Pets Best Insurance Announces Finalists for National My Vet’s the Best Contest

Veterinarian Dr. Craft is a finalist in the My Vet's the Best Contest.

Contest recognizes nation’s finest veterinarians, provides funding to treat animals in need 

BOISE, Idaho (July 29, 2013) – Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency, announced today the most recent quarterly finalists of its My Vet’s the Best contest, which honors the nation’s most outstanding veterinarians and helps fund the treatment of animals in need.

Pets Best Insurance selected the following six finalists after receiving nominations from pet owners across the country:

-Dr. William (Bill) Sheperd – Camelot Veterinary Services, Uniontown, Pa.
-Dr. Elisa Dowd – Tassajara Veterinary Clinic, Danville, Calif.
-Dr. Kimberly Burkhardt – Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital, West Carrolton, Ohio
-Dr. Jennifer Tremblay – Littleton Paws Animal Hospital, Littleton, Colo.
-Dr. James Bogdansky – Country Club Animal Hospital, Miami, Fla.
-Dr. Glenn Craft – Monarch Veterinary Hospital, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

This quarter’s finalists share a common theme of community-focused, charitable endeavors. Dr. Craft has applied his veterinary skills during mission work in Thailand, where he trained village veterinarians.  Dr. Dowd is active in 4-H efforts in her community, and Dr. Tremblay has also worked with the well-known youth development organization. Dr. Bogdansky has worked alongside a number of animal welfare and rescue organizations, including the Cat Network and Paws 4 You. Fostering homeless animals gave professional inspiration to Dr. Burkhardt. Dr. Sheperd serves as president of the nonprofit Western Pennsylvania National Wild Animals Orphanage, which provides homes for large carnivores like lions and tigers that have been confiscated, abandoned or abused.

“The My Vet’s the Best contest not only shares pet owners’ gratitude to their veterinarians, it also sheds light on the selfless efforts of these professionals who fully devote themselves to loving and caring for animals,”  said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding veterinarians and provide additional funding to help animals in need.”Read More…

Summer Heat Poses Life-Threatening Risks for Dogs

a pug dog lays in the grass panting in the heat.

Pets Best Insurance urges pet owners to protect animals from heat stroke 

BOISE, Idaho  – With temperatures soaring in many areas across the nation, Pets Best Insurance urges dog owners to exercise caution when spending time outdoors with their four-legged family members this summer. Pets Best, a leading nationwide pet insurance agency, seeks to warn pet owners about the serious risks associated with heat stroke and excessive sun exposure among dogs.

Each summer, the Boise, Idaho-based company receives a multitude of insurance claims filed for pets suffering from heat-related illnesses. High temperatures can create dangerous and potentially fatal health issues for dogs, the most vulnerable of which are short and flat-nosed breeds, including pugs, bulldogs and Shih Tzus.

Among the most common and dangerous risks for canines is heat stroke, which occurs when a dog’s body temperature exceeds 106 degrees and it faces potential damage to the brain and other organs. Fair-skinned and short-coated white dogs are also highly susceptible to excessive sun exposure, which can lead to sun burn and skin cancer.

Many pet owners are likely unaware of how quickly heat stroke and other heat-related issues can occur in canines. The risks are especially high if a dog is left inside a car, even on days with mild temperatures. On a seemingly cool summer day of 68 degrees, the temperature inside a car can jump to 81 degrees within a mere 10 minutes. After an hour, the temperature inside the car can reach 115 degrees, a deadly level for dogs.

Heat-related health issues are not only hazardous, but also incredibly expensive. The average insurance claim Pets Best processes for heat stroke is $1,136. On average, Pets Best reimburses $800 of that, which is why the agency encourages pet owners to consider the benefits of obtaining insurance coverage for their pets.

“Pets Best sees a high number of claims for heat stroke every year, and we urge pet owners to prevent this issue by protecting their pets from intense heat,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best. “Of course, summer emergencies can happen anytime, and being prepared with pet insurance coverage has saved our clients significant amounts of money for their veterinary care.”Read More…

Dogs Consuming Beach Towels, Golf Balls Top List of Bizarre Summer Pet Insurance Claims

A maltese dog runs at the beach.

Pets Best Insurance releases list of unusual and expensive summertime claims

BOISE, Idaho – Pets Best Insurance, a leading nationwide pet insurance agency, has released its annual list of the top five bizarre and expensive insurance claims for the summer season. Since opening its doors in 2005, the Boise-based insurance company has experienced a steady stream of unusual summertime claims.

“Pets will always be curious and adventurous, and the summer months pose many risks for accidents, especially when families include their pets in vacations, yard work and outdoor activities,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best Insurance. “When preparing for vacations and projects, please don’t forget to take precautions for your four-legged family members.”

