Splish Splash: 3 Pet Swimming Safety Tips

A dog with animal insurance goes for a swim.

By: Liam Crowe
Bark Busters CEO and Master Trainer

Keeping your dog cool during the summer months is extremely important. Not only do dogs need to drink lots of water to keep cool— many dogs like to swim as well! Swimming is great exercise and will help to keep your dog from overheating; however, it is important to know that many dogs drown each year from pool accidents that could have been avoided. Read the following safety and training tips before you let Fido start working on his doggie paddle:

1. Teach Your Dog a Few Swimming Basics
Before allowing your dog free access to a pool, make sure he knows how to get out safely. If a dog falls into a river or lake, his instinct will tell him to turn around and try to get out where he fell in. This may work well in a natural body of water, but in a suburban swimming pool, dogs may drown if they adopt this instinctive action. Therefore, it is important to teach your dog where and how to get out of the pool, regardless of where he went in.

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Red, White and Chew: Three July 4th Pet Safety Tips

A cat with pet health insurance wears a red, white and blue hat to celebrate July 4th.

Happy Independence day! The fourth of July is a much anticipated time of fun, family and sun. Barbecues, parades and fireworks are sure to be included, encouraging the whole family to get out and celebrate. If you are like millions of Americans that consider your pets family, your four-legged best friend might be a part of the festivities. Here’s how to keep your pet’s health and safety in tact this July fourth.

1. Barbecue safety:
Who can resist those brown eyes as they plead for a bite of your steak? It can be tempting to feed your pet bits of your meal, but most veterinarians will agree that feeding meat and other rich ‘people foods’ to dogs and cats can be problematic.

Rich foods can cause pancreatitis, a dangerous condition causing inflammation of the pancreas that often requires hospitalization.

Bones, in general, should be avoided. Dogs can splinter off sharp shards that can cause intestinal irritation, or they can swallow the whole bone, which can cause a painful and dangerous obstruction. Occasionally this requires surgery to treat– which can be quite costly for pet owners without dog insurance.

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Pet Names: Finding a Fabulous First Name

A small kitten with pet insurance sits beside a Bulldog wearing a red sweater.

Working as a pet insurance sales agent, I get the pleasure of hearing hundreds of interesting pet names each day. In fact, Pets Best Insurance recently created a fun “Best in Show” dog cartoon about our most popular and funny insured pet names. It made me think- how do people come up with names for their pets? The following is a list of four ways people name their pets:

1. The Name Matches the Color
My very first dog was a mix between a German Sheppard and a who-knows-what. She was this brown/black/white furry little ball of fun. It took a few days before we decided her name– Pepper. She just reminded us of pepper, so my family went with it. It’s probably similar for the Spots and Patches of the world; they have some sort of markings or spots that influenced their name. I’d be willing to guess the Carbons and Charcoals do not sport blonde hair. And I doubt Snowflakes and Powders have dark hair – but that’s just a guess.

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Is Your Dog Having Trouble with Allergies?

Pet insurance quote button

Hi, I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell, and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. Today I’m at home answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page. This question comes from Susan who writes, “My dog gets a seasonal allergic rash. Nothing seems to help except cortisone and Prednisone and her fur is still sparse and scaly.” Unfortunately, seasonal allergies can be really frustrating and they can be really common too. Prednisone is a steroid and is one of the, probably the best treatments that we have. However, it shouldn’t be a long-term treatment. First and foremost, you have to get to the veterinarian to make sure she doesn’t have an infection, either fungal or bacterial. She’s going to continue to itch if that isn’t treated.
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Top 6 Garden Threats to Your Pets

A small puppy with pet insurance sniffs a rose in a garden.

Ah, summertime! If you are like millions of Americans, summertime is a time for outside activities, often in the backyard. Many strive to have a beautiful yard to accompany their homes, but some plants and gardening chemicals can be bad for pet health. Here are some common garden and outside dangers that you might be cautious of if you garden with your pet or spend time with them outside at all.

1. Insecticides
Many commercial insecticides contain organophosphates, which are poisonous to dogs. Symptoms include salivation, trembling, and sometimes urination or defecation. Occasionally low heart rate and seizures can be seen as well. Prognosis with treatment is generally good. Be sure to follow the label on the chemical very carefully and avoid exposure, especially in very small dogs that are close to the ground.

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