Mini Cart

Great Article by Kimberly Alt.

 

When a copperhead snake snuck up and bit Alyssa Singer’s Doberman, Miles, on the muzzle, she didn’t think twice about rushing her pup to the vet. But the $600 vet bill stopped her in her tracks. Miles was fine after a dose of antivenom and some TLC, but Alyssa’s bank account is still recovering.

Melissa Vincent’s Bichon Frise, Fenway, needed not one but two knee surgeries to repair subluxated patellas, a relatively common orthopedic problem in the breed. Melissa ended up shelling out more than $4,000 to get Fenway back up and running again.

Pet Insurance Reviews

Pet insurance has been a growing industry and a passion of ours since 2007. We work hard to bring you honest, unbiased reviews by conducting research and getting customer feedback.

Below are our top three picks for pet insurance this year, including our review criteria and factors we consider most important when it comes to your pet’s health and well-being.

We consistently update our reviews, so be sure to check in regularly for the most current information.

BestRunner-Up3rd Place
Healthy Paws logoPets Best logoFIGO logo small
4.65 / 5.004.55 / 5.004.50 / 5.00
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website

Finding the best pet insurance can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve done in-depth research and spoken with real customers to bring you our top 3 picks.

Want to understand pet insurance? We’ve put together a checklist for you:

  1. Get Free Pet Insurance Quotes

    Open our pet insurance quotes to see an example of who offers the lowest prices.

  2. See how others compare to our top 3 by reading about the rest of the pack.
  3. Become an expert on pet insurance yourself by learning more.
  4. View our infographic to see some surprising statistics and fun facts.
  5. You may want to open up our pet health insurance terminologypage for an easy side-by-side reference.

Price Of Policy Ratings

Pet insurance stands out among our reviews in that the cost of each policy is unique to your pet and is calculated based on a vast number of variables, including but not limited to your pet’s age, breed, location (e.g., where you live), health conditions and so forth.

We calculate our “price of policy” ratings based on quotes we run in addition to reader and consumer feedback. Since the price for your pet may vary significantly from that of others for a given provider, we encourage you to get quotes from multiple companies.

1st Place: Healthy Paws

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

Healthy Paws logo1st
Overall Ranking4.65 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4.25 pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4.75 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Do We Consider Healthy Paws The Winner?

  1. Lots Of Plan Options With No Caps – Healthy Paws offers four annual deductible levels ($100, $250, $500 or $750), four percentage options for actual vet bill payouts (60%, 70%, 80% or 90%) and no cap (per-incident, lifetime or otherwise) on any of its claims.
  2. No Yearly Limits – Once you meet your annual deductible, all policy-covered incidents will be paid during that year, while most companies reimburse after you reach each incident deductible. So, if your pet is susceptible to trouble more than once a year or you just want to be on the safe side, this plan could be a good fit.
  3. The Best Customer Service – Healthy Paws has some of the best customer service reviews in the business.
  4. Low Premium Prices – Most consumers report lower premium prices for similar coverage (unlimited lifetime benefits with no claim limits).
2nd Place: Pets Best

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

Pets Best logo2nd
Overall Ranking4.55 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4.75 pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Did We Choose Pets Best As Our #2 Pick?

  1. True Emergency Only Option – Pets Best offers an “Accident Only Plan” to cover you in case of unplanned emergencies, but it does not include exam fees or specialty treatments. This plan has a $10,000 annual limit with a $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement, making it one of the least expensive options for pet insurance.
  2. Low Pricing – Pets Best was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes.
  3. Customer Service Options – It offers live chat, phone, email, fax and FAQs to help answer your questions. We’re also impressed with its 24/7 Pet Helpline, which allows you to speak with a vet expert any time of day.
  4. Customizable Plans Tailored To What You Want – You choose what coverage you want to pay for instead of paying more for stuff you don’t want. Deductible options are from $50-$1,000, reimbursement is available for 70%, 80% or 90%, and it offers two wellness plans.
3rd Place: Figo

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

FIGO logo small3rd
Overall Ranking4.50 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4 and a half pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Is Figo Our #3 Pick?

