Basket
855 908 4010
 
 
 

May 2013

Investigating Veterinary Insurance

 by zack on 31 May 2013 |
No Comment
Nobody wants to dwell on it, but health and wellness issues are a constant worry for owners of older dogs and cats. Especially for a low income family, pet sickness, disease, or accidents are a gigantic financial concern. Not only are these issues a financial concern, but the availability of advanced medical veterinary procedures leave families in an ethical conundrum as well. How much is your pet’s life worth? At what point do you plan to throw in the towel? Most hope to never be forced to consider these questions, but eventually most will. Unfortunately, healthcare costs for pets are almost as expensive as they are for humans. On the brighter side, there aren’t many instances in most pet’s lives where unreasonably expensive procedures are necessary. However, this bright patch leaves you with another difficult query: should you insure you pet’s health against disease, illness, and accidental injury? Even for someone who will do anything for a pet, this isn’t an easy question. Many veterinary insurance policy premiums end up being much more costly over time than a significant health problem that occurs later in life. Then again, this is often the case with many car or health insurance policies as well. That doesn’t make the policies any less useful when you need them. So what should the determining factors for a decision on veterinary insurance be? Like most difficult decisions this one initially boils down to income. If you are independently wealthy, and can handle an occasional crunch in excess of 5 thousand dollars, then you probably don’t need to worry over health care for animals. It’s a drop in the bucket and you’ll be able to deal with it. If this doesn’t describe you, and a pet’s medical emergency could put you in a serious hole, then a pet veterinary insurance policy might make sense for your family’s furriest member. At that point you have two options: A personal savings slush fund for your pet, or a veterinary pet insurance policy. In either case you’ll pay monthly premiums to ensure the healthcare of your animal at a future date. It may be best to cut out the middle man. After all, pet insurance is considered a type of property insurance. That means rather than the policy paying your vet, you’ll pay out of pocket, and file a claim for reimbursement. Not to mention the fact that there are deductibles to consider. Still a well-researched plan could potentially save you a boatload of money, especially if you research the policies thoroughly before purchasing. This goes double for a family pet that's at high risk for congenital or hereditary diseases.   It’s a tough call, and a balancing act that requires careful consideration and extensive introspection. With all of the various variables in play, it can be tough to make a confident decision. The most important thing for you is to consider your pet’s risks, and then your commitment to your pet’s health. Check back for the next post in which we’ll discuss how to pick the pet insurance policy that’s best suited for your needs. 

Clipping Claws 3: Finishing Touches

 by zack on 25 May 2013 |
No Comment
We’ve gone through the basics of trimming dog’s nails and how to cut cat nails. Now it’s time go over the final details to make any claw clipping session a successful effort. First, let’s review the commonalities between clipping dog’s nails and cat’s nails. With either pet, you’ll need to get them acclimated to the idea of paw handling before ever attempting to trim those talons. You also can use similar tools for either canine or feline feet. These tools include guillotine, scissor, and plier style clippers.. Finally, for both dogs and cats you’ll need to cut above the quick of the nail or you’ll cause bleeding and pain for the animal in question. Now onto the unknown! When things go wrong while claw clipping, as they are occasionally bound to do, it’s important to have a backup plan. So if you accidentally clip a little too high and notice some blood flow accompanied by an uncomfortable cry from your animal, you’ll need to patch that wound up ASAP. That’s where a little bit of Styptic powder comes in very handy. Styptic powder is an Antihemorrhagic, which is doctor speak for something that stops bleeding. Apply this to the end of the claw, (assuming the animal will stay still enough for you to do so) and any leakage will be put to a stop in short order. If you don’t have any styptic powder, some cornstarch or flour can do in a pinch. The next thing you need to consider is a scenario where your dog or cat absolutely refuses to sit still and allow this process to continue. This can be a real mess. If you can, restrain the pet with your forearms placed firmly over their shoulders and hips. This weighs them down at the joints and makes it more difficult for them to move, however squirming isn’t completely eliminated. If this doesn’t work then you might need to recruit a friend to help hold the animal in place. And if that doesn’t work either , then you have no choice but to take your pet to the veterinarian’s office for assistance. Many vets will offer reasonably priced nail cuts for an unruly pet. In the most extreme circumstances this means putting a pet under anesthesia, but that is a very rare scenario reserved for behaviorally challenged pets who’s claws may end up growing into their own paws. One more thing to consider is what might happen without regular trimmings. In short, if left unchecked dog and cat nails will continue growing in ever shaper curves that will cut into their feet causing painful sores or be more prone to cracking, or tearing off when snagged. Thus cutting dogs claws as well as cats can be a very important preventative measure for their health. That about covers the bulk of the basic information on cutting your pet’s claws. So remember to keep it trim, and always come visit the Pet Bucket blog for helpful tips on pet care. Until next time!

