What You Need To Know About Pet Insurance

Pet InsuranceMany pet owners often wonder if it’s worth it to purchase pet insurance. The way I see it, there are two main considerations, your opinion when it comes to risk-taking and the expected health of your pet.

Are you a risk-taker or are you conservative? If you are a risk-taker when it comes to insurance and would be okay covering any health-related costs yourself, you shouldn’t bother getting pet insurance.

Right or wrong, this is what most pet owners do. However, if you are conservative, and want the peace of mind knowing that most major health costs you incur for your pet would be covered, pet insurance might be right for you!

The second consideration is the expected health of your pet. Of course, it’s impossible to predict with any level of precision how healthy your pet will be, but if you have carefully researched the lineage of your puppy, kitten or foal, and have sound information about the health of the lines, then that’s valuable information for you to use when making this decision.

Next, you might be wondering how pet insurance works. It’s pretty simple. You’d pay a monthly insurance premium for your pet, which could be as low as $20 per month (but usually higher, some pet insurance are even can cost the owner more than $100 per month). Some plans cover routine care as well as accidents and illnesses, while others only cover accidents and illnesses (the later would be cheaper).

When your pet receives veterinary care, you’d submit the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement. Based on the plan you purchase, you’d be reimbursed a percentage of the total cost minus any deductible. Not every procedure is covered, so check out your policy carefully.

With the rising costs of pet healthcare and with the extremes that many of us would go to for our pets, pet insurance is becoming very popular with pet owners.

Pet Care during Cold Weather

Pet Care during Cold WeatherAs we find ourselves closing to winter, it’s important to pay particular attention to our pets when they’re outside. When temperatures get into the twenties and below, with whipping winds, pets can suffer serious health problems. Besides not leaving your dog, cat or other animal outside for too long, there are several other precautionary measures you can take to care for your loving pet.

I generally don’t favor going nuts over buying every trinket imaginable for my pets, but there are a few that make a lot of sense when it’s cold and windy out. For dogs and horses, it’s a good idea to purchase a coat. This provides warmth as well as protection from the snow and rain. It attaches via one Velcro strap that goes from one side to the other side of the dog around his or her belly.

As for cats, they don’t often take kindly to coats, but do your best to keep them inside during winter storms. They can easily get disoriented under very bad conditions. I’d rather have more litter box duty to handle, than find myself driving around the neighborhood trying to track down a cold, wet cat!

Some people actively use boots or shoes for their cats and dogs. For the most part, this is only necessary for animals that have very sensitive paws. These booties slide on the animal’s feet and keep them warm and dry. As you can imagine, going to this extreme isn’t necessary for most animals, just don’t leave them outside for very long, use a coat and try to keep them off heavily salted streets – which can badly sting paws.

Lastly, I wanted to provide a few quick comments about fish and bird care. You may think that since your fish and birds are always in the house, you don’t need to take any precautions when it’s very cold – not true. Despite keeping the heat level in your house at the usual level, cold weather outside may create colder temperatures inside.

Make sure your fish tank water is at the normal temperature, and hasn’t fallen due to the cold. If you have a pet bird, make sure he or she is out of any draft and is nice and warm – especially at night. Extended periods of cold temperatures for pet birds can be fatal. You probably do this already, but put an extra warm towel or sheet over the bird cage when it’s particularly cold.

If you follow these few basic tips, you are more likely to have happy, healthy pets amidst the winter time cold!

Some Pets Will Eat Grass For Their Health

Cat Eating GrassMany pet owners, especially the new one are wonder and concerned when their dogs or cats which are carnivorous is eating grass, then throws up afterwards. You need to know and understand that these animals are eating grass because their bodies need it.

Dogs, cats and other carnivorous mammals such as bears and lions have been eating grass for a long time. In fact, grass is so popular among dogs that one species, dog grass, is named after them. Dog grass is also known as couch grass and quackweed, and it grows in all but the southern-most states.

You can think of grass as an herbal medicine. It acts as an internal cleanser, expelling excess mucus, bile, and other impurities. It also cleanses the bowels and expels worms. Cereal grasses contain enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Grass also contains chlorophyll, which was used for relieving pain, treating infections, ulcers, skin diseases, and anemia prior to the use of antibiotics.

Some pet owners grow grass specifically to give to their pets to prevent or treat diarrhea, anemia, cataracts, fleas, tumors excessive shedding, and other pet health problems. Pets that are fed grass on a regular basis are less likely to crave outdoor grass. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with your pet eating the grass in your lawn, you may want to grow your own grass for them to eat.

Try growing rye or barley sprouts. These sprouts are preferred over wheat grass because some animals are sensitive to wheat.

Follow these instructions to grow rye or barley grass. Soak one cup organically grown grain in one quart water for 8 to 10 hours. Then drain the container and leave it on its side in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. A tiny white rootlet will sprout from each grain within 24 to 48 hours. Caution: If you don’t see these rootlets, your grain isn’t viable and should be thrown away.

Next, spread the sprouting grain on one inch of moist potting soil or top soil in a plastic garden tray. For drainage create a one inch channel around the soil.

For two days, cover the tray. Then uncover it, and water thoroughly. Place the tray in direct sunlight or under grow lights. Keep the soil moist by watering when needed.

When the grass is 6-8″ tall, cut it with scissors or a sharp knife. Place grasses in a ziploc bag, along with a damp paper towel. Be sure to expel air from the bag before sealing. Then store the grass in the refrigerator.

When feeding the grass to your pet, cut or mince it into tiny pieces, or place a small amount in a blender or food processor with other foods. To be sure your cat or dog will accept the grass, begin feeding just a fraction of a teaspoon. Increase the amount gradually to approximately one tablespoon per 50 lbs. of body weight.

Once your pet is given the amount of grass his body needs, you probably won’t be seeing him eating the grass in your lawn. And you can feel relieved knowing that you’re feeding him something that he craves and that his body needs.

What You Must Know About Cat Foods

What You Must Know About Cat FoodsWhat should you feed your cat to make sure he or she will have the necessary nutrition? What is the ideal mix of food to help your cat live to the limit of its life span?

To answer these questions, one should look at the diet of a feline in its natural habitat. In the wild, a cat eats almost exclusively animal tissue. However, they would normally eat the entire body of the animal, including its stomach contents, which has many nutrients that are simply lacking in an animal’s muscle tissue.

Another question some cat owners have is: Is fresh meat the best possible food for cats? Not necessarily. Fresh meat will not provide a balanced diet for a cat, as they are extremely protein dense while being very low in vital nutrients such as calcium.

Conversely, some cat owners have asked, “Is it alright to feed my cat a completely vegetarian diet?” The answer to that question is definitely a big NO. Cats cannot produce the nutrients it needs from an exclusively vegetarian diet in the same way that humans can.

Being a very specialized hunter, it has actually lost that ability during the course of its evolution. Certain skin problems are sometimes the result of a deficiency in certain essential fatty acids which can be found in animal flesh alone.

Another problem is that a deficiency of the amino acid taurine, a major building block for proteins of the body, which can cause both blindness and heart failure. Cats are simply born carnivores.

Is it o.k. to give a cat only dry food? The answer is yes, however you must ensure that fresh water is available at all times.

Dry food is generally more convenient, hygienic, and affordable than canned or fresh food. It also exercises the teeth and reduces the buildup of tartar, which can grow into a severe problem in cats that are fed a soft and mushy diet.