  1. 100% Reimbursement Available – Figo is the only pet insurance company in our reviews to offer 100% reimbursement for claims. If you want your full claims covered, Figo may be the company for you.
  2. Low Pricing – Figo was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes.
  3. Customer Service Options – You can reach Figo in many ways, including phone, text, live chat, email, fax, Facebook Messenger or Twitter.
  4. Fully Customizable Plans – Pet owners considering Figo can create a plan to best meet their needs and budget with a choice of maximum annual coverage amount ($10,000 to unlimited coverage), annual deductible ($100 to $750) and reimbursement rate (70%, 80%, 90% or 100%). Depending on location and age of pet, you may qualify for additional options including a deductible between $50 and $1,500 and/or a 60% reimbursement rate.

The Rest Of The Pack

Here’s a list of companies we include in our annual pet insurance reviews (goes above and beyond this comparison by including in-depth reviews of each provider with pros and cons) with their founding year:

  • First: Healthy Paws 2009
  • Second: Pets Best 2005
  • Third: Figo 2013
  • 24PetWatch 2000
  • AKC Pet Healthcare 2003
  • ASPCA/Hartville Pet Insurance 1997
  • Embrace 2003
  • Nationwide acquired VPI in 2014 and started selling pet insurance as Nationwide (VPI founded in 1982)
  • PetFirst 2004
  • Petplan U.S. 2003 (Petplan started in the UK in 1976)
  • Trupanion 2000

We Do Not Review New Entrants

Many new pet insurance companies are popping up due to the popularity and high demand.

In the past, we’ve seen new companies enter the pet insurance space at meager prices. However, after some time in business and paying some claims, these companies increase rates to make ends meet. This ends up hurting the customers because their premiums increase drastically — and if they submitted a claim, their pet now has a pre-existing condition. So, if they change providers, that condition will not be covered by another pet insurance provider. In the end, they may have been better off going with a different, more well-established company.

Because of these issues, we’ve decided only to review pet insurance companies that have at least 5 full years of national experience. We think this approach gives companies time to establish a consistent pricing system and reputation, which helps give customers and us a better idea of what to expect.

What Is Pet Insurance & Is It Worth It?

Still not sure whether you need or understand pet insurance? We created a pet insurance 101 guide, which includes:

  • What Is Pet Insurance?
  • How Does It Work?
  • Why Do I Need It?
  • What Does It Cover?
  • How Much Is Pet Insurance?
  • Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
  • Real Reimbursement Stories

This helpful guide gives you a good understanding of your options when it comes to insuring your furry family members.

What Are The Benefits Of Pet Insurance?

This video is a useful introduction to dog insurance and the benefits of owning a policy.

Reasons To Get Pet Insurance (Infographic)

Reasons To Get Pet Insurance Infographic

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

For those of you still on the fence, you’re probably wondering what kind of common scenarios your pup might get into when pet insurance would apply. Check out our list of common dog health issues to get an idea. For example, removing lumps and bumps is one of the most common surgeries for dogs and can cost more than $1,000 each time.

That’s a lot of money that you weren’t planning to spend, and most of us don’t have that amount of cash lying around. Insuring your pet can lift that weight off of you so you can focus on enjoying your time with your four-pawed friends instead of worrying about having to pay for unexpected medical bills.

A great article from Jennifer S.

blog-details

 

Time to hit the road? Far from setting off into the sunset and enjoying a relaxing journey, travelling with a dog can be a fur-raising experience.

Fear peeing, puking and pooing; shaking, barking, whining and whimpering. Yeah, safe to say that hitting route 66 quickly turns into the road trip from hell when accompanied by your nervy canine. So, what can you do about it? Let’s work through our top waggly-tail tips.H

Plan well ahead for accommodation

We don’t know why, but not everyone is a huge fan of dogs (between you and I – they don’t know what they’re missing). Anyway, dogs are pretty much a no-go for many motels and hotels, so you’ll need to do a little legwork before you set off.