Clipping Claws 2: How to Cut Cat Nails

 by zack on 24 May 2013 |
No Comment
Welcome to part 2 of our series on how to cut your pet’s nails. Today we’ll be discussing the basics of clipping claws on cats. Luckily, if you read yesterday’s post, there’s a lot of overlap in feline and canine nail cutting techniques. However, cats are notoriously less social than dogs are so it might be a bit more difficult if you don’t work extra hard on conditioning your cat for trimming nails. Conditioning your Cat This process works very similarly to the one for dogs. You have to start handling a cat’s paws immediately. They are less likely to sit still for it, and much more likely to give you a painful bite or swat for your trouble. So to avoid a trip to the first aid kit, it would behoove you to wait for an ideal opportunity. Wait until your cat is taking one of its dozen daily naps and softly touch its paw. Most cats can’t stand this, so they’ll either pull away, or walk away. Don’t force the issue. If the cat is finished then let it be. However, every time you get the opportunity this is a process you should repeat. It’s best to combine paw handling with regular petting as well. That way the cat will start to associate their paws being touched with pleasant sensations. Eventually, the cat will become comfortable with you touching its paws. Now’s the time to take it a step further, and inspect the paw. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the cat’s finger joints. This will unsheathe the cat’s claws. You can see from there whether there are any splits or cracks. Those are clear signs it’s time for claw clipping. Claw Clipping Tools Many of the same tools used for trimming nails on dogs can be used for cat claws as well. However, a rotary tool should never be used on a cat, and scissors style clippers should only be used on the dew claw, which tends to grow in a circle because it isn’t ground down while walking or clawing. You can even use a regular pair of human nail clippers. Just make sure to be extra cautious. Quick Tips If you think your dog was upset when you accidentally trimmed too far, you’ll be shocked at the cat’s reaction. They’ll never forgive you. Cat quicks are easy to avoid because of their lightly colored claws. You can clearly see the pink hued quick within. If you have an especially squirmy kitty, have a friend hold it still while you’re claw clipping. Otherwise place your forearms firmly over the cat’s shoulders and hips to hold it in place while you’re trimming. Finishing Touches You’ll find it easier to clip more than one claw at a time in most cases, so fit as many claws beyond the cutting line as possible, make sure you aren’t beyond the quick, and make a surgical strike. It’s also best to keep nail trimming on a schedule. Once every 10 to 14 days is good. And never ever try to cut cat nails when the animal is agitated. It won’t go well. That’s all for today’s post. Check back again tomorrow for our final summation on animal claw clipping!

