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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

How To Be The Right Kind Of Dog Owner

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Dogs are wonderful companions, and any dog owner will attest to the happiness they bring. They’re called man’s best friend for a reason, after all. 

But these dependable companions, while able to keep you entertained and comforted for hours on end, also have their own needs, and entirely rely on you for their care.

This is why it’s not only worthwhile to ask if a particular dog is right for you, but if you’re right for the dog. In this post, we’ll discuss how to become the right kind of dog owner, and exactly what it is that defines such an approach:

Good Nutrition & Healthcare

Providing a healthy environment and balanced diet for your dog is a crucial part of being a responsible dog owner. Note that sometimes, this “healthy environment” means putting up fences around your garden so they can’t escape out of curiosity, and other dogs can’t run in. You don’t have to curate a utopia, but investing time and effort into their comfort and health helps.

This includes giving them plenty of fresh water to drink, ensuring they receive plenty of exercise and playtime, and making sure they eat well-balanced, healthy meals. It also means ensuring comforts, like a good dog bed, or making sure they sleep in a warm room of the house. It's also crucial that you take your dog in for checkups at the vet on a regular basis and get them the appropriate vaccines to ensure their health and the health of other dogs in the area. 

We love our dogs, but they’re not exactly the most hygienic of pets unless you help them stay clean.

Your Pooch & His/Her Social Development

Providing training and socialization for your dog is another crucial part of dog ownership.

This includes socialization with a variety of people, animals, and situations, as well as the teaching of basic commands and good manners, to ensure they do not develop a fear of or aggression toward humans or other animals. 

Effective trainers will help you with this. We’d even suggest a service like that isn’t optional, but an essential element of good ownership. A well-trained and socialized dog is a joy for everyone in the household and the neighborhood. They don’t have to perform every trick known for man, but a healthy respect for boundaries, a familiarity with other dogs, and seeing you as the authority helps.

Being Accountable For Your Dog

Becoming a responsible dog owner includes prioritizing the health and safety of your pet and people who might interact with it on any day. This includes giving your dog a safe and clean place to reside and keeping it on a leash at all times when in public. It also means being realistic about the needs of others, for instance, having a place to keep your dogs to prevent them from barking at or jumping at temporary guests can be a good idea.

This also involves being alert to and cautious against any risks that could lead to harm. Just because you’re a great owner, it doesn’t mean others will be. In some cases, optional alternatives can be worth your time too, for instance, if you’re going on vacation then putting them up with the best dog boarding service can help you avoid leaving them home for hours on end, as even if they’re being regularly checked in on and fed by a neighbor each day, this is cruel.

With this advice, you’re sure to be the right kind of dog owner.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Truth About Dogs and Heart Disease

Dogs are known as "man's best friend" for good reason. They are loyal, protective, and always happy to see their owners come home. But did you know that dogs can also suffer from heart disease? In this blog post, we will discuss the signs of heart disease in dogs, how to prevent it, and how to treat it if your dog does develop a problem.

Photo by Ivana La on Unsplash

What is Canine Heart Disease?

Canine heart disease occurs when there is a problem with the structure or function of the heart. This can be caused by an infection, an underlying medical condition, or even genetics. It can affect both puppies and older dogs, so it's important to know what signs to look for in your pet.

What are the Symptoms of Canine Heart Disease?

The most common symptom of canine heart disease is a decrease in energy level and exercise tolerance. Other symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, fainting spells, collapse, and an enlarged abdomen due to fluid buildup. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it's important to take them to the vet right away for a full examination.

How to Prevent Canine Heart Disease

The best way to prevent canine heart disease is to make sure your dog gets regular exercise and a balanced diet. Also, make sure they receive all of their necessary vaccinations, as some forms of heart disease are caused by viruses. Finally, it's important to have your dog examined regularly by the vet in order to identify any potential problems early on.

How is Canine Heart Disease Treated?

