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Ten Tips for Protecting your Pet through winter

While many of us have benefited from a period of unseasonable warmth so far this season, it is unlikely that we will be able to keep Jack Frost away indefinitely, so here are our Top 10 tips for keeping your pet safe and healthy when the colder weather comes:-
  1. Even though most healthy cats and dogs have the benefit of their own personal fur coat, it is not a good idea to subject your pet to an extended stay outside during extreme weather. Most dogs (particularly the young, the old and shorthaired dogs) and all cats are safer and more comfortable when kept inside during the cold weather.
  2. Your dog does however need its regular exercise, no matter what the weather is like outside - you may wish to consider purchasing a coat for your pet if you have a shorthaired, young or old dog.
  3. When you walk your dog try to keep to paths that are free and clear of snow and ice as far as possible. If you do walk in the snow check your dog’s feet for snow balls forming between their pads and claws as this can cause them discomfort as they walk. Non-slip shoes are available in different sizes and styles from pet retailers and may be considered if your dog is willing.
  4. Burning and irritation can be caused by salt or chemical de-icers found on sidewalks, a thick layer of petroleum jelly applied to their paws beforehand can prevent them from experiencing discomfort.
  5. Keep towels by the door so that after a walk you can wipe your dog’s feet, legs and abdomen free from the snow and ice. While you’re doing this, you should check for cuts, cracked skin and frostbite (the skin will look abnormally red or grey). Frostbite can be treated by applying warm, moist towels to the area until it slowly thaws, severe cases will require a vet’s attention.
  6. If you have a dog that has to stay outside, provide a draft free doghouse, elevated off the ground, free of leaks, and line it with warm bedding material. Ensure that your dog has ready access to fresh unfrozen water at all times. Your dog will require more food during the cold weather as it will be using up additional energy to keep warm. Always use plastic food and water bowls to ensure that your pet’s tongue does not stick to the bowl. When the outside temperature gets too cold you should provide your dog with access to a “dog room” away from the elements where the temperature can be maintained at an appropriate level.
  7. Keep your pets away from the garage and driveway and do not allow them to drink from puddles on the street as they may ingest anti-freeze. Anti-freeze tastes sweet to your pet, but is deadly, if you have cause to believe that your pet may have ingested anti-freeze – do not delay, take your pet to your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately.
  8. While most cats are happy to spend the majority of the cold weather indoors, preferably curled up in front of a warm fire, cats that do go outside will seek a warm place to sleep and cats have been known to climb into the engines of cars – always make sure that you know where your cat is before you start your engine.
  9. Symptoms of arthritis can be aggravated by the cold, handle your older pets gently, avoid situations in which your pet could slip and fall and keep current with your pet’s medications.
  10. Most pets will end up spending more time inside during the winter months, similar to humans, cabin fever can set in; make sure that your pet has toys to play with and the additional stimulation of human companionship.

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Ten Tips On...Feeding Your Pet! [ click here ]

Recent research is clearly demonstrating that obesity and all its associated health risks is becoming a major health issue for domestic dogs and cats. The answer is simple – diet and exercise – for 10 Top Diet Tips click here.

  1. Pets come in all shapes and sizes and the amount of food and type of food that they need varies by breed, age, size and activity level, fortunately there are a number of readily available resources that you can access from your veterinarian, your breeder and the major pet food manufacturers.
  2. The amount of food recommended by pet food manufacturers is carefully calculated to meet the needs of the average pet – in order to keep your pet at a healthy weight, don’t guess, measure the food out and follow the guidelines.
  3. Your pet’s health will benefit in the long run if you refrain from feeing your pet kitchen scraps – human food is best kept for humans.
  4. Cats require a significantly higher percentage of protein than dogs – do not substitute dog food for cat food and vice-versa.
  5. Even if you’re a vegetarian, your cat or dog shouldn’t be. Cats are strict carnivores and they require certain nutrients only found in animal sources. Dogs are more omnivorous in nature but also require some animal source nutrients for good health.
  6. Make sure that your pet has constant access to fresh water, especially if you are feeding your pet a dry food.
  7. Pet’s can become obese without experiencing significant weight gain, a couple of pounds is all it takes to tip the scales for a cat. If you are worried about your pet’s weight ask your veterinarian to assess your pet’s body condition and to make recommendations with regards to the type of food that your pet should be eating. A weight management formulated food may not be sufficient; there may be an underlying health issue that requires a prescription diet.
  8. If you want to give your pets treats to reward them for good behavior, remember that the calorific content of manufactured treats can be high and is in addition to your pet’s regular food allowance. If you give your pets treats on a regular basis, you may have to reduce the amount of food that you give them at mealtimes to make sure that they don’t stray too far from their daily dietary needs.
  9. If your veterinarian recommends that you switch your pet’s food, do it slowly. Mix it half and half with their old food and watch your pet for any signs of digestive distress. As your pet becomes used to the new food, gradually reduce the proportion of their old food until it reaches zero.
  10. Remember, your pet relies on your for their health and welfare, feed them a healthy balanced diet now and they’ll thank you later.

