Doberman Pinschers are majestic dogs with a very distinctive look. Loyal, protective, and friendly, they unfortunately have the reputation of being aggressive. In fact, owners of Dobermans are sometimes required to carry dangerous dog insurance policies. But they are not dangerous dogs by nature.
The Doberman, although lean and tall in appearance, has a compact muscular body with a long head. Their almond-shaped eyes are various shades of brown, depending on coat color. Their ears used to be routinely cropped at about 12 weeks, but because some consider it to be inhumane, and many pet health insurance companies won’t cover these costs, some Doberman owners allow the dogs’ ears to grow naturally, and flop over. Tails are often still docked. Usually within three days of birth.
The Doberman has a broad chest and straight, long legs. Coat colors can range from black, black and tan, bluish-grey, red, fawn, or white. Some dogs have markings over the eye, throat, legs, feet, and tail.
Because they have long legs, Dobermans are often thought to be very large. But males are 26 to 28 inches tall, and females are 24 to 26 inches tall. Both sexes weigh between 66 and 88 lbs.
Dobermans are very energetic, loyal, and affectionate. Hardworking and very easy to train after owner pack leadership has been established, every member of the family must be firm and confident when handling the Doberman. This lets them know their place in the pack and provides security. It is also a good idea to consider dog insurance for this breed, considering its energy level and size.
This breed needs lots of stimulation and exercise. Despite the unearned reputation as a dangerous dog, Dobermans make excellent therapy dogs and are gentle with children.
Pet Health Issues
Dobermans are prone to a condition called cervical spondylitis (wobbler syndrome) from fusion of neck vertebrae. Like other larger dogs, they also often get hip dysplasia. Albinism does occur and the gene can cause pet health issues such as deafness.
It may sound odd, but keeping up with good pet health care as well as pet insurance can be good for you too.
Besides the obvious reason that we want our animal companions to be well, taking care of pets has physical and psychological health benefits. The following are some examples:
Pet Ownership Promotes Responsibility
You often hear a good reason to get a pet for a child is that is promotes responsibility—the child learns to feed and care for another living thing. But it can also be good for adults. Looking after a pet and ensuring they have pet insurance, food, water and exercise helps you be a responsible person.
Petting your dog or cat after a bad day can have a comforting and relaxing effect on your body and mind. A cat jumping in your lap or a dog putting his wet nose on your hand can help tremendously if you’re feeling overly stressed. Studies have shown that just being around animals reduces blood pressure.
“Unconditional love” is an overused term, but it aptly describes the kind of love that pets give you. They don’t care if you’re feeling snarky or irritable, they still like to be around you. Having pets can reduce isolation and promotes social activity. Walking with your pet or taking your pet to the dog park can up your socialization as well as your dogs’.
Benefits for Older Adults
There’s a reason why companion and therapy animals are often taken into nursing homes. Older people in that environment, who have often had to give up a pet, crave contact with a loving animal. Research even shows that older adults who have a pet have fewer doctor visits.
In 2000, the World Veterinary Association set the last Saturday of April to be designated as World Veterinary Day. A theme is selected for the day each year, and the 2011 theme is to raise awareness of veterinarians’ role in rabies prevention and control.
Several rabies warnings have already been issued around the US in early 2011, mostly due to non-domestic animals found with rabies. This includes skunks in Allentown, PA, one of which bit a resident, and a raccoon in Titusville, FL. One horse was euthanized in Virginia after it was found to be suffering from rabies, as well.
When raccoons are found to have rabies, the first thought should be to keep dogs and cats safe while outside to avoid being bitten. According to a brochure printed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs and cats “that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanized or placed in strict isolation for six months.”
It’s easy to keep pets safe with rabies vaccinations, however, as part of a dog and cat health care regimen subsidized with lifelong pet insurance.
Other rabies control tips from the AVMA include:
•Don’t allow pets to roam free. Cats should be kept indoors and dogs supervised while outside.
•Spay and neuter to prevent the urge to roam. This procedure is easily healed from when performed at a young age, and made affordable with cat and dog insurance.
•Don’t leave garbage or pet food exposed outdoors to prevent attracting wild animals.
•Don’t attempt to handle wild animals or keep them as pets.
While pet insurance can make a trip to the vet less stressful for the pet owner, pets may still feel uncomfortable.
The office is oftentimes cold, sterile, and uninviting. The smells are funny, and the waiting time is usually long and awkward. When it comes to visiting the vet, our pets experience the same kind of discomfort and anxiety as we do.
This office is a new place, or one that your pet likely associates with something negative (shots, surgery, medications).
Discount pet care is out there, but more often than not medical costs can run through the roof! So along with making sure your little ball of love is as stress-free as possible, managing the cost of veterinary care with cat or dog insurance will help you buffer the headache in the office. Here are some tips for making the most of your vet visit:
1. Make sure your animal has a security blanket. Okay, maybe not an actual blanket, but a familiar place or object that makes them feel safe—like a carrier, or a leash. Bring a familiar toy for some comforting smells from home.
2. Be sure to do a pet insurance comparison so you can better understand coverage. Just because you have cat or dog insurance doesn’t mean that everything is covered. When shopping for insurance for cats or dogs, take inventory of what services are covered prior to your vet visit. You don’t want any surprises!
3. Understand how your dog insurance plan works. Just having pet insurance isn’t enough. Make sure you really understand how the payment system works for that particular company. Find out what will be covered and what’s excluded.
Colleen Paige is founder of the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network and National Kids & Pets Day, April 26.
On kidsandpetsday.com, she offers tips for keeping kids and pets safe around each other.
According to the site, “National Kids & Pets Day is dedicated to furthering the magical bond between children and animals and to help bring awareness to the plight of pets in shelters awaiting new homes.”
Dogs, cats, and kids have a lot in common. Both pets and kids often try to push their boundaries and challenge their parents. Both can get cranky and lash out when sleepy or hurting. And both have potential to hurt the other, either by accident or on purpose. However, children and pets have a lot to offer each other, as well.
Some of the tips Paige offers on her site include:
•Teaching children to always ask first before petting a dog. Even friendly dogs can be startled by the sudden appearance of another set of eyes right at their level.
•Teaching children how to pet animals nicely and gently, avoiding running toward, yelling at, or pulling on an animal’s body parts.
•Never leaving children and pets unsupervised.
Just as pets can cause sudden and even accidental injury to children, children can cause injury to pets. Pet insurance should be on the list of all policies that parents with pets own. These policies can keep unexpected vet visits more affordable when sudden dog or cat health care is needed due to a cut paw, broken tail, or ingestion of crayons.