Pets Best March Madness

March madness Pets Best.Sports fan or not, you’ve probably noticed March Madness is in full swing! At Pets Best Insurance, we wanted to get in on the action, so we’re hosting a little March Madness of our own.

We’ve matched up the 8 most popular dog and cat breeds for a nose-to-tail showdown. Will the #1 most popular dog and cat in America be the Pets Best Facebook favorites as well?

Vote by commenting every time you see a match-up appear on Facebook, and we’ll reveal the winner on April 1st!

First Rounds

Monday, March 25th – Thursday March 28th

Semi-FinalsRead More…

Pet Poison: Chocolate

chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best. 

Signs and Symptoms

Though there is an extensive list of possible symptoms after chocolate ingestion, the most common are as follows: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity (such as excitation, restlessness, or panting), tremors and convulsions, seizures, racing heart rate, arrhythmia (when the heart cannot beat properly in a normal rhythm), and in severe cases death.

After chocolate ingestion, it takes nearly four days for it to work out of an animal’s system. Because of this, symptoms can progress and last for the entire 4 days that it takes an animals body to clear the toxin.

Why and How is Chocolate Toxic

Chocolate is processed by grinding hulled cacao beans. The product that results from this grinding is called chocolate liquor. Within the chocolate liquor is a chemical called theobromine. This chemical is the reason that chocolate is toxic to pets (both cats and dogs). The more chocolate liquor found in a product, the more toxic it is to a pet, meaning less of it needs to be eaten for more serious symptoms to occur.

Chocolate Types: From Most Toxic to Least Toxic

  • The highest theobromine content is found in baking chocolate
  • Followed by semisweet/dark chocolate
  • Then milk chocolate
  • Lastly, white chocolate (it contains an insignificant amount of theobromine).

How Much Chocolate Will Poison My Dog or Cat?

Toxic doses of theobromine are 9 milligrams per pound. Meaning that a 20-pound animal would need to eat 8.2 ounces of milk chocolate, or just 0.9 ounces of baking chocolate to achieve a toxic dose.

What to Do if Your Dog or Cat Eats ChocolateRead More…

Pet Poison: NSAID Pain Killers

nsaid pain killers are toxic to dogs and cats.Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Common human NSAIDs have varying degrees of toxicity to dogs and cats and should be avoided in pets.

What are NSAIDs?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) control pain by reducing inflammation and blocking precursors to pain.

Common Human NSAIDs

The most common include:


Ibuprofen (Advil)

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Naproxen (Aleve)

Are There Safe Animal NSAIDs?

Yes, there are animal specific NSAIDs available by veterinary prescription. That being said, not all dog-safe drugs are safe for cats!  Never give a drug prescribed for one pet to another without veterinary advise.

Many animal medications have been flavored in order to make administering the pills easier for us.  Dogs will not uncommonly mistake these for treats if they are within reach. Even if the drug is safe for pets, an overdose can occur if too much is ingested.

Why Are Human NSAIDs Toxic to Pets?Read More…

Pet Poison: Sugar-Free Products

sugar free gum and mints are toxic to dogs.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used to replace sugar in products. It is commonly used in sugar-free gums, mints, candy and even toothpaste. Check labels and keep any products with xylitol far away from your dogs. Xylitol is a known toxin in dogs, however it is not clear the affect it has on cats.

Why and How is Xylitol Toxic to Dogs

In humans, xylitol is absorbed very slowly and has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. In dogs, however, xylitol is absorbed very rapidly into the bloodstream. This rapid absorption can cause a widespread release of insulin, which is what causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver failure, which may lead to bleeding problems and death.

What Amount of Xylitol is Toxic?

Very little xylitol can be extremely toxic to dogs. In a 20 pound dog, as little as one or two pieces of gum may cause hypoglycemia (0.1g/kg).

Signs and SymptomsRead More…

Pet Poison: Lilies

lily flowers and plants are toxic to cats.

Dr. Matheys is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.

Lilies are beautiful, fragrant plants with flowers that are very common in bouquets and floral arrangements. But beware, lilies can kill cats!

What Part of the Lily is Toxic?

All parts of the plant are toxic, especially the flower. Even the orange-yellow pollen is toxic and the large amount of pollen can get everywhere, including on a cat’s coat or paws where it can be ingested while grooming.

What Amount is Toxic?

Even a single bite of a flower or leaf of the plant can be deadly for your cat.

How Are Lilies Toxic to Cats?

Cats can suffer from kidney failure after ingesting even tiny amounts of the plant and flower or drinking water from the plant. Cats are very sensitive to poisoning by Easter lilies. The kidney is the primary organ affected, and cats can die of kidney failure 3-5 days after exposure.

Are all Lilies Toxic?Read More…

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