Clipping Claws: A Sore Subject

 by zack on 24 May 2013 |
No Comment
Image Credit Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom or dad would make you sit still and cut your nails? It was never a positive experience. You wanted to squirm and play, but you had to remain motionless and bored for however long it took. Dogs and cats feel the exact same way. Claw clipping doesn’t come naturally to animals. They’d much rather have sharp talons with which to grip and tear. That’s why getting them comfortable with handling their paws isn’t always the easiest of endeavors. Dogs and cats alike don’t really care for the procedure, and for humans it can be a complex situation. So in the spirit of simplification, Petbucket will be publishing a series of blog posts to help educate you on the basics of claw clipping. Today’s subject is how to cut dog’s nails. Getting Comfortable Dogs are naturally averse to having their paws touched. So it’s important to internalize this behavior early on. You should begin handling your puppy’s paws as soon as you bring them home, that way they won’t be so mortified at the idea of nail clipping later on. Weapon of Choice You won’t get much done unless you have the right equipment. There are several options for cutting dog’s nails. You have guillotine, scissors, pliers, and grinders. The most popular among professionals are the pliers style. These are spring loaded and adept at clipping claws, even thick ones, with minimal effort. Scissors and guillotine nail clippers work exactly like they sound. Either with a close handed grip or with the flick of a switch, off goes the top of the nail. Alternatively, grinder style clippers work like Drimmels. They slowly sand down the nail with rotary action rather than a clean cut. Where to Cut? A dog’s nail is not like a human’s. They are connected to blood vessels and sensitive nerves in an area called the Quick. If you cut the quick, your dog will likely yelp in pain, run for cover, and forever fear your claw cutting sessions together. So to avoid this, it’s necessary to learn the anatomy of a dog’s claw. Use this simple diagram for reference: This process is much easier when your dog has lightly colored nails. This is because the pink quick will be fairly visible underneath the translucent white casing. On dark colored nails however, you must be much more careful. It’s probably best to make several shallow cuts to ensure you won’t get overzealous on your first try. It will take longer, but your dog will appreciate your patience. Location Location Location When you feel comfortable enough to give it a try, it’s time to find a comfortable spot for trimming dog claws. It has to be a spot where both you and your dog can feel relaxed. Some people like to sit on the floor, while others prefer a bed or couch. There’s no wrong way to handle it, just make sure you have control over the dog’s position and you both feel comfortable sitting there. That’s all for today’s lesson. Check back tomorrow for more nail cutting clues!

Animal Actors: Celebrity Quadrupeds Part 2

 by zack on 22 May 2013 |
No Comment
Welcome back to the Petbucket blog’s official examination of famous Hollywood pets, animal actors, and celebrity mammals of all sorts! We capped things off last time with a fascinating look into the elder statesman of feline film: That Darn Cat. Today, we’ll be venturing off of the silver screen and away from the furrier aspects of animal actors. Two of today’s animal actors are television stars and only one has to shed a winter coat. So without further ado, let’s talk about some of the world’s most famous on screen animals! Flipper Did you just hear the iconic dolphin noise from the world famous TV and film series in your head? Guess what? That’s not a dolphin. They doctored up a kookaburra’s call and dubbed it over Flipper’s own majestic call. Nothing is sacred in Hollywood. Regardless, Flipper is still a world famous water enthusiast in his own right. Well, in her own right. Flipper was actually played by 5 different dolphins, all of whom were female, but most often the two star thespians were named Suzie and Kathy.  The show ran three seasons during the 1960’s and ended up with 88 episodes of crime stopping, wildlife preserving, tricky dolphin action. While the show itself was anything but controversial, the former head trainer/stunt double from the show, Ric O’Berry became a dolphin activist and was featured in the award winning documentary The Cove. Mr. Bigglesworth Played by a sphinx cat named Ted Nude-gent, Mr. Bigglesworth appeared in the Austin Powers film series. Ted is a sphinx cat that was brought in as a gag during the first film. After the traditional Bond-style Persian cat is cryogenically frozen, it loses all of its hair, and so a Sphinx-y star was born. Sphinx cats are super friendly animals that are able to perform in films because of their trainability. They are often compared to dogs for their propensity to please humans. Ted fell in love with Mike Myers, who would often delay the beginning of filming to make sure that the cat was comfortable. And more than a few scenes in the movie were extended because The Nude-ge had already started snoozing in the comedic star’s lap. Wishbone Getting back to the canine side of things, it’s time to revisit a 90's television classic. Wishbone, the title character of the show, was played by a Jack Russell Terrier names Soccer. Soccer was one of 100 dogs who auditioned for the role of Wishbone. The beloved 90’s television series featured a dog daydreaming about playing the lead role in different stories from classic literature.  He would compare the storylines to whatever was happening in the lives of his family, and would offer literarily inspired advice to an unhearing human populace, and usually complained about the fact that no one would listen. This show ran only three seasons, but in that time managed to make a significant impact on children all over the world. And it’s still being rebroadcast by certain PBS affiliates. That concludes our examination of famous pets! Check back for more interesting discussions on our favorite furry companions!  

