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5 Ways to Nip Your Puppy’s Mouthy Manners

Posted on: June 27th, 2014 by

Belgian shepherd puppy biting and pulling legBy 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 dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

When it comes to your fast-growing puppy, do not dismiss his playful nips as merely love bites. Sure, your pup is darn cute and exudes plenty of canine charm, but ouch! His sharp, pointed teeth can hurt and even break skin.

Play mouthing develops in puppies by four weeks of age and accelerates between 4 and 14 weeks of age. It is a normal behavior, but unchecked, it could evolve into a more serious behavior issue: play aggression.

Once you bring home your adorable puppy, immediately start training him that hands, forearms, legs and other human body parts are not canine chew toys. Follow these steps:

1. Make your skin far less tempting to your mouthy pup. Spritz your exposed limbs with Bitter Apple spray or a mint-flavored breath freshener spray. Be creative and dab your hands and arms with pickle juice. The juice contains a very sour additive called alum, which keeps the pickles crisp but also serves as a good dog deterrent.

2. Speak up and yip loudly. Some puppies are adopted before they can properly learn bite inhibition from their littermates and their moms. So, when your puppy nips or mouths you, yelp loudly. Stand up, turn your back on him and walk slowly away. Your actions convey to your pup is, “You’re not fun right now, and playtime is over.” Your pup will learn that nipping ends good times.

3. Bring on the suitable chewables.

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4th of July Pet Safety Tips

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by

4th of July tips to keep dogs and cats safe.

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Fireworks on and around the 4th of July can scare dogs and cats causing them to run off and opening the door for danger. Here are 4 tips to keep your pets safe.

1. Keep dogs and cats inside your home.

2. Turn on the radio or TV to muffle noise.

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A Year of Firsts After a Pet’s Death

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 by

a beagle dog walks by a pond.

By Coleen Ellis, founder of the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency.

The year of firsts after a pet’s death can be very difficult. 365 days of first events, where the reality of the death continues to be a daily reminder of the “new normal” and that a beloved pet is no longer here with us.

It’s the first spring day of the year, a day that your little beagle friend would have loved to go for a walk. As you fondly think of him, you find comfort knowing your beagle is walking in the meadows elsewhere, beyond Rainbow Bridge.

It’s the first snowfall of the year, a day that your beautiful Golden Retriever would have loved to be bouncing around outside. Rolling around with snow on his nose, creating those big Golden Retriever snow angels, but now the reality is that he truly does have his angel wings.

It’s the first Christmas there’s not a gift under the tree for your grumpy old cat, who in all of his nastiness would almost smile at the new treats in the gift sack. The Christmas stocking stays in the box this year too.

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Breed Guide: West Highland White Terrier

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by

A West Highland White TerrierDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the West Highland White Terrier

Height (to base of neck): female 10″, male 11″

Weight: female 13-16lbs, male 15-22lbs

Color: White

Origin: Scotland

Coat: The outer coat is dense and harsh, and the undercoat is fine and wooly.

Life Expectancy: 15years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: Moderate to high

Breed Nicknames: Westie

Is a West Highland Terrier the Right Dog Breed for You?

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5 Human Habits that Drive Cats Crazy

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by

a very annoyed catBy 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 cat insurance and dog insurance agency.

Often our feline roommates tolerate our follies and faux pas. But cats are candid creatures and can convey displeasure in our lack of feline etiquette without emitting a single mew. Here are five “pet peeves” and solutions to restore harmony with your cat:

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