*Some of the more unusual summertime pet health insurance claims the agency has received include:

Throwing in the Towel

Tango, a German shorthaired pointer in Missouri with a penchant for gobbling household objects, chose to make a beach towel a summertime appetizer. The meal didn’t settle well.  After the dog threw up parts of the towel, the remaining portion had to be surgically removed, to the tune of $2,063. Fortunately, Pets Best Insurance reimbursed $1,650 of the veterinary bill.

Two Holes in One

There’s no par for this course. While his owners were away, a Labrador retriever in California named Copper passed the time by scarfing down not one, but two golf balls. Both had to be surgically removed, costing $3,874, of which Pets Best reimbursed the pet owners 80 percent.

Snacking on FertilizerRead More…

Las Vegas Veterinarian Wins National Award

Veterinary pet insurance contest winner, Dr. Arn of Las Vegas.

Dr. Dennis Arn selected as winner of My Vet’s the Best Contest, receives $1,000 to treat animals in need

BOISE, Idaho – Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency, announced today that Las Vegas veterinarian Dr. Dennis Arn has been selected as the most recent winner of the company’s nationwide My Vet’s the Best contest. Arn, who has strived to transform Desert Inn Animal Hospital into an elite animal medical center, won the contest for outstanding veterinary service after receiving more than 45 percent of the online votes cast by thousands of people through the Pets Best Insurance website,, and the company’s Facebook page.

Arn was among hundreds of veterinarians nominated for the quarterly award, which Pets Best created to honor veterinarians who go above and beyond to keep animals healthy. Arn was nominated for the prestigious award by a decades-long client who touted Arn’s willingness to treat pets when their owners cannot afford procedures, in addition to his innovative utilization of stem cell therapy.

Arn, who bested five other contest finalists in a public vote, received $1,000 from Pets Best to treat animals in need. The pet owner who nominated him for the award received $200.

“We created the My Vet’s the Best contest to spotlight exceptional veterinarians who work tirelessly to keep pets healthy and promote the advancement of animal treatment,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “Pets Best Insurance is proud to recognize veterinarians like Dr. Arn who share our company’s commitment to pet health. He has improved the lives of so many animals with his clinic’s advanced treatment methods. Beyond that, he is a true animal lover who has made sacrifices and waived payments throughout decades of healing families’ beloved animals.”Read More…

Skin Allergies Revealed as Top Medical Issue for Dogs

Boston terrier dog with skin allergies. Before treatment and after treatment.

Dog allergies often result in serious health issues and expensive treatments

BOISE, Idaho ­­­– As humans and their canine companions contend with a particularly severe allergy season this year, Pets Best Insurance, a leading nationwide pet insurance agency, encourages pet owners to consider the steep costs and greater health risks associated with allergies among dogs. Skin allergy issues consistently generate the highest number of dog insurance claims filed for dogs through Pets Best Insurance.

Environmental allergies are common among dogs, especially allergies to pollen, weeds and trees. These debilitating allergies cause dogs to experience dry, itchy skin, instead of sneezing and sniffling like humans. Chronic skin allergies can have a significant impact on a dog’s quality of life, often resulting in persistent scratching, loss of fur and a host of other serious health issues stemming from infections.

Breeds that most commonly develop such skin allergies are also some of the most popular among dog owners, including golden retrievers, boxers, Labrador retrievers, Shih Tzus and pugs.

“About 80% of dogs with skin allergies remain itchy all year. In addition to suffering from the incessant scratching, many dogs develop painful ear infections and skin yeast infections from scratching the affected areas,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best Insurance. “Finding a treatment to ease the dog’s suffering can be a long and expensive process. Dogs respond differently to the various options. It can take a while until a long-term solution is found.”

Dog skin allergies often represent a significant financial burden for many families, especially for those without pet insurance coverage. Diagnostic tests alone can cost more than $1,000 each, while the price of ongoing treatment and medications often totals thousands of dollars each year for allergy-afflicted dogs.

Recently, a Labrador retriever in California insured by Pets Best had to have a total ear canal ablation surgery due to a chronic ear infection resulting from the dog’s skin allergies. The veterinary bill was more than $3,000 and Pets Best Insurance reimbursed the policy holder nearly $2,500 (based on their elected plan deductible and co-insurance level).

“Pets Best Insurance saves many of its clients thousands of dollars on expensive allergy-related treatments,” Stephens said. “We want to emphasize to dog owners that it’s imperative to obtain coverage when their pets are still puppies because pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. Skin allergies typically develop at a young age, leaving pet owners without insurance to face high-priced veterinary bills for the remainder of their pet’s life.”

Pets Best encourages dog owners to watch out for common symptoms of skin allergies, including:Read More…

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