Animal Actors: Celebrity Quadrupeds

 by zack on 18 May 2013 |
No Comment
Animal actors have a long history in Hollywood. Movie magic and fluffy cute stage hands go together like butter and popcorn. Every variety of animal gets represented eventually, but there are a few standout performances from well-trained domesticated companions. So to shed some interesting light on some of your lesser known four legged celebrities, here’s a short history of some of the most iconic animal actors in show biz. Rin Tin Tin While most would probably recognize the name Rin Tin Tin from the early nineties television serial: Rin Tin Tin K-9 Cop, this household name has its origins all the way back in WWI. The original Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a French battlefield in the great war along with his sister of the same litter named Nanette. American army corporal, Lee Duncan retrieved them both from a kennel that had been shelled. After the war he trained Rin Tin Tin for silent film acting, and the dog showed a real aptitude for the big screen. He played in 27 different films throughout his life, and actually had enough votes to win the Academy award for best actor one year. However, the Academy in typical snooty fashion, decided that the recipient had to be human to win. Jerks. Lassie Probably the most famous dog of all time, Lassie is another animal actor that enjoyed its heyday long after the character’s inception. The initial story of Lassie again dates back to WWI, that was a good conflict for famous animals. The original, was only half collie, and was credited with saving a man’s life on a torpedoed British pilot boat. She apparently recognized the man as alive in a mass of dead bodies, nuzzling him and keeping him warm until he stirred. He was then rescued by the surviving sailors. From there Lassie’s legend grew and she became a fictionalized character in a novel first, then a series of movies, and finally the famous television series. The dog’s name that most people recognize as Lassie was Pal. Pal and 8 generations of his descendants have played the character in almost every major Lassie vehicle since the original movie: Lassie Come-Home in 1943. That Darn Cat That Darn Cat was a wildly successful Disney film in the early 1960’s, as well as a remake in 1997. The plot featured a mischievous feline named D.C. (Darn Cat,) who manages to help foil a bank robbery in a comically roundabout way. The calamitous kitty character was actually played by a team of Siamese cats. This precautious breed is renowned for being social and extroverted, making it the ideal feline movie star. Still, being such finicky creatures, it’s easier to have a group to work with. You know, in case the star decides it needs a nap mid-scene. There are plenty more Animal Actors to talk about, but that’s all the room we have on today’s post. Check back next week for another installment in this interesting history of celebrity pets.

An Abbreviated History of K-9 Crime Fighters

 by zack on 17 May 2013 |
No Comment
There’s just something fascinating about a crime fighting animal. Human beings have been depending on dogs to help protect life and property for thousands of years, and in the 21st century we’ve gotten it down to a science. The modern police dog has its roots in the latter half of 19th century Germany, with the establishment of the German shepherd breed. However, official records of police dog usage date all the way back to medieval England. Not even the late middle ages either, but way back in the 12th century. When Europe was still crawling out of the dark ages, dog kennels were being maintained by local constables to track down outlaws. Many of these early police dogs were used more as a deterrent than for actual police work. Knowing that their liege lord had a stable filled with hungry, ill-tempered blood hounds was enough to make most unarmed citizenry wary of breaking any of the local laws. That’s another thing, the sweet temperament and cute floppy ears of today’s bloodhounds are a rather recent introduction into the breed’s bloodline. Back in the 1100 AD, when they were 800+ years closer to still being wolves, blood hounds were savage and disobedient. Although they still had their remarkable ability to track scents even through dense marshy terrains.  England has a humorous history of K-9 usage. In the year 1914, London constables were allowed to bring their personal pets along with them on patrol. Dogs were still considered helpful in police work, but setting aside portions of the budget for training was viewed as wasteful. This led to a colorfully assorted group of police dogs. There were terriers, retrievers, sheepdogs, collies, mongrels, spaniels, plus one sassy Pomeranian. Nowadays that sort of thing wouldn’t fly in most precincts. Maybe as a mascot, but otherwise you’re dealing with some seriously skilled and well-bred K-9 crime fighters. The list of breeds used in police work is extensive but the most common types are German Shepherds, Belgian Malanois, Dutch Shepherds, Argentine Dojos, and Boxers. They are mostly gigantic (100 to 150 lbs. /45 to 68 kg.) animals with excellent temperaments, and intelligence to spare. These dogs are used in detection, tracking, protection, search and rescue, even in arson cases. They're smart, driven, and powerfully loyal to their handlers. In many cases K-9's are given official police officer status. This means attacking or injuring a K-9 carries a much heavier penalty than a typical animal cruelty charge. Additionally, if killed in the line of duty, these dogs are given a full police funeral. However, most of them enjoy a full working career of 6 to 9 years and then a relaxed retirement with their handlers. Dogs are handy helpers no matter what profession they are employed in. But it’s really nice to know that man’s best friend has been gainfully employed protecting citizens the world over for nigh on a millennium, and they’re only getting better at their jobs. So support your local police, and help them buy bacon for the local K-9 unit near you!