This page lists pet-friendly hotels in the USA, and allows you to search by date as well as book online. Easy peasy.

Make a list (check it twice, thrice, four times) and pack in good time

Packing for a smooth trip starts with getting organized and packing your bag at least the day before. Here’s a list of things to pop into your case for your pooch:

  • Dog food
  • Treats
  • Dog crate
  • Food/water bowls
  • Dog harness/seat belt buckle
  • Leashes
  • Up-to-date vaccine records (this will be required when entering Canada, as well as for staying at some accommodation)
  • Poo bags
  • Lint roller (for attempting to tackle that in-car dog hair)

Go for walkies before hand

A long walk will pay off big time before your journey (at least double the usual daily walk should do nicely). Give him a small treat or two once he’s home, but avoid feeding him his usual meal (a full belly is a sure-fire way to bring about car sickness).

Dogs can easily (and happily) go for a day without food, just so long as they have plenty of water to hand.

Safety first

When it’s time to set off, be sure to safely secure your dog with a seat buckle or place him in a good quality crate (don’t be tempted to let him hang his head out of the window – as this can lead to some pretty nasty eye injuries).

You should also make sure that he’s easily identifiable (at least through a collar tag and microchip). Ideally however you should go one step further, and fit him with a dog tracker (there are some great – and inexpensive – options out there that work with your smartphone – such as the Paw TrackerGibi Pet Locator and Link AKC Smart Dog Collar).

Finally, think about the weather. If it’s the midst of summer and your car is air-conditioning free you should plan to avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day.

Top up your gas at quiet stations

If possible, try to stop off for gas and toilet breaks at stations outside of built-up urban areas, as it’ll be more likely that you’ll discover a grassy space (which can encourage a reluctant pooch to open his bladder!).

Take a pitstop for a mid-way walk

Try to split your journey up every couple of hours or so with a 15-minute walk. This may take some planning, but it shouldn’t be too challenging to discover a nice walk just a short way off most main highways.

Pop in a CBD bone or two into your pouch’s packing

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s derived from all-natural, 3rd party tested hemp (e.g. it won’t make your canine stoned – it’ll simply calm their nerves and get them travel-ready).

CBD bones are made for everything from the terrors of fireworks to taking a road trip or plane ride.

FOMO bones team CBD with a formidable team of valerian root, chamomile and passion flower for one all-natural canine calmer.

Pack up the suitcase, through in the dog basket, blanket and FOMO bone – we’re hitting the road!

With FOMO, your dog can chow down on a CBD-infused treat – an entirely natural substance that can help with everything from a fear of scary thunder, onto plane rides and car journeys.

Another great article by

When we first saw Gunther at the shelter, he looked so sad and scared….

There are so, many homeless pets in the world. It can be daunting just to think of the sheer number of dogs in need. There are ways to help, though. If we all pitch in, we can give warm, loving homes to each of them. Whether you’re ready to adopt or just have some extra time on your hands, there are many ways to help homeless pets.

1. Adopt

Adopting a dog may be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. When you adopt a dog, they understand that you are saving them. They remember their old, hard life and appreciate your love and companionship so much more for it. Although some rescues may be tricky in the beginning, it will be worth it in the end. Adopted dogs are full of love and loyalty and will brighten every aspect of your life.

Even if you are looking for a specific breed or age, check with local shelters. Homeless dogs come in all breeds, shapes, sizes, and ages, which should be all the more reason to adopt.

2. Foster

If you aren’t ready for the commitment of adopting a dog, you can still offer them care in their time of need. Fostering is a wonderful way to help shelters and rescues—it helps them to accommodate more dogs, provides dogs with one-on-one care to make sure their needs are met, and it gives homeless dogs comfort and much-needed human contact.

3. Volunteer Your Time

Even if all you have is a bit of extra time on your hands, it can make a big difference in helping homeless pets. Most shelters and rescues happily accept volunteers. Even if you just take a dog for a walk or give them a belly rub at the shelter, it can make a huge difference in their quality of life.

