Pets Best Insurance Q&A with “Ask Tracie”

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A puppy with pet insurance sits in a dog bed.
Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance

You asked, she answered! Pets Best Insurance solicited questions from our Facebook page friends relating to baffling pet behavior. Pet expert and author of The Dog Bible and the Cat Bible, Tracie Hotchner, weighs in! Read on to see if your question was answered:

Question from Bridget: I have a Bernese MTB dog, “Maddee” she loves to sit on our feet, also while I’m sitting on the floor she will come & sit on my lap. She is very much a “butt” dog, why is this? If I’m sitting there she will just back it up to sit on me, then turn her head around to see me.

Tracie: Congratulations! You have taught (allowed) a 100 lb. dog to treat you the way a 6 lb. Chihuahua would! Any affectionate dog, of any size, craves your attention, your caresses and as much body contact with you as you will permit. How much respect a dog has for your personal space, and your expectations of their behavior, all comes down to whether or not you set personal boundaries – something you have neglected to do with Maddee.

Remember the schoolyard phrase when another kid was leaning on you? You’d say, ”What am I, your PLP? Your Personal Leaning Post?” Well, respecting your space is what you now need to train Maddee to do. You need to send her away, just as another dog would do if she tried to invade their space. Tell her to go to her bed if she uses you as a PLP (teaching the command “Go to your bed” is described in my book THE DOG BIBLE.) Or you can simply stand up and walk away when she practices this behavior.

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I can assure you she will get the message quickly and if you are consistent (and consistency is everything in training) in not allowing this plonking down on you –– she will overall be more willing to be obedient and compliant with your other wishes.

Question from Kerri: Why is my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel hungry ALL the time?? It’s like he’s bored and wants to eat out of boredom.

Tracie: The only way I can answer this is to ask what you are feeding your Cavvie now? If you are feeding only kibble, then I urge you to be sure it is the highest quality premium dry food (my dogs eat HALO Spot’s Stew because it has no by-products or meat meals) and then you want to be sure that the kibble is only 50% of his diet.

Carbohydrate-only diets can make dogs and people hungry because they are carb-loaded and lacking the genuine quality protein that can only come from a can or raw dehydrated (my dogs also eat The Honest Kitchen raw dehydrated human-grade food as well as home-cooked or canned meat or chicken). Jump over to my website (or even look at the nutrition section of THE DOG BIBLE itself ) because my research has convinced me that dogs need to have at least half of their diet come from high quality, minimally processed protein.

While Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be real chowhounds, they also have delicate digestive systems, so you want to feed as natural a food as possible, with no artificial ingredients. If your dog seems bored, he probably is! The best thing you can do is add more walks and some quality play time with whatever kind of toys he most enjoys – that will tire him out and take his mind off the cookie jar!

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Question from Catherine: About 10 months ago a very sick Himalayan was dropped off at my work she had infection from head to toe, and mats all over her body. So after 2-3 weeks, on a top quality food, her mats actually fell out while I was brushing her. At this point the only thing left to treat is her eye infection, her third eye is always swelled up, red and irritated. She looks so much better than when I first got her but I always think about how painful her eyes must be. I would appreciate any help or suggestions.

Tracie: Hi Catherine! The best way to personally ask me a question is to call into CAT CHAT any Wednesday night from 8-9 PM EST (or 1:1:30 PM on Wednesdays) 866-675-6675 which is toll free and you don’t even have to be a subscriber to Sirius/XM to call in! I will tell you now that the cat probably needs an antibiotic ointment in her eye but if your vet has already tried that, then there may be something imbedded in the eyelid or a blocked tear duct, etc. This is the perfect case of why you need to get pet insurance the very minute you add a pet to your family – because you never know when the bills will start to pile up.

I chose Pets Best Insurance because they pay 80% of your vet bills after the deductible on any individual incident – I have been thrilled with the service and the peace of mind that I can take my dogs to the vet anytime there is a problem and not be scared of a possibly big bill! In fact, with three smaller visits to the vet for the same issue (like my dog Teddy’s crushed toenail) those bills do add up to enough that I am so grateful for the financial safety net of pet insurance.

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For more information about Tracie, visit

*”Ask Tracie” does not necessarily represent the views or positions of Pets Best Insurance.

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