Most people, especially those in the pet or pet insurance industry, know of the Japanese dog breed the Akita, which is one of several breeds native to Japan. The Shiba Inu is less well known. The Shiba is the smallest of the Japanese breeds, the males standing just 14 to 16 inches and females, 13 to 15 inches.
When thinking of acquiring any breed of dog, it’s wise to do your research, especially concerning pet health issues particular to the breed. It’s also a good time to research and compare pet insurance if you are concerned about vet costs.
The Shiba Inu is described as a small, compact dog with head proportionate to his body. He has a rounded, shorter muzzle, deep-set eyes and erect ears. The tail is thick at the base and curled up over the back. The Shiba’s coat is very dense and comes in red, red with a black overlay, black with tan markings and all have a cream/buff or gray undercoat.
Although they are very solid dogs, their weights are relatively low—18 to 25 lbs. for males and 15 to 20 lbs. for females.
Disposition and Personality
Shibas are described as very alert, intelligent, and loving. Most owners say they are fairly easy to train. One particular trait stands out—the Shiba likes to be clean and is fastidious about it. They are quiet and become close to their handlers.
Healthy, grounded Shibas are good with children and other pets. Although they are often bold, they can be very shy around strangers. It is very important that the owner take the pack-leader position because the Shiba can be stubborn.
Pet Health Issues
The Shiba Inu is prone to hip dysplasia and slipped kneecap (patellar luxation). When talking to breeders, be sure to ask about the health of both parents and even grandparents if possible. And while most dog health insurance companies won’t cover congenital issues, be sure to invest in the best pet insurance for your pet.
The entire month of April is a cause for celebration. While it’s not all necessarily pet insurance related, the month of April is a time to focus on our pets and the people who devotedly work for their safety, protection, and animal health care. Throughout April, there are a number of week-long awareness and appreciation days.
National Animal Control Appreciation Week
Many of us have an outdated image of “Mean Mr. Dogcatcher” rounding up all the stray dogs in the neighborhood when we hear “animal control.” But in reality, animal control officers work hard on behalf of animals and always have their safety in mind.
The profession, which is state certified, also requires continuing education. In many areas, animal control departments also operate the local animal shelters. The men and women who do this job are invested in assisting and getting good results for both animals and the people who care about them.
According to the National Animal Control Association (NACA), an animal control officer’s job entails:
• Investigating animal neglect or cruelty
• Capturing roaming (and sometimes dangerous) dogs
• Rescue injured and sick animals
• Educate pet owners about the laws and proper pet care
• Mediate disputes between neighbors over pets
• Reunite lost pets with owners
Animal control officers are often at personal risk when doing their jobs, as they can be exposed to many animal-borne diseases like rabies and attacks by vicious animals. Many police departments, who usually oversee animal control, and local governments are planning events recognizing this profession.
So take some time this week to acknowledge the valuable contribution these people make to pet safety, and say “thank you” for their service to animals and the community.
While April showers bring May flowers, in April, Purina brings National Pet Month to America. Aside from ensuring your pet is in the best possible health it can be, and having pet insurance for your furry friend, Purina’s site petmonth.com lists numerous ideas to celebrate “pure love for pets.” Some of their tips include:
• Giving cats “me-ow” time with new spots just for them, like cat trees with elevated perches.
• Reward dog and cat good behavior with treats and love.
• Pamper pets with a massage or surprise him or her with a new toy.
• Get dogs more active and engaged with a dog run or mini obstacle course in the back yard.
Keeping pets active, feeding them right, giving them lots of love, and covering them with the best pet insurance for cats or dogs can contribute to long, healthy lives and years of enjoyment.
Pet owners can easily compare pet insurance plans and companies online while researching what conditions and ages are covered.
In 1981, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) founded National Pet Week to be observed for one week. But now, an entire month is reserved to celebrate the love of pets and to spread awareness of pet health and pet adoption.
The National Pet Week website at petweek.org offers a great amount of pet health information from the AVMA, pet first aid tips, fun interactive games, lesson plans and activities for educators, and information on careers in veterinary medicine. The AVMA also offers another important resource for pet health: an updated list of pet food recalls.
Animal DNA has been used for years in crime scene investigation. For example, hairs located on a victim’s clothing might be a DNA match to a dog belonging to a suspect, aiding in an arrest and possible conviction.
Now, just in time for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, animal DNA is being used for the animals themselves—to help find and convict animal abusers.
Animal abusers were convicted in two separate cases last month, according to the City Room blog on the New York Times website. In one case, the DNA of a cat named Scruffy was harvested in 2008, when he was burned by teenagers in a Brooklyn apartment.
He was only treated when a superintendent for the building, who often fed Scruffy, found him injured. Although Scruffy didn’t survive, his DNA did. And thanks to that DNA sample, investigators were able to positively identify which apartment Scruffy was harmed in, and residents of the apartment building eventually confessed.
For animal lovers who care for their pets with quality food, care, and respect their fragile health with insurance for dogs and cats, the use of DNA to help convict animal abusers means two things. First and most important, that fewer animals may be harmed while, second, more abusers may be found and held accountable for their actions.
According to the City Room blog, there is even now a dog DNA database, which was started for dogs used in dog fighting. The animal loving community can thank science for a future that now looks brighter for pets.
Shelters offer a large array of dogs and cats for adoption. There are numerous benefits to adopt your next pet from a shelter.
In most cases the animals will be up-to-date on their vaccines and altered. Some shelters may even provide dog and cat insurance coverage upon adotion.
Adopting a shelter pet is one of the best ways to acquire a new pet for your family. Animals often end up at the shelter when their families can no longer care for them, or they are rescued from poor living conditions. A shelter should be one of the first places you look for a new pet.
Shelters have animals ranging in age from new born puppies and new born kittens to older animals. If you are looking for a pet that is past the puppy and kitten stage, an adult pet makes a great choice. Adult pets are usually house trained and may even be obedience trained.
Once you have adopted your new pet, be sure to take them to your veterinarian. If you have adopted a new pet, it is good idea to enroll them in an obedience class and start looking into pet insurance if you don’t yet have it. Be sure to ask your veterinarian or trainer for pet behavior tips to practice at home.
The most important thing to remember is that a pet is a lifelong commitment. Don’t adopt a pet unless you are committed to keeping the pet permanently.