If you have a special set of skills, you can use that to help, as well. Are you a wiz with a camera? Offer to take photos of homeless pets to post online. This could drastically improve their chances of adoption. If you’re a natural at building websites, offer to optimize or update the shelter’s website. These may seem like small tasks, but they free up the shelter’s time and resources to dedicate more to the animals themselves.

If you’re visiting the local shelter to volunteer your time, invite friends or family along as well. Not only will you have more fun walking dogs and petting dogs together, but the shelter will appreciate the extra help, too. It’s a great way to get friends and family involved and to introduce them to some of the sweet dogs looking for a home.

4. Donate Gently Used Items

Do you have old blankets or towels tucked away around that you don’t use anymore? Free up your linen closet and help homeless animals at the same time by donating these to local shelters. They help provide animals with much-needed warmth and comfort.

Keep an eye out around the home for items you no longer use and consider setting them aside for a shelter. Some of the things that shelters always need include blankets, towels, pet beds, laundry detergent, leashes and collars, dog toys, treats, food and water bowls, pet shampoo, and dog food.

Towels, blankets, and dog beds bring homeless pets a lot of comfort from the cold, hard floors of shelters. Years after being adopted, Gunther still likes to be tucked in.

5. Buy a Homeless Pet a Meal

If you’re busy, consider donating directly to shelters or rescues. These donations help buy food and beds for homeless pets and ensure they get the veterinary care they need. Some shelters and rescues even have monthly donation options. Just a few bucks a month can make an enormous difference to many homeless dogs.

6. Attend Local Events

Shelters, nonprofits, and rescues often hold local events to raise awareness and funds. Keep an eye out for these in the community, and consider attending or helping out with one. Whether it’s a pet walk, craft fair, adoption fair, or donation drive, it’s bound to be a fun event and a great opportunity to help homeless pets. Bring a friend or two if you go!

7. Become an Advocate

One of the biggest things you can do to make a difference is to help solve the problem at its source. Nonprofit animal advocacy groups such as Their Voice help homeless pets and help pass legislation to protect animals and end inhumane practices. For example, Their Voice has introduced local legislation to ban “puppy mills” and instead stock pet stores with rescue pups in need of adoption. This cuts down on inhumane breeding practices, helps prevent the spread of diseases such as Campylobacter, and increases visibility for dogs in need of adoption.

You can help homeless pets and address the root of the problem by volunteering or donating to nonprofits such as Their VoiceThe Humane Society, or ASPCA.

8. Give Gifts That Give Back

Whether you’re shopping for the holidays or just treating yourself, you can buy gifts that support shelters and nonprofits online or locally. Most shelters and rescues sell gifts at their location, and the ASPCA offers a selection of gifts online. Their Voice makes and sells beautiful pet-themed ornaments and handcrafted items with proceeds from these sales used to help homeless pets and create real change.

9. Host a Pet Donation Party

A great way to get friends and family involved and have fun for a good cause is to host a pet donation party. Throw a themed party, and ask each guest to bring a cash donation, towel, blanket, or some dog food. Not only will this help homeless pets, but it is a fun chance to get together and spread the word. To make the occasion even more memorable, you can include a dog theme. Drink wine and paint pet portraits, bake sugar cookies shaped like bones, or make some quick and easy dog DIYs together—some for the shelter or rescue you’re supporting, and some to pamper your own pets with.

10. Share on Social Media

Even if you’re just browsing the web, you can help homeless pets. Repost photos of adoptable dogs on social media. If you have a rescue, tell your story—it will inspire others to help, too. If you fell in love with a dog at the shelter but can’t adopt right now, ask if you can snap a photo and share it online.

While you’re posting cute adoptable dogs on Facebook and Instagram, you can also visit websites such as Freekibble to test your pet knowledge. Whether you answer right or wrong, food will be donated to homeless pets in need for every question you respond to.

11. Spread the Word

If someone you know is thinking about getting a pet, remind them that adoption is an option. If they want to give a dog as a gift, encourage them to give a gift certificate to a local shelter. That way, the gift recipient can pick out the perfect dog for them, and it gives a home to a dog in need.

