogs of Pets Best Pet Insurance, Ziggy and Maddie share a conference room chair.

Pets in the workplace positively impact your employees’ morale and work productivity. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, companies who welcome pets in their offices see a decrease in employee stress levels and less absenteeism from work. Employees are also more willing to put in extra hours because they don’t have to worry about rushing home to feed and walk their pets.

Pets break the ice between your employees from different departments and help them build a strong rapport. A pet-friendly office gives your employees peace of mind that their pets are safe and cared for throughout the work day. With their happy faces and wagging tails, employees can’t help but smile when they’re around pets. Not to mention, animals bring a sense of fun and humor into the office environment.

With the right steps in place, a pet-friendly office policy isn’t difficult to create. At Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, we welcome all pets and not just dogs. While dogs are the majority of the pets you’ll see in our office, we do have the occasional cat, kittens, and even ducks. The suggested tips below can also be implemented on a permanent basis or on special days such as “Take Your Pet to the Office.” Before creating a policy, check with your building owner/landlord to make sure it’s okay to have animals inside your office building. Due to health codes, and insurance restrictions there are some buildings that don’t allow animals (except for service animals).

Whether you have two or 200 employees, Pets Best encourages your company to create clear, consistent guidelines. Remember that it’s important to always keep the safety of your employees and their pets in mind.

1. Owners must be responsible for their pets at all times.

Owners must be responsible for their pets and watch them throughout the work day. If they need to step briefly away from their workspace, employees must safely contain their pets within their cubicle/office or have a co-worker supervise the animals. When owners are walking around with their pets, they should also keep them leashed.
Owners are responsible for taking their pets outside for bathroom breaks and need to clean up after them. Failure to clean up after pets can cause real issues with landlords and other building occupants. Give your employees flexibility so they can take their pets outside for quick breaks throughout the day.

2. Animals must act appropriately in an office environment.
In order to maintain a safe and harmonious environment, pets must act appropriately and cannot adversely affect office operations or disturb employees. They must be social and friendly, and cannot display aggressive behaviors towards employees and other animals. Animals need to be well-trained and cannot chew, bite or scratch furniture, etc.
Create safe areas for pets (i.e. inside employees’ cubicles or offices) so they feel comfortable. Use child-proof safety gates so pets are contained within one area.
Ask employees to bring in their pet’s favorite bed, blanket, toys, and water and food dishes so animals feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.
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Differentiating 3 Common Canine Moods

Differentiating Three Common Dog Moods; Affection, Aggression, and Anxiety.

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 Pet Insurance, a puppy and dog health insurance agency.

In order to properly read your dog’s mood, you need to consider the entire package that includes body language, postures, vocalizations and actions. And, you need factor in the current environment or situation to put all of these canine clues into context.

Just like us, dogs feel joy, fear, pain and contentment.  So how can you tell if your dog is being affectionate, aggressive or feeling anxious? Here’s a closer look at these three canine emotions:

Emotion #1: Affection

What to look for: Dogs do have favorite people, including you. They convey this love-you emotion by delivering kisses to your face or hand, wagging their tails in a relaxed circular cadence, flipping over to expose their bellies, following you in a happy trot from room to room and greeting you when you enter the front door like you’re a rock star.

How to respond: Greet your dog by saying his name in a friendly, upbeat tone. Treat your dog to one-minute attention sessions in which you focus entirely on your dog and deliver purposely pets from head to tail. Make him feel like a rock star and his loyalty and love for you will grow.

Emotion #2: AggressionRead More…

Dog Breed Guide: Alaskan Malamute

An Alaskan Malamute dog with pet insurance from Pets Best.

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

About the Alaskan Malamute

Height (to base of neck): female 23″, male 25″

Weight:  females 75 lb, males 85 lb

Color: Gray in different shades, black, red and sable with distinct face markings and points.

Origin: Alaska, United States

Coat: Very dense double coat with a wooly soft under coat and dense coarse guard hairs.

Life Expectancy: 12 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: High

Breed Nicknames: Malamute

Is an Alaskan Malamute the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

Why I Love Being a Vet Tech Contest

The Pets Best Why I Love Being a Vet Tech contest.

Pets Best has created a contest to give recognition to certified veterinary technicians across the nation. Pets Best, along with NAVTA are proud to host the second annual Why I Love Being a Vet Tech contest.

How to participate in Why I Love Being a Vet Tech:

1. Share a personal story explaining why you decided to become a vet tech and why you love what you do
2. Finalists will be announced and voting opens to the public

How to enter the contest:

Our online form makes it easy for you to enter our contest. Your story doesn’t have to be long, but it should include details about why you decided to become a vet tech, what you love most about it and why. Vet techs may enter the contest any time on the Pets Best website.

How many vet techs win?Read More…

7 Tips to Slim Down Your Overweight Dog

A very overweight dog sits down.

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 pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Does your dog display more waddle than wiggle? Nearly half of the world’s beloved pets are overweight or obese. Extra pounds in dogs hikes their risk for developing diabetes, respiratory and arthritic conditions. Sadly, these are often chronic, incurable and generally preventable diseases.

The root cause for pet obesity is guilt. Far too many people feel guilty that they live busy lives and don’t have time to walk or exercise their pets, so they show their love by doling out too much food and too many treats. Pet obesity starts at the food bowl.

To curb chow hound tendencies and shed excess pounds gradually but steadily off your dog, try these tactics:

1. Smile, doggy.
Help your dog slim down smartly by taking a “before” photo of her and put this photo in a visible place such as on your refrigerator door. Start a food diary and weigh your dog once every week.

2. Set realistic weight-loss goals.
It’s best for a dog to lose only a few ounces per week (or a pound or so for large breeds) so that the excess weight comes off gradually and doesn’t return. Don’t cut back too quickly. In dogs, the dangers of “crash dieting” can lead to hepatic lipidosis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease.

3. Count the kibble.
Feeding as little as 10 extra pieces of kibble per day would add one pound of weight in a year in your small dog who weighs 10 pounds. So, use a measuring cup at meal times.

4. Scheduled feedings.
Opt for scheduled feedings instead of free feeding. Instead of filling up your dog’s bowl whenever it is empty, use a measuring cup and portion out your dog’s daily meals twice a day. If you are unable to be home at a specific mealtime, consider buying a timed self-feeder that can dispense controlled portions of kibble at designated times.Read More…

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