Curbing Cat Aggression

 by zack on 15 May 2013 |
No Comment
While most cats are usually lovable, adorable, and infinitely happy to be caressed, there are times when a feline can become aggressive. Curbing that aggression can be easier said than done. Cats are complex and moody creatures with a penchant for being unmanageable when they’re apt. Discovering why cats bite can be a lot of work. Understanding feline aggression means recognizing the signs of an outburst and knowing the causes thereof.   Causes of Cat Aggression: Play - When a cat, especially a young one, is at play it exhibits natural predator behavior. This means it’s swatting with claws out, scratching, and biting. This could be aimed at your hand or foot. They might even try to sneak attack you while you’re rounding a corner. Territorial- Cats are extremely territorial towards one another. If introduced in close proximity to another feline, your cat might have an adverse reaction. Prey- Cats are skilled predators. They’re stealthy, quick, agile, and they possess sharp claws and teeth great for eviscerating small prey. Their natural evolutionary drives have left them with a strong urge to attack and kill smaller birds or rodents. This can be one of the most difficult types of cat aggression to stop. Fear – When an unfamiliar and unwelcome stimulus pops up on the cat’s idyllic world they can often show unwanted aggression. This can be towards strangers, other animals, or even unfamiliar objects being introduced into their environments Pain- This is sort of a no brainer, but if a cat is suffering from some sort of medical condition, or is simply mishandled this can lead to hissing, scratching, and biting. Even long after the fact, in the case of injury. Misplaced- Cats can also get worked up by something they see and then immediately turn that anger toward another person or animal. An example of this could be a cat seeing something that displeases it outside the window, i.e. another cat, a bird, etc.; and then attacking you when you try to shoo it off of the window sill. Signs of Cat Aggression: Cats have body language just like people. It’s important to be able to read your cat, and learning to do that precisely will take time and observation. However, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for like dilated pupils, a twitching tail, a low crouch with feet tucked under, and ears that are quickly flicking back and forth. What to Do? First off, never punish your cat physically. It does nothing, they don’t understand it, and it’s likely to increase anxiety which will in turn increase aggression.  Secondly, take the cat to a vet. Many aggression issues are due to physical discomfort which a vet visit can quickly clear up. You can also quit paying any attention. Often a cat’s frustration is due to something you’re doing. As soon as they begin to exhibit aggressive behavior, simply walk away. Most importantly, if problems persist, you’ll need to see a pet behaviorist to diagnose and solve a problem with specificity.