Even if they are set on a particular breed or looking for a puppy, remind friends and family that many breeds, both mixed and purebred, are available at shelters, and that homeless pets come in all ages from puppies to seniors. As popular as purebred dogs are, mixed breed dogs are just as beautiful and often healthier. Mixed breed dogs have seen a surge in popularity as well—instead of spending an arm and a leg for a Labradoodle or a Pomchi, remind them to check the shelter first.

Many people don’t realize that dogs of all breeds and all ages can be found for adoption. Gunther the beagle was only a puppy when we brought him home.

Whether you adopt, donate your time, go shopping for a good cause, or just post on social media, you’ll be improving the lives of homeless pets. It is incredibly rewarding to make a difference, and we are each capable of creating real change. If we all help, we can find loving homes for each and every dog that dreams of having a family to call their own.

A great Article by

Treating your pet like your baby only makes sense. You care for it in every way it needs.

From grooming and medication, to exercise and food. You have a duty to your pet to keep them happy and healthy as they depend on your timekeeping for sustainability.

As dogs have become domesticated and trained into the faithful and loving pets they are today, it is important to observe that the bodily functions of the mammal have changed very little. Although dogs have been bred for particular purposes and new breeds now walk among us, the natural order of the canine stays true to its instinctual design. Snout, teeth, a keen sense of smell and a very particular set of digestion factors reside within purebreds and mutts alike.

Both the wild and domesticated canine is made specifically to eat meat. Observable traits in wolves and other wild dogs show us that the biological factors previously stated give all dogs the ability to hunt and satiate themselves through a primitive hunt-rip-eat process.

Though you may not see your Aunt’s diamond-clad Bichon out on a rat hunt, the instinct still resides and has transformed into people-pleasing for savory store-bought snacks. Those muscle piercing, bone scaping teeth make quick work of the candy-like kibble and the dog is left craving another.

Have we altered the natural order by taking in these beautiful hunters and giving them the things they could never obtain on their own? Well, your dog surely would not want to miss more than an hour spent with you, and the treats give them quite a few tail wags. After all, you keep them clean and safe from the harsh elements that could pose a threat to any animal.

However, it is without a doubt a crucial role of an owner to give back to your dog the God-given traits and skills that helped them survive long enough to be bred into your furry pal. This starts with your dog’s diet. Why feed your dog raw meats? Well, the answer stems much deeper than simply paying homage to the true instinct of your pups fore-pawthers.

Real Meat for Real Dogs

Despite ‘dogist’ judgment, all dogs are real dogs. Though the Papillon and Malamute couldn’t seem further from each other, they do both subscribe to the carnivore order. It may surprise some to hear that even small lap-dogs are built to eat raw meats, as they have been bred throughout time to hunt using their own instincts to sniff out, track and kill micro-game as they would pre-domestication.

Not all meat is made equal, but for dogs, the spectrum of edible product is quite vast. Dogs are able to consume various types of raw meats due to their tough guts. The stomach acid in a dogs digestive system breaks down nutrients and disposes of harmful bacteria in the process.

Health Benefits of Raw Meat for Dogs

Aside from being more like the food that caters to their natural instincts, a raw food diet has some pretty remarkable health benefits compared to traditional dog food diets. These health benefits include things like:

  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight- Many dogs tend to put on a few extra pounds when they are eating normal dog food, even if they are getting a decent amount of exercise. This is potentially due to the high carbohydrate content in traditional dog food. With raw meat, dogs are getting a full meal that consists of high amounts of protein and healthy fats while keeping their carbohydrate intake down to a minimum.
  • Healthier and Shinier Coat- Often times, all it takes to give your dog a healthy and beautiful coat is to add some much-needed raw meat to their diet. This is likely due to the higher levels of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, especially if they are eating raw fish.
  • More Energy and Stamina- If you start feeding your dog raw meats, you will probably see a pretty significant increase in their energy and stamina. This is because protein and fats can be a much more powerful energy source than carbs, not just for dogs, but humans as well.
  • Better Digestive Health- Since our dogs were designed to eat raw meat, it is significantly easier on their bodies to digest than, say, wheat or other fillers often found in store-bought dog foods. Feeding your pup some high-quality raw meat can improve their digestion, as well as their bowel health. You’ll even notice smaller, less stinky stool.
  • Stronger Immune System- When you give a dog the food that it is meant to eat, their immunity will likely improve as well.

