Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Veterinary care can be expensive, especially when emergency situations arise.  For this reason, more pet owners are choosing to insure their pets with a health insurance policy, one that can cover the cost of both emergency and routine care.  Here, pet health insurance is explained, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of insuring your dog. What is Pet Health Insurance? Health insurance for dogs is similar to that for humans.  After choosing an appropriate policy based on deductible and coverage, as well as age, sex, and breed of your dog, a monthly premium is paid to the company.  In return, the company may cover the cost of accidents, provide monetary damages should your pet become lost or stolen, and reimburse you for the majority of medical bills.  These policies are most helpful when major accidents or illnesses arise. What are the Benefits of Insurance? The major benefit of having...
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10 Most Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Indoor and outdoor plants are common in most homes thanks to improved air quality and aesthetically pleasing colors and shapes.  However, many common houseplants are poisonous to pets, and should be kept out of reach of animals.  Some of the most poisonous plants – along with their symptoms – are described below. Aloe Vera Aloe is typically kept in the kitchen as a quick, natural remedy in case of burns.  However, if your dog happens to eat a leaf of this plant, beware that he or she will experience gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea. Autumn Crocus Not to be confused with the spring crocus variety which is only mildly toxic to pets, the Autumn Crocus is poisonous and can lead to vomiting, bleeding in the GI tract, organ failure, and respiratory distress. Azalea These pretty pink flowers are extremely toxic to dogs, and even the ingestion of one...
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Is A Beagle Right For You?

Are you considering whether a beagle is right for you and your family?  Before bringing home a new pet you should understand any quirks the breed might have, and whether you and the dog would a good match.  Common beagle traits are discussed below. Temperament Beagles are known for their kind, fun loving, and trusting temperament.  They are excellent family dogs that are equally suited to cuddling on the couch and playing in the yard.  Although beagles are poor guard dogs due to their easy going nature, their tendency to bark or howl when excited makes them excellent watch dogs. Size As medium –sized dogs beagles top out at 13 – 16 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing 25 lbs for males and 23 lbs for females.  Pocket beagles are even smaller, standing less than 13 inches tall and typically weighing 15 – 18 lbs. Other Pets? While beagles get...
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5 Supplements for Dogs Found in Any Kitchen

Food has long been considered medicine in many cultures, but only recently have physicians and veterinarians begun to study the effects of foods on humans and dogs in the United States.  Some of the best cures for common canine ailments are likely already in your kitchen cupboard.  Five of the best foods for dogs – and their uses – are described below. Turmeric This bright yellow spice has been shown slow down the proliferation of cancer cells in both humans and dogs.  The effect is so powerful that when used in conjunction with chemotherapy cancer cell growth can be stopped completely.  Turmeric also has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in pets, as well.  One way to provide turmeric to your pet is through a paste, which can be made by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil with ½ cup of turmeric powder.  After the water and...
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7 Commands Every Dog Must Know

 Training your dog is not just a matter of him or her having good house manners – it can also mean the difference between life and death.  The seven most important commands to teach your dog, as well as tips for training, are discussed below. Sit Why is “sit” such an important command?  When your dog is getting ready to jump on a new person that walks into your home, asking for “sit” can keep all four of your dog’s feet on the ground.  In addition, by utilizing “sit” as a pre-requisite for other daily rewards, such as going outside or having the food bowl set down at dinner time, this simple command can create a well-behaved dog. Stay Not only can “stay” be useful during an unexpected situation (such as a broken dish in the kitchen), teaching your dog how to stay also reinforces independence.  Dogs with a strong...
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Rules for New Dog Owners

Pet ownership has an entirely different set of rules and responsibilities beyond simply caring for the animal.  An often overlooked part of owning a pet is the way in which dog and owner interact with the world around them.  Listed below are five rules of etiquette that all dog owners should follow in order to avoid conflict and be good citizens. Always Ask Before An Introduction When approaching an unfamiliar dog while out on a walk, always ask the other dog’s owner if it is okay for your pet to say hello.  Just because your dog is friendly does not mean that the other person’s dog enjoys the company of other canines, as well.  If you are using a retractable leash, shorten the lead and lock it in place, as the other dog may perceive a pet with more freedom as a threat. Always Keep Your Dog On-Leash Even if...
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Breed-Specific Legislation: Pet Owners and BSL

  With the Montreal pit bull ban making national news in the United States, owners of pit bulls and other “bully” breeds should be made aware of the existing laws within the US. What is BSL? Breed-specific legislation legally allows a city to ban or restrict dog breeds that are considered “dangerous,” based solely on their looks.  For example, a municipality may place a ban on a specific breed, typically Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rotweilers, and Wolf hybrids.  With a ban in place, existing dogs from the banned breed are heavily restricted, often requiring muzzles in public, steep licensing fees, and the purchase of additional liability insurance.  Any new dogs that come into the community of the banned breed must be euthanized when these bans are in place.  In other instances, BSL may simply be in the form of restrictions, where owners wishing to own a dog on the banned breed...
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Which Situations Does Your Pet Require Emergency Treatment?

As a new pet owner, you may be unfamiliar with which situations are medical emergencies requiring immediate treatment and which can wait until the following day.  Since emergency vet visits are expensive, it is important to know which situations are dire emergencies and which are not.  Discussed here are a handful of common problems a new pet owner may face. My Dog Is… Vomiting Vomiting in itself is not a cause for immediate concern.  If your dog is attempting to vomit but cannot produce anything in conjunction with having a very bloated stomach, you should seek immediate medical attention for your pet, as Bloat may be to blame.  However, if your dog is throwing up but acting normal otherwise and the vomit does not contain traces of blood, pet owners are advised to wait 24 hours to see if symptoms subside before scheduling an appointment. Has Diarrhea Dogs are prone...
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Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Your Dog

Pet obesity is at an all-time high, with an estimated 53% of America’s dogs registering at least 20% overweight.  While many pet owners do not think much of their dog carrying a few extra pounds, the truth is that an animal’s quality of life, as well as its lifespan, decreases as weight increases.  Listed below are just a handful of benefits that maintaining a healthy weight for your dog can provide. Longer Lifespan An alarming study showed that obese dogs may live up to 3 year less than their littermates who maintained a healthy weight.  If no other reason compels an owner to keep their pet’s weight in check, this should be it! Fewer Health Problems Dogs that are overweight have a drastically increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver failure, arthritis, as well as certain types of cancer.  Dogs that maintain an appropriate weight are less...
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Apartment Living with Your Dog

Not all breeds are well-suited to living in small spaces.  Some dogs, such as Siberian Huskies or German Shorthaired Pointers, require room to roam and excessive exercise.  However, circumstances can change, leaving you with the options of rehoming your beloved dog or making a less-than-ideal situation work.  Listed below are tips for keeping the peace with your landlord and neighbors. Crate Training Especially if your dog is prone to destruction when bored, a crate can be your best bet for ensuring your dog is well-behaved while you are away.  A crated dog is also less likely to bark throughout the day, meaning no complaints from your neighbors when you return home. Extra Exercise A tired dog is a happy dog, so extra exercise for your pet is necessary if cohabiting with a high-energy breed in an apartment.  Go for an extra long walk in the morning and in the evening,...
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