August 4, 2010
In honor of the new film Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which opened this past weekend in theaters across the country, DogTails is tackling the fascinating relationship between America’s most popular pets. For every story of a dog who loves cats, there are even more stories of dogs who love fighting with cats.
In honor of this love-hate relationship, we have compiled the following tips to help all the brave animal lovers who share their homes with a dog and a cat. Follow these tips, and you can help keep the peace between your two furry best friends.
The most important rule of introducing a new dog to your cat (and vice versa) is to take it slow. When it comes to a dog and a cat’s first meeting, do not just open the door and let them chase each other. Instead, let the two animals slowly move closer to each other, while maintaining control of them at all times. As a result, it is best to have another person help with the introductions, so that both animals can be quickly pulled away if necessary.
As always, treats are helpful to encourage good behavior in your dog. Ask the dog to look away from the cat and look at you. If he complies, give him a treat – he is doing very well! If he does not comply, continue working with the dog to calm him down and divert his attention away from the animal. Toys and treats and words of praise are all helpful here.
The ultimate goal is to allow the dog and cat to interact without chasing and lunging. Some dogs will need more guidance and training than others – it depends on the dog’s breed and history. Also, you will want to muzzle larger or more aggressive dogs when they are first introduced to smaller animals like cats, to ensure that no one gets hurt.
July 22, 2010
In May, DogTails explored the growing problem of canine cancer, reporting that 1 in 3 dog deaths are a result of the disease. In a good sign for the future, veterinarians and researchers are making great strides to treat cancer and other illnesses that affect pets. Yet with these high-tech treatments comes a higher price tag.
In light of the current recession and the rising cost of veterinary care, many pet owners are forced to make incredibly difficult decisions regarding treatment of their beloved pets. While these treatment decisions will never be stress-free, pet health insurance may help ease the burden in many cases.
In this post, we will help you navigate the world of pet insurance. We’ll focus on the decision to purchase, and for those owners who want to learn more about the options, we’ll discuss how to evaluate prices and plans.
What Is Pet Insurance, and Does My Dog Need It?
Pet insurance, like our health insurance, helps defray the costs of future medical bills. Pet owners pay monthly, quarterly or annual payments to the insurance provider, who then covers a certain percentage of medical expenses incurred by the pet.
While many veterinarians recommend purchasing pet insurance, it is far from a requirement. In fact, only 850,000 out of the 72 million dogs and 82 million cats kept as pets in the US were covered by insurance as of 2007.
With so few insured pets, you may be thinking, “do I really need pet insurance?” In order to answer this question, you need think about the visit to the vet all pet owners dread. Your dog is sick, but could survive if the vet performs an expensive medical procedure. Do you pay for the treatment, no matter the price?
It is in gut-wrenching situations like this that pet insurance may prove important. If you have insurance, you may be reimbursed for a significant percentage of the cost of the treatment (hundreds or even thousands of dollars). In other words, you may be able to avoid the heart-breaking decision to put down a beloved pet that could have been saved.
Of course, the situation is not as simple as “buy insurance, save your pet.” You need to think hard about how much you are able to put aside for pet healthcare. Insurance is not cheap: it can cost from $300 to over $1,000 a year depending on the plan, not including deductibles owners will have to meet before being reimbursed. And insurance does not cover all conditions, and never covers preexisting ones. So, if you are seeking insurance for a pet with a documented medical condition, insurance will not cover any expenses related to that condition.
To decide whether or not pet insurance is right for you, you need to think realistically about what you would spend on a life-saving procedure for your pet. If your number is very high, or if you can’t come up with a number at all, then pet insurance may be a good investment. If you are more conservative in your estimate, then insurance may not be cost-effective for you.
July 15, 2010
A trip to the beach is not just a chance to soak up some sun and dig your feet in the sand; it is also a place where you can relax and finally catch up on your pleasure reading. Even if you are not headed to the beach, these books are a good addition to your summer reading list.
While individual tastes in books may differ, the DogWatch Hidden Fence team loves good beach reads, especially those that feature our favorite subject – dogs! So for this week, we are sharing with you our favorite dog-themed books. Check out our list below, and visit our own Amazon store to purchase any or all of the titles!
The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkinson
A tragic yet redemptive tale of love and loss, Parkinson’s novel is a best-seller and a New York Times Notable Book. The book centers on Paul, a linguistics professor who is mourning the recent death of his wife Lexy. Lexy’s death was ruled an accident, but Paul is suspicious. To find out the truth, he attempts to train his Rhodesian Ridgeback Lorelai – the only witness to his wife’s death – to speak. This emotional mystery is sure to draw you in and keep you engrossed until after the sun sets.
July 8, 2010
Do you ever look at your dog during these hot summer days and think: “He must be miserable in the heat with all that fur.” Or maybe you think: “It’s impossible to keep her clean, with all these trips to the park and beach.”
If so, then read on! We have compiled a few tips to help you keep your dog cool, clean, healthy and, dare we say it, fashionable this summer. This week, our advice comes in two parts: the cut and the rinse.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?
When it comes to grooming advice for dogs, the lessons are as varied as the breeds themselves. There is not room enough in a blog post to cover all the grooming tips out there, so we’ve picked out several that we feel are especially important in the summer months.
First of all, not all dogs actually need a drastic summer cut. Dog breeds that hail from cold weather climates, such as Samoyeds and Huskies, should not get a short buzz cut. This type of cut will prevent the dog’s coat from growing back properly. Not only will the coat not grow back as beautifully as before, the new short coat may actually hinder a dog’s ability to cool herself. These natural thick coats act an “air conditioner” by reflecting light and “lofting” as the dogs moves.