Six Dangerous Items Dogs Chew

Dangerous items dogs can chew that can lead to needing pet insurance.Chewing is a natural action for dogs. It helps keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. Chewing also seems to provide a satisfying activity for dogs that calms them and helps in relieving boredom. But chewing the wrong objects can be harmful and result in a fractured tooth, lacerated gum, constipation or blockage of the intestinal tract. All of which can result in a large vet bill.

The following items may seem innocent, but they should not be provided (or available) to your dog for chewing:

1. Ice

Many dogs come running to the sound of the refrigerator ice machine hoping to snag a fallen icy treat. But chewing on ice wears down tooth enamel (the protective cover for teeth). Ice is even more dangerous for small dogs, as chewing on a piece of ice can fracture a tooth.

2. Sticks and Wood

Many dog owners utilize sticks as a fetching toy when outside on walks and at the park. The danger though is that the dog begins to use sticks as toys and many dogs will begin chewing on the stick. Wood splinters easily when chewed on and shards can jam into the dog’s mouth causing an infection. Also if pieces of wood are swallowed, it can cause intestinal blockage.

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Top 7 Tips for Apartment Living with Dogs

Choose the right sized dog breed for your apartment.The housing downturn made renting instead of owning a popular choice for many Americans. Many families have turned to smaller spaces to save money.  And in terms of roommates, one of the most agreeable cohabitants can be of the canine variety – they don’t steal your groceries or borrow your clothes, and they can be a constant source of companionship and unconditional love! Living in an apartment is possible with a dog, given a little foresight and planning. Here are some considerations when downsizing with your pooch, or adopting a dog into your current apartment situation.

1. Be realistic     

There are some breeds and temperaments of dogs that are not well-suited to apartment life. Dogs that are very high energy, such as a Labrador or Border collie, may really struggle being confined to a small space.  Often the frustration of being cooped up and bored translates into destructive behaviors like chewing.

Especially large breeds won’t fit well in tiny spaces, either. Take an honest look at your main living areas and map out space for a kennel, dog bed, food dishes and toys. You may discover you’ll be better off with a 20-lb. mutt than the Chesapeake Bay retriever you’ve always wanted.Read More…

Pet Insurance Saved Christmas – A True Story

Rex needed surgery that was covered by pet insurance.My name is Kim Shopp. I am a policyholder as well as a Claims Adjuster for Pets Best Insurance and this is my story.

November 20th was just like any other day in my house hold with work, gym time and dinner for myself, my daughter and my dogs, Rex a 6 yr. old Great Dane, and Camilla VonDog, a 2 yr. old Rottweiler. I fed my furry kids their first dinner at the normal time of 3 pm and second dinner (no they’re not Hobbits, just big dogs with multiple food times) around 6 pm.

My Dane Rex had the hiccups and looked “off” to me after his second dinner. I decided to watch him as that wasn’t normal for him. About an hour later, he began to act as if he was going to vomit. I let him out in the back yard. He began to wretch non-productively.  I continued to watch him and noticed he still looked uncomfortable and had started to drool uncontrollably. Within another 30 minutes he was pacing around the room and couldn’t lie down and find comfort. I suspected the worst – bloat.

Bloat is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach distends with gas and fluid. The increased pressure can cause the stomach to rotate and close itself off at both ends, taking the spleen with it (since the spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach.)Read More…

Top 3 Bizarre Pet Poisons

The Colorado River Toad is toxic to pets.As a veterinarian, I find that most people are aware of the common toxic substances that we see. Antifreeze, chocolate, onions and grapes are well known to cause health problems in our pets. Unfortunately, animals don’t limit themselves to eating just the obvious poisons. Here are 3 lesser-known toxic substances that can prove problematic for our furry companions.

1) Toad Poisoning

The two species of toads that cause poisoning in the United States are the Bufo alvarius (Colorado river toad, pictured here) and Bufo marinus (Cane toad). The Colorado river toad is found primarily in the southwestern United States, while the cane toad is found mostly in southern Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. Both toads contain poisonous glands that create problems after being ingested (but exposure can occur through wounds as well). Symptoms can include salivation, nausea, vomiting, blindness, seizures, heart problems and death. Some studies report that mortality is near 100% in untreated dogs and can occur within 30-60 minutes after exposure. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to one of these toads, it is imperative to seek veterinary care immediately.Read More…

Planning Ahead for the Inevitable

When you lose a pet
By Coleen Ellis, pet loss and grief expert, for Pets Best Insurance.

Just the mere thought of one of our precious pets dying can be unbearable. The reality of a new normal, life without their unconditional love, and future days void of this pet’s quirky personality to brighten our day can immediately illicit tears from deep within oneself.

Death is a part of life. And, like the saying goes, “Saying good-bye is the most difficult thing in life. And we never learn to be good at it.”

Yes, death is a part of life. While few people like the thought of this, it will happen to all of us.  Therefore, taking a bit of time to prepare for the inevitable in life will help in eliminating those feelings of anxiousness, those fears of the unknown in having the answers as to what one’s options are with the death of a pet.Read More…

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