Safe Traveling Tips on Trips with Pets

 by zack on 14 May 2013 |
No Comment
 With summer months around the corner, everyone is beginning to plan their vacation getaways. For a lot of people that means setting their pets up in kennels. Inversely, there are a brave few who try to take their furry companions on the road with them. Traveling with pets can be a risky venture if you aren’t prepared for the rigors of the road. Here are a few pet safety tips to get you started. Always practice proper restraint: Pets aren’t always the best listeners, and in the back of a car that can occasionally prove to be a deadly distraction. It’s a good idea to keep your dog or cat safe and in one place while you’re en route. There are a couple of very simple methods for minimizing movement whenever you take your pet for a ride. Pet harnesses are usually very affordable and effective. They hook up to the seatbelt and hold your pet in place. A pet carrier is a more preferable option. The animal is more likely to feel comfortable in an enclosed space, and being confined they won’t feel the need to roam about inside the car’s cabin. Smaller Portions Prevent Car Sickness: If you’re planning on taking a road trip with dogs or cats, you’ll need to make a few adjustments to the regular meal schedule. It’s best to serve a small meal first when you take your pet with you on an extended car ride. Half of their regular portion should do the trick. If the trip is longer than 6 hours you might want to intersperse a few snack breaks along the way as well. Also make sure your dog or cat is getting plenty of water. Don’t Leave Pets in a Parked Car: Trips with pets require constant vigilance. That’s why you must never leave a pet alone in a parked car. This is a ticketable offense under anticruelty laws. Leaving a pet unattended in a parked car can cause harm to the animal. Parked cars can quickly become overheated on a hot day, even in the shade. Prolonged exposure to this sort of environment can quickly dehydrate a dog or cat. It’s also not a good option to leave your windows rolled down. That puts your pet’s safety in jeopardy, and opens up the possibility of theft. Bring Toys: Just like some people need Sudoku to get through a long drive, pets get bored too. They need a familiar heirloom to keep them from getting overwhelmed by the traveling process. Take a favorite toy, and maybe some kind of cushioning to keep them comfortable. A dog bed would be a perfect example.  The familiarity of the object is important as well. This is because the animal is likely to be confused by an all-new environment with nothing familiar in it. It boils down to keeping your animal still, nourished, occupied, and under watch. These are key ingredients to remember whenever traveling with pets. Check back soon for more helpful pet information.  

Doggy Dental Care: The Dangers of Periodontitis in dogs

 by zack on 09 May 2013 |
No Comment
So news flash: plaque, tarter, and periodontal issues don’t just exist in the human mouth. Dog chompers might be a good bit sharper and a lot more resilient than your human mandibles, but at the end of the day they need some maintenance as well. Periodontitis in dogs can be a serious condition. It starts out with bad breath, then tooth decay, but eventually it can lead to more serious conditions like infections or even heart disease. Periodontitis is caused by an excess of microbacterial organisms that are allowed to thrive in the dog’s mouth because a lack of proper tooth and gum maintenance. An early sign of this disease is bleeding gums. So be sure to check for that early symptom. In canine periodontitis’ late stages it becomes irreversible. It forms cavities in dog’s teeth and these cavities then fill up with pus. Eventually the teeth will become loose, and finally the dog’s gums will recede while the roots of the tooth itself die. It’s a horribly gruesome sight, and something that no dog should have to go through. Especially when it’s so easy to prevent. Prevention is easy to go about. It starts with proper puppy nutrition. The higher quality food you give the dog, the lower the chances of developing a nasty condition like bleeding gums, gingivitis, or the like. You can also help prevent periodontitis in dogs with dental friendly chew toys of which there are many. Dog’s love to chew, so you might as well purchase a toy that has some dental benefit to help meet this psychological puppy imperative. Finally it comes down to a chore that no one really looks forward to, but it’s a necessary part of life: tooth brushing. Dog’s dental care isn’t as bad as it sounds, and fortunately it’s an effort you can manage in the security of your own home. You can go and get a dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian, and should annually do so, but most of the time it’s more important to grab a soft bristled brush and go to work yourself. You can make a routine of it, and get it down to a daily basis. Preferably start when your dog is tired and relaxed. So perhaps after a big meal or a long walk would be the ideal time to get to work. Get a tasty toothpaste that you furry friend won’t mind, as well as a handle long enough to reach those out of the way spots in the back of the dog’s mouth. It’s a process getting your dog used to the idea of having the brush in their mouth, but if you introduce the process to them slowly and reward them for their patience, they’ll take to it eventually. Make sure you use circular motions with the brush and concentrate on the outside of the canines and molars. If you can keep this routine up daily, you can keep your dog’s dental care costs to a minimum. Image via the Celebrity Dachshund
Call Us - 855 908 4010
Placeholder
 

Search blog archives


Latest Updates


Tag Cloud


Blog Archives


Subscribe to RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

 
 
Shop with Confidence
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • Free & Fast Shipping
  • Best Customer Service
 
Pet Bucket Ltd is a UK registered company | Company no: 08345021 | 21 Pickford Rd. St.Albans | AL3 8RS UK Translation and Localization by Localizer