If your dog has been diagnosed with canine heart disease, there are several treatment options available. These include medications such as diuretics or ACE inhibitors which can reduce fluid buildup around the heart, surgically implanted pacemakers for cases of arrhythmia, and lifestyle modifications such as restricted exercise or a special diet. Oxygen for dogs with congestive heart failure is also recommended. Your vet will help you decide which treatment is best for your dog's condition. For example, some medications have side effects, so it's important to discuss these with your vet.

How to Give Them Extra Care

When your dog has been diagnosed with a heart condition, it's important to give them extra care and attention. This may include more frequent trips to the vet for checkups and monitoring, as well as an adjustment in their activity level. Additionally, be sure to keep them away from stressful situations, provide plenty of comfortable places for rest, and give them lots of love and affection. For example, you can try playing with their favorite toy or taking them on more leisurely walks.

It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of canine heart disease, so you can take swift action if necessary. With proper care and treatment, your dog can still live a happy, healthy life. So don't worry about having a best friend who is suffering from heart disease - just make sure to get them the help they need!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

What You Need to Know About Dog Insurance

Image Courtesy of Pexels

Getting dog insurance for your beloved best friend can help you out of a very sticky and expensive situation. But aside from the costs, you can rest easy knowing you will have less of a burden at one of the worst times if your dog is hurt. Here are some things you need to know.

You Get Cover for Doggy Damage

Depending on your policy, you might be able to get third-party cover. This means you can claim for the recovery of any costs you have paid out if your dog damages something. Often, but not always, this also covers any costs incurred from a dog bite your pet might have done to somebody. However, this is often very dependent on the situation. So it's best to not expect a payout for this automatically. The claim you make for this goes towards the costs you might incur. These include medical expenses, legal costs, and damages made by a claimant.

An Epulis is Often Classed as Dental

An epulis is a non-cancerous tumor that can pop up all of a sudden. Some breeds, like Boxers, are more susceptible to these. As such, many insurers won't cover them as standard, if at all. This is because some of them class an epulis as preventable dental treatment. Although your dog can get one through no fault of yours or their own. So if you notice an epulis on your dog, be prepared to make a payment, which can be expensive. And once the work is complete, just be aware that you might not be able to recover the money you pay to a vet for this treatment.

Dog Insurance Isn't Expensive

Given the cost of living at the moment, you might put off getting insurance. However, this is a mistake that can cost you big. And it isn't as expensive as you think. For example, the average cost of insuring a dog in the UK is around £30 per month and $37.00 in USD. Yet it's likely you will pay much less than this. Yet even at the most expensive range, the cost of insurance more than offsets the costs you will incur if your dog needs expensive surgery, injures someone, or becomes very ill. For example, dental surgery alone can run into the thousands at a typical vet practice.

The Breed and Age Can Affect the Price

While you probably won't pay too much for your coverage, the cost of dog insurance can vary quite a bit. This is mostly because the health needs of different dog breeds are very different. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain illnesses than others. And this can increase costs. However, these are usually very specific, and your dog's cover will probably be lower than you think if it is in good health. However, you should also be aware that the age of your dog can also affect the cost. And many insurers have a maximum age range that they will allow on a policy.

You Can Claim When Your Dog Dies

Not all, but some insurers will allow you to claim for the sudden death of your dog. However, this is very dependent on the circumstances. For example, you probably won't be able to claim if your dog has been unwell, is old, or is predisposed to a specific illness. In a nutshell, the death of your dog has to be largely unexpected. Such as being run over by a vehicle, attacked by another dog, or even purposefully killed by someone. And to make a claim for reimbursement, you will have to provide evidence of the cost of your dog at the time you purchased them.

You Can Recover Costs when Your Dog Goes Missing

Hopefully, your dog never gets hurt or goes missing. But there is some help available if they do wander off or are stolen. When your dog goes missing, you will probably launch a campaign to find them. This often includes making posters and such. Your insurance holder might offer some respite in recovery of costs incurred when trying to ding your dog. Also the cost of a reward might also be included. So always check with your insurer. Although, the cost of the reward will probably be limited to a maximum. So, don't offer more than you can afford or get cover for.

Exclusions to Your Dog Insurance Policy

Having insurance for your dog is the right thing to do when it all comes down to it. However, you need to be aware that it isn't a free pass for every eventuality. And there are many exclusions to most policies. Typically, these include, but are not limited to, the following scenarios:

  • The waiting period from when your cover starts.

  • Any pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Costs of your dog giving birth to puppies.

  • Payouts if your dog is stolen.

  • Medical issues that occur on both sides of the body.

  • Preventable illnesses that are your responsibility.

  • Specific conditions your breed is predisposed to.

  • Dogs that have gone past a certain age.

  • Non-urgent or unnecessary procedures like nail clipping.

  • Other animal services such as kennel boarding.

These are some of the most common things that are not covered by your dog insurance. However, there are instances, such as higher rate cover, where you might be covered for something on this list. So make sure you understand your policy as provided by your insurer.

You Can Get Travel Cover

Traveling with your dog can be a great adventure. And the dogs love to get out and about. And the good news is that most pet insurance plans will cover your pet if it gets sick, is hurt, or needs veterinary care while you are traveling. However, you can also claim for money lost after paying for a holiday. Many insurers will also pay for lost travel and lodging costs if you have to cancel a trip because your pet gets sick and could die right before you leave. So it's always worth checking with your insurer if they will cover these costs before booking a holiday.

Not All Insurers Include Dental

Expensive treatments like an epulis aren't usually covered on your insurance policy. However, most pet insurance plans cover some dental care for your pet. In most cases, a few policies will only pay for dental care that is needed because of an accident, not because of illness. And those who do usually only cover your pet if it gets a once-a-year dental checkup. But it might be worth inquiring about dental cover. This is because some insurance providers will offer dental packages with an additional fee or as part of a more extensive dog insurance policy.

Each Insurer has a Variable Cover Range

Your dog insurance can be expensive or relatively cheap. This is because almost all dog insurance companies offer different packages that might suit you. For example, you could choose a policy that covers basic vet treatments. In this case, you probably won't need to pay too much. Or you could opt for a package that covers your dog for thousands worth of complex treatments and surgeries. Therefore, cover is largely variable across most insurers. And often you can always find one that offers the right cover at a reasonable price at the time.

Dog Insurance Can Cover Homeopathic Treatment

Sometimes extra treatments are needed for your dog's recovery. And just like people, this can extend to non-traditional treatments. If your vet recommends them, alternative treatments like homeopathy, acupuncture, and physiotherapy can be covered by your pet insurance. However, these are usually considered as a last resort or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan proven to yield positive results. You should be aware that if you decide to find these treatments for your dog by your own choice, you will not be able to make a claim from your provider.

Annual Injections Usually Aren't Covered

Of course, as a dog owner, you know the importance of your dog's annual vaccination injections. These protect against deadly illnesses like parvovirus. Therefore, they are absolutely essential. However, almost all policies don't provide cover for these since they are considered your responsibility. Fortunately, they don't cost too much. Also individual vet practices might also offer these as a complementary treatment if you also pay for a medical plan. Some vets offer medical plans as part of their business model, like private healthcare for your dog.

You Can Save a Lot of Money

Finally, if there's one thing you need to know about dog insurance, it's that it can and will save you a lot of money in the long run. With vet bills skyrocketing, like everything else, having insurance cover for your dog just makes financial sense. Otherwise, you could be left out of pocket or even have to use up savings and emergency money to pay for treatment. Of course, it's another monthly expense. But the savings you make are considerable when the time comes. So, in a nutshell, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


There are numerous aspects, clauses, and policies to dog insurance. While every insurer offers different things, there are some commonalities. On the face of it, most insurers cover third-party issues, have the same exclusions, and help you save a considerable amount of money.

UK Visitors

Welcome UK visitors to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates in the book, plus American dogs training that I know. A portion of the sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies are donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or visit my book page above to order from me.

My Children's Picture Book

My Children's Picture Book
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Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

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