Always consult a licensed veterinarian before adjusting your pets diet.

Ten Holiday Tips for Pet Owners [ click here ]
The holiday season is a time of great excitement and much joy as family and friends gather together to celebrate. It’s also a time when we bring new foods, ornaments and gifts into our homes, many of which could be dangerous for pets. Here are our Top Ten Tips to help pet owners to help to ensure that our four-legged friends can safely enjoy the holiday season as well.
  1. Christmas trees are beautiful to look at but can be dangerous for pets:
    • Try not to leave your cat alone with the tree – they may decide to risk one of their nine lives in an attempt to reach the star at the top.
    • Make sure that your tree, real or artificial is stable and well anchored.
    • Hang unbreakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree, you never know when a dog’s tail will wag a little too hard.
    • If your pet does break an ornament, make sure that you pick up all the pieces and avoid cuts and lacerations.
    • If you have a real tree you need to keep it well watered but the water may contain chemicals, dirt or bark which could make your pet ill if it drinks it. Cover the stand tightly with skirting and make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water in their normal water bowl.
    • Don’t hang tinsel on the tree; it can cause serious problems for curious cats if they swallow it.
  2. Unfortunately many of the plants traditionally associated with the holiday season, such as poinsettias, holly, amaryllis and mistletoe, are also poisonous for your pet. Keep all plants out of reach from curious pets and if your pet appears ill, don’t delay, consult your veterinarian.
  3. Electrical cords for decorations should be taped to walls or the floor to ensure your pet does not chew or trip over them. Curiosity and accidents go hand in hand.
  4. When lighting advent wreaths, menorah, or decorative candles keep your pet out of the room and place them all out of reach of inquisitive paws. As always, never leave a candle unattended.
  5. Play it safe and keep all gifts of the reach of pets altogether, wrapping paper and ribbons are wonderful enticements for cats and edible gifts can easily be sniffed out and eaten (paper and all) by dogs. You don’t want to have to deal with a choking incident or stomach upset particularly at this time of year.
  6. If you’re planning a party, take into consideration how your pet interacts with people. Too many unknown visitors may cause your pet unnecessary stress. Provide your pet with a quiet, secure place for them to settle while you have your party.
  7. Holiday foods are an integral part of most holiday celebrations and most pet owners don’t want to leave their pets out of the festivities. If you are going to give them something special, make sure that it is not something that will upset their stomachs and don’t give them too much, our pets don’t understanding the meaning of post-season diets.
  8. Many edible treats for humans are not good for pets and in fact may be poisonous eg. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate. Keep pets away from the holiday food and bring them into the holiday festivities with a treat made specially for them.
  9. Holiday costumes for your pets may be cute in the family photos, but you should be aware that most costumes have rubber bands to keep them securely in place on the pet. If rubber bands are left on the pet after the fun is over, the pet could chew the bands off and swallow them, causing choking and/or intestinal injuries, remove costumes as soon as the photos are over and put them out of your pet's reach.
  10. To ensure you can afford your pets good health not only through the holidays but all year round, enroll them today in a PetCare Pet Insurance Program.

Protect Your Pet Today

PetCare has been fantastic. When Tasha was diagnosed with cancer, it gave me the ability to have her treated with much less concern over the finances. It allows for a much less selfish decision and allowed me to do the right thing for her without thinking about the money. Thank you for the quick way you handled it too. At a time of stress, you made that easy. She lived over a year after her diagnosis and almost all of that was with high life quality thanks to your help. Whoever says pet insurance is not worth it has a lot to learn about PetCare and PetCare Insurance.

Client: Gerry Goldberg  Pet:Tasha, Domestic Medium Hair  Condition: Cancer
Claim Submitted: $4237.71   Claim Paid: $2500.00 (Max for QCIC policy)