There’s also emerging evidence that suggests a raw meat diet can actually help in the correction of poor behavior. Quite a bit of negative behavior in dogs can be linked to poor diet like excessive digging, chewing on items they shouldn’t be chewing on, and begging for food.

If your dog isn’t getting exactly what they need from their diet, they will work hard to tell you that there is an issue. This comes in the form of actions and behavior that is less than desirable. Many pet owners and veterinary professionals have found that simply improving their diet can decrease this negative behavior and facilitate a happier and more mutually beneficial relationship between you and your dog.

And these are just some of the known benefits that come along with switching out to a raw food diet for your dog. There are so many other amazing benefits that others have noticed in their own pups that have been eating raw food such as reduced risk of disease, weight control, no more allergies, reduction of inflammation, and so much more.

More Than Just Meat

Raw meats are the main ingredient for your dog to live its best life. However, there are other biological corrections that can be made to your dogs eating routine.

Just like a freshly caught rabbit, a well-executed garden strafing run could uproot some raw foods between hunts, as well as other herbs and berries found along a dog’s daily bout. Select raw vegetables, grains, and even fruits play a huge nutrient balancing role in a wild animal’s daily life. An uncanny acronym, the B.A.R.F. diet promotes just that.

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet gives dogs a balanced mix of the fixings found in the wild and can make dog multivitamins a thing of the past. The main ingredient in this health-dog diet is none other than raw meat. The B.A.R.F. diet may appear a bit costly as you start to add up a full grocery list for your dog, but the price of dog groceries will save you on vet bills and give your dog years of life advancement.

An example of a proper B.A.R.F meal for your dog might include things like a raw chicken breast along with some chicken liver and other organ meat, pureed vegetable of choice, pumpkin seeds, and a handful of blueberries. This is a stark difference in nutrients compared to standard store-bought food. Most of the stuff out there today doesn’t even list meat as the first ingredient!

To properly follow the B.A.R.F. diet, a meal should include 70 percent raw meat, 10 percent edible bones, six percent fermented or pureed vegetables, five percent liver, five percent other organ meat, two percent nuts and seeds, and two percent safe fruit.

Risks of Raw Meat

As with all good things, it is important not to ignore the potential negative effects. Although pups are built to consume the muscles of their would be prey, risks do still exist. Bacteria and other sicknesses that can affect dogs can be found in raw meat and pose a risk to them as well as you, the owner.

There is also the risk of bone-in meat for your dog as well, as bones could fracture or splinter, causing the potential for punctures inside the stomach or intestinal tract. However, it is important to remember that your dog knows what they’re doing. Their primal ancestors have been eating meat off the bone for centuries.

Some would argue that dogs have been evolving alongside humans for tens of thousands of years at least and that this has led to dogs’ diets to stray away from raw foods. However, this theory is a bit flawed. Dogs have only been eating mass-produced and processed foods for the last 50 or 60 years. This is not a long enough period to eradicate a dog’s ability to properly digest raw meat.

However, the risks associated with raw meats are significantly less than the potential of harm associated with big box store-bought kibble. Links to health complications such as obesity, cancer, and other diseases from heavily-processed dog foods are alarming. You wouldn’t recommend a human eat a strict diet of fast food and junk, would you? Why feed that kind of processed foods to your dog?

Even high-end vet recommended kibble isn’t up to par in comparison to a solid biologically accurate raw meal.

How to Afford a Raw Meat Diet for Dogs

One of the biggest reasons that pet owners stray away from feeding their animals a raw food diet has to do with the price. And yes, it can get pretty expensive. But it doesn’t have to.

In fact, many who have switched over from ‘nutricious’ kibble to a raw food diet have reportedly spent less money on food than before. This is because dogs who get all of the nutrients that they need from a great quality meal don’t need to eat as often or as much.

Buying in bulk is also a great way to save money on meats and other supplies. And don’t get overly concerned with the cuts of meat. Remember, out in the wild your dog would be eating all parts of the animal. This includes less expensive cuts of meat like chicken backs and necks, turkey necks, liver, hearts, stomach, and more.

If you can afford it, your animal will thank you for providing them with the kind of food that speaks to their primitive nature and biological needs.

Conclusion

While there is no one perfect diet for every dog, there is something to be said about feeding your pets the food that they would be eating out in the wild. It gives them a taste of their own primal instincts and gives them a sense of purpose when they eat.

You’ll likely find yourself with a healthier and happier dog that has better behavior and far fewer health complications. You’ll spend less money on vet bills, and possibly even less money on food. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping provide a more natural way of eating for the dog you love.

While there are certainly some higher-end kibble brands that sell decently nutritious food down at your local pet store, the links to health complications still remain. And, of course, your dog is going to feel the effects of this later on in life. If you are going to be buying any sort of commercial kibble, please be sure to speak to your vet and try and decide of the best quality kind that is available to you within your price range.

However, it is probably a better option if feasible to provide your dog with a biologically appropriate diet that brings them closer to their roots.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to your local grocery store and pick up some of the ingredients we talked about and see what kind of a difference it can make in your dog’s life!

A great article

 

 

Just like humans, your dog needs regular dental care. A buildup of tartar or plaque can cause tooth decay, bad breath, sometimes called “halitosis”, or gum disease.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is the best option. But there are other things you can do to keep your pooch’s mouth healthy and sweet smelling.


Healthy teeth and gums make your dog feel his best and act his best. Keeping a regular dental routine is the best way to ensure your dog’s teeth are healthy and strong.

Start your dog’s tooth brushing routine when he’s a puppy. At around one month old, your puppy will begin losing his baby teeth. Around six months of age, will have his 42 adult dog teeth. Give your puppy chewing treats or soft toys to chew to ease the discomfort of losing his baby teeth.

Healthy Diet

Feeding your dog a healthy diet is the first step in good teeth. Dog foods rich in calcium, iron and vitamins support good enamel and healthy gums.  Ask your veterinarian which food is best suited for your dog’s dental needs.

Toothbrush Trivia

It’s best to start brushing your dog’s teeth when he’s still a puppy to help him get used to the experience. Begin brushing only for a few minutes a day, then gradually increase the amount of time you brush.

Because dogs love routine, create a regular time time and place for the brushing. Some vets recommend daily cleaning, but every other day works fine, too.

Reward your dog after his teeth cleaning with an activity such as a walk, a game of fetch or a treat. Your dog will look forward to his teeth cleaning especially if there’s a prize at the end.


Rewarding your dog with some extra time with you is the best treat of all for your dog.Walk him or teach a new trick to stimulate his interest and help him to be more excited to have his teeth cleaned.

Pick and Choose

There’s a huge assortment of dog toothbrush products on the market. You might consider trying out several kinds to see which one works best for you and your dog. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Finger brush: The spiky bristles on this plastic finger brush make brushing easy. The rubbery cap fits snuggly over your index finger. It’s a great product because it helps you get into those hard to reach places in your dog’s mouth. I use a finger brush on my dog because he’s so wiggly. He isn’t as nervous when I use this brush compared to the standard toothbrush. Another good feature is the finger toothbrushes affordability. They come with three to six in a package. Before you buy them, check out the bristles, some are flatter than others, and they don’t work as well.
  • Standard dog toothbrush: Dog toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes depending on what you want to use and the size of your dog. Most vets recommend a double headed brush because of the 45 degree angle for deeper cleaning.

If your dog is skittish like my dog, Sam, then you’ll want to slowly introduce a new toothbrush before jumping into tooth brushing. Allow your dog to smell and like the toothbrush. Add a bit of toothpaste and gently start the tooth brushing routine. If your dog pulls away, start the process over again.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Learning how to brush your dog’s teeth the right way will help in the long run. I wanted to just jump right in, how hard could it be? But I realized that I needed to learn what the “experts” do first, then brush my dog’s teeth. I learned some things from watching toothbrushing videos, plus my dog gets his teeth brushed more thoroughly. It’s a win, win.

  • Chewing toothbrush: This bristly stick-like toothbrush cleans your dog’s teeth as he chews. You can smear peanut butter onto the brush to motivate your pup, but some dogs simply lick it off.  Dogs like coconut oil. Plus, the oil seeps into the spiky bristles which makes your dog chew harder to get at the oil.
  • Dental bones or chews: Synthetic bones and dental chews can’t fully replace brushing your dog’s teeth, but these products are a quick way to freshen your dog’s breath. I like to substitute dental chews for my dog’s treats for coming or sitting. That way he gets his treat. It’s an age old debate whether or not dental bones or chews actually clean your dog’s teeth. It’s probably safe to remember that brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to remove tartar and plaque.

Dog toothpaste

  • Over the counter toothpaste: There are many brand of dog toothpastes on the market. They come in an assortment of flavors-liver peanut butter,beef and chicken flavor to name a few. If your dog doesn’t like the flavor you’ve chose, keep trying until you find your dog’s favor one. This will make teeth brushing easy for the two of you.
  • Natural toothpaste: If you’re more of a naturalist, you can create your own toothpaste for your pooch. Be careful to use safe ingredients in your dog’s natural toothpaste. Never use a product unless you’re sure it’s safe for your dog.
  • Coconut and organic turmeric: Mix one eighth teaspoon of organic turmeric with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Dip the toothbrush in the mixture and brush.  Turmeric not only effectively cleans dog’s teeth but has other added benefits, including: it is a natural anti-inflammatory and natural antioxidant, improves heart health, and aids digestion
  • Dried, round up mint leaves and coconut oil: Another great natural mixture that cleans and freshens your dog’s mouth. Combine one fourth teaspoon of ground mint leaves mixed with one teaspoon coconut oil. All herbal mints are safe for your dog except Pennyroyal which is strictly an ornamental mint.

Call in the professionals

Of course, sometimes regular brushing isn’t enough, If there is tartar build up, your vet will suggest a professional dental teeth-cleaning. This dental cleaning can be done at the veterinarian’s office. Your dog will need to be anesthetized for the procedure. A dental cleaning involves scaling the teeth to clean the tartar, inspecting the teeth for decay and polishing the teeth. If your vet detects dental disease, x-rays will be included in the dental cleaning. Overall, it’s an expensive endeavor that can be avoided by regularly brushing your dog’s teeth.

Professional teeth cleaning costs vary depending upon where you live and if there are other services included such as X-rays that your vet might do during the cleaning. Ask your vet ahead of time about the costs.

Broken teeth

Just like humans, dog’s teeth can break. Avoid giving your dog things that can break his teeth:

  • Ice is a tooth breaker. Some dogs love to chew ice cubes, especially in the hot summer month. If you want to give your dog some ice to cool off, give him crushed ice to prevent broken teeth.
  • Too hard bones are dangerous for a dog’s teeth. Dogs love bones, but some bones are too hard for them to chew. The marrow bone is a large bone found in the femur or humerus of a cow. These bones make great chewing toys for your dog, but it’s wise to limit the amount of time your dog chews it.
  • Too hard treats- Some homemade treats become too hard for dog’s teeth. Always test treats before giving them to your dog, or break them into small pieces to prevent tooth breakage.
  • Some dogs love to chew sticks, acorns, and even rocks! Keep an eye on your dog when he’s outside. If he’s constantly chewing sticks, gently pull the stick out of his mouth and give him a chewing toy instead. Sometimes, dogs chew out of boredom. Keep him busy with a game of fetch or a chasing game.

Summary:

Caring for your dog’s teeth is should be a regular part of your dog’s day. Regular brushing, a good healthy diet and keeping an eye on your dog’s chewing habits will ensure that your pooch has a happy, healthy smile. And so will you!

%d bloggers like this: