Is Pet Insurance a Good Idea?

If all dog owners had to worry about were a checkup, yearly shots, and an occasional injury, it would be hard to justify the cost of pet insurance. After all, premiums can run into the thousands of dollars over the life of your pet.

But the fact is that today, pet medical care rivals what’s available to humans in complexity and cost. For example, an MRI is a diagnostic tool once reserved for humans but is now available for pets as well–at an average cost of $1,200. Sophisticated procedures such as radiation therapy, can start at $900 and quickly reach $5,000.

And it’s not as if it can’t happen to you. Statistics show that one out of three pets will need emergency treatment every year, and two out of three experience at least one major health crisis in their lifetimes.

Given these catastrophic and skyrocketing costs, and with monthly premiums as low as $10 for some pets and plans–they average around $35–pet insurance may be a worthwhile option for you and your animals.

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Declaw No – Scratching Post Yes!

The issue of declawing has been a hot one for about 20 years now. The main reason for declawing is to stop a cat from scratching furniture, people and priceless rugs. There is no medical reason to declaw a cat, though, and the declawing removes the front of the toe which can affect a cat’s balance.

It’s simpler and more humane to teach your cat some claw manners instead. Set up scratching posts around the house, including the hanging kind which you can attach to the the couch. Use catnip to attract your cat. You can also teach your cat to leave the furniture alone and to keep her claws in when a person is holding her. It just takes a repetitive “No!” when the claws come out and treats when she obeys. A little time training is a much better alternative.

Harness or Collar – What’s Best?

Used imprpperly collars can do damage to your dog’s neck (including the trachea, esophagus, and more) over the years. An easy way to prevent the damage is to attach your dog’s leash to a harness instead of a collar.

If your dog pulls a lot on his leash, you can buy a training tool such as an Easy Walk Harness or a Gentle Leadeer Head Collar and use that tool on walks while you teach your dog to walk more nicely. (Be sure to follow the instructions when using training tools like these.) Once your dog understands how to walk politely on leash, you can remove the training tool and simply walk your dog in a regular body harness.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier was named for the valley of the Aire in England, the place where the breed most likely originated. The Airedale was developed from similar terriers that are now extinct. Before the breed evolved into today’s Airedale, it was called the Waterside or Bingley Terrier.

Airedales were originally bred to be versatile working dogs. They were skilled hunters, reliable messengers, and dutiful guard dogs. In fact, they have been used all over the world for their abilities. Airedale Terriers were first registered with the AKC in 1888.

Size: 40-65 pounds
Colors: Black and Tan & Grizzle and Tan

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

About the Breed:

The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers – often called the “King of Terriers.” This breed is highly energetic and brave with a square, sturdy build and deep chest.

Airedales are smart and protective dogs that must be trained properly. An unsocialized, unruly Airedale can be quite difficult to live with. However, with patience and consistency, the Airedale can become a very obedient, trustworthy companion. Though Airedales can be excellent family dogs, most do best with older children (and after proper training).

Airedales have unique hair coats, including a wiry top coat with a softer undercoat. The breed is known to be a low-shedder. Because of their coarse, curly hair, much attention must be placed on proper grooming, including regular haircuts and brushing.

The high energy level of the Airedale makes serious exercise a requirement. The more activity, the better for this breed. Airedales benefit from plenty of physical and mental stimulation. This, along with a healthy diet and routine veterinary care will help keep your Airedale healthy for many years.

Why Is My Dog Scratching?

All dogs scratch at sometime, and here are a few reasons why your dog may have an itch.

First of all you need to examine your dog’s fur to see if there is any sign of fleas. They will be visible if your animal is infested, alternatively, one random flea could have bitten him and caused an allergic reaction.

After a good search you find no fleas in his coat, you should try flea control for approximately four weeks to see if it had been an allergy to a fleabite.

If there is an odor coming from your pet, or his skin is damp and reddened, it could well be a skin problem. Try him first with a therapeutic dog shampoo to see if it remedies the problem, if it doesn’t you will need a medication from the vet.

Mange is a skin problem that is very uncomfortably and causes your pet to lose fur when they scratch.

As soon as you think there is a possibility of Mange, take your pet to the vet as he will need to take some skin scrapings. Tests at a lab will reveal whether there are mites present and appropriate medication prescribed.

If you have ruled out all of these possible causes yet your pet is still scratching, it may well be an allergy. Plants, mod, pollen and dust are all allergens that are found around the house.

If there is a pattern to his scratching and it worsens during the warm weather it many be an allergy to pollen or grass.

It can take a long time to pin down the cause of your pets itching, but is well worth it as you will have a healthy and much happier dog who is free of that irritating itch.