How Far Would You Go for a Pet?

Tomo Therapy machine used to treat canine cancer and cancer in pets.After vowing to never spend more than $1,000 on a pet, a friend of mine recently spent more than $8,000 to treat cancer in his dog. When I saw him afterwards, he sheepishly said, “I know I said I would never spend near this much for a dog, but our family loves him, how could I not? “

I often hear pet owners say they wouldn’t make financial sacrifices if a pet needed expensive vet care. Yet, over the years, I’ve seen that they often do the opposite. It seems the reality of their pet being ill or injured quickly becomes a high priority – and everything else takes a back seat.Read More…

Top 10 “Made in the USA” Dog Breeds

Dr. Fiona, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine blogs for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

As far back as humans can remember, dogs have had a place in our hearts and homes. The domesticated canine is thought to have originated tens of thousands of years ago, most likely from grey wolves. It is theorized that early domesticated dogs likely originated from areas of Asia or the Middle East, but modern breeds of dogs have their origins from all over the world.

Here are the top ten truly “Made in the USA” breeds, with photos of each insured by Pets Best Insurance. With a little patriotism, these breeds might make their way up the popularity list!

1. Boston Terrier: Likely descended from a cross between Bulldogs and the White Terrier dog from New England. Boston Terriers have earned themselves the nickname “America’s Gentlemen” due to their black and white tuxedo look and sweet, easy-going manner. Photo: Simon and Colby

Simon has the best pet insurance for Boston Terriers.

2. Alaskan Malamute: This northern breed was important during the Alaskan gold rush in the mid 1800s and was used to help transport sleds over snow. Its thick coat made it a breed well-suited to the cold! Photo: Keiko

Keiko has the best dog insurance for Alaskan Malamutes.

3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: This breed was developed in the 19th century and used primarily by hunters to retrieve water fowl. The Chessie is known for its love of water and excellent hunting ability. Photo: Hanna

Hanna has the best dog insurance for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

4. American Staffordshire Terrier/American Pit bull Terrier: This breed has gotten a bad rap due in part to its origins in dog fighting. Often termed a “bully-breed”, this breed of dog is fiercely loyal to their humans and capable of being extremely loving and social. Photo: Piper

Piper has the best pet insurance for Pit Bulls and Staffies.

5. Carolina Dog: Also known as the American Dingo, this is one of the oldest breeds to have originated in the U.S. Early drawings made by Native Americans of dogs tend to resemble the Carolina Dog, which was first noted to be free roaming and wild. It now can be registered with the American Rare Breed Association. Photo: Jayda

Piper has the best pet insurance for Pit Bulls and Staffies.

6. Chinook Dog: A rare breed of sled dog originating from New England, the Chinook is the official dog of New Hampshire. It is known for an easy-going temperament and friendly nature. Photo: Genghis

Genghis has the best pet insurance for Chinook dogs.

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7. American Cocker Spaniel: The first Spaniel came across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, but the breed wasn’t recognized by the AKC until 1878. The Cocker Spaniel is a long time top ten AKC most popular dog breeds contender, with 18 total years in all, from the 1940s and 50s, and again in the 80s. Photo: Phoebe

Phoebe has the best dog insurance for Cocker Spaniels.

8. Rat Terrier: An intelligent and active breed first used on American farms for pest control and companionship, the Rat Terrier shouldn’t be confused with the Jack Russell Terrier, its English counterpart. It became popular in the 1890s and is likely descended from a mix of terriers and possibly Whippets and Beagles. Photo: Brodie and Tucker

Brodie and Tucker have the best dog insurance for Rat Terriers.

9. Blue Tick Coonhound: Bred for hunting, this breed has a knack for problem-solving and is happiest with a full time job and a lot of physical activity. The breed is very intelligent and athletic. Photo: Bella

Bella has the best pet insurance for Blue Tick Coonhounds.

10. American Bulldog: this breed is typically confident and social, but can be highly emotional and strongly bonded to their owners. Traits include a stocky, well built body with powerful muscles and a vertical leap of possibly exceeding seven feet! Photo: Thor

Thor has the best dog insurance for Bulldogs.

Why pet insurance? Learn about pet insurance and how Pets Best can reimburse off your veterinary bills 70-100%!

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Top 5 Diseases You Can Catch from Your Dog

Top diseases you can catch from your dog.A disease that is transmissible from animal to human is known as a zoonotic disease. As a veterinarian, it is not only my responsibility to properly diagnose pets, but also to inform pet owners about potential diseases they can catch from their dogs. Below is some information about some of the more common zoonotic diseases that I have diagnosed in dogs.

If you suspect you and/or your pet have been exposed to any of the following, seek medical attention right away.

1) Toxocariasis: This disease is caused by a common parasite in animals, the roundworm. Anyone is susceptible to contracting this disease, but we find that children and people who accidentally eat dirt are at higher risk. Animals that have roundworms will shed the toxocara eggs in their feces, and when infected dirt is ingested with these eggs, people can contract the disease. In animals, toxocariasis can cause organ damage, respiratory disease and eye problems including visual deficiencies amongst other symptoms.

Toxocariasis can be prevented with good hygiene and a regular deworming program, set up by your veterinarian, for your pet. In humans, toxocariasis will generally resolve itself because the larvae can’t mature in a human host.Read More…

Four Tips for Treating Your Cat this Holiday Season

Top tips from a pet insurance company for training your dog.Halloween has come and gone, and that means the rest of the winter holidays will be here before we know it! And holidays aren’t just for humans. Many cats get excited about them, too, especially with all the wonderful aromas of roast turkey, baked ham, and other goodies. Cats will naturally want something special to eat, and many cat owners love to treat their cats to some of the same holiday specialties they indulge in. You don’t want to give kitties people food that might not be good for cat health, of course, but there are ways to safely share seasonal goodies with your cat.

1. Keep it Lean

As a general rule of thumb, what’s healthy for you is more likely to be healthy for your cat too. Avoid fat and stay away from candy. Cats have fewer sweet receptors on their tongues, so most of them don’t have a “sweet tooth” like dogs or people. Although we may like to gorge on KitKat bars and other candy on Halloween, they won’t look too tempting to most felines. Still, it’s important to know that chocolate, grapes and raisins can cause trouble for cats.Read More…

Five Training Mistakes to Avoid

Top tips from a pet insurance company for training your dog.The National Humane Society cites behavioral issues as the number one reason that dogs and cats are relinquished every year. Undoubtedly, a well-behaved dog will be a more accepted and productive member of the family. It’s best to start training pets as young as possible, but you CAN teach old dogs new tricks! Here are five common training mistakes to avoid.

1. Inconsistency
Nothing is more confusing to a pet than inconsistency. Why is being on the couch okay with dad, but not okay with mom? Everyone in the family needs to be on board with the rules to help enforce them. Start by having a family meeting when a new pet is introduced to the family, or when a new training regimen is started. Lay down the ground rules and ensure everyone is willing to enforce them.

2. Always rewarding with a treat
This seems counter-intuitive, but over-praising can actually have the opposite effect. Consider this human example: when we’re “rewarded” for a behavior every time, like the light turning on when we flip a light switch, we don’t keep trying to flip the switch when that reward doesn’t happen – i.e. the light bulb is burned out. Dogs who always get treats will stop doing the behavior you are asking for if the treat doesn’t present itself